Are you looking to increase the amount in your savings account or stock portfolio this year? In lean years, our retirement savings can also take a hit, and paying off home, auto loans and school loans can be difficult too. If you’re looking for a way to earn some additional money this year to invest in your future or pay off loans, consider how much you can earn by selling your gold jewelry (yes! the stuff you no longer wear because it’s old or broken!)
Did you know that when the markets crash the price of gold usually rises? That’s because investors around the world know that precious metals, including gold are a sound long-term investment. When the stock market fluctuates and economies slow down, an investment in gold can really pay off long-term. What that means for you today, however, is that your own gold items – from rings to watches – may be worth more right now as well.
Selling old jewelry, including gold and silver items, is a great way to make quick cash. Investing those earnings into a savings account, online trading portfolio, or other investment opportunity is a great way to ensure you have that money in the future if and when you need it. From rings that don’t fit to necklaces with a broken clasp or earrings you can only find one of – selling old, unworn jewelry is one way to earn cash fast.
What are the Best Places to Sell Jewelry Safely and Quickly?
If you’re looking to sell old gold items quickly and securely, there are a few options available to you. The first is a local jewelry store or pawn shop within your own community. Getting your items appraised at a local jeweler is a good way to start the sales process. Once you understand how much the items are worth, you can make an informed decision about where to sell it to get the best price. Most local jewelry stores will offer free appraisals on jewelry items from a certified appraiser. They may also offer to buy the item from you on the spot.
Another option is a local pawn shop, which may also accept your items for sale. Unfortunately, most pawn shops won’t also offer a certified appraisal. That’s why a pawn shop may not be the best place to start if you don’t know how much the items are worth. But, a pawn shop will offer you a quick, local option for selling unwanted jewelry items for cash, if getting a top price is not the most important thing to you.
The final option may be the safest during the COVID-19 pandemic because you can do it from the safety of your own home. Selling your gold jewelry to a reputable dealer online is a quick way to get cash fast, get a free appraisal of the items, and in some cases get a price-match guarantee. Most online jewelry and gold buyers will send you a free appraisal kit that includes an envelope to safely mail the items in, with insurance during transit included. If you don’t agree on a price for the item from the online buyer, they will return the item to you. If you do agree on a price, they’ll send you the agreed-on price quickly and straight to your banking account.
What to Expect from Online Jewelry Buyers
- A free appraisal to help you understand what the item(s) are worth from a certified professional appraiser.
- Free shipping – most reputable dealers will send you a prepaid shipping envelope. Ask if they also cover insurance of the item while it is in transit and postage-paid for the return trip if you don’t accept their offer.
- Tracked shipping so you can follow the items there and back online (through a shipping company like FedEx).
- No obligation to accept the offer. Some dealers may also offer a price-match guarantee – so if their offer is less than once you’ve already received, they will match it. But if you don’t agree with their price offer for your items, you have the right to have them returned to you directly.
- Quick and simple payment – usually through direct deposit, mailed check, or online via PayPal or another service – once a price is agreed.
The Types of Jewelry to Sell for Cash
Gold items keep their value over time. While the jewelry probably won’t fetch the same price as what you paid for it new, precious metals are worth something, even if the item is broken or scratched. That amount depends on how much gold or silver is in the item.
- New(ish) jewelry that you no longer wear. Most jewelry and precious metals buyers will purchase rings, necklaces and pendants, bracelets and charms, earrings, watches, cufflinks, brooches, and other jewelry items.
- Broken or scratched items that can be melted down to make new jewelry. If you can only find one diamond earring out of a pair, or you have a family heirloom in a vintage watch that doesn’t tick any longer, you can still sell the items for money in most cases. Unmatched items from a missing set can still be sold to some dealers as well.
- All karats of gold, some gold-plated items, and silver jewelry. The higher the karat (amount of gold), the higher the price in most cases, but ‘junk’ and gold-plated items can deliver some value as well. Gold plated items can look like ‘real’ gold, but often they do not contain much gold at all. Most gold-plated items are made from silver, copper or another cheaper metal, with only a thin layer of gold on top – and the price they earn will reflect that.
- Jewelry with precious stones and gemstones, with diamonds being top sellers.
- Vintage, antique, and estate jewelry items. Vintage items set themselves apart with their history. Imperfections are expected and often desired for antique jewelry. Antique jewelry is usually older than 100 years, while vintage jewelry is usually identified by an era – from Art Nouveau to Modern or Mid-Century. Each type of old jewelry has a different value for collectors and buyers
Why is a Jewelry Appraisal Important?
If you don’t know how much your item is worth, getting a professional appraisal, which will be free in most cases, is worth it. Especially if you don’t know how much gold an item contains, it is helpful to understand how much you can expect an item to sell for. Some items are gold-filled, which contains more gold than gold plated items and can earn you a hefty sale price. If your jewelry item, however, leaves a green or black color on the skin when worn, it is probably gold plated, not filled, and will be worth a lot less.
One way to find out how much gold an item includes in to look for its hallmark – a numeric stamp right on the item. Look on the inside of rings or the clasp of necklaces and other items for the hallmark. The stamp will show you the karat rating (10k, 14k) or the amount of gold (1/5 or 1/20) the item includes. Letters like GF or GP can also help, they mean the item is gold filled or gold plated. However, some antique or well-worn jewelry items may have had the hallmark rubbed off over time. In that case, a jewelry appraisal is the best way to find out how much the item is worth.
Investing in Your Future
Once you’ve selected and sold your jewelry and gold items for the highest price, it’s time to decide how to use that money. Once you’ve treated yourself with your new earnings, consider these ways to invest the rest in your future. Even a small addition to your savings account or a pre-payment to a loan can payoff big in the long run. Here are some investment tips to help you start:
- Pay off your debt early. If you have a credit card or other debt with high-interest rates, paying it off sooner than required reaps high rewards in the long-term.
- Invest in your savings. Even a small addition to your savings account will grow over time. If you don’t have a savings account, you can get one for free from most banking institutions with just a small amount to start. Savings accounts earn you a small amount of interest on your savings over time, with no risk of loss.
- Online investing is another low-cost option. Try a consumer-friendly online investing website that offers new investors tools to help you start small and grow your investment over time. Learning the ins and outs of investing by starting small is a great investment in your future.
- US Treasury Securities offer a low-risk investment opportunity. If online trading isn’t for you, consider this low-risk, long-term investment instead.
- Invest in yourself. Use your earnings to learn a new skill, visit a new place, buy a new book, or meet a new friend for coffee – investing in your professional and personal development is a great investment.