Gold is one of the world’s most precious metals and is used in all sorts of things, from electronics to jewelry. Many investors also hold gold as a hedge against economic instability or currency fluctuations.
Whether you’re looking to invest in gold or just have some gold jewelry, there are a lot of reasons you may have to consider selling your gold. You might realize that you have gold or jewelry that you don’t need and want to turn it into extra cash, or maybe you have gold investments you need to liquidate.
Whatever the reason, knowing what your gold is worth, and where to sell it, is an important part of getting your money’s worth when selling gold.
Table of Contents
- What Is Gold Worth?
- Why is Gold so Valuable?
- Where to Sell Gold
- Frequently Asked Gold Questions
- How to Sell Gold
- Alternatives to Selling Gold
What Is Gold Worth?
Gold is a precious metal, but it’s also a commonly traded commodity. The market price for gold changes every single day.
For example, gold cost $1,554.00 an ounce on January 15th, 2020, but cost $1,546.95 the day before.
To know what gold is worth, you’ll have to look up that day’s prices. You can easily do this with a quick internet search.
The price that you see quoted is the price for pure gold. Not all gold jewelry is made of pure gold. Gold is a very soft metal and can easily get damaged. It is often mixed with other metals, such as copper and silver. This reduces the purity of the gold, reducing its value.
Gold purity is measured in karats. Common karat ratings and their associated purities are:
- 24 karat – 99.9% pure
- 22 karat – 91.6% pure
- 20 karat – 83.3% pure
- 18 karat – 75% pure
- 14 karat – 58.3% pure
- 12 karat – 50% pure
- 6 karat – 25% pure
If you have four ounces of 6 karat gold, you only have one ounce of real gold. The other three ounces are other metals that are alloyed with the gold, so the price you can get for the gold will reflect how much of its weight is pure gold.
Why is Gold so Valuable?
It may seem strange that gold is so expensive. It looks nice, but why is there a broad agreement that gold should be costly?
One reason for gold’s high value is its history. Gold has been a common system of money throughout human history. Many currencies, including the US dollar, originally had their value tied to that value of gold. At one point, you could even redeem your paper currency for gold with the government.
As paper currencies have experience inflation, deflation, and wild volatility, gold has retained its value. While its price does change, many people see it as a stable asset and hedge against uncertainty. This perception and the fact that gold has been so popular for so long help give it value.
The law of supply and demand dictates that the price of scarce things be relatively high. Gold is a limited resource. There’s only so much of it, and it’s hard to find more. The days of gold rushes and panning for gold are over, so most gold is extracted through expensive mining operations.
This limited supply and the difficulty of mining more gold makes gold valuable.
Beyond making pretty jewelry, gold has several industrial uses, and that means there will be a consistent demand for it. Gold is commonly used in electronics, computers, medical devices and dental implants.
Gold’s scarcity, combined with its needs, means that there will always be demand. Thus, there will always be a market for gold.
Where to Sell Gold
Once you’ve decided to sell your gold, there are plenty of places that you can go to make the sale. Take the time to shop around to find the best deal.
Here are nine places to sell gold for the most money:
1. Cash for Gold USA
Cash for Gold USA is one of the oldest internet-based buyers of gold in the United States. Its website is simple, featuring an easy-to-use calculator that helps you estimate the amount that you’ll receive for your gold.
To get started, you tell Cash for Gold USA what metal you’re selling, where you live and how you plan to ship your items. Cash for Gold USA will give you a free shipping label that you can use to send your gold to them.
All you have to do is put your items in the mail and wait to get paid. You can request payment by check, bank wire or PayPal. You can get paid in as few as 24 hours after your gold arrives. This is one of the simplest places to sell gold online.
2. Liberty Gold and Silver
Liberty Gold and Silver is a Portland, Oregon-based precious metals buyer. You can sell gold, silver, platinum, palladium and more all at the same time.
You can request a free quote and shipping label. Liberty Gold and Silver offers shipping insurance up to $1,000. If you’re selling more than $1,000 in metal, you’ll need to ship and insure the gold yourself, though the company will reimburse you for the cost once it receives your shipment.
You can obtain payment by check in the mail or a wire transfer to your bank account. There is a small fee for wire transfers.
3. Express Gold Cash
You can sell coins, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings to Express Gold Cash. The company will send you a prepaid FedEx shipping box that’s insured up to a maximum of $5,000.
Once your gold arrives, Express Gold Cash will send you an offer. If you accept, they will place your check in the mail within 24 hours.
