If you have gold to sell, the basic process used to sell the gold is really simple. You bring the gold in, the buyer or a representative evaluates the gold, and you get offered a price or told why the buyer won't take the gold (such as if the gold turns out to be plated). But it helps to understand a little more of why each step is the way it is. That will allow you to better divide up the gold you have to sell so you can try to get the best prices. Depending on what you have, different buyers may be more interested than others.
Procedures May Vary Slightly Depending on the Type of Buyer
Note that specific procedures may vary slightly between buyers. The basic process is the same, but a pawn shop or consignment shop may have different needs than a buyer who wants scrap gold (gold for its metal value and not its jewelry or collectible-coin value). This is another reason to learn more about what happens when you sell gold so that you aren't thrown by small changes.
Anyone looking at buying your gold will look at the condition, but collectors and pawn shops will be more interested in this than a straight scrap-gold buyer. The condition of a gold ring, for example, affects its resale value if any flaws aren't fixable. That will affect the price you get from the buyer. For scrap gold, weight and purity are more important than condition, although gold in terrible shape will be harder to evaluate for purity because the condition could introduce contamination into any tests.
Most buyers will want to test for gold purity. This partly helps set the price and also lets them know if what they're looking at is real and not just gold-plated steel. The tests that gold buyers are likely to do are either a scratch/acid test, also called a touchstone test, or through electrical conductivity. They may or may not do this in front of you, but rather than assume they're doing something shady by not conducting the test in front of you, ask if you can watch out of curiosity! Gold testing can be kind of neat to see.
Once the gold's value has been established, then the buyer may offer a price that's slightly lower than what you thought it would be based on current gold prices. The buyer will sell the gold themselves, and buying gold for a little less and selling for a little more are both ways for the buyer to make money off the deal. (They don't want your gold for fun, after all.)
Whether you're selling heirloom jewelry through a consignment shop or bringing a broken gold chain to a scrap gold buyer, you want the best price possible. Call a few places and ask them how they determine the price to offer you and be prepared to get a few estimates. But it won't be long before you have money in exchange for your real gold.
For more information, contact a gold buyer near you.