What you should know BEFORE selling your gold and silver jewelry
On Monday, Gold hit an all-time high of $1,445.70 per ounce and silver rose to a 31 year high of $36.49 per ounce. A weakening U.S. Dollar, continued unrest in the Middle East, higher oil prices and concerns about European Union sovereign debt all contributed to pushing the precious metals markets higher.
These unprecedented metals prices have many jewelry and coin owners around the world scurrying through their jewelry boxes, under their mattresses and in their safety deposit boxes for anything made of gold, silver or platinum they can sell.
But before you run out and sell your gold and silver there are a few things you should know:
- Gold is currently at record high prices. Since 1/1/2002 gold is up $1,166.60 an ounce. A change of 417.99% in just over nine years! There are many factors that have contributed to the rise of gold over the last decade including inflation, a weakening dollar, unstable financial markets, Government bailouts and political instability across the globe (just to name a few.)
- Jewelry manufacturers are required to stamp the purity of an item into the jewelry itself. Purity stamps can often be found on the inside or a ring, on the posts of earrings or on the clasp of necklaces and bracelets. Gold jewelry is rarely made of pure gold (also known as 24K) because the metal is too easily scratched or bent to be useable. The most common purities seen in jewelry manufactured in the United States are:
- 22K – 0.916 pure gold
- 18K – 0.750 pure gold
- 14k – 0.585 pure gold
- 10k – 0.417 pure gold
- Gold jewelry buyers often use Pennyweight (often displayed as “DWT”) or Grams when weighing and purchasing precious metals. There are 20 Pennyweight in a Troy Ounce. There are 31.103 Grams in a Troy Ounce. While these units of measurement might be unfamiliar to you they allow precious metal dealers to weigh your gold, platinum and palladium with more accuracy.
- A reputable dealer will pay more for a jewelry piece if it is marked with a brand name (Tiffany, Cartier, David Yurman, etc.) These items can often be resold at prices higher than just the gold content of the piece.
- Precious stones (especially diamonds) add to the value of a piece depending on their size and condition. Always ask your Precious Metals Dealer what they are paying for your precious stones.
- Silver is currently at 31 year highs and is up $31.85 per ounce since 1/1/2002, an astounding 686.42%! Silver reacts to many of the same factors as gold but still hasn’t reached its all-time high of $48.70/oz that it achieved in 1979 when the Hunt brothers attempted to corner the silver market. At the time the Hunt brothers were believed to hold one third of the entire world’s population of silver.
- Most Sterling Silver jewelry, flatware and serving pieces are stamped with .925 or the word “Sterling” to indicate that it 92.5% pure silver.
- U.S. Dimes, Quarters and Half Dollars minted prior to 1965 are 90% silver and are very valuable. Four quarters ($1 face value) can bring up to $24 at today’s prices!
Do Your Homework
Precious metal prices are at record highs and now is a terrific time to sell your unused jewelry, flatware, coins and other valuables. However, you should always do your homework before you sell. Beware of warning signs like:
- Someone wanting to meet you at your home or a hotel room
- Traveling “Buy Shows” that are in town one week and gone the next
- Shifty or dishonest buyers
- Companies new to the gold buying industry
- Companies with no reviews or history
- Companies wanting to pay significantly below the market rate
Make sure to get references from friends, review ratings by the organizations like the BBB and ask questions about any company you are planning to do business with. We would be honored to earn your business but if you decide not to deal with us then make sure you trust the company you are selling to. If you have any questions we would be happy to help. Call us or leave a comment below and one of our helpful representatives will guide you through the entire process.