Updated July 30, 2022

Sell Gold for Cash: 15 Tips on How to Get Rid of Old Jewelry

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We’ve all seen those commercials offering cash for gold. That’s because it’s a great idea. Why hold on to old jewelry when it’s doing nothing but collecting dust in your jewelry box?

Sure, you can drive around until you find a store where you can sell old jewelry. Or you can go online and find local stores where you can sell gold for cash.

Just like with everything else, there are smart ways and not so smart ways to sell gold for cash. You just have to know the tricks of the trade.

Thankfully, we’ve done all the hard work for you. Read on to find out the dos and don’ts of how to sell gold jewelry and earn that much needed extra cash.

Why Do People Sell Gold for Cash?

We all know people who’ve done it. They sell used jewelry online and make hundreds or thousands of dollars. And we think that we should get around to selling our gold too.

This is because your jewelry box is a literally gold mine! All of those pieces you don’t wear anymore are doing you no good just sitting in a box.

So, why do we sell gold for cash?

  • The value and price of precious metals has gone up – Metals, and especially gold, have jumped in value over the past couple of decades. An ounce of gold that used to be worth $600 is now worth over $2,000. How about that for an investment!
  • Jewelry isn’t as popular as it once was – People just don’t wear jewelry like they used to. It’s rare that you see people wearing layered necklaces or a bunch of rings. People wear more costume stuff today than they do gold or silver.
  • More people are getting divorced – We don’t think about it, but whatever happens to engagement and wedding bands when people get divorced? Sell them! Why let them hide somewhere as a sad reminder of your marriage?
  • It’s just so easy to sell gold for cash these days – Years ago, only people who were desperate for cash sold their jewelry. Now, it’s an entire business.

If you want to sell old jewelry but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place! Here are 15 tips for selling your gold for cash. After you finish the article, let us know what you think. Leave us a comment with any tips you know that you want to share with our readers.

1. Try to Sell Old Jewelry to Jewelry Stores

If you want the best price for your gold, try to sell it to jewelry stores. Here are a few reasons why:

  • They’re willing to pay more for your jewelry than pawn shops or outfits that just buy gold.
  • Jewelry stores know the real value of your used jewelry. They also aren’t as likely to try to undercut you.
  • Most jewelry store owners care about their reputation. They don’t want to do bad business Word of mouth travels fast.

Bonus Tip:

If you’re not sure where to sell used jewelry, use a little common sense. Go to local stores. They’re more likely to entertain an offer to buy your gold.

Try stores that you’ve bought from in the past. If the clerks know you’re a customer, they’re be more willing to work with you. Jewelry stores also know their clientele. They can tell by looking at a piece if they have the clientele to buy your stuff.

2. Avoid Pawn Shops

Pawn shops are known for offering much less than what your jewelry is worth. They’re used to dealing with people who are desperate for money. They’re also used to dealing with some unsavory characters.

Good to Know:

If you want to be treated fairly, try to avoid pawn shops. Most people go to pawn shops with the intent of eventually buying their stuff back.

Pawn shops know this. So they give you very little for your gold. Then they mark up the price a ton so they can make a profit.

Bonus Tip:

You also don’t want to go into neighborhoods with pawn shops with a box of gold in your car. It’s not the safest thing to do.

If you’re in an emergency situation, then, by all means go to a pawn shop. But, if you have a few days or weeks to shop around, we recommend you avoid the pawn shops at all costs.

3. Stay Away from “We Buy Gold” Outlets

Like pawn shops, the corner outlets announcing that “We Buy Gold” are the last places you want to go to sell gold jewelry.  These stores are usually located near casinos or other high traffic areas where people need to get their hands on fast cash.

The store owners know this. This is why most of them are open 24-hours a day.

Good to Know:

“We Buy Gold” stores prey on people who don’t know a lot about how to sell gold for cash. They’ll see you coming from a mile away.

Again, there are times when you don’t have the luxury of time. If you live near a “We Buy Gold” store and have no other choice, do what you’ve got to do. But, if you have some time to research where to sell used jewelry, it’s time well spent.

4. Do Your Homework – Shop Around!

You want to approach how you sell old jewelry the same way you would approach buying new jewelry. You want to deal with a reputable buyer and work with someone who really knows what your jewelry is worth.

Bonus Tip:

You don’t want to sell to a fly-by-night operation. If the store hasn’t been at the location for very long, there may be a good reason.

Talk to the manager. If they say they don’t have anyone who can help you, walk out. Any store that cares about quality jewelry will have someone ready and willing to talk to you.

Check out places online and on the street. There are reputable stores out there where you can sell gold for cash. There are also some great places online where you can sell used jewelry.

5. Check with the BBB

It may seem strange, but you need to check with the Better Business Bureau before you sell gold for cash. You may wonder why you need to do this. You’re just going to sell old jewelry and walk away, right?

Not necessarily. You may have an ongoing business relationship with the person you sell gold jewelry to. You may need to negotiate back and forth with them.

Additionally, you want to make sure your jewelry is going to be handled properly. If a store is a front for illegal activity, you want to know about it.

Pro Tip:

You’re much better off dealing with a legitimate company. They’ll do everything by the book. Don’t get entangled with a shady gold buyer. After all, you are doing a business transaction.

6. Know What you Have

It’s really important that you know what you have in your collection.  Do you have gold and silver? What about diamonds and other precious stones?

You need to spend some time to organize and get to know your collection. How many pieces do you have? Where did they come from?

Was most of your jewelry gifts? Or, did you buy them and know how much they cost. If you know the value of your jewelry it’ll help make sure you don’t get fleeced when you sell it.

Pro Tip:

Go through your old jewelry and figure out what pieces are still wearable. A lot of people sell broken pieces for cash since they can’t wear it anyway.

You want to know as much about your jewelry as the person who buys it. This is the only way you can ensure you don’t get taken advantage of.

Bonus Tip:

You also want to sound educated when dealing with the buyer. When you sell gold for cash, you want it to be a two-way transaction.

7. Have Your Stuff Appraised

It’s always a good idea to get your jewelry appraised before you sell it. But only do this if it makes sense. If you have to pay a bunch of money to get your used jewelry appraised, don’t do it.

Pro Tips:

  • If you have a friend of family who owns or works at a jewelry store, that’s great. You can get your stuff appraised for free.
  • Call a few jewelry stores to find out where to sell used jewelry in your town. Some of the buyers may be willing to appraise it for you for free.
  • If you can’t get it professionally appraised, see what you can do on your own. There are a lot of websites that can help you appraise your own used jewelry.
  • You also should have an idea of what it may be worth based on where it came from. If it has real stones, then it has to be worth a decent amount.
  • If you have to, ask the people who gave you the jewelry what they paid for it. This works if the gift was from a close friend or family member.

8. Sort Your Gold First

It’s a good idea to sort your gold before you try to sell it. If you’re going to sell used jewelry online, you need to know what you have.

One way to do this is to organize your jewelry. When it comes to people who sell gold for cash, they usually sort their stuff by karat.

For example, gold comes in different karats. The higher the karat, the softer the gold. Most gold jewelry will have an etching on it somewhere indicating what sort of gold it is.

If you’re not sure, take your piece to a local jeweler. He can tell you on the spot what karat it is usually just by looking at it.

Pro Tip:

If you need to, let the jeweler know you’re thinking of either buying or selling gold jewelry. This way, he’s more likely to help you out.

9. Know What It Weighs

If you’re going to sell gold for cash, you need to know what it weighs. The important thing is the melt weight.

There are websites that can help you figure out the melt weight of your jewelry. All you have to do is enter some basic information about the gold on their site. It will then let you know what your melt weight is.

Because a lot of gold you sell will be melted down for cash, the buyer needs to know the melt weight. Very few people actually sell the jewelry intact. Unless it’s in pristine condition, they wouldn’t be able to find a buyer for it.

Pro Tip:

If you can walk into a jeweler and have your information about melt weight, you make their job easier. You also let them know that they’re not dealing with a fool. They will give you a fair price because they know better than to try to take advantage.

10. Get a Few Quotes

It may sound like a lot of work, but it’s not. You need to get a few quotes before you sell gold for cash.

You want to get as much money as possible for your used jewelry. Put a few hours of work into it. It’ll definitely pay off.

Bonus Tips:

  • Go to a few jewelry stores and see what they’re willing to pay for your jewelry. They should all be similar.
  • If one store gives you a price way off from the others, ask why. Let them know you’re getting a few quotes. See why their price is so low or high.
  • Once you get about 3 quotes, make a decision. You don’t want to overthink the decision.
  • Also, know that you may not be able to sell your entire collection to one buyer. This is not a bad thing. If you sell the pieces separately, you’ll make more money.
  • If you sell it off as one lot, the buyer will offer a much lower price. They’ll think they’re doing you a favor.

Selling your pieces individually may take more time but you’ll make more money. And, isn’t this the whole point after all?

11. Check out U.S. Gold Buyers

If you’re looking to sell used jewelry online, check out U.S. Gold Buyers. They help people who are looking to sell gold for cash in person and online.

U.S Gold Buyers pays about 98% of your gold’s value. You don’t have to worry about losing a huge percentage of what your used gold is worth. The other great thing is online companies like U.S. Gold Buyers send you a pre-paid package so you can deliver your gold to them.

Good to Know:

U.S. Gold Buyers will insure the jewelry so if anything happens to it you won’t be out your money.

Online companies also put very detailed information on their site about what they pay for gold. There are value charts that go by weight and type of jewelry.

12. Use Decluttr

Another site that’s a great place to sell your stuff is Decluttr. You can sell your used items for a premium price.

They offer free shipping and you get your money within one day. There’s no waiting involved.

Pro Tip:

If you don’t get the price you’re promised, you can get your items back. There’s no fear of losing money on your used jewelry.

Go online and read customer testimonials. Judge for yourself if this is a site you want to use to sell gold for cash.

13. Try Cash for Gold USA

Another great site where you can sell used jewelry is Cash for Gold USA. This may be the most popular site to sell gold for cash.

Cash for Gold USA will give you an extra $50 just for using their service your first time. If that isn’t an incentive we don’t know what is!

The company will send you a package so you can send them your gold for free. Within a day, they’ll have a certified technician appraise your gold.

Good to Know:

If you’re not happy with the price they offer, they will send your items back to you at no cost. If you go ahead with the sale, you’ll be paid the next day through PayPal, check or bankwire.

14. Use a Cash for Gold Calculator

It’s always a good idea to use a cash for gold calculator to see what your gold is worth.

They have software that was created by the National Gold Market. You can get real time prices for gold, silver and platinum.

Just select the karat of your gold and weight. It’ll tell you to the penny what your gold is worth.

Pro Tip:

This is a good tool to use when you’re getting your quotes. If a buyer is undercutting you, move on.

15. Make Sure Your Jewelry Is Clean and Polished

Just like anything else you sell, before you sell old jewelry, make it look nice. Clean it and make sure it’s polished.

Even if you think it’ll be used for scrap, still make it presentable. You want to look professional when you walk into jewelry stores with your gold.

So, now that you know everything there is to know about how to sell gold for cash, let us know what you think. Have you ever sold a valuable piece of gold online? Do you have any tips for our readers?



Logan Allec, CPA

Logan is a practicing CPA and founder of Choice Tax Relief and Money Done Right. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.

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Ridley Fitzgerald
5 years ago

My wife and I both have a lot of jewelry that we want to get rid of. It’s great to know that we should look at selling to a jewelry store because they pay more. We’ve got all sorts of pieces, from gold to bone, so hopefully, we can sell it all!

Angela Waterford
4 years ago

It is indeed a great idea to sell my gold to a jewelry buying service. As long as I can find a reliable local store that can give me a decent price for my necklaces, I’ll be sure to sell them. As you’ve mentioned, I’ve been divorced recently, so this is a good way to get rid of my ex-husband’s gifts to me without having to regret my decision.

3 years ago

Nice post! I like that you’ve covered so many opportunities and mentioned gold price calculators. I think it might be interesting to find out more about the creation of one of them (Kitco)