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Pros and Cons of Selling Old Gold Online

Beth is interested in ways to earn money and how to get best value when spending it.

A gold necklace with semi-precious stones and diamonds is difficult to value.

A gold necklace with semi-precious stones and diamonds is difficult to value.

Selling Old Gold and Silver

Selling online can be an easy and private way to convert scrap gold, gold jewelry, and silver into cash. Ideally, you would choose to sell when the price of precious metals is high. However, most of us don’t have the luxury of picking exactly when to sell, so it’s important that you understand the market in order to achieve the highest price possible.

The resale value of old gold and silver is subject to demand and supply. The more people who want to sell, the lower the price offered by dealers. However, not all gold buyers are the same, and you can select where and to whom you sell.

How Are Precious Metals Valued?

The main factors determining the value of your old jewelry are the weight of the precious metal it contains (quantity) and its grade or karat (quality). It helps to have an idea of what your items are worth before you approach a dealer.

You can make an estimate of value at home with a specialist weighing scale and a jewelry testing kit. I use this digital pocket kitchen scale. It is designed to weigh jewelry and precious metals and is calibrated to 0.01-gram accuracy. However, it is also a multifunction scale and can be used for normal culinary measuring.

To check the karat of your coins and jewelry, I recommend you get this precious metals testing kit for gold, silver, and platinum, plus stone. The assay test kit comprises a set of chemicals and a touchstone, thus making it easy for you to analyze the quality of your old coins and scrap gold necklaces. You may find it helpful to read this article for more information on how to determine the karat value of your items.

The Sale Process From Offer to Payment

Once you’ve decided which online company to use, the sale process is similar to a high-street dealer. You will need to send your items by secure delivery, then wait for confirmation of the initial valuation. Once you’ve accepted the price offered, you will be asked for proof of identity and your bank details.

Many states have anti-money-laundering laws that mean you cannot be paid in cash for your valuables. You can only receive payment into a personal bank account. The pros and cons of the process when using an online dealer compared to a physical store are as follows.


  • Communication is by email and text, so all offers are recorded.
  • You can text or email at a time convenient to you rather than during your work hours.
  • Reputable online companies have a stated policy on how quickly they will pay the money into your account (usually the same day as you accept the offer).


  • The spot price (market price) of gold, silver, and platinum changes frequently, so the valuation given one day may have changed by the time your item is received by the dealer.
  • A reputable dealer will not pay you in cash. They will make an additional charge if you want a check rather than have the money paid directly into your bank account.
  • If you don’t like the amount offered, you will have to pay for the return of your jewelry.
  • The price offered by online dealers is for scrap value (i.e., the intrinsic value of the metal, not for any artistic merit or rarity.)

How Much Is Your Old Jewelry Really Worth?

Imagine this scenario. You’ve split up from your partner and want to sell your valuable engagement ring for closure. You say it’s valuable because you know how much your partner paid for it, but how much will a dealer actually give you for it?

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The first thing to remember is that your fiancé paid retail price for the keepsake. Any offer you receive will be based on the wholesale price. The two valuations are worlds apart. How can you find out if the ring is as valuable as you think, and is it better to sell your jewelry online or in person?

Pros and Cons of Selling Online Versus Selling in Person

I asked a few friends about their experiences when selling their old jewelry. I got a mixed bag of responses. They ranged from “I was ripped off and got almost nothing for it” to “I went online to sell and was happy with the process.” Here are a few of the advantages and disadvantages of using an online scrap gold and silver dealer.


  • Most online dealers will give you a realistic (low) valuation if you email photos of your items to them.
  • You won’t have to go downtown carrying valuables, so you avoid being a target for robbery.
  • You can make your request for a valuation in private without anyone else knowing.


  • You won’t know the exact valuation until you have sent your jewelry to the dealer.
  • You may be disappointed with the final offer and then have the hassle of getting the valuables returned.
  • Your items could get lost in transit, so you will need to insure the package.
Gold and platinum wedding bands are usually easier to value than other jewelry.

Gold and platinum wedding bands are usually easier to value than other jewelry.

Selling Jewelry and Scrap Gold Online

With any kind of selling, you need to have your wits about you. There are unscrupulous traders online, just as there are on the high street. Take the precaution of getting comparative quotes. Check out reviews for the companies that you intend to use. If an offer sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

Check These Out

  • How long has the company been trading? Be cautious if they have been trading for less than three years.
  • Are they accredited by a trade body? e.g., Better Business Bureau (BBB), Jewelers Board of Trade,
  • Read online reviews and ask friends and family. Online reviews are worth reading, but check to see the date of posting.
  • If an offer seems way too good, trust your instincts!

Fashion Influences Sale Price

The sale price of jewelry and coins is based not only on the intrinsic value of the metal but also on style and fashion. Some items are valuable because they are antique and the craftsmanship of the piece makes them unique and rare. However, many older pieces, especially those made in the last 100 years, are influenced by changing fashion taste and have not held their value.

Young people today prefer to buy several items of cheap jewelry rather than invest in one statement piece. This change in buying habits means that old gold, silver, and platinum rings and necklaces are not as valuable as their owners hoped.

The resale market is currently flooded with jewelry that was fashionable 50 or 60 years ago. The original owners were part of the post-Second World War generation that had high disposable incomes. As they pass away, their jewelry is sold to release cash for the next, less affluent generation.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

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