Cart is empty Close mini cart

Your cart is empty

Browse our services

Cash for Gold: How to Sell Gold Jewelry for Profit

Written by Anna Currell
May 2, 2024

If you have old or unwanted jewelry made of gold, you may be sitting on an opportunity to turn those pieces into profit. Precious metals are really valuable, which makes them desirable in the jewelry industry. In this guide, we’ll explore the properties of gold that set it apart from other metals. We’ll also provide a step-by-step process for selling your precious metal jewelry pieces for maximum profit. If you’re looking to get cash for gold, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s dive in. 

Understanding Precious Metals

Not all metals are created equal; their unique properties make them look and behave differently. The definition of “precious” metals is relative — it may vary depending on who you ask. In general, precious metals are both rare and durable, which makes them very valuable (hence the name) and perfect for jewelry. In our case, we’ll focus on gold, silver, and platinum. Let’s learn a little bit more about each one:

  • Gold: Gold jewelry is usually marked with a karat rating (10K, 14K, 18K, 24K) that represents its purity. The higher the karat count, the purer the gold, which makes it more expensive. Lower karat gold has usually been alloyed (mixed with other metals) to make it strong enough for use in jewelry. 
  • Silver: Authentic silver jewelry is typically marked as ‘925', ‘sterling', or ‘ster', indicating it's 92.5% pure silver. Pieces without this mark may be silver-plated, which is not as valuable, or contain silver-hued alloys without any actual silver.
  • Platinum: Platinum is a white, dense, highly valuable metal often marked with ‘950' or ‘Pt', indicating 95% purity.

Selling Gold Jewelry for Profit: A Step-by-Step Guide

Do you have any gold jewelry pieces you’re ready to part with? If so, you’re in luck – at the time of writing, the price of gold is incredibly high. Here’s your step-by-step guide to getting cash for gold jewelry:

Assess Your Jewelry

The first step is to inspect your jewelry collection. Here are the things you’ll want to look for:

Identify your metals

Take a look at your jewelry collection and determine which pieces are made of gold, silver, or platinum. Look for stamps or markings indicating the metal's purity (as described above) so you can get a sense of the jewelry’s general worth. For example, a piece of gold-plated jewelry (marked with GP) won’t be as valuable as a piece made from 14K gold. 

This ring is gold vermeil- the 925 indicates sterling silver, while the 10k means it's covered with 10k yellow gold.

When providing your information to gold buyers, you’ll want to give them your best guess on the type of gold you have. Even if you can’t tell, some places can use an XRF machine that will determine the actual goal purity percentage of the piece. 

Weigh the piece

Next, you’ll want to assess how much the jewelry weighs. The weight of the precious metal in your jewelry is an important factor in determining its value. Jewelers measure weight in grams or pennyweights (DWT). One DWT is equal to 1/20th of a troy ounce, and 20 DWT is equivalent to about 31.1 grams. Understanding the weight in these units will help you assess your piece’s value accurately — use a scale to calculate your metal’s weight accurately. 


Identify gemstones

Pay attention to any gemstones included in the jewelry — they can add to the overall value of the piece. Some of the most valuable gemstones include diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires, but there are plenty of other kinds that hold high value. While color is one way to identify what kind of gemstone is in your jewelry, it can be misleading — for example, a white sapphire might look a lot like a diamond to the untrained eye. If you need any help to determine the type of gemstone in your jewelry, seek the help of a professional jeweler. Note that stones lose significant value when melting, so you may not earn much for recycling them — it’s the gold that really matters in these pieces.  

Get an appraisal

If you’re still unsure of any elements present in your jewelry or you can’t tell what the piece is worth, it’s a good idea to get it professionally appraised. An appraisal will unlock all kinds of detailed information about your jewelry, including the type, cut, and size of your gemstones, the type and weight of the metals included, and an overall estimated value of your piece. It’s a good idea to have your jewelry appraised by a professional before showing it to potential buyers. 

Photograph Your Pieces

Next, take some time to take quality photographs of your jewelry. No need to get fancy with specialized equipment — the camera in your smartphone will do the trick. You’ll want to take photos of each piece from several angles so that you can provide an accurate portrayal for potential buyers. Include close-up shots of any gemstones or unique, distinguishing features. This documentation will help you maintain a record of your items and assist you in negotiations with potential buyers.

Research Market Prices

Do a little research about the current market price for gold. Precious metal prices fluctuate daily, so it's a good idea to know the value of your jewelry before you start the selling process — that way you can be sure you’re getting a fair estimate when you speak to potential buyers. There are resources like specific websites and apps dedicated to tracking metal prices that you can use to stay up to speed.

Find a Reputable Buyer

Search for established and reputable buyers who specialize in purchasing gold jewelry. It’s a good idea to look into local jewelry stores, credible pawn shops, and online platforms or websites with positive reviews and strong reputations. Do your due diligence to ensure the buyer you’re considering is offering a fair price and has a clear, transparent process. If you can find positive reviews from customers who have sold their jewelry to a buyer in the past, even better. 

Get Multiple Quotes

To make sure you’re getting the most out of your metals, compare quotes from multiple buyers. Some buyers may offer better prices or more convenient processes, like mailing in your pieces instead of having to drop them off in person. Compare each quote and the details of doing business with that buyer, taking into account their reputation and any fees associated with your transaction.

Cleaning Your Jewelry for Sale

Clean your jewelry pieces to enhance their appearance before selling them. You can clean your jewelry at home, but to make sure you really give it the treatment it needs and make it as attractive as possible for buyers, work with a professional jewelry cleaner. They’ll use specialized equipment to perform thorough steaming and polishing services, making sure that the piece gleams before you show it to potential buyers. This is an opportunity to shine up your gemstones, too — cleaning and polishing can make your jewelry stand out and could help lead to higher offers. 


The aquamarine in this rose gold ring needed a good cleaning to show off its original beauty.

Repair Your Jewelry

Once you've identified and cleaned your pieces, it's time to consider repairs. If you have broken pieces, don’t discard them — they still might be valuable! Many buyers will refine or recycle the metals in broken pieces to create new jewelry. However, your jewelry will be worth a lot more if it’s in great condition before you sell. Here are a few common repairs to consider:

  • Reshaping: Rings and bracelets may need reshaping if they've become warped or dented — this can happen when metal is exposed to heat or has been weakened through everyday wear. 
  • Clasp replacement: A jeweler can easily replace broken or loose clasps on necklaces and bracelets so that they’re working like new again. Functionality is important if you’re selling a complete jewelry piece.
  • Prong Repair: If your jewelry has gemstones, the prongs holding them may need tightening or replacing. Prongs tend to wear over time, and weak prongs can lead to lost gemstones. 

Negotiate and Finalize the Sale

Present your jewelry to your chosen buyer for evaluation. You may need to visit the buyer in person, or you might be able to send photos digitally (this is where your excellent photography comes into play). The buyer will assess the gold’s purity, weight, and overall condition to determine its value. Then use all the research you’ve done to negotiate a price based on current market rates and any special aspects of your jewelry. Once you agree on a fair price, complete whatever paperwork is required, ask for copies of anything you sign for your own records, and receive your cash payment.

Getting cash for gold can be a lucrative endeavor if you approach it with research and careful consideration. Are you ready to turn in your unwanted gold jewelry for cash? Get in touch with our team. We recycle your pieces so you can easily make a profit — all done online and through the mail. Send us the information about your gold items, and we’ll get back to you with a price estimate.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments