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How Do Gold Buyers Decide How Much Your Gold Jewelry is Worth?

October 10, 2011

With the price of gold reaching historic year-over-year highs, people are discovering that they can sell jewelry that they thought was cheap at very good prices. Remember the gold chain fad of the 1970s? Well, now is the time to search the bottom of your drawers and get cash for that gold jewelry. What was previously considered trinkets and baubles can be converted to cash by selling gold jewelry.

There are several companies online that are making it easy and quick for people to turn their old, unwanted jewelry into cash money at very reasonable rates. The challenge for consumers is to sort out the reputable companies from the scams.

There was a time when a person’s only option for selling gold jewelry was the local pawn shop, often located in the seedy part of town. Now people can sell gold jewelry in the comfort of their own home and rely on professional assayists to determine the value of their jewelry, rather than the best guess of the guy across the counter with no formal training and a jeweler’s loupe.

There are a number of factors that a consumer should consider when selecting an online gold buyer.
How long has the buyer been in business? You certainly don’t want to work with a company that has be operating for less than a year. A company that has been in the gold business prior to the current run-up in the price of gold would be preferable to a company that has only entered the business since the price of gold has been rising.

Does the company have good customer service? Online gold buyers make it very easy and convenient, so that you may never need customer service, but the good companies nonetheless have a  customer service team in place, ready to deal with problems and answer questions. Is it easy to reach a real live person? Do they answer questions clearly and honestly? Generally, scammers make it very difficult to talk to real people. You should also never feel pressured to deal with a certain company.

How does the company determine the value of your jewelry? In order to set a price, the jewelry has to be assayed to determine the amount of pure gold that is in the jewelry. Usually this means that the jewelry has to be melted down and analyzed by a certified professional. For example, does the company use assayists certified by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)?

It is nearly impossible to determine the gold content of jewelry without an assay, which is why online gold buyers cannot give customers an estimate of the amount of cash they will receive prior to receiving and assaying the jewelry. Potential customers should know the return policy of an online buyer. Reputable companies will return the material to a customer at no cost if the customer doesn’t want to accept the price offered by the online buyer. Keep in mind that the jewelry will have been melted down, and will no longer be in the form of jewelry when it is returned.