Where to sell gold (and tips to make sure you get the most cash)

sell gold best price

You likely have some gold sitting around. Maybe it is old jewelry that you no longer like, or perhaps it was a gift from someone you have negative (or complicated) feelings about. Perhaps you have some old gold coins you inherited, or even gold dental work sitting in the back of a drawer!

If you are like me, you have held on to these items, even though you don't use or enjoy them, and you might feel guilty because they were a thoughtful gift, or because they were expensive.

Whether you buy into the decluttering craze or not, unused items, especially those that you have negative feelings about, are best freed from you life. Better yet, why not sell that jewelry, coins or other gold for hard cash? This is a great time to sell your gold, since gold has been at record prices for the past few years.

Thankfully, there are some quality gold buyers that will give you the top price for your gold, quickly, and in a way that ensures that you get the highest price possible. CashforGoldUSA.com is one of the oldest, and most reliable companies that will buy your gold, silver or diamonds for the highest price. CashforGoldUSA and CashforDiamondsUSA's parent company, C.J. Environmental, has a B+ Better Business Bureau rating, and a Fox News investigation found that CashforGoldUSA.com paid out three times more than the other top online gold buyers.

How much is gold worth?

First, you want to know how much you will get when you sell your gold. You can get an estimate at CashforGoldUSA's online calculator.

The value of your gold is based on the current market price of gold, but considers several other factors. As of this writing, gold was at a near-record price of $1,313.50, or $42.23 per gram.

Unless you have gold bullion, or another form of pure gold, your gold item is mixed with other metals, or alloys. The higher the percentage of gold in your jewelry or coin, the higher the value. Gold is measured in karats, with 24-karat being the purist gold, and the most valuable.

Gold frequently asked questions

Gold is a fascinating commodity — one of the oldest forms of investment, wealth, as well as deeply sentimental when in the form of jewelry and other art. Plus, unlike stocks and bonds, gold is beautiful, and unlike real estate, highly transportable. Gold recycling is also one of the most environmentally sound processes — reusing a natural resource again and again.

Despite its ancient roots, and millennia of use, gold remains mysterious. However, there are some basic facts you should understand before selling your gold:

How to tell if gold is real

Check for a stamp. A real gold item will have a purity marking on the back or inside. This stamp is typically either a carat number, such as 18K, or 12K, in the shape of a rectangle with the corners cut off, and with a number inside. Here is the meaning of those numbers:

999 = 24 karat, 99.9% gold
990 = 22 karat, 99% gold
916 = 22 karat, 91.6% gold
750 = 18 karat, 75% gold
585 = 14 karat, 58.5% gold
375 = 9 carat, 37.5% gold

How to tell if gold is real with a lighter. Hold your gold jewelry or coin to the steady flame of a lighter or oven (but not a very high heat, like a blow torch). Real gold will get bright hot after a while, but will not darken. Fake gold will darken or otherwise change color when exposed to fire. Also, if the piece is gold-plated (covered with gold, but made of other metals inside), the thin gold plating will melt, revealing the inner metal.

Test your gold with a magnet. Gold is not magnetic. Using an extra-strong magnet (you can get one from the hardware store), see if your gold jewelry is attracted to the magnet. One side note, sometimes a real-gold bracelet or necklace will have a clasp that is not made of real gold, and will be drawn to the magnet, while the rest of the item will not.

Float test. Real gold will not float, and will not rust. Drop your gold into a glass of water. If it floats, it's fake.

Skin test. Real gold jewelry will not turn your skin black or green.  

How much is gold worth per ounce?

As of this writing, 1-ounce of gold 24k was worth $1,307. A 1-ounce gold bar is about the size of military dog tag, and 24mm (0.95 inches) x 42mm (1.65 inches 2mm (0.08 inches). Check the latest price of gold with CashforGoldUSA's gold calculator.

Recent gold prices, as of Feb. 13, 2019: Price per 1 ounce of gold:

10K Troy ounce of gold is worth $26.10
14K Troy ounce of gold is worth $36.15
18K Troy ounce of gold is worth $46.86
24k Troy ounce of gold is worth $1,307

How much is a gram of gold worth?

As of this writing, a gram of pure, 24K gold was worth $42.23. To visualize, a 1-gram gold bar is 8mm (0.32 inches)x 15mm (0.59 inches) x 0.4mm (0.02 inches) — or smaller than a thumb tack.

10k gram of gold was worth $16.79
14k gram of gold was worth $23.27
18k gram of gold was worth $30.20
24K gold was worth $42.23.

How many grams are in an ounce of gold?

Gold is priced in the Troy ounce, which is  31.1034768 grams — larger than the avoirdupois ounce, which has a mass of 28.35 grams).

What is gold used for?

Aside from jewelry, and as an investment, gold's durability and heat conducting properties make it valuable for many other uses. These include:

Industry and technology, including wiring and data storage, as well as a reflector on glass.

Space technology, as NASA uses gold on astronauts' visors, as well as in the wiring of space equipment.

Medicine, as gold' healing and diagnostic properties are applied to treat cancers and rheumatoid arthritis.

FAQ about gold jewelry

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. Unlike plated (also referred to as “electroplated” or “dipped”), gold-filled items are legally required to contain 5% gold by weight. 

What is gold vermeil?

Gold Vermeil is sterling silver that has been gold-plated, typically with 22K to 24K gold.

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 white gold?

White gold has a silver, or white metal look, and is an alloy of gold with nickel, platinum, or another metal.

How to sell your gold

Before you sell your gold, understand what you have, and what the market is. Whether you are selling a fine piece of expensive jewelry with diamonds and other gemstones, or scrap gold, there is a buyer for you.

Here are tips for getting the most from selling your gold, gold teeth, and gold jewelry:

  • First, estimate what your gold jewelry, dental work or other item is worth with this scrap gold calculator. To give you an estimate, a gold dental crown will fetch prices between $40 and $100, depending on the gold market, and quality of gold. A gold wedding band may be worth $100 to $200.
  • Then, check out places that sell gold near you. Local gold buyers might include a pawn shop, jewelry store that buys gold and diamonds, a gold and silver exchange, or coin store. Check Yelp reviews and local Better Business Bureau ratings.
  • Consider selling your gold to an online gold buyer. The benefits of working with an online gold buyer is that these companies compete nationally and internationally for their reputations and customer satisfaction. Also, because quality online gold buyers will send you an insured mailer within a day or two, working with them is much easier than driving around to local retailers near you.

Where is the best place to sell your gold online?

There are countless online places to sell your gold, silver and diamond jewelry. I have researched and vetted the top places, and strongly recommended you work with one of these two companies (each one is best suited for different types of jewelry sales): Worthy.com and CashforGoldUSA.com.

When you should sell your gold to CashforGoldUSA

In my jewelry box were a couple of modest gold and diamond rings that a relative had given me when I married. Time to go!

I did some research and decided to try to sell the rings at CashforGoldUSA and CashforDiamondsUSA (they have the same parent company), one of those places that advertise on TV.

Those sites always seemed super-cheesy. But I researched this one.

The parent company, CJ Environmental, has a BBB rating of B+, and Fox New's under-cover investigation found that CashforGoldUSA paid out three-times (3X!) the other, competing online gold buyers.

To unload a modest gold ring with small diamonds, I tried CashforDiamondsUSA.

  1. I plugged in my name and address on their website. Chose whether you prefer a USPS Mailer, or FedEx Label.
  2. A few days later I received a SAFEPAK mailer, which stated my rings were insured up to $1,000.
  3. I stuck the jewelry in it, and dropped it in the mailbox
  4. Two weeks later got a check (they also give you a tracking number to track it online).

I was pleasantly surprised by how easy and professional the process was.

The 12-carat gold ring with a couple of small diamonds fetched a $159 check.

CashforGoldUSA FAQ

What materials does CashforGoldUSA accept?

CashforGold and its sister sites accept jewelry and other materials made of gold, silver or platinum. That includes ALL KARATS of clasps, coins, gold or silver dental scrap, earrings, anklets, bracelets, brooches, chains, charms, gold solder, ingots, links, necklaces, nuggets, pendants, pins, rings, shot, watches & bands, gold and platinum wire Karats.

CashforGoldUSA accepts 8k, 9k, 10k, 14k, 15k, 18k, 22k, 24k.

The company welcomes broken jewelry and other items.

Can I get my jewelry or other gold back if the check is too low? 

Sure! Contact CashforGoldUSA within 10 business days from the date listed on your check, and CashforGoldUSA or CashforDiamondsUSA will return your item, and pay for shipping.

Does CashforGoldUSA buy dental scrap?

Yes. CJ Environmental has a website, CashforDentalScrap.com, where you can sell dental scrap. CashforGoldUSA will buy gold or silver crowns, bridges, PFM’s, PFG’s, inlays, and caps — with or without the bone or porcelain. All of the material is approved for shipping by OSHA, DHS and the EPA.

*Note, CashforGoldUSA has nothing to do with the scandal- and lawsuit-embroiled Cash4Gold.

Why you shouldn’t sell your gold to CashforGoldUSA

If you expect your gold jewelry to sell for $1,500 or more, consider the online jewelry auction site, Worthy.com — a company that will insure your jewelry for up to $100,000, lets you set the minimum price, will pay you within a few business days via PayPal, AHC, or a mailed check.

Worthy is a great option if the diamond or other gemstones in your jewelry are significant enough to sell for at least $1,500, if your gold jewelry is name-brand (Tiffany, Cartier, Bulgari) and likely to sell for at least that sum, Worthy is a better option.

Worthy has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes and Crain's New York. You can read about my Worthy selling experience here.

Worthy is one of the top sites for selling your jewelry, which includes estate, heirloom and antique jewelry. Worthy partners with Gemological Institute of America and the International Gemological Institute for certified laboratory reports, for free. Get an estimate for all the contents of your jewelry box, quickly, right now on their site.

Go to Worthy >>


Some of the links in this and other posts generate a commission. I never recommend products that I don’t truly believe in. Seriously – I get asked to write about stuff all the time and turn down hard cash if I’m not feeling it.


About Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post's ‘Must Read” list.Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer.A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.

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