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Pros and Cons of Selling Gold, Silver, & Platinum Jewelry Online

Updated on May 11, 2017
Beth Eaglescliffe profile image

I write about employment issues, ways to earn money and how to get best value when spending it.

Gold Necklace With No Hallmark Makes Valuation Difficult

Gold necklace with emeralds and diamonds. When clasped the snake is biting its own tail.
Gold necklace with emeralds and diamonds. When clasped the snake is biting its own tail. | Source

Selling Old Gold and Silver

With interest rates on cash deposits low or even negative, you may prefer to keep savings in the form of gold, silver or platinum. The downside of this is that the resale value of your items (e.g. jewelry or coins) is subject to demand and supply. In an ideal world, you would sell when the price of gold is high and buy when the price is low. Most of us do not have the luxury of choosing the time to sell. However, you can select where and to whom you sell. Selling via the internet can be an easy and private way to convert your jewelry or scrap gold, silver and platinum assets into cash.

How are Precious Metals Valued?

The main factors determining the value of your old jewelry are the weight of the precious metal it contains (quantity) and its grade or karat (quality). It is useful to have an idea of what your items are worth before you approach a dealer. You can make and estimate of value at home with a specialist weighing scale and a jewelry testing kit.

I recommend the Gdealer Digital Pocket Kitchen Scale as this is a multifunction scales which can be used for weighing precious metals as well as for normal culinary use. It is designed to weigh jewelry and is calibrated to 0.01 gram accuracy.

To check the karat of your jewelry and other items, use the Precious Metals Testing Kit Silver, Platinum, 10k 14k 18k 22k Gold Tests Plus Stone. This contains a set of chemicals and a touchstone making it easy for you to analyze the quality of your potential sale.

The video below shows how an online dealer determines the value of scrap gold sent to them for a valuation.

How Traders Buy Scrap Gold

How Much is Your Jewelry Worth?

You believe your old wedding band or engagement ring is valuable. You know how much your partner paid for it, but you should remember that was the retail price. Any offer you receive from a dealer today will be based on the wholesale price. The two valuations are worlds apart. You may also think that inflation will have kept the value of precious metals buoyed up, but this is not always true. The resale worth of most non-cash investments fluctuates wildly over time. Before deciding to sell your item, you need to know if it is as valuable as you thought. What are the benefits of getting a valuation and selling your jewelry via an online dealer?

Pros

Most online dealers will give you a realistic (low) valuation if you email photos of your items to them.

You won’t have to go downtown carrying valuables, so avoiding being a target for robbery.

You can make your request for a valuation in private without anyone else knowing.

Cons

You won’t know the exact valuation until you have sent your jewelry to the dealer.

You may be disappointed with the final offer and then have the hassle of getting the valuables returned.

Your items could get lost in transit, so you will need to insure the package.

White Gold Wedding Band and Yellow Gold Engagement Ring

Source

What happened when you sold your old jewelry?

See results

The gold price ended the year up 8%. Having risen 25% by the end of September, gold relinquished some of its gains in Q4 following Trump’s conciliatory acceptance speech and the FOMC’s interest rate rise.

2016 saw a 7-year low for jewellery demand. Rising prices for much of the year, regulatory and fiscal hurdles in India and China’s softening economy were key reasons for weakness in the sector.

— World Gold Council 02-03-2017

Fashion Influences Sale Price

The sale price of valuable jewelry and coins is based not only on the intrinsic value of the metal, but also by style and fashion. Some items are valuable because they are antique and the craftsmanship of the piece makes it unique and rare. However, many older pieces, especially those made in the last 100 years are influenced by changing fashion tastes and so have not held their value.

Young people today prefer to buy several items of cheap jewelry rather than invest in one statement piece. This change in buying habits means that old gold, silver and platinum rings and necklaces are not as valuable as their owners hoped. The resale market is currently flooded with jewelry that was fashionable 40 or 50 years ago. The original owners were part of the post Second World War generation that had high disposable incomes. As they pass away, their jewelry is sold to release cash for the next, less affluent generation.

Sell Jewelry and Scrap Gold Online

Check These Out
Comment
How long has the company been trading?
Be cautious if they have been trading less than 3 years.
Are they accredited by a trade body?
e.g. Better Business Bureau (BBB), Jewelers Board of Trade,
Read online reviews and ask friends and family.
Online reviews are worth reading but check to see the date of posting.
If an offer seems way too good.
Trust your instincts!

With any kind of selling you need to have your wits about you. There are unscrupulous traders online just as there are on the high street. Take the precaution of getting comparative quotes. Check out reviews for the companies that you intend to use. If an offer sounds too good to be true than it probably is. The video below shows how valuations can vary between online dealers.

Cash For Gold USA Undercover Investigation

The Sale Process from Offer to Payment

Once you have decided which online company to use, the sale process is similar to a high-street dealer. You will need to send your items by secure delivery, then wait for confirmation of the initial valuation. Once you have accepted the price offered you will be asked for proof of identity and your bank details. Many states have anti-money-laundering laws that mean you cannot be paid in cash for your valuables. You can only receive payment into a personal bank account. The advantages and disadvantages of the process when using an online dealer compared to a physical store are as follows.

Pros

Communication is by email and text so all offers are recorded.

You can text or email at a time convenient to you, rather than during your work hours.

Reputable online companies have a stated policy on how quickly they will pay the money into your account (usually the same day as you accept the offer).

Cons

The spot price (market price) of gold, silver and platinum changes frequently so the valuation given one day may have changed by the time your item is received by the dealer.

A reputable dealer will not pay you in cash. They will make an additional charge if you want a check rather than have the money paid direct into your bank account.

If you don’t like amount offered you will have to pay for the return of your jewelry.

The price offered by online dealers is for scrap value (i.e. the intrinsic value of the metal, not for any artistic merit or rarity.)

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