Luriya is based in Manhattan, New York, and takes sales through the mail or in-person at its store. You can schedule an appointment for an in-person transaction or request a prepaid mailer to ship your precious metals.
By default, Luriya offers insurance for up to $1,000 when shipping, but it can increase that to as much as $1 million, making Luriya an appealing choice for those who want to ship a large quantity of gold for sale.
Like other sellers, SellYourGold.com will send you a free mailer that you can use to ship your metals through FedEx. The mailer comes with $1,000 in insurance. But you can ask for the coverage to be increased to as much as $25,000.
Once the company receives your items, you’ll get paid within 24 hours. You can request payment through a direct deposit or PayPal.
6. Pawn Shops
Pawn shops frequently purchase gold jewelry, so you can try bringing your metal to a local pawn shop to sell. However, often, pawn shops aren’t equipped to measure the purity of gold accurately and cannot make the best offer.
As a result, you should know the real value of your gold before trying to make a sale at a pawn shop. And, if the offer you get isn’t good enough, don’t be afraid to refuse to complete the sale.
7. Local Precious Metals Dealers
If you live near a precious metals dealer, you can probably sell your gold to them. These companies have experience determining the authenticity of precious metals and assessing their true worth.
With a reputable dealer, you have a good chance of getting a good deal and the convenience of making a sale in-person.
8. Local Jewelers
Some jewelers are willing to buy precious metals, so you can visit your local jeweler if you want to make a sale. If you’re selling jewelry, the jeweler will also be able to tell you whether it is worth more than the value of the metal it contains, making sure you get a good deal.
9. Other People
Many people like investing in gold for a variety of reasons. So, if you have investment-grade gold in the form of coins or bars, you might have good luck selling to another individual.
This way, it gives you the advantage of avoiding transaction costs. Plus, it gives you a good chance of getting as close to the true value of your gold as possible.
You can advertise your sale on Craigslist or other selling apps. List what you’re looking to sell and the price that you’d like to sell it for and wait for a potential buyer to contact you.
When organizing a sale, make sure to take basic safety precautions. Meet in a public place and bring a friend if possible. Plus, only accept payment in cash or a form of guaranteed funds, such as a cashier’s check.
Frequently Asked Gold Questions
Here are answers to some of the most common questions that people have about gold.
How Can I Tell If Gold Is Real?
Before you try to sell your gold, you’ll want to know if your gold is real. If you’re expecting a payday from selling gold, only to find that you don’t have actual gold to sell, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
There are a few ways to determine whether your gold is real or fake.
One is to look for markings on the gold. Often, real gold jewelry is marked with its purity, usually on its clasps or the inner part of rings. It will be a number between 1 and 999 or 0K and 24K.
As a bonus, these markings indicate the purity of the gold, from 0 to 99.9%, or 0 karats to 24 karats. These markings may be accompanied by a GF, GP, or GEP, standing for Gold Filled, Gold Plated, or Gold Electroplate respectively.
Another method is to see if your gold floats. Authentic gold is quite heavy, so it will quickly sink in a bowl of water. If it floats, it is an imitation or fake gold.
Real gold is not magnetic. If you have a powerful magnet, see if it attracts your gold. If it does, the gold is impure or false. However, you’ll need a strong magnet for this test. Most kitchen magnets won’t be enough.
Can I Sell Gold Jewelry?
Yes, it’s possible to sell gold jewelry. If you do choose to sell gold jewelry, you’ll need to decide whether you’re trying to sell it as jewelry or as gold, as this will impact your options when looking for a buyer.
If you want to sell your jewelry as jewelry, you’ll want to look to jewelers, pawn shops, or a way to sell to other consumers, such as through eBay or Craigslist. If the jewelry is old, you might also have luck selling it to a person or shop that focuses on antique goods.
Selling jewelry as jewelry is usually best if it has some historical or artistic value. A plain gold necklace will be worth less than a well-preserved, hundred-year-old necklace that contains the same quantity of gold because the old necklace has historical significance.
If you want to sell your jewelry for the value of the gold it consists of, you’ll want to focus on selling to gold dealers or other companies that specialize in dealing with precious metals.
With these buyers, the value of your jewelry will be tied to the amount of gold it contains. Jewelry with higher purity gold will be worth more by weight than jewelry with lower purity gold.
Why Do People Invest in Gold?
People invest in gold for a variety of reasons. Gold has a lot of history behind it. It has been valuable for a long time and was frequently used as a currency. This history gives it value.
Gold also tends to be seen as a stable store of wealth. When currency values are uncertain or fluctuating, many investors buy gold to ride out the uncertainty.
