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How to sell your gold

Paul Prowse 20th Feb 2020 17 Comments

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Want to sell your gold? You don’t need to have solid bars of bullion lying around in order to make a profit, just items you no longer need that could be sold. There are companies out there who are more than happy to pay cash for your unused gold jewellery. They will even pay you for silver and platinum too.

But always remember, cash for gold companies are out to make a profit, they don’t do what they do out of the goodness of their hearts. You need to be savvy and aware when trying to sell your items. You can still earn plenty of cash for by selling your gold, but always do your research and be aware of how much an item is worth so you don’t get ripped off.


What gold items can I sell?

Sell your gold to make cash

Gold comes in all shapes and sizes, its value depends on how it’s been used and its condition.

Postal gold sites, which exchange gold for cash, then melt the gold down to turn it into bullion. The following could be classed as scrap gold which would not fetch much money from a cash for gold company:

  • Gold teeth
  • Broken jewellery
  • Gold buttons
  • Electrical wiring

Delicate bracelets and rings set with precious stones, however, will be of more value to a jeweller than a scrap merchant, as the stones, design and brand will be valued alongside the metal itself.

Coins and bullion are also good to sell, but the best prices can be found at specialist sites such as The Gold Bullion Company or the stock exchange.

who will buy my gold?

There are quite a few gold trading websites out there. But most high street jewellers will also buy second-hand gold.


Jewellers might buy your gold jewellery

Before you rush into any deal, the best thing to do is to get your gold to a few local jewellers to get it valued. They will be able to tell you the carat of your item and its weight. But remember if they want to buy it off you then they’re unlikely to tell you the full value.

They will also take into account the craftsmanship of the jewellery, not just how much gold it contains. You may discover that your item may be more valuable to a jeweller as a set piece.

A Cartier necklace for example, which you could have originally spent thousands of pounds on, will be worth a lot more to a jeweller than to a postal site. The jeweller will want to re-sell it, not melt down scrap metal.

If you decide you want to sell to a jeweller, the best thing to do is to get quotes from several. Then compare them and remind each that they have competition. This could encourage them to raise their offers, but if not go with the best one. Some may think you’re bluffing.

Also, if you have a lot to get rid off, take it all down in bulk and you might get a package deal that’s better than different individual sales. Especially if it’s getting melted down.

postal sites

Man placing items in padded envelope

For gold that may be of no use to a jeweller, it is still a good idea to get a quote from someone face to face. Websites such as PostGoldForCash.com often have online calculators which you can also use to get an idea of what they think it’s worth.

  • If the estimated amount is the same as, or better than, the figure you already have in mind, then the next step is to request a free pre-paid envelope. You can then use this to send your gold back to the company via Royal Mail Special Delivery.
  • Most company envelopes are pre-insured (usually to the value of £500) in case of theft or loss during transit.
  • Should the amount of gold you wish to send in be worth more than this, you can secure additional insurance at the Post Office. Or simply split your gold into two or more pre-insured packs from the company.
  • Just in case, its always a good idea to take a photo of your item before you send it. This way you have proof of its condition if anything does go wrong.
  • Most gold companies will then call or e-mail you with a confirmation of the online calculator’s valuation. You can accept or reject accordingly.
  • Other companies will automatically send you a cheque for what they have valued your gold to be worth. If you’re rejecting the offer, then you must return within a certain time (typically between 10–12 days).
  • Be sure to check the company’s returns policy before selling gold to them, as they do vary.


how trustworthy are these cash for gold companies?

Can you trust cash for gold websites

Gold ‘recycling’ has became big business in recent years. This is because the price of gold always rises during times of economic uncertainty.

But some of these gold trading companies had been around for years. You can be confident that established jewellers are going to be the most trustworthy in their dealings. When compared to many smaller start-ups anyway.

Unsurprisingly, these short term operations are unlikely to care much about fairness, customer service or their company’s reputation. They just want to make a quick buck and get out. Be wary of these companies and keep them at arms length, they can be easy to identify with a bit of research.

It’s not that dedicated gold trading companies can’t be trusted, it just pays to use your common sense when selling gold for cash. Here’s some things to look out for:

  • Have they got dependable testimonials and positive media coverage?
  • Have they been trading long?
  • Google the company and see what turns up.
  • If you’ve any doubts, check with Trading Standards to see if they’ve received any complaints about that particular company.

Below are some of the best known gold trading websites:

Lois Jewellery and Hatton Garden Metals have been reviewed as two of the most reliable companies. So this is a good place to start.

