How to Sell Scrap Gold
One of the quickest and easiest ways to make some extra cash is to sell your scrap gold. Precious metals dealers, pawn shops, and cash for gold stores have become as common as convenience stores and retailers, making it easy to sell scrap gold any time. While the process is easy, you may not know where to begin, and that’s why we’re here.
We’re going to tell you everything you need to know for how to sell scrap gold.
Step One: Identify Your Gold
First, you’ll need to know that what you’re selling is actually gold. The best way to do this is to look for identifying markers on your jewelry, such as 14K, 18K, 22K, or 24K. These are all indicators that your jewelry contains some portion of pure gold.
- 14K = 58.3% gold
- 18K = 75% gold
- 22K = 91.6% gold
- 24K = 99% gold
If any of the pieces you are selling range from 10K to 24K gold, you will be paid for the piece's gold content.
Some jewelry pieces may contain hallmarks such as GF or RGP. This indicates that the piece of jewelry is not made of gold but instead is gold-plated or gold-filled.
GF stands for gold-filled, and it is not solid gold. It may still contain some gold properties, but the gold content will be significantly lower than any carat-weighted gold. The same goes for RGP, which stands for rolled gold plate. Rolled gold plate is found on many types of costume jewelry and contains no gold value; therefore, they cannot be sold or recycled.
Related: 14K vs 18K Gold: What’s the Difference?
Step Two: Weigh Your Gold
You should weigh the gold yourself before you place your faith in the pawn shop or precious metals dealer. To weigh gold, you will use a troy ounce measurement. A troy ounce is 480 grains or 31.1034768 grams. You can weigh your gold at home using a standard postal scale, but your measurement will be about 9% less than the actual weight of the gold.
Step Three: Research the Market Price of Gold
The market price of gold is calculated by the price of gold per ounce. You can search the current price of gold per ounce online, in newspapers, or by calling your local precious metals dealer.
The market price of gold can change daily, so it’s a good idea to research this now instead of waiting until you are ready to sell. There may be a day when stocks, funds, and bonds negatively or positively affect the market price of gold, ultimately determining when you should sell your scrap gold.
Typically, a dealer or pawn shop will pay around 80% of the total market price of the gold jewelry, so keep this in mind when you are calculating how much you expect to make by selling your scrap gold.
If you sell gold coins, gold bars, or designer jewelry, the payout will typically be higher than 80%.
Step Four: Shop Around
Don’t be afraid to take your scrap gold to different places to get the highest price when you sell your gold. We recommend using a reputable company that is a member of the Jewelry Trade Association so that you get the highest price for your gold while also ensuring that your transaction is secure.
While you shop around, you should research businesses online for reviews or complaints on the Better Business Bureau. This will help you determine if you need to avoid certain pawn shops or cash for gold dealers.
Step Five: Do Your Due Diligence
Once you have chosen a location to sell your scrap gold, don’t assume that the jeweler or dealer will treat you fairly. You should monitor the process in which they measure your gold. A reputable gold buyer will measure your gold according to the standard in which it is being presented. For example, if you have a variety of gold ranging from 14 karats and higher, make sure they weigh each piece individually to ensure that you get the highest price per gram or ounce of gold.
Also, be skeptical of gold parties or mail-in gold exchanges when looking to sell your scrap gold jewelry. While some of these may be reputable, many turn out to be a scam. Instead, you should visit a reputable gold dealer or a jeweler in the gold market with whom you can speak in person to ensure you are being treated fairly when finding out how much your gold is worth before a sale.
Step Six: Bring Your ID and Get Paid
Once you have taken your scrap gold to a dealer and you have agreed to the sale of your gold item, it’s time to get paid. This is an important step of the selling process because you should be paid by check and not cash. There should be paperwork that accompanies the sale of your scrap gold. This should include the pieces you sold, the weight of the gold, and how much the dealer paid you for the gold.
If a dealer tries to pay you the market price of gold in cash, you should request a check or take your business to a precious metal dealer that will provide a check and accompanying paperwork for the pieces you sold.
You will also need to bring your ID to the precious metal dealer or pawn shop that is buying your gold. Your ID is required during the buying process, so make sure you take it with you when you are ready to sell.