Gold is one of the most popular metals for jewelry due to its beauty and longevity. In jewelry, the metal is alloyed with other elements like platinum or copper to create white and rose gold variations. Precious metals dealers often buy gold jewelry for a high price based on the gold content and condition of the pieces.
If you have pure gold jewelry that you want to sell for cash, ensure you get the best price by taking a few simple steps, including understanding your jewelry’s value and selling it to a professional local dealer like AU Precious Metals.
What to do Before Selling Your Jewelry
Getting the best price for your jewelry involves a few steps you can take before finding a buyer. Organizing your collection and understanding the metal content of your pieces can help you prepare for the jewelry-selling process.
Organize Your Collection and Take Inventory
Whether you’ve accumulated several gold pieces over time, purchased pieces with the intent to sell for money, or inherited a collection, organizing your jewelry can help you simplify selling it.
Taking an inventory of your pieces ensures you know what you have and what you want to sell. It also helps you understand the pieces’ characteristics for discussion with the buyer.
To organize your jewelry, create a spreadsheet with helpful categories like the following:
- Type (necklace, earring, bracelet)
- Metal type and content (yellow, white, or rose gold, 24, 18, 14-karat)
- Age (especially relevant for vintage or antique pieces)
- Jeweler or designer (may be worth more if it’s a designer piece)
- Gemstone (for example, diamond, emerald, ruby)
- Damages (for instance, scratches, dents, missing stones, bent settings)
If you have a piece appraised, include the value on your spreadsheet. This can help you determine what a piece may be worth to a buyer.
Understand the Metal Content of Your Pieces
Understanding the difference between plated and solid gold jewelry is critical to ensure you get the best price. The gold content and purity determine the value of your gold pieces. Most buyers do not accept plated at these pieces have a lower precious metal content and command a lower price.
Filled and Plated-Gold
Plated gold jewelry is made of inexpensive base metals like aluminum, copper, or nickel and then electroplated with a thin layer of gold. Jewelry is considered plated if the gold constitutes less than 1⁄20 of the entire metal content. It is considered gold-filled if it contains more than 1⁄20 gold but is still not a solid alloy. Some buyers may still accept gold-filled jewelry because it has a higher gold content than plated pieces.
Real gold jewelry pieces are made from solid gold alloy. Naturally, gold is a soft, malleable material, so to be formed into jewelry, it needs to be mixed with other base metals like zinc and nickel.
Real gold jewelry is sold in karats, with 24 karats being the highest quality available. One karat is 1⁄24 or 4.1667% of a whole, so 24 karat is as pure as possible without the jewelry being soft and bendable by hand.
There are several types of real gold, including yellow gold, the purest and highest quality, and rose and white gold, which are mixtures of gold and other metals. Yellow gold is as pure as possible and does not have extra metals that change its color or appearance.
Gold jewelry is usually made using 14K or 18K gold for added durability. Only yellow gold is commonly sold in 24K. Some common gold alloys feature the metal percentages found in the following table:
|Gold (Au)||Silver (Ag)||Copper (Cu)||Zinc (Zn)||Palladium (Pd)|
|White Gold||18||75%||25% (or Platinum)|
How to Get the Best Price on Your Pieces
When you sell your jewelry, you can improve your chances of getting the best price by estimating the jewelry’s value. Having your pieces assayed and selling to a local dealer also ensures you get a high price for your items.
Estimate Your Jewelry’s Value
To estimate your jewelry’s value, check for certain markings that can help you know its metal type and purity. You can find these hallmarks on necklace clasps, inside a ring or bracelet, or on earring posts. If your items don’t have markings, they are likely costume jewelry and not worth much.
For gold jewelry, look for a K or the word karat stamped onto the gold or a set of numbers that indicate purity. You may see the following hallmarks on your high-value pieces:
- 24K, 24 karat, .999
- 18K, 18 karat, .750
- 14K, 14 karat, .585
- 10K, 10 karat, .417
If you see HGE or GE, your gold pieces are magnetic and not pure gold, so they have zero to minimal value to gold buyers. If your gold pieces are gold shell, overlay, or stamped with symbols, such as GF or fraction karat weights such as ⅒ 14K, they are valuable and a reputable gold buyer may be interested in purchasing your jewelry. For the most reliable estimation, bring your items to AU Precious Metals to have the markings evaluated and learn their value.
Have Your Pieces Assayed
Assaying your jewelry is a highly accurate method of determining the gold content and purity of your pieces, so you can fairly price your items. It is vital to take your jewelry to a professional assaying service.
At AU Precious Metals, we offer state-of-the-art XRF spectrometry technology to assess your jewelry. Unlike acid scratch-testing, this non-invasive technique won’t damage your jewelry’s finish.
XRF uses energy emissions caused by the X-rays exciting the metals’ atoms to detect which metals are present in the jewelry and at what percentage.
Sell to a Local Dealer
Selling your jewelry to a reputable buyer will help you get the most money possible for your gold and help you have a positive customer experience.
- Check online reviews and testimonials to see if their previous customers have been satisfied with their experience.
- Avoid pawn shops, 24-hour jewelry stores, online gold buyers, or other buyers that offer quick cash for gold pieces; these dealers often offer substantially less than a more reputable buyer.
- Shop around to find a buyer with the experience and professionalism to value your piece properly.
- Protect yourself by taking pictures and keeping documentation on your pieces before you visit the buyer.
- Know what your pieces are worth, but have a realistic selling price.
Where to Sell Gold Jewelry for the Best Price
If you are looking for a reputable local jeweler and precious metal buyer in Michigan, AU Precious Metals has brick-and-mortar locations in Rochester and Novi, MI. You can contact us for an in-person evaluation of your gold jewelry collection, and we may be able to offer you a quote for your pieces based on the current fair market price of gold.
You can use our secure mail in gold buying services. Simply send a request for a mail in assessment for your gold jewelry, and one of our experienced staff will contact you within 24 hours to send you a shipping label. We’ll cover the shipping cost if your pieces are worth more than $5,000.
Sell Your Gold Jewelry for Top Dollar
If you have broken, unwanted gold jewelry, sell it for cash today. AU Precious Metals can help you understand what your gold items might be worth and help you sell your jewelry stress-free. Getting started selling your fine gold and silver jewelry today. Visit us in person or contact us by phone, mail, or email today to learn more.