It has also gotten easier to buy and sell gold. Before, you needed to purchase and store physical gold. When you sold your investment, you would need to ship or transport it to the buyer. Today, you can buy securities that track the value of gold without holding physical gold yourself.
What Is a Troy Ounce?
A troy ounce is a particular unit of weight that the precious metal industry uses. That means that gold is typically weighed, bought and sold in troy ounces.
The troy weight system originated in 15th century England. In the troy weight system, 24 grains make up a pennyweight, and 20 pennyweights equal one ounce. Twelve troy ounces equals one troy pound.
One troy ounce equals roughly 31.1 grams or 1.097 regular ounces. When making rough approximations, you can assume that a troy ounce is 10% heavier than a regular ounce. That means that if you have one regular ounce of gold, you have .91 troy ounces of gold.
How to Sell Gold
If you wish to sell your gold, you want to make sure that you get the most value that you can from the sale.
To give yourself the best chance of getting a good deal, you should follow these steps:
Estimate Your Gold’s Value
Before doing anything else, take the time to estimate the value of your gold. However, this can be a bit of a complicated process because you have to account for the purity of your gold and gold’s changing value.
To start, sort your gold by purity, grouping each karat level. Once you’ve organized everything, weigh each group on its own, then multiply the weight you get by the purity of gold it contains. You can put together a table like this to help with the process:
- 24 karat – 99.9% pure
- 22 karat – 91.6% pure
- 20 karat – 83.3% pure
- 18 karat – 75% pure
- 14 karat – 58.3% pure
- 12 karat – 50% pure
- 6 karat – 25% pure
|Karats||Ounces||Purity||Weight of Gold|
Filled out, it would look like this:
|Karats||Ounces||Purity||Weight of Gold in Ounces|
Ounce you know how much pure gold you have, you can multiply the weight by the current value of gold. While you’ll have trouble getting the full value of your gold from most buyers, this will give you a ballpark measure of the price that you should get.
For example, if you have 14 ounces of gold and gold is selling for $1,300 per ounce, you’ll know that your metal is worth $18,200. If you get an offer for $4,000, you’ll know it’s a bad deal. If the offer is for $16,000, it’s much more reasonable.
If Selling Gold to Be Melted Down, Make Sure It Is Not Worth More As-Is
If you plan to sell gold to a gold dealer that is primarily interested in its value as a precious metal, make sure that any jewelry or other gold items you’re selling aren’t worth more than the gold they contain.
Antique jewelry can be worth far more than the gold it contains due to its historical or artistic value, and you might get a better deal from a specialized buyer of antique goods.
Shop Around for the Best Deal
Once you have a rough idea of what your gold is worth, you shouldn’t accept the first offer you get that’s close to the right number. Take the time to look up multiple gold buyers and shop around.
Don’t be afraid to take your collection to several buyers and have them give you an offer. Making buyers compete usually means you’ll get a better deal.
Complete Your Sale
Once you’ve found the best available offer and you’re happy with it, you can complete the sale. Package your gold according to the buyer’s guidelines and bring or ship it to the seller.
Make sure you agree on the terms of the deal, including how and when you’ll receive payment. This is easy when making an in-person sale because you can accept an immediate payment. In contrast, when shipping gold to a buyer, it can be more complicated. So knowing the process ahead of time is essential.
Alternatives to Selling Gold
There are a lot of reasons that you might wish to sell your gold. Maybe you realize that you own gold you don’t need and want to cash it in for a large purchase or other investments. Or you might have inherited the gold and don’t want to deal with storing it.
If you’re selling gold because you’re in financial trouble and need help making ends meet, there might be alternatives.
Many gold buyers won’t give you the actual value of your gold if you’re desperate to sell it. And knowing the other options can provide you with time to get the full amount for your precious metals. It can also help you avoid selling jewelry or other gold with sentimental value.
If you’re experiencing a financial emergency or are facing an unexpected bill, a personal loan may be a good way to get the money that you need. Check out this list of the top personal loan companies.
You will have to pay the loan back, and you’ll pay interest on the money that you borrow, but it can save you from selling gold that you don’t really want to sell. It can also buy you time to make sure you can get the full value of your gold.
While borrowing money shouldn’t be your first resort, there are some situations where it makes the most sense, especially when the alternative is selling something for far less than it’s worth.
Gold is one of the world’s most popular precious metals, which means that there are many businesses interested in buying your gold. If you’re looking to sell gold, put in the effort to make sure that you’re paid what it’s worth.
Do you own gold, or have you ever had to sell your gold? Let us know in the comments below.