Selling Gold, Silver, and Platinum Jewelry Online

Updated on August 16, 2018
Beth Eaglescliffe profile image

I love searching for bargains in yard sales, thrift stores and charity shops. As fast as I donate items, I acquire new ones.

A decorative gold coin necklace. It has no hallmark and is therefore difficult to value.
A decorative gold coin necklace. It has no hallmark and is therefore difficult to value. | Source

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, you can buy a precious metals testing kit. This contains a set of chemicals and touchstone and will show you whether the metal is 10k, 14k, 18k, 22k gold, silver, or platinum.

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

Online Valuations: 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.

How to Choose a Reliable Online Trader

Check these out before selling your valuables to an online trader.

  • 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) or the Jewelers Board of Trade.
  • Read online reviews and ask friends and family if they have heard of hem. Online reviews are worth reading but check to see the date of posting.
  • If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your instincts.

Scrap gold is melted down to create new items of jewelry.
Scrap gold is melted down to create new items of jewelry. | Source

What happened when you sold your old jewelry?

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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.

Many 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 they once were. 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.

Beware False Promises

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. Get quotes from several traders so that you can compare the market. 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. After you accept 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.)

Your smile could be your fortune.
Your smile could be your fortune. | Source

Do's and Don'ts of Selling Gold

Here is some good advice to follow when selling gold:

  • DO stay sober - Some companies organise "gold parties", which mean making financial decisions while plied with drink which is not a good idea.
  • DO sell unloved trinkets and old gold fillings - Send broken chains, scratched rings, snapped brooches or dodgy bling from dumped exes. Old gold tooth crowns can fetch up to US $100, depending on their size and karat.
  • DO NOT send jewelry with gemstones - Remove diamonds and other stones before posting. The gemstone may be worth more than the gold and it is only the gold you will be paid for.

Some gold objects have sentimental as well as monetary value.
Some gold objects have sentimental as well as monetary value. | 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.

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