View Full Version : What's the best way to sell scrap gold and old jewelry?

12-19-2008, 01:20 PM
I've got several pieces of old jewelry and scrap gold that I'd like to convert to cash. What's the best way to get a fair price and avoid getting ripped off? I haven't had any dealings at all with jewelry stores, pawn shops, coin dealers, etc. anywhere around here.

Please don't suggest cash4gold.com as seen on TV. I've already read the scam reports on it.


12-19-2008, 02:14 PM
I take mine to a coin dealer here that does not walk with a limp and whose face is not scared and that has been in the business for a very long time. :D

Lynn Standish
12-19-2008, 02:47 PM
Your dentist can probably give you an envelope from an outfit that buys dental gold, rings, etc. Send it in and they send you a check.

12-19-2008, 02:55 PM
I'd find someone with a recently certified scale and weigh it so you know exactly what you have before you take it to a buyer. That way, you'll know if he's trying to rip you off.

12-19-2008, 02:59 PM
If you have a manufacturing jewler nearby he/she is your best bet.The price paid will depend on the purity.

12-19-2008, 03:59 PM
For loose scrap gold you will get about 1/2 to 1/4 market price of fine gold. Gold alloys are designated by percentage gold content by the carat weight system. Pure gold is 24 carat, 50% gold is 12 carat. If the carat weight cannot be determined (not marked) then you will get the lowball amount for the scrap. All scrap gold must go back through the refining system to reenter the commercial gold market. Because of this it is fairly expensive to reclaim gold.

12-19-2008, 05:00 PM
...to go off on a tangent and not help WM a bit, What metal do they 'water down' pure gold with to reduce it to say, 12 carat?

...always wondered:confused:

12-19-2008, 06:25 PM
Silver, Ag

12-19-2008, 07:24 PM
They use silver and copper depending on the color desired. Silver plus gold makes a very light colored gold. For an 18 carat alloy equal amounts of silver and copper are used to make a standard gold color.

The alloy of only gold and silver is found naturally in nature and has it's own special name. It's called Electrum.

12-19-2008, 08:44 PM
Just send it to me. I'll take care of it for you!:rolleyes: Trust me:D

12-20-2008, 10:50 AM
any metal 'll do when alloying gold.Gold alloys can contain up to seven different metals depends on what colour is needed. For blueish or greenish gold even a bit of iron is used.


12-20-2008, 12:04 PM
For gold, find out what the weight eqivilent is in troy ounces and then sell it as such-junk gold on ebay. Google can connect you to sites that do conversions.Do not accept anything less than the spot price. you are, after all, selling money.
I once sold $200.00 dollars face value in pre 1964 United states silver coins on ebay as junk silver. The going price at the time was something like 12.00 and ounce. Some wisesa** wanted to do me a favor and buy it all for $500.00. I had to inform him that the buy-it-now price was spot plus 5%. Local coins shops were even less generous. The minute you mention the spot price though they know you're serious. Don't be fooled by a buyers claim that it will cost them to melt it down and reclaim the gold-BS that's their problem. You just want the spot price for the gold, they can make their profit on the alloying metal.

12-20-2008, 01:25 PM

'they can make their profit on the alloying metal.'

That is a good point. I'd forgotten about that!

12-20-2008, 05:30 PM
Don't be fooled by a buyers claim that it will cost them to melt it down and reclaim the gold-BS that's their problem. You just want the spot price for the gold, they can make their profit on the alloying metal.

Gold dealers don't sell alloyed gold and will not pay spot price for scrap. Anybody that does is making money in some other way, perhaps by not paying for the other precious metals in the pieces. If you have significant amounts of gold make sure you get a quote separately on the silver content. Also, some "white gold", if it is old, is actually platinum. It is worth a great deal more than gold at present.

Have a look at the review of a particular refinery here. It sounds like the best deal you will find. They claim to pay 94% of spot for the actual gold content plus a small per oz refining fee.


doctor demo
12-21-2008, 12:28 AM
Also, some "white gold", if it is old, is actually platinum. It is worth a great deal more than gold at present.


How can You tell the difference between white gold and platinum ?


12-21-2008, 12:41 AM
Aqua Regia will etch gold but not platinum. Aqua Regia is a mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acids. It is a very nasty mix and will attack gold even though the individual acids will not.

