“Cashing in your gold jewelry, especially if you’re not wearing the pieces, is a great way to get some extra money,” said Donna Ross, owner of Cre’me dela Gem in Brentwood. “I’ve definitely seen an increase in people coming in over the past two years.”
Ross is not alone. The dip in the economy and the rise in gold prices have motivated consumers to get in on the cash-for-gold phenomenon. But the profusion of gold-buying kiosks popping up in malls across the county, plus jewelry stores, online dealers and even gold parties (think Tupperware without the burp seal) offering greenbacks for the gold stuff can make liquidating your assets a confusing affair.
“It’s important for people to know what they have and beware of falsely stamped gold,” said Ross. “I just tell people to bring in their pieces and we can tell them if it’s gold-plated or what.”
Experts recommend consumers do a little homework before offering up their family heirlooms, including getting their items appraised, checking out the dealer with the Better Business Bureau and above all, knowing what you have. While some vintage pieces aren’t worth much when melted down, an item stamped by a well-known artist or designer could be worth significantly more.
But for those looking for a little fun while they sell their gold, in-home parties can be the way to go. Certified gold representatives attend these private parties – for which the host or hostess receives a percentage of the entire evening’s sales – weigh the pieces and pay cash on the spot.
“It’s a nice way sell your pieces,” said Jilda Fairhurst, a certified gold representative. “People have leftover jewelry and they cash it in and get paid right on the spot. It’s the first party you’ll ever go to where you don’t have to buy anything; you’re receiving something.”
And there are definitely deals to be had. Fairhurst recalls one woman who attended an in-home party and arrived with an armful of jewelry and unused pieces. “This one lady had $4,500 worth of gold,” said Fairhurst. “And she said she was going to use it to pay some doctor bills. So in many ways it’s very rewarding that we get to help others – people who can really use the money.”
If you’re shipping pieces through the mail to an online dealer, you should insure your packages. Know what your jewelry is worth before sending it, and insure accordingly. You should also check the buyer’s reimbursement policy should the package get lost or stolen.
While there’s no guarantee that your class ring or old gold necklace is worth a king’s ransom, selling off odd pieces of gold jewelry can render results if you’re educated, realistic and ready to part with them.