scroll top

Where to sell your gold in 2024: What our investigation found

We earn commissions for transactions made through links in this post. Here's more on how we make money.

Gold prices closed out the second quarter of 2024 up 21% from the same time last year, and continue to hover near record highs into July.1

1-year gold future from Yahoo Finance as of July 4, 2024

As of Jul 21, 2024, the spot gold value in the United States was trading at $2400.74 per ounce, or $77.19 per gram. 

Simply put: Now is a great time to sell gold.

Whether you have gold jewelry, scrap, coins or bullion, you have several safe, quality options for selling your gold.

This post outlines the best ways to sell your gold based on our writer's first-hand experience shopping it around — to both online and local gold buyers.

  1. How not to get ripped off selling gold (what our writer found)
  2. Who pays the most for gold?
  3. Online gold buyers
  4. Pawn shops
  5. Local gold buyers and coin dealers
  6. Local jewelry stores
  7. Selling gold FAQs

How not to get ripped off selling gold

Whether you sell online or locally, there are some general guidelines for making sure you work with an honest company that will make you a fair offer — and there are plenty out there, says David Atlas, vice chair of ethical issues and associate director of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers.

“There are people who are altruistic and will be helpful,” Atlas told me. “A retailer who lives in my town is really fair with people. She listens to their story and like a lot of gold buyers who are sympathetic, offers people 70% to 75% of the value of their item, which is very fair.”

A key to getting a fair deal is to understand the weight and karat of your gold, and how daily spot prices are factored into payouts. Read our FAQs about how gold prices work and tips for selling gold.

Then:

  1. Research a quality gold buyer. This may be a local pawn shop, “We Buy Gold” outfit or a jeweler in your community. There are also a number of quality online gold buyers. Check the businesses's reputation:
    • Online reviews from Yelp, BBB, Google
    • Ask friends and family for recommendations
  2. Shop around and negotiate. Do not be shy to ask for a higher payout and leverage one buyer's offer against the other for the best deal. Start with: “Can you do better?”

Who pays the most for gold?

Our writer secret-shopped selling a 10k gold chain bracelet and here are the results:

Gold buyerBBB ratingBusiness typeFinal offer% of spot gold price*
CashforGoldUSAA+ (accredited since 2020Online gold buyer$41.4967%
Alloy MarketA- (accredited since 2023)Online gold buyer$41.4966%
Raleigh Gold JewelryA+ (accredited since 2008)Jewelry store$4064%
National PawnA+ (not accredited)Pawn shop$5079.5%
JewelRecycleA+ (accredited since 2009)Local gold buyer$5180%

Read more about Melinda's experience selling to local gold scrap buyers, pawnbrokers and CashforGoldUSA.

Best places to sell your gold online

While there are many reputable local businesses that can give you an honest gold resale price or trade-in value for your gold jewelry, gold coins, gold nuggets, watch, gold bullion or dental gold, selling gold online is increasingly common, as more and more quality gold buyers have made it easy to safely get paid without leaving home.

Other reasons many people opt for selling gold to an online buyer:

  • More convenient than driving around to area businesses
  • Private. It can be embarrassing to have to sell your valuables.
  • An established online gold buyer will have a robust online presence you can research: reviews and ratings from Trustpilot, BBB, Yelp, Facebook, and more. Many more data points to use to vet your buyer than a typical local business.

CashforGoldUSA: 

CashforGoldUSA is a family business established in 2005 outside of Boston that buys the widest breadth of gold, silver and diamonds in the industry, pays within 24 hours and insures your item up to $100,000. Focus on customer service and speed to payment.

BBB Rating: A+, accredited since 2020

Read our CashforGoldUSA review.

Sell your gold now with CashforGoldUSA >>

Other quality companies that buy scrap gold online, listed alphabetically:

Abe Mor

Abe Mor is a family business established in 1969 in New York City’s Diamond District, and focuses primarily on buying and selling diamonds of at least .5 carats wholesale through retailer jewelers, though they are also a reputable place to sell gold with a resale value of $1,000 or more.

BBB Rating: A+, accredited since 2016

Read our Abe Mor review.

