How to sell gold
An 11 step guide
The modern day gold rush is everywhere you look. Adverts on the TV promise cash for your gold, the shops in town offer cash for your gold, there’s advertising all over the internet – companies promising to give you cash for your gold. So where do you start? And more importantly how do you sell without getting ripped off?
We get asked about gold all the time and we also receive a lot of it. So, our experts have gotten together to create this brilliant gold selling guide for you. This guide contains absolutely everything you ever need to know about selling your gold.
First let me introduce you to our…
Vintage gold expert
Antony Charman has been buying gold and other vintage items since he could walk. No really, he’s always been a real magpie. He has over 40 years experience valuing precious metals and other vintage stuff. He’s so good at what he does, that the History Channel pitted him up against a metal testing gun, you can find out if he won here:
Now you know how knowledgeable we are, we’ll get to the good gold selling stuff. 😉
In this guide we’re going to take you through these steps:
- Should I sell my gold?
- Is my gold real gold?
- What are gold hallmarks?
- How to tell real gold jewellery from costume jewellery
- Selling gold coins
- How to sell scrap gold
- How much is gold worth?
- Where to sell your gold
- How to clean gold
- How to take photos of gold to sell online
- Selling gold – post sale
There is a lot of really good in depth information in here, bookmark this page so you can always find it.
1. Should I sell my Gold?
Everyone has belongings that have sentimental value. Usually sentiment doesn’t translate to money when you go to sell your gold. For that reason it’s a good idea to only sell gold items that you won’t miss too much or you won’t feel guilty selling.
To help you decide what is sentimental and what could be sold, get all your items together and sort them into three piles.
- Gold belongings you can not bear to part with – these should be carefully put away so they don’t get confused with your other things.
- Gold items you think might be valuable – you should get these valued or tested before you decide to sell them.
- Gold items you know you want to get rid of – things you don’t want. Odd earrings, old broken rings, broken chains, that kind of thing.
Here are some important things you should know before you sell your gold
- You might think of your gold item as rare and valuable, a precious metal dealer might think of it only in terms of its scrap or melt value.
- If you remember what you paid for your gold item, you could be disappointed to learn it’s now worth a fraction of what you bought it for.
- The ideal pieces of gold to sell are those you never wear, that have no emotional attachments or pieces that are damaged or broken.
If you find it difficult to deal with sentimental items, we’ve got an article here on how to deal with clutter that has sentimental value, written by Kate Ibbotson a professional organiser and declutterer.
So now you’ve decided which gold things you want to sell what’s next? In the rest of this guide we’ll show you how to make sure your metal is gold. How to get a valuation for the items you aren’t sure on selling and how to sell safely both online and on the high street.
2. Is my gold real gold?
These days there are a number of ways to include gold in all sorts of items without having to use a lot of precious metal. Gold plating for instance. As gold has been seen as a status symbol for some time, it’s common to replicate its alluring lustre without using any gold metal at all. So how do you tell if your gold is real?
There are a few basic checks you can do to determine whether your items are gold.
- Do a visual test. There should be hallmarks that tell you about the purity and legitimacy of the gold
- Check for any discolouration in areas of high wear and tear, if there is discolouration the item may be gold plated
- Look for scratches. Gold is a fairly tough metal you’d only expect to find light surface scratches on an item that is real gold. If it’s scratched or worn and you can see a different coloured metal underneath it’s probably gold plated.
If your gold is more modern, you can expect to find hallmarks. These are usually good enough to identify the metal as gold and give you some idea as to its purity. It is possible for hallmarks to be faked but this is rare.
If your gold item is old and has no hallmarks, it’s better to get it valued first. Some antique and vintage pieces might have unusual or missing hallmarks.
How to sell gold coins
Gold coins rarely have hallmarks, so how can you tell if your coins are real gold?
Are gold coins real gold?
Only an expert will be able to confirm this with any certainty for you. However there are two checks you can do to rule out replicas:
- Look for wear or scratches. Gold is quite a tough metal but it does wear down over time. If the coin is a different colour in areas that are worn or scratched it may be a replica coin.
- Use a search engine to look up your coin on the internet. If you had a gold sovereign for example you should compare it to pictures of real gold sovereigns and look for differences.
3. What are gold hallmarks?
There are strict rules around the manufacture of gold items. This helps to prevent fraud, but can also make it a little more difficult to assess the purity and value of your own gold items.
Here we’ll tell you everything you need to know about assessing the purity of your gold. We’ll also explain how to interpret any hallmarks on your gold.
Pure gold is expensive and so it isn’t commonly used in the manufacture of jewellery and other gold items. Gold that isn’t pure is mixed with other metals like zinc and copper. This produces an alloy material that is stronger than pure gold.
Sometimes gold is mixed with different base metals to enhance or change its colour. For instance, gold plated silver looks more yellow and a little brighter than standard 18ct gold.
These days white gold is also very popular, this is usually plated with Rhodium to achieve the colouring, this is perfectly legal, but sometimes the plating may peel or scratch over time and need replacing.
How is gold carat calculated?
Gold carats are a fractional system used to define the purity of a gold alloy. The fraction states that a carat is given for every fine part (the gold) to 24 parts whole (the alloy material).
So the higher the carat the more gold the item contains up to a maximum of 24 carats which is considered pure gold.
For example 9 carat gold is 9/24ths gold or 37.5% gold. Different prices will be paid for different carats because they contain different amounts of gold. The more gold something contains the more valuable it will be.
What is Millesimal fineness?
This is a system used to denote the purity of gold and other precious metals. This system can be used as a replacement for the gold carat system or is sometimes used alongside it.
Where this system is used, the amount of gold is expressed in parts per thousand. For example the numbers 375 may be stamped on a 9 carat gold piece of jewellery. This means 37.5% of that jewellery is gold.
The higher the millesimal fineness the more gold the jewellery contains.
The most common numbers to find stamped on gold items include: 375, 585, 750 and 916.
What do gold hallmarks mean?
Hallmarks show the Assay Office which tested the item, who asked for it to be hallmarked and confirm the minimum precious metal content of the item in parts per thousand in line with recognised standards such as 375 (9ct).
It’s a legal requirement in the UK to hallmark gold. The hallmarks show who submitted the metal to be hallmarked. Hallmarks don’t denote quality except in terms of metal composition.
It is not possible to tell by sight or touch how much gold is in a certain piece. Therefore hallmarks are a legal requirement for items to be sold as gold. A hallmark can only be applied by an independent Assay Office and it is an offence to sell gold as a higher carat or fineness than it is.
In this country we have four Assay Offices, they can be found in Birmingham, Sheffield, Edinburgh and London.
Hallmarking history goes back a long way. Hallmarks were first introduced as early as 1238, but the standards that govern us now were put in place in 1973.
How to read gold hallmarks
There are lots of different types of hallmarks, usually they are made up of symbols that indicate the fineness, the date it was hallmarked and the assay office it was sent to for hallmarking. Here we’ll show you how to check or read your gold hallmarks.
Gold maker’s marks or sponsor’s marks
These marks indicate what company or manufacturer has sent the gold item to be hallmarked. They are usually made up of letters like this:
Anyone who has a sponsor’s mark has to register with the Assay Office which keeps a record of all sponsor’s marks.
Gold metal and gold fineness mark
This indicates how much gold is in the item. Usually the fineness is depicted as the items millesimal number and the type of metal can be determined from the shape of the mark. When the precious metal hallmarking rules were first introduced the fineness mark looked like a weighing scales.
Modern fineness marks look like this:
Gold Assay Office mark
The Assay Office Mark shows where the item was tested and hallmarked. The most common marks to find on modern UK items come from the 4 Assay Offices in the UK – London, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Sheffield. They look like this:
Some hallmarks contain a fourth symbol known as the date stamp. As its name suggests it shows the year the piece was hallmarked. The date is represented by a letter. The shape surrounding the letter changes every 26 years when the alphabet is re-started.
Here’s some from the last few years:
Foreign hallmarks for gold
Some vintage, antique or foreign gold items may have different hallmarks.
Gold hallmarks are varied and relatively complex. Experts who deal in precious metals will often use reference books to help them identify unusual marks. These are just a few of the books we use here at Vintage Cash Cow:
In more modern times the international hallmarking convention has been used. The convention is followed by 20 different countries who all use a common hallmark which is recognised by all countries in the convention as an alternative to their national mark.
The point of the convention is to facilitate the cross border trade of precious metals. The standard hallmark used by the convention is a weighing scales with a number and sometimes initials.
Before this convention was set up, countries had and still do have, their own hallmarks, Some of the more common foreign marks are shown in the picture below:
Some gold items might be stamped with a commemorative mark. These are usually made for royal jubilees and coronations like these:
Gold hallmarks come in all shