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How and where to sell gold jewelry for cash now

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Gold jewelry, even broken chains or old wedding rings, can be worth cash. The key is to understand the value of your gold and research the best places to sell — and get the highest price and/or sell quickly.

Here is what you need to know about selling your gold jewelry:

How to sell gold jewelry

1. Check jewelry stamps and symbols

It is important to understand exactly what your gold jewelry is — the karat of gold, weight, and in some instances, the brand. Familiarize yourself with gold hallmarks, or stamps, that signify the karat of gold — even if you think you know what you have.

This chart gives you an idea of the value of amount of gold per karat in yellow gold, assuming a price of $1,700 per troy ounce:

StampPurity% goldSpot value
99924 karat99.9% $1,635.40
99022 karat99%$1,482.00
75018 karat75% $1,220.60
58514 karat58.3% $941.80
3759 karat37.5%$680.00

2. Check today’s gold price

As of , the spot gold value in the United States was trading at $ per ounce, or $ per gram. 

Gold prices go up and down, and after reaching an all-time high in March of this year, have been on a steady decline. Rising interest rates mean that bond yields and a strong dollar make gold investments less attractive. The lower demand means lower gold prices globally.

Learn more about what affects the price of gold and what you need to know about valuing your gold.

3. Research reputable gold buyers

Ask friends and neighbors for recommendations for where to sell your gold, and then do a google search: look for Better Business Bureau, Yelp and Trustpilot reviews, look for price guarantees and insurance terms for online buyers as well as pawnshops. Seek out info on how long the company has been in business.

This post outlines top gold buyers, including in-person gold selling options like pawnshops, antique and jewelry stores, cash for gold locations, gold recyclers, and online gold buyers.

Where to sell gold jewelry

Depending on how fast you need the money, and how much energy you have to shop around your gold jewelry to various buyers, here are two recommendations for selling your gold:

Best place to sell gold jewelry if you can wait a few days: CashforGoldUSA

CashforGoldUSA is our No. 1 recommended best place to sell your gold (and more, including silver and diamonds!), for a few reasons:

  • CashforGoldUSA pays within 24 hours,
  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating
  • Price match guarantee
  • Family business founded in 2005
  • Free return guarantee
  • Insured up to $100,000
  • Buys all weight and karat of gold, as well as all diamonds and silver
  • 10% bonus if you ship within 7 days
  • Get a quote with CashforGoldUSA now >>

Overview of how Cash for Gold USA works:

Best place to sell gold jewelry if you need cash now: Pawnshop

There are pawnbrokers in most communities, and for a good reason: Pawn shops help people get cash they need, quickly, whether through a short-term loan or outright sale. While pawnshops have shady reputations, there are many quality pawnbrokers. They also give you the option of a short-term loan, though terms of pawn lawns are not favorable.

Selling to a jeweler is also an option, and some may give you store credit. Jewelers only typically buy jewelry, while a pawnbroker will buy any number of items for cash.

Here's how to vet a pawnshop for quality:

  1. Check Pawnfinders.com, run by the National Pawnbrokers Association, is a searchable list of members who must meet certain guidelines for ethical business practices to join.
  2. Make sure the pawnshop where you do business has its policies clearly posted, including the business’s pawnshop loan application, appraisal, storage and insurance fees, and interest and that you can easily reach their customer service by phone or email.
  3. Search Yelp, the local BBB and ask around about the pawnshop's reputation. Pawn shops often do large quantities of business, so you should be able to find many points of reference.
  4. Check to see if your local pawnshop is part of a national chain. These include:
  • Cash America Pawn
  • EZ Pawn
  • First Cash Pawn
  • Pawn America [both online and 17 retail pawn locations]

4 tips to consider before you sell gold jewelry

  1. Understand the true value of your gold based on its weight and quality — not what you assumed it is worth, or based on the retail value you paid, or what it might go for at retail today. In other words, your jewelry is probably worth the melt price of gold.
  2. Check the price of gold today.
  3. If your necklace, ring or bracelet has some modest gemstones or even diamonds, those stones may not add much or any value to the sale of your gold jewelry.
  4. Negotiate — feel free to ask the buyer for a higher price than they offer.

FAQs about gold jewelry

Gold is a simple metal found on the Periodic Table of Elements — yet it is deeply mysterious, primed for scams throughout history, and requires some basic education before you sell your gold jewelry.

Here are some terms you may encounter when selling gold jewelry:

What is gold vermeil?

Gold vermeil is sterling silver that has been gold-plated, typically with 22K to 24K gold. It is more common to find gold vermeil in 14K-18K.

What is “gold plated?”

Gold plating involves affixing a thin layer of gold onto the surface of another metal copper or silver, by a chemical or electrochemical plating process.

What is “gold filled?”

Gold-filled jewelry is constructed in two or three layers: The core metal is brass, and a gold alloy is then bonded to one or both surfaces of the brass core with heat and pressure. Gold-filled jewelry contains a much thicker layer of gold than plated or vermeil items and will hold up better with wear comparatively.

What's the difference between gold, gold filled, and gold plated?

Unlike plated (also referred to as “electroplated” or “dipped”), gold-filled items are legally required to contain 5% gold by weight. “Gold” items are the same gold alloy all the way through.

What is white gold? What's the difference between white gold and yellow gold?

White gold has a silver, or white metal look, and is an alloy of gold with nickel, platinum, or another metal. There is no negligible price difference between white and yellow gold. The value is determined by the amount of gold contained, not its color.

This post details the difference between white and yellow gold.

FAQs about selling gold jewelry

How can I sell my gold jewelry without getting ripped off?

The best way to get the best value for your gold jewelry is to: 1) Understand what you have in terms of karat and weight of the metal, and, 2) Know the price of gold today.

From there, you can shop your gold jewelry around to get the highest price — or the quickest sale, whatever is most important to you.

How much should I get for selling my gold jewelry?

When you sell your gold jewelry, expect to get between 50% and 90% of the melt value of your gold.

Is selling gold jewelry worth it?

If you need the money more than you need the gold jewelry, then it is worth it to sell. Even a small piece of scrap gold, dental gold or a broken gold chain can be worth $100 or more.

How can I sell my gold jewelry without getting ripped off?

The best way to get the best value for your gold jewelry is to: 1) Understand what you have in terms of karat and weight of the metal, and, 2) Know the price of gold today.

How much should I get for selling my gold jewelry?

When you sell your gold jewelry, expect to get between 50% and 90% of the melt value of your gold.

Is selling gold jewelry worth it?

If you need the money more than you need the gold jewelry, then it is worth it to sell. Even a small piece of scrap gold, dental gold or a broken gold chain can be worth $100 or more.

Wealthysinglemommy.com founder Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, activist, author and expert. A former Associated Press reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has appeared on CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, TIME, The Doctors, Elle, O, The Oprah Magazine. Winner of Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web” and a New York Observer “Most Eligible New Yorker," her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was a New York Post Must Read. As an expert on divorce and gender, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality and multiple state legislature hearings. More about Emma's credentials.

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