Similar companies that also buy and sell diamonds:

  • myGemma (marketplace model, vs direct buy)
  • Worthy (an auction platform)

JM Bullion

JM Bullion is arguably the leading buyer and seller of consumer metals — coins, bullion, and metals IRAs in gold, silver, platinum, copper and very unique coins, such as a 2023 JFK Half Dollar Black Ruthenium Set ($19.99) and 2022 Colorized American Women Quarter 5-Coin Set ($20.95) on sale at the time of this writing. Minimum sale value of $1,000. 

BBB Rating: A+, accredited since 2014

Other trustworthy companies that deal in buying and selling consumer metals bullion include:

  • APMEX
  • Money Metals Exchange

Luriya

In business since 1995, Luriya is an online gold buyer headquartered in Manhattan’s Diamond District, with other locations in Queens and Brooklyn.

You can request a free mailer from Luriya via FedEx 2nd day shipping, automatically insured for up to $1,000 (and up to $1 million), or schedule an in-person appointment to have your items appraised. Luriya reports its offices are under 24/7 surveillance by a private security team.

BBB Rating: Not rated, though they have 4.7 stars on Google 

The Alloy Market

Alloy is a new player in the online gold buying space, with a modern design that stands out from its competitors. Otherwise, their proposition is the same as others in this space: Secure, free shipment, free returns, highest guaranteed offer.

BBB Rating: A-

Learn more about Alloy in our review.

US Gold Buyers

US Gold Buyers is a GIA-certified jewelry appraiser with a physical location in Boca Raton, Fla., though they also do business online. When you submit the form on the US Gold Buyers website, you’ll receive a free FedEx overnight label in your email, which is trackable and insured for up to $25,000 (or more upon request).

BBB Rating: A+ (accredited since 2016)

Pawn shops

Many people prefer to sell their gold or jewelry locally to a business they know and trust — and get their cash immediately without messing around with the mail or FedEx.

A reputable pawn shop can be the closest place to sell gold if you need cash quickly and prefer to do business locally with people you know. Ask around for a recommendation, check online reviews and get a few quotes. Don't be afraid to negotiate or walk away if you don't feel their offer is fair.

Of course, pawnbrokers also give you the option of getting back your gold within the terms of the loan.

Our secret-shopper experiment on selling gold found that pawn shops, as well as other local gold buyers in your community, can offer high payouts and friendly, helpful service.

Search for a pawn broker that buys gold in your community:

google-maps-usa-image

If you have gold jewelry worth at least $800 that you really don't want to sell, but need the cash, you might consider a jewelry loan — which is essentially the same as pawning your jewelry, but through an online vendor.

Learn more about where and how to get a loan on jewelry in 2024

4. Local gold buyers or coin dealers

Many communities have roadside businesses advertising “Cash for Gold,” “We Buy Gold,” “Gold and Silver Exchange,” and “Metals Exchange.”

Our writer's secret shopping gold experiment revealed that her local “We Buy Gold” outfit offered the highest payout.

It never hurts to get a quote from one of these buyers, which you can use to validate another offer or negotiate a higher payout:

google-maps-usa-image

Meanwhile, coin dealers typically buy gold scrap, in addition to rare coins and coin collections.

5. Local jewelry stores

The first place many people go to sell their gold is a jewelry store. You may have a relationship with such a local jeweler or trust one in your town. Some jewelers offer store credit in exchange for your item, and you may prefer to do business locally, with someone you know.

In our secret shopping gold experiment a local jeweler made a solid offer.

google-maps-usa-image

Gold price and selling FAQs

When you decide you are ready to sell your gold items, it helps to understand the terminology and what influences the value of gold.

What is the gold spot price? Is it different from melt value?

Gold spot price is calculated as the average net value of all currently traded gold futures for the next month.

The melt value is calculated by the amount of the precious metal multiplied by the spot price of the gold. If you melted down the gold pieces and sold them as raw materials, the melt value is what that gold is worth right now.

As of Jul 21, 2024, the spot gold value in the United States was trading at $2400.74 per ounce, or $77.19 per gram. 

How much do you get for selling gold?

Ultimately, gold sells for what someone will pay for it, typically the spot gold price, multiplied by the weight and karat, minus a commission. Depending on whether you sell or pawn, online or offline, try to negotiate your gold sale.

