When the economy takes a downturn or personal finances get tough, some people look for ways to turn their gold jewelry into cash. Gold prices are high, and advertisements are flooding the Internet, newspapers, television and radio encouraging owners to send their gold items in to receive quick cash. In most cases, sending gold jewelry to strangers on the promise of an unknown amount of cash is the worst way to sell. Here are better ways to get the most cash for your gold jewelry.
Get an appraisal of the gold items you'd like to sell from reputable jewelers. This is the first step in finding the weight and purity of the gold in the jewelry. Check with the local Better Business Bureau or The American Gem Society (see the Resource section) for a list of qualified jewelers. Get estimates from at least three of them. This is the best way to get an objective view of your jewelry's real value.
Ask each jeweler to tell you the carat value of the gold and the weight in pennyweight or troy ounces. Once you have a good estimate of the purity and weight, use an online calculator (see Resources) to determine the intrinsic value of the gold. You probably won't get 100 percent of the value, even from a reputable jeweler, but knowing the full value will give you a good starting point for negotiations. Try to get 80 to 85 percent of the value. This is a reasonable price, and it still gives the jeweler the opportunity to make a fair profit when he resells it.
Consider contacting collectors if you have unusual or very fine jewelry. Some pieces are worth much more for their design and aesthetic value than the gold they contain. Collectors place higher value on artistic elements and rarity than on the value of the gold itself.
Once you get a value of your gold with the online calculator, act quickly to sell. Gold prices fluctuate daily, and a delay can cost you if the price is falling.
Avoid pawnshops to get the most cash from gold jewelry. Pawn brokers are used to dealing with desperate sellers and are likely to offer far less than the gold's real value. Be wary of advertisements, mail-in offers, phone solicitations or other sellers you can't deal with in person.