Just remember

  • The price that a company quotes on its site is not necessarily the amount it will try and pay you. With some gold-trading websites, you can get as little as 20% of the market value of your gold.
  • Be especially wary of those sites that don’t reveal their price list. Some sites with big marketing budgets that advertise on TV are particularly guilty of this. All too often, these sites pour their money into marketing, rather than ensuring the consumer gets a decent price.
  • Keep an eye out for the Gold Standard logo which signals that the jewellers or postal site abide by the voluntary code of conduct set up by the National Association of Jewellers. This is backed by the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Trading Standards Institute and the National Measurement Office and so will give you extra confidence in your transaction.
  • Bear in mind that the price of gold changes daily, so the quotes you get will often vary slightly day-to-day. Keep an eye on the market and go for it when it’s higher than normal.
  • It pays to remember that gold is valued in dollars on the markets, so even if the value of gold rises, British sellers can lose out should the pound be weak.


Have a gold party

Host a gold sale party

Gold parties are pretty big in the United States and are growing in popularity in the UK too. If you’ve got a few friends who are looking to sling their bling, you can even get paid to host such a party yourself. Partycash4gold will send a representative to your house to value you and your friends’ gold.

As well as receiving the fee they give you for your gold, as host they will give you 10% of the total payout at your party. Partycash4gold claim their hosts make an average of £300 per party! And it may be a lot of fun.

You’ll need to call Partycash4gold to get an estimated price per gram before the party. They base their prices around the ‘spot price’ (London Fix Price) which reacts to current market conditions. As ever, it can be worth doing this as well as comparing it to other prices online. If they offer you a less competitive price than is available elsewhere, it might still be worth your while if you’re getting 10% commission from hosting the party. For further details on hosting a party with the company go to their website.

Remember, Partycash4gold do not declare their prices on their website however. So make sure you’re ready to compare their quote to other valuations. Keep your wits about you even if you’re having a good time.


Investing in gold

Invest in gold

You can invest in gold as well as sell it. Whilst gold is seen as a safe bet, its value can certainly go down as well as up. There are never any guarantees.

To help, we’ve got a whole article on the subject, exploring five ways to invest in gold. It outlines the main ways you can invest in gold and the level of risk involved in each method.

It’s easy to get started, even if you’ve never invested before. It can also be worth considering as part of your investment portfolio, if you’re a bit more experienced.


How else can I get cash from gold?

You can use your gold and jewellery as security on loans.


Pawn your gold for cash

Pawnbrokers are having somewhat of a resurgence in recent years.

  • Pawnbroking is an easy source of credit, especially for the one million Britons that don’t have a bank account.
  • If you need a small loan, pawn shops can offer this based on your valuables.
  • They normally lend you money up to half of your gold or jewellery’s value, and will likely charge a typical interest rate of around 8% a month for the amount lent.
  • However, they are certainly not a good option if you’re in need of a loan lasting a reasonable length of time. The annual rate of interest from pawnbrokers can be incredibly high. Banks are considered a better option for longer loans, always.

If you have a lot of very good gold jewellery, try the online pawnbrokers Borro.com which tends to deal with high-value items for short-term loans. Just make sure you really can pay the money back quickly so that you don’t end up paying ridiculous levels of interest.

Alternatives to pawnbroking

If you’re reading this article because you’re in need of quick cash, then consider these alternatives:

  • If you’re in need of a small loan, the Government’s Social Fund is worth exploring.
  • Another option is your local credit union, which will offer low-interest, easy-to-use saving and borrowing for its members.

Members of a credit union invest any money they have in savings in return for a good and reliable savings rate. This money is then lent out to other members an affordable rate. So everyone benefits, lenders get a good rate of interest on their money and borrowers don’t have to pay overly high amounts.

To find out if there’s a credit union near you, or one that you could join, check out Find Your Credit Union.

Find out what sort of loans and interest rates are available from your local credit union by contacting them via the credit union search tool. Most credit unions tend to be flexible about your repayments, offering you the opportunity to pay back your loan on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis.

You can work out a rough estimate of how much a typical 1% credit union loan will cost you by using this loan calculator.

If you take some time to investigate these options, you’ll get a deal that’s far better for you.

Perhaps you’ve got the Midas touch after all.


Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.

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4 years ago

I sold some old gold, to an online Company I was a bit scared but read the reviews and I can’t fault them it took just 1 day to get paid after I sent it in there pre-paid pack.

Eileen Benson
Eileen Benson
4 years ago

Thanks for the advice to find a gold buyer with dependable reviews from past customers. I want to sell some of my gold coins to make ends meet this month. Your article helped me feel much more prepared to choose a good buyer!

Daphne Gilpin
Daphne Gilpin
4 years ago

Thanks for explaining that getting quotes from three different jewelers is a good way to encourage competition. I have a few pieces of gold jewelry that I’m thinking about selling to help me pay off my credit card debt. I’m glad I read your article because following your advice should help me get the best possible deal for the gold I decide to sell.

Jenna Hunter
Jenna Hunter
4 years ago

It was interesting to learn that you should ask some local jewelers that they can tell you the carat of the item and its weight. My mom has some gold jewelry that she would like to sell. It would be really helpful for her to be able to sell it to a professional.

Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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