For gold bullion — coins or bars — expect 90% to 95% of the current spot price.

For jewelry, expect to receive about 60% to 80% of the melt value. At the current gold rates, a typical gold wedding band or gold class ring is worth between $100 and $300, depending on the weight and karat.

As of Jul 21, 2024, the spot gold value in the United States was trading at $2400.74 per ounce, or $77.19 per gram. 

Why do gold prices fluctuate? What causes the price of gold to go up?

Gold is like any other asset: stocks, real estate, even human labor. When there is more demand, prices go up. When there is less demand for gold, prices go down.

Typically, gold has been considered a safe investment, so when there is a lot of volatility in the economy or stock market, investors tend to favor gold.

Historically gold prices increase when:

  • The stock market is down
  • Times of economic and political instability
  • Other safe-haven investments like bonds and investments in the U.S. dollar are down
  • The higher the gold price, the more people tend to want to buy — which drives gold prices up further

Gold prices have steadily risen in recent months and continue to hit record highs — the most recent of which occurred in April when gold surged past $2,400.

You can get an idea of the price of your gold with a gold calculator, which factors in the current price of gold before the gold buyer's commission.

Your offer will depend on your appraisal, the melt price of gold, and what the buyer feels like offering.

In any market, cash in hand today is worth much more than waiting a few weeks or months to see if the price increases a little. Overall, gold prices have been near record highs, so you will get a decent return if you sell soon.

What are gold futures?

Meanwhile, gold futures prices serve as the basis for the LBMA Gold Price, which is based on contracts for the physical delivery of a specified amount of gold on a set date in the future, and determined by predicted changes in supply and demand, the estimated cost of transporting and storing gold.

Is now a good time to sell gold? When is the best time to sell gold?

Gold prices have been high over the past two years and hit yet another all-time high in May 2024.

However, in any market, the best time to sell gold may be purely personal: when you need cash the most. Again, it is better to have cash that you very much need to pay essential bills like rent, a car note, or utilities than hedging.

It can also make sense to sell gold for other investments, including stock funds in a retirement account, in real estate, or even on education or new business expenses.

Also, it may make sense to sell your gold and buy stocks or an index fund to take advantage of the down stock market.

Who pays the most for gold?

The only way to guarantee that you will get the absolute highest price for your gold at any moment is to shop it around, locally and online. The offers can vary widely, and change day-to-day as gold prices fluctuate.

Pro tip: No matter where you sell your gold, always negotiate. Online buyers that invest in sending you a mailer are especially incentivized to offer you a higher payout, vs having to pay to return your item to you.

Our exercise found that local businesses like pawnbrokers and gold buyers made high offers with friendly service.

What's the fastest way to liquidate your gold?

The fastest way to get cash for your gold is to walk into a pawnshop or local gold dealer and take what they offer — which may or may not be a fair price — but will get you cash within about 15 minutes. This can be a great option for a lot of people, especially if you trust your pawnshop and like to support local businesses.

However, you can get money for your gold within a few days without leaving the house by selling online. Especially if you are willing to negotiate, any of these methods could net a very strong price.

What's the safest way to get cash for gold?

Unlike years past, today there are reputable online buyers who ensure that your item is safe and trackable throughout the selling process. All of the leading gold buyers offer 100% free door-to-door free, trackable FedEx or USPS shipping, free insurance — typically up to $100,000, and a guarantee your item will be returned to you promptly, free of charge without question.

Stories of people's gold going missing en transit are rare.

What are the markings on my gold jewelry?

These are the karat markings on gold jewelry, and the purity of gold they represent:

  • Gold with an etching or stamp or hallmark that reads “18K” or “750” indicates that it is made up of 75% gold
  • A “14K” or “585” mark means the metal is made up of 58.5% gold. This stamp is typically either a karat number, such as 18K, or 12K, in the shape of a rectangle with the corners cut off, and with a number inside
  • Gold with an etching or stamp or hallmark that reads “18K” or “750” indicates that it is made up of 75% gold, while a “14K” or “585” mark means the metal is made up of 58.5% gold

Here's a guide to deciphering the symbols stamped on jewelry.

