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How to sell your old gold Jewellery

Walk downtown, visit your local shopping mall, open your newspaper, check your mailbox or shop online; either way you are likely to be bombarded by many messages from people wanting to buy your old jewellery.

A quick online search for ‘selling old jewellery’ delivers pages of google adwords and many options for mum or dad wanting to cash in their jewellery or old gold.

Many of these buyers are new entrants to the market seeking to capitalise on both the growing demand for gold and the need for the average New Zealander to try and find cash in these tough economic times.

Barriers to entry for gold buyers are quite low, simply meet the Ministry of Justice requirements and apply for a 2nd Hand Dealer certificate, get a website, then promote your brand.  However for regular Mum and Dads selling old jewellery there is growing risk in this very crowded market.  In particular as is often the case with online stores, you often don’t know who is behind the business, how fair the price offered is or in the event that something goes wrong where to find the people responsible.

So what are the best tips to sell your old jewellery?

We ask Tony Coleman, Director of Gold Refiner and Bullion Buyer, New Zealand Gold Merchants.

“Since being established in 1975, we have helped thousands of people throughout New Zealand either sell their old jewellery or purchase NZ Pure Bullion or the internationally recognised Pamp Suisse Bullion product range.”  From our experience we suggest you consider the following tips for getting the best value for your old gold jewellery.

  1. Know your Carats.  Pure gold is too soft to be practically used so it is combined with other metals to create durability and colour.  One carat equals 4.17% of pure gold by weight.  So 9 carats means the jewellery is 37.5% pure gold and 62.5% other metal.  So in this example your 9 carat ring is by weight only 37.5% pure gold.  Gold buyers will only pay you for the gold component.
  2. Don’t let your jewellery of different carat value be weighed together.  This is important especially as someone may accidently pay you for the lowest carat value.
  3. Know your value.  Verify the current price for gold.  Check out www.gogold.co.nz or another reputable buyer.  With many people after convenience and quick cash you need to know the cost if you are being offered lower than the actual value.
  4. Know your buyer.  How long have they been operating, are there any complaints?
  5. Know what you are selling.  Because you are only being paid the melted down value of your jewellery, some items such as designer jewellery may be worth more when sold as they are.
  6. Know the fine print. If you are using a mail away service make sure you understand the terms and conditions.  Make sure the insurance value is appropriate.  Take photos of your item before sending and make sure you keep any relevant paperwork.
  7. Be realistic.  Keep in mind that each buyer has different costs and this needs to be reflected in how much you are paid.  If you are not selling directly to a refiner then you should understand that agents need to cover their costs and like anything you do you pay for convenience.  The decision of selling at a mall versus post-away versus direct with a refiner is yours and you need to be aware of the different buying price.
  8. Be aware that some buyers will want to scratch or acid test your jewellery. Understand this upfront in case you decide after the test that you want to keep your jewellery.
  9. Shop around.  Enough said.
  10. Bring in your ID.  All gold buyers are required by law to sight, verify and make a copy of this identification.  You are then required to sign and verify that the possessions are yours.