Gloria Nye, Bollich, Patricia A., Braud, Emily
We’re coming out of a recession. Times are tough, and the price of gold has risen to over $1,800 an ounce (August, 2011). That kind of price for gold has some of us who are cash-strapped or unemployed digging through our jewelry boxes for old and broken gold jewelry to sell for cash. But seller, beware!
National TV networks, newspapers and news magazines in print and online are reporting that their investigative reporters have taken a number of the same, identical-weight gold items to different gold-buying enterprises and have been paid significantly different amounts in return. The bottom line is that it is important for you to forego convenience and “do your homework” in order to get the most cash for your gold when you sell it.
According to recent news stories, those mail-your-gold-to-us companies that advertise on TV may be convenient, but they paid the least of all -- sometimes as little as 10 percent of what the gold was actually worth. Plus, there are the additional risks of loss in shipment or false claims that the gold was never received. Pawn shops paid more but also not what the gold was worth by weight. Jewelry dealers and stores appear to be the best places to comparison shop for fairness in weight and payment for scrap gold.
However, as with anything else, it is important for you to get at least three estimates. Look in your phone book and call at least three local jewelry stores to see if they are buying scrap gold. Take your scrap gold to the store to be weighed. Be sure at least two of the gold buyers give you the same estimate of the weight of the gold you are selling, and then take the best cash offer for that weight of gold.
The purity and value of the gold item you are selling will be determined by its weight in ounces and the karat weight of gold it contains. The higher the karat weight, the purer and more valuable the gold. So a 20-karat gold ring will have more gold content and be worth more than a 10-karat gold ring, even if both rings weigh the same on a scale.
It pays to comparison shop to get the most cash when you sell your gold.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture