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In these challenging financial times, everyone is looking to stretch their funds just a little further. And when push comes to shove, the next things to go are usually those tangible items tucked back in the corner that we can do without. Old family jewelry or stashed away gold is being pulled out of closets and dug up out of attics as the price of precious metals continues to rise.
Because of this upswing in the value of precious metals, many people are turning to the pawn shop to help loosen their purse strings. But where pawn shops provide a quick and customary service for turning materials into money, the true winner is not always the seller. Fortunately, there is more than one way to liquidate some of your finer assets.
Risks of Dealing with Pawn Shops
Pawn shops are popular today mostly because individuals are just not aware that there are alternative options. But with a little knowledge of where to find them, alternative options are a great solution. Gold, silver, and platinum are all selling right now at unquestionably favorable prices. Because of this trend, cashing out your precious metals is a great way to line your pockets. Your old jewelry and scrap metal can be traded in for a very attractive payout.
Although it may be tempting to walk down the block to your local pawn shop and unload (or often travel to shops located in less desirable areas of town) you may be walking back with far less cash than your valuables are worth. Pawn shops may appear to be the easy answer, but they are often not the most lucrative choice. Where most businesses are looking to make a marginal profit, pawn shops are commonly making quite a bit more out of your trade-in than you are. A pawn shop can turn your sale around for 80% over your sale price, offering you merely 20% on the true value of your items.
Turning to Your Reputable Jeweler
The safest way to get the best price per ounce on your unwanted jewelry is to turn to a reputable jeweler. Jewelers can appraise your items and determine the proper weight and calculations, along with an informed explanation of the worth of your items. Being able to ask questions in a low-pressure atmosphere can help you feel comfortable about your sale without being shuffled out the door.
A well-known jeweler will most often also charge lower commissions for the sale, raising the total dollar amount that you walk away with in the end. Pawn shops are also indiscriminant. They will purchase anything including electronics and appliances, which make your item just another sale and your buyer potentially less knowledgeable about the true value of your precious metals. Jewelers are experts in their field, and their reputation for upstanding dealings in jewelry is the cornerstone of their business. Jewelers are careful about their trade, and will weigh your karats using the correct measurements and separate items by karat to offer you the most accurate estimate of your valuables.
Doing business with a jeweler offers you a low-stress, comfortable, informed transaction without the sometimes questionable atmosphere of the pawn shop. Jewelers know that their sellers are also often also their customers, and establishing the fair market value of items being sold and bought is an important part of growing their business. Pawn shops deal with a gamut of nameless buyers and sellers, and many of these dealings can be shady at best.
Where pawn shops tend to work outside convention, jewelers are required to meet certain standards in order to maintain a notable business. Where jewelers are required to ask for identification when buying gold from a seller and weigh metals by karat and specific industry measurements, pawn shops often deal with items from unconfirmed sources and have questionable weighing habits. Correctly appraising precious metals and also confirming the source of these items are all part of a reputable process.
A rise in the value of your jewelry is no reason to rush off to the first buyer you find, especially if you are not getting the best deal you can. Shopping around for prices, exploring your options, working with industry experts and consulting with experienced appraisers are the best ways to ensure you get the most out of your jewelry.
In today’s economy, everyone could use a little extra green to line their pockets. And with the price of gold up over 18 percent since the beginning of 2011, digging up old relics could be your ticket to a hefty chunk of change. But the question of the hour now that gold is a hot commodity becomes: how do you go about selling your gold for the best price?
If this is your first experience selling gold, you might have a handful of opportunity and no roadmap for cashing it in. You may be tempted to run to your closest pawn shop, or attend one of the popular “gold parties” that are popping up where you can reap rewards and take home a check on the spot. But before you sell your grandfather’s watch, it’s important that you make sure you understand the fundamentals of the gold selling process.
Know Your Gold Scale
The worth of your gold will help determine its value, and jewelers use a specific measurement standard. Professional jewelers use the Troy ounce to measure gold. This measurement weighs in at 31.1 grams per Troy ounce, and buyers often use a weight system called a pennyweight to measure this out. Standard U.S. scales will measure 28 grams per ounce, so keep this in mind when selling your gold. A dealer that measures your gold by the gram is paying you less for the weight of your bounty than is fair.
Count your Karats
The karat number of your gold treasure can also help you determine its relative value. Because of its soft, malleable consistency, gold is combined with harder metals to improve its durability. This mixture describes the karat value of the gold. One karat equals a mixture that is 1/24th pure gold. So a ten karat piece of jewelry would consist of a mixture that is 10 parts gold to 14 parts other metal. Any jewelry that is less than ten karats is not allowed by U.S. standards to be labeled as “gold”. It’s important for you to make sure that when you sell your gold, the buyer weighs your different karats separately. This will keep you from getting bamboozled by dealers who will weigh all your gold together and pay you by the lowest karat price.
Know the Worth of Your Weight in Gold
Check with your local neighborhood jeweler to find the current market price of gold. Those looking for quick money often skip this step and then suffer the consequences of selling their gold for 60% or less than its market value.
Keep in mind as well, that you won’t get the full price of your gold. A buyer has to reap some profit and also cover the expense of melting down your pieces, if that is what will ultimately come of them. Expect to get 10-20% less than the full price for your gold.
Appraise Your Pieces
The fact that your item is made of gold may be a secondary consideration. Keep in mind that if your piece is made from a well-known designer, part of a historical event or is very old, you may be able to sell it in its current form for more than you would get based on its gold content. Do your research and have your pieces appraised in advance to ensure you’re not giving away a one-of-a-kind collector’s item.
Make sure you understand the fair market price of your gold by comparing bids from reputable local jewelers like Levi Family Jewelers. You can check the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org to set your mind at ease.
Ask for Credentials
By law, buyers should ask sellers for identification. This helps protect consumers by tracking the sales of stolen property. Reputable buyers should be in compliance with this rule, and any who are not should raise red flags.
Gold buyers should also be licensed by your state. Choosing a longstanding company is also an important part of securing the integrity of your transaction. Gold buyers are popping up left and right, and it’s important to choose a company or jeweler that has a history of integrity.
Taking a few safeguards into consideration will help you glean the best price for your gold, and help make your experience comfortable and profitable. Now is a better time than ever to turn your precious metal into profit.