Monday, March 11, 2013

Gold Seller Beware

Happy Monday. This morning the price of gold opened at $1,580.04 a Troy ounce!

I know, now you’re rich! You have tons of gold in your jewelry box; your old herringbone chain, dome ring, Aunt Erma’s heinous brooch, your big hoop earrings, all that old boyfriend jewelry, and all of those now embarrassing charms that we had to have.  

Wait! Listen girl, before you run out to cash in all of your gold at the jewelry store, please read on.

First please understand that, yes, gold is highly priced right now, however the price of $1,580.4 is for one Troy Ounce. Because Gold is an international market they use Troy Ounces.  Troy ounces are abbreviated as t.oz. .  1 regular every day ounce = 0.911458333 troy ounce.

Also that big $ 1,580.04 is for 24K or 100% pure gold. Most of us have 14K 10K gold, and you lucky Lucy’s have 22K or 18K gold too. Here is what your gold, the percentage of gold and the price per t.oz.

22K is 91.7 % gold which is $1321.93 t.oz
18K is 75% gold which is $1081.00 t.oz
14K is 58.3% gold which is $840.00 t.oz
10K is 41.7% gold which is $601.0 t.oz
G.F  E.P. 1/10 10K  RPG isn’t gold remember. ZERO

What does all of this mean? Well if you want to sell your gold to a jewelry store, or gold buying store or service, they are going to sell it to a scrapper who melts the gold and then resells it as raw materials.
You are basically selling your jewelry based only on the cost of the metal.  To do this well you need to know what your gold is worth. Most gold buyers will completely confuse you. I hear horrible stories like when my sister sent away for a gold selling kit from Cash4gold or one of those rip off gold companies. They sent her a pre-addressed envelope and she didn’t have to pay postage. She filled it up with her old gold. Including pieces bought for her by my father over the years before he died. She received a check for $86.00 dollars.

I will never forget. It makes me sick even to this day that she basically had all of that beautiful jewelry stolen by some crook company. My sister has emotional disabilities and she needed money in need of money and saw this as a quick fix. She had no idea how many dwts or t.0z she sent them. So she couldn’t prove that they took advantage of her.

I have even tried to sell gold to jewelry stores just to see what they would offer. They usually offer 50% of what the gold is actually worth and then when I tell them that I am a professional they may  raise their offer 10% or 15%.  They talk so fast and use so many numbers that my brain hurt.

The gold buyers count on the fact that none of us follow gold stocks or have any of these strange measuring systems are. Most of them use Pennyweights.  Pennyweights is abbreviated as 1 dwt .

20 dwt. are in 1 Troy Ounce. Or 1 dwt is .05 troy ounces. I hate math and have come up with quick math tricks.

Lazy math trick- 14k is $840 for 1 t.oz. Step 1) Divide by 50% =$420 Step 2) Remove zero  = $42.00 dwt
Once you know that your gold should cost $42.00 a dwt you’ll be prepared when your local jeweler offers you $18.00 or $20.00 a dwt.

Here are the secrets that your gold buyers 
don’t want you to know.

1.      They never ever want you to know what your gold is actually worth.  

2.      That they are only paying you 50% or less of the actual value.

3.      They have to buy your gold for less because they have to pay for rent, electricity, employees, insurance, advertizing, ect.

4.      That your designer, antique, and studio jewelry is being resold for big money.

5.      Not all, but some gold buyers will fix their scales so your jewelry weighs less.

6.      Not all, but some gold buyers claim that your jewelry is stamped wrong and claim that it’s 10K when it’s 14K or 18K. Or if it’s not stamped they claim it tested at a lower Karat.

7.      That this industry has no regulation and they can basically do whatever they want.
Cartier Necklace auction price $750
Scrap price $102.58

8.      They want to pay you cash without any documentation so that they don’t have to pay taxes or have a record of the transaction.

Jewelry is a pretty but it’s an ugly business. Be careful. Be knowledgeable. Trust your gut.

Jewelry is a crazy business. If you want to sell fine jewelry always find a reputable trustworthy person. Some jewelry stores have wonderful reputations and are honest. They won’t be able to pay you as much as other venues. I had a lot of luck selling on EBAY. Auctions like EBAY or even better live auctions are best because they only take a 10%-25% commission of the final sale price. So they are motivated to make you the most money possible; because their pay is based on your selling price.

If you have any question comment or email me at I do have a list of trusted jewelers.
I do love my local jewelers for fixing my broken pieces or for resizing; but never ever for buying retail. 

Please tell me that you or members of your house are buying jewelry retail! NOOOOOOO! STOP! I’ll tell you why and you will never make this mistake it again.


  1. I'm not I know of any other comprehensive article on this subject! This more than covers the risks involved. As a studio jeweler I know I get treated with more respect when refining gold through wholesalers but STILL I know I am not getting back the true value of the metal. So much better to re-use. recycle or RE - SELL to the public. Thanks Lydia. This is a great service you are doing!

  2. Thank you for commenting and thank you for making studio jewelry. My next blog is going to be about why people should stay away from Kay Jewelers and other mass produced way over priced crappy quality jewelry. My goal is to open America's eyes that they should all be supporting and appreciating local studio jewelers that make handmade piece of art. That they can wear. How great is that?