How to Sell Your Gold – A Beginner’s Guide

by Jenna Lofton

May 15, 2021

Summary: This article is a simple but concise guide to selling your gold for the best possible price WITHOUT getting ripped off!

How to Sell Gold

It is no secret that over the millennia gold has been the standard measurement of wealth and capability throughout the entire world. Even today, these metallic lumps of star debris are worth fortunes and can make fortunes for those who know how to use them.

If you are one of those people who has made considerable investments in owning gold - whether in jewelry or gold bullions or gold bars - chances are you need not be lectured on their worth. The real problem people encounter when they own gold is how best to convert it to liquid assets - cash.

Related: Gold ETF vs Physical Gold: Which is Better?

Such considerations are important because there are many scammers out there looking to shortchange you in value, especially now that the value of gold only seems to be increasing over the years. Luckily, we have pulled together all the need-to-know information for you to score the best possible return on your investments.

Besides stocks & options, I've been investing in Gold, Silver, and other precious metals since 2008, so I know what to look for, and how to do it safely with very little risk. By the way, learn about the best Gold stocks to buy too!

By the end of this article, you're going to learn:

  • How To Get The BEST Price Possible for your Gold
  • The 4 Best & Safest Places to sell it
  • The 3 Things You MUST Know before you sell.

How To Sell Gold FAQ's

Before tackling the WHERE part of selling gold, we must first go over the mechanics involved in the market for gold. Being aware of the terminologies, understanding the way a sale is made, and setting the right expectations are essential when learning how to sell gold.

How Do Gold Prices Work?

Selling Gold

Of all the investment models out there, investing in gold seem to be the most dependable and predictable in terms of getting a return on investment. 

Gold now remains one of the rarest and highly valued of precious metals - meaning its overall value has only been increasing over time.

The price of gold is measured by the weight - usually in per one gram, one ounce, and one kilogram of pure gold.

Pure gold refers to 24 karat gold which is 99.99 percent true, unadulterated gold.

Knowing the karat (amount of pure gold) of the gold you possess will make it easier for you to determine the worth.

There are gold calculators online wherein you simply put in the item's weight and select the karatage. This then will give you the worth based on the current price of gold in the market.

For jewelry, expect the karatage to be around 18k or lower. With gold being a soft and malleable metal, many jewelers will mix it with other metals to reinforce it. Know that the price for wedding bands, other rings, earrings, and all other gold-containing jewelry will only be based on the amount of gold that can actually be extracted from it.

24k gold used usually in gold coinage or bars (as known as Gold Bullions), is almost always reserved for gold investments.

What's a "Spot Price"?

When selling gold, you are likely to hear a thing called "Spot Price". To explain it in simple terms, a spot price is the price of the gold at that particular moment according to the market.

Gold's prices changes over time and the spot price is the price it's worth at the times it was put up for sale. Pay attention to this detail not only in selling your gold but in possibly buying gold for future investment.

There is also a concept called you to need to know about called Gold Future Contract - a legally binding agreement in the selling of the gold will occur in a future time at an agreed future price.

Instead of selling their gold at a spot price where they might be getting less than they could if they have sold it a day after, some sellers of gold enter into these agreements to get as much as they can from the gold's increasing prices.

When's The Best Time to Sell Gold?

When trying to decide on the best possible time to sell your gold, know that there is no definitive answer. The gold market is fluctuating constantly and although you are still likely to get a decent return, knowing when to sell it to get the highest possible return can be tricky.

Ideally, you should sell the gold at a time when the spot price is high enough to justify the selling of it. Be sure always aim for a price higher than when you purchased it, unless in cases of extreme emergency.

If you still wish to see if you can get as much as possible, then you can look up some gold market forecasts online. There are a ton of news and gold-related websites that deal in making a logical prediction on the fluctuations of the gold market. Though not always right, you can certainly give them a look and decide for yourself.

What Should You Expect When Selling Your Gold?

The prices you see posted online for one ounce or gram of gold are usually intended for pure gold. Unless you are selling 24k gold bullions, you need to set the right expectations towards how much you can get for your items.

10k gold will likely amount to 41.7% of its weight in pure gold. 14k gold will amount to about 58% and 18k will yield around 75%. All this means the spot price of gold isn't an accurate estimate of what you can sell your gold for. It might, however, help you haggle when having it appraised and sold on the spot.