12-21-2008, 02:32 AM
MOST of the people who are advertising for scrap gold will take, or pay you, 30% less than the "spot price". That is inadequate.

If the piece has a K mark on it, you can weigh and calculate the value.The problem mostly comes in with jewelry with any kind of stone in it. They estimate the weight of the stone, guesstimate the weight of the alloy, then calculate the weight of gold, and offer you 70 to 85% of that, at that moment's spot price.

Do not misers originate from the Midas legend? They are, like most of us, loath to pay more than they have to. The less they have to pay, the more they make. The people who hold the extravaganzas at local hotels/motels, and brag "The Highest Prices Ever", though gold is down near 200 bucks an ounce over the last 6 months or so, are gypsys. They are out to take you for anything they can fleece you out of.

I have taken some bits of gold, all marked, to various buyers. The price was all over the lot. The WEIGHT was all over the lot. I don't know if there is an honest goldbug. They all want to buy low, sell high.

What I have is what my kids have asked me to sell for them. Price they offered was ridiculously low. I bought it, at least I paid them more than it would go for, and will go into the strongbox, and if/when I die, they can split it.

This might be off topic, a bit. Some of you might be looking to sell your wedding rings, or your piercings to keep body and soul together. If that is your worry, go to at least half a dozen buyers, and ask the spot price they are estimating from. DON'T believe the "HIGHEST PRICE PAID" ads. They usually lie.

As of today's (Saturday's Spot Market) price, Platinum was 860 per ounce, up from 833. Gold was 835, down from 855. Platinum as of recent has not held its double the gold premium. Had you a covenant that your 18K gold ring was white because it was alloyed with platinum, and nothing else, it would be valued at approx the spot of gold. NO nickle, no Silver no nothing else.

It is not at all difficult to refine gold. Nor silver. Gold, they are not trying to sell you 24K, they are selling you, the Jeweler, 12, 14, 18K. They are not trying to sell you 24K and you alloy.

Aqua Regia and a slate touchstone are the standard when testing for gold content. If you don't have that, forget about trading in gold, unless you are very glib.
Aqua Regia is no more potent an acid that Sulfuric or Nitric, except that they WILL dissolve gold and the others will not.

Electrum, 500 years ago the Spaniards who mined gold in South America, considered la plata, a contaminant in the gold they mined, though it became a mainstay in the currency of the day, in later years.

500 years ago they could separate silver from gold, and you tell me that it is SO difficult to separate the 2 metals, today. Are we DUMBER?

The Egyptians made pure gold, 5,000 years ago. It can't be ALL that hard to do. Or maybe they were smarter than we are. That I can believe.



12-21-2008, 02:40 AM

As an alternative, send it to me and I will see what I would give you for it as of the day of receipt. I have a pretty damned accurate scale and I ain't looking to make money. Pile stuff up for the kids.

You don't like the offer, you get it back.

I'm not rich but I AM getting bored.

I'm here, and if I screw you, yeah, you're out XX bucks, but everybody would know I am a no good SOB.



12-21-2008, 05:50 AM
They are not trying to sell you 24K and you alloy.

On the contrary George, if you are a true jeweler and actually make jewelry it is usual to use fine gold of .999 purity and to alloy it yourself with the correct alloy metals. The alloying metals are available as small nuggets of various colors and compositions already premixed to produce the correct alloy of gold when used in the proper ratio.

This is because melting gold alters the alloy ratio each time it is melted.

Interesting about the platinum price. I don't follow it as it isn't of importance to me. I expect the sudden drop is tied to the catalytic convertor industry and the future prospects of it.

When did I say it is difficult to separate gold and silver?

Aqua Regia is a very powerful oxidizer and forms explosive compounds with a variety of substances.

12-21-2008, 10:40 AM
Platinum is also used in the catalyst in reactors in oil refineries. I suspect that since the winter price of gasolene is down the use of platinum is down too.

12-21-2008, 12:16 PM
Gold is alloyed because pure gold is waaaay too soft for jewels or anything like that. Have an ancestor who had a pure gold ring that wore away and was lost by slipping off finger.