Bracelet shows symbols stamped on jewelry.

As of Jul 21, 2024, the amount of gold per karat in yellow gold, assuming a price of $2415.80 per troy ounce:

Stamp Purity % gold Spot price
999 24 karat 99.9%  $2415.80
990 22 karat 99% $2214.56
750 18 karat 75%  $1811.85
585 14 karat 58.3%  $1409.14
375 9 karat 37.5% $905.93

Gold bars and gold bullion are nearly always 24K gold. Learn more about selling your gold bars and bullion.

Determine the weight and karat of your gold by looking for markings and using a scale — like this one from Amazon that sells for about $10. You can also stop into a pawn shop, or local jeweler and ask them to weigh your gold (they should do it for free).

Learn how to tell the difference between common jewelry metals in these posts:

Sterling silver vs. plated silver vs. white gold

Platinum vs white gold

White gold vs yellow gold

If your gold jewelry comes from a high-end jeweler like Tiffany, Cartier, or David Yurman, or is otherwise unique, it could be worth more than its scrap metal value. A jeweler can provide you with a jewelry appraisal, which can help you determine the value of the items you have and where to sell them. These typically cost $150 or more.

Is my gold real?

Gold is usually an alloy, meaning a mix of gold with other metals. Reference this guide to determining whether your gold is fake or real for more.

  • Pure gold is 24 karat, and will be marked 24K — with “K” the abbreviation for karats
  • Real gold will not float and will not rust.
  • Pure gold is not magnetic

Bottom line: Where is the best place to sell gold jewelry?

Cash is king. If you aren’t using your gold jewelry or you have gold coins lying around, it may be a good time to sell, regardless of prices. If you need the money right away, a pawnshop or gold buyer in your community with a good reputation can help.

If you have a few days and prefer to sell from home, consider getting quotes from one of the top online gold buyers.


Sources

  1. “Gold price ends the second quarter with its third consecutive record-high,” by Neils Christensen for Kitco News. June 28, 2024. https://kitco.com/news/article/2024-06-28/gold-price-ends-second-quarter-its-third-consecutive-record-high

*10% bonus offer. Customers who send in their item(s) within 7 days of receiving the shipping materials will automatically receive an additional 10 percent bonus on top of the appraisal value of their items, compared to standard pricing. Total payout may not exceed melt value of items. The 10% bonus offer is not valid or able to be combined with any other special offers.


What does gold sell for?

May 20, 2024, spot gold hit a high of $2,450.05 per ounce, or $78.64 per gram, and remains high into July.

Is now a good time to sell gold?

Yes — gold prices surpassed $2,400 in May 2024 and are expected to keep climbing.

How much do you get for selling gold?

Expect to receive 90% to 95% of the current market value or spot price if you’re selling gold coins or bars, and closer to 60 or 80% for gold jewelry or other scrap.

What is the best way to get cash for gold?

If you need the money right away, a pawnshop or local gold buyer with a local reputation can help. If you can wait a couple days, an online gold buyer can be best. Shop around and negotiate.

11 Comments

The best place to sell your gold is online. But before selling its advisable to do research on current market price to get the best for your gold

How do I measure how much my gold weighs before I send it? What % does the company keep of the sale?

If you choose to try an online jewelry or gold buyer, check its reputation with the Better Business Bureau. Also read the fine print of its website so you understand what you’re getting into. Look for things like how much time you have to respond to an offer before the buyer considers it a done deal and how long it will take for the buyer to pay you. Take photos of your jewelry before shipping it. And send it insured with a delivery method that proves the company received it.

I have a collection of Bradford and other exchange purchased commemorative gold, silver and platinum coins that a relative left me when she died. How do you sell these? Also in the collection are 5 St. Gaudens $10 gold coins of various dates. From my research, these do not seem rare so I guess a melt value makes sense. Any thoughts?

I liked that you mentioned that gold coin bullion can be sold the same as other scrap gold and a bar is better sold to a local dealer. My aunt has a lot of coins and other gold and silver bullions that she wants to get rid of or sell. I’ll be sure to share this article with her so she can get the right price for each of her gold.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *