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The best ways to sell gold jewelry

Your old broken chains and class rings could fetch a good price right now -- but don't ship them off in an envelope.

By Karen Datko May 12, 2010 1:04PM

Gold alert! Gold hit a new intraday record of $1,247.70 an ounce on Wednesday.

What does that mean for regular folks? For one, if you didn't sell off your unwanted gold jewelry last year, you might want to consider it now.


To get the best price, you have to do it the smart way. Personal-finance blogger Len Penzo delved into the various methods for selling your gold. Among his and our thoughts:


And now, the envelope, please. You mail the gold in a prepaid envelope and they send you a check. That's usually the best way to get the lowest, less-than-scrap-market price, particularly for small amounts, but it also requires little effort. (The same often applies to gold parties.) If you're that lazy, use a firm that isn't fly-by-night. 

Pawn shops. A better price for scrap gold can often be had at pawn shops. But, Len points out, "Convenience-wise, you actually have to get off your butt and drive into what are usually the seedier parts of town. You may also have to go to multiple shops to get a somewhat decent offer."


Jewelry stores. That's the route we'd pick. They offer the best possible opportunity for getting a decent scrap price or even something close to retail value. Unless your gold jewelry is good only for scrap -- broken chains, old school rings once the gemstone is removed, an earring missing its companion, a plain wedding band that reminds you of a failed relationship -- jewelry is worth more than the sum of its parts, I wrote in an article two years ago for MSN Money. It also said:

If you wonder what your gold jewelry is really worth, have it appraised. You can find credentialed appraisers at the websites of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers and the American Society of Appraisers. Short of a full-blown appraisal, you can hire an appraiser for a consultation. The fee, depending on your location, ranges from about $50 to $200 an hour.

If your gold is ready for the scrap heap, the jeweler can weigh it and make you an offer based on the spot price of gold, the composition of the piece, and the cost of refining, plus a little profit.


EBay. "The nice thing about selling your gold jewelry on eBay is that you can ensure you will get a higher price than you would from the refiner by listing it with a minimum reserve price that is above the price of scrap gold," Len wrote.


If you've used any of these methods to sell old gold jewelry, feel free to share your experience.


More from MSN Money:

Jul 5, 2013 4:41PM
Find out how much it is worth before you sell it, go to and they have an online calculator that tells you the worth of your items. You don't have to sell it to them just being armed with that information you will know if someone is ripping you off or not.
Aug 11, 2011 12:22PM

We have a coin shop that pays 90% of scrap or melt value. The owner weighs it and explains the value of 10k, 14k, 18k gold . I have been in his shop several times and noticed the the jewelers in the area also sell their scrap gold here .  Also you should know what you have. You can buy small digital scale on ebay for 8 or 10 dollars. Another item , 24 k gold is 100% pure gold therefore 18k is 75% of 24k. If you have 1 ounce of 18k gold  you have 3/4 ounce of 24k pure gold.

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