12-22-2008, 01:55 AM

I don't think it grew from being to soft. More likely it was too large for her finger, or she lost weight. I have a beautiful filligreed ring with my granddaughter's birthstone in it, that my cousin found some 60 years ago. She asked me to sell it for her.

Price is ridiculously low. It is 14K and price is something like 65 bucks. Has to be shrunk a bit to fit her, and that is 18 bucks. So it is hers, and the Cuz will get a 100 for a piece that would sell as scrap for 65.

Daughter gave me some broken 20 and 18K to sell. Prices, again, are ridiculous. Approx. .9 oz Troy. Offer: 226 bucks. Do the numbers.

I gave her 400 and put it in the lock box. When I die, they can open it and split it up. Gold, at that time was about 735, now about 835 per ounce.

Shysters at the "Goldbug" extravaganzas. "GOLD IS AT AN ALL TIME HIGH"

Bull****!!! Gold was pretty high a while back, over a thou per ounce. Silver was over 20 per ounce. They both MIGHT reach those prices, again, but I wouldn't bet on it.

I should have sold my silver in those days. I didn't, and it is my fault. I could buy back twice as much, at least and wait.

I am just too damned dumb.



I'm too dumb to buy your gold, too. Forget that offer I made some posts back. I don't need the headaches of posters getting into my **** about whether they could have got more if they waited a few days.

Gold and silver are volatile. Up a buck or 30, down a buck or 50.

12-22-2008, 02:07 AM

I am sorry I did not address your post about the alloys.

"This is because melting gold alters the alloy ratio each time it is melted."
This is true, and, you know, because those other metals are risen to the surface as "dross". They have lighter SG or simply lighter, and when you melt, they float the lighter elements to the surface as oxides.

Scrap!! You skim it and throw away what you have skimmed.

Back to the alloy, should you flux and stir, you will reblend that dross into the alloy.
That is a funny thing about flux. You can melt stuff and it will not meld. Introduce the proper flux, and you get perfect amalgamation.



12-22-2008, 09:47 AM
Here are a few related anecdotes about gold.

Jewelers that work with gold will often keep a low pile tight weave rug on the floor beneath the jeweling bench. It catches the fine bits of precious metal as they fall from the bench or are filed. After a time depending on how much work the jeweler does the rug is sent away for refining and replaced with a new one.

Here in British Columbia the town of Barkerville was once the largest city west of the Mississippi and north of San Francisco in the 1860s. The rush started in 1858 when gold was discovered in the Fraser River and soon after in Williams Creek in the settlement of Barkerville. Barkerville is now a Provincial Park and has been fully restored to it's condition in the 1800s. It is also a working town with many shops and businesses that are operated in much the same way with similar products as they sold originally, even including a hardware store that stocks handmade square headed nails. The only thing missing is the self employed population of the old red light district. :p

Many of the place names through the central interior of BC are derived from Road Houses that catered to gold seekers traveling by stage, horse or even foot from the town of Lytton to Barkerville. These Roadhouses were named by the distance from the start of the trail so we now have towns named 70 Mile house, 100 Mile House and 150 Mile house.

At 150 Mile House, which is just a dozen miles from Williams Lake, the trail turned east into the mountains. About 70 miles northeast it reached the town of Likely and shortly after began the very steep climb over Yanks Peak.

That trail is still there and can still be driven by quad or narrow 4x4 vehicles. It isn't wide enough for some full size vehicles and a Hummer cannot go there.

At the beginning of the trail over the mountains it is carved out of the rock of the mountainside and switches back about 8 times on the way up. I have a Ford Ranger and some years ago we took the trail all the way to Barkerville. The switchbacks are so cramped that it required on some about a dozen back and fills about 2 feet long to get turned around for the next climb.
The grade is about 100 percent most of the way up meaning the slope is 1 in 1.


Once on top the trail levels out but there are some stretches that require some real rock crawling. The view is spectacular.


Barkerville itself is worth a visit if you are up this way, especially if you are a history buff.


Note that the Barkerville gold rush is not associated with the Klondike gold rush.

In 1861 prospector Ned Campbell recovered 142 pounds of gold in 3 days.

There is still plenty of gold in the streams and hills around here. Looking for it is a very popular hobby for a lot of people here.