The Best Place to Sell Gold

The most famous markets of the dealing of gold globally are New York's COMEX and London's Bullion Market. Keeping informed on their activity can give you're a somewhat close estimate on the spot price for your gold.

When finding a place to sell gold as an individual, there are several options for you:

  • Online
  • Pawn Shops
  • Jewelry Stores
  • Converting to a Gold IRA

Each comes with its own sets of pros and cons and being aware of them is important. You need to set the right expectations and know-how to deal with their systems in order to get the best value you can for the gold you're going to sell.

Online

Of all the places to sell gold, selling it online can usually get you the highest price available for them. That percentage they extract is much lower for the simple reason of not needed to maintain a traditional brick-and-mortar store.

They also do not need to hire a large staff of guards and skilled appraisers. The lower cost of operations allows online stores to accept a small cut from the buying of your gold.

There are numerous online gold markets in operation - some legit and some less so. Usually, you will have to send them your gold for appraisal and they make you an offer.

If you accept they supply you with either a check or bank transfer as payment. If you reject then they send the gold back to you.

It is a simple enough process but dangerous if you are dealing with scammers.

For this reason, proper research and background checks of a particular online gold buyer are essential and must never be done in a rush.

Pros & Cons of Online Selling

Pros

  • Highest prices possible for gold
  • An easy and convenient process that can be done from the comfort of your home
  • Fast and safer payment once the offer is accepted. The money will be placed in your account usually after 24 hours, removing the need for you to carry large amounts of money around.

Cons

  • Susceptible to scams
  • You have to trust your gold to ship and deliver services to have it appraised.

Pawn Shops & Jewelry Stores

Though many pawnshops buy and sell gold and they are ideal if you require money in a rush, pawnshops are more likely to offer you a lower price when compared to the online counterparts. They do this with the hopes of being able to resell the gold for a profit.

There is also the disadvantage of being pressured to make a deal at that very moment. Haggling is not a skill many people possess and a lot would simply accept the first estimate given by the appraiser. On top of that, pawnshop appraisers might not necessarily be skilled enough or up-to-speed on the current rates for gold.

As for Jewelry Stores, Though not all, some local jewelry stores might also be looking to buy gold. Though fine if you're looking to sell old jewelry quickly, you might run into the same disadvantages as with a pawnshop.

Pros & Cons of Pawn Shops & Jewelry Stores

Pros

  • Instant payment for your gold.
  • Offers the chance to simply pawn the gold and pay to have it back later on.

Cons

  • Low offering prices.
  • High pressure during the selling might lead you to make a costly decision.
  • Staff might not be equipped to accurately appraise gold.

Converting Into A Gold IRA (#1 Recommendation)

Have you thought about placing precious metal assets in your individual retirement account (IRA)? Many individuals, just like you, are building their nest egg with a Self-Directed IRA.

A gold IRA is an Individual Retirement Account in which physical gold or other approved precious metals are held in custody for the benefit of an IRA account owner. It acts similar to a Traditional IRA, only instead of holding paper assets, it holds physical precious metals (stored in a secure vault).

GoldCo Precious Metals is who I recommend for this, they help their customers transfer their retirement investments into Gold & Silver IRA's, which can be great for a long term investment.

They're one of the top trusted Gold IRA companies in the USA.  They've got a 5 Star Rating on Trust Pilot as well as an A+ Rating with the BBB, which is why I do recommend them.  

Important: You CANNOT directly convert your physical gold into an IRA, but you can certainly sell it first (via one of the above recommended methods) then convert your cash from the sale.  

To learn more about GoldCo, see my review here: Goldco Review (Gold & Precious Metal IRA’s)

Bottom Line

Now that you know pretty much all the basics of selling gold, know that to effectively sell gold - whether jewelry or bullion - you must be prepared to:

  • Negotiate for the best possible price;
  • Try to sell at a time when prices are high;
  • Check on the company's reputation and credibility;
  • And finally, don't be afraid to scout around different places before settling on one with the best offer.

If you keep all this in mind are remember all the points discussed in your article, you will undoubtedly get your money's worth for your shiny metals.

About the author 

Jenna Lofton

Jenna Lofton was Born in Maine and lives in Staton Island, NY. She holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Maryland and has been actively trading stocks for nearly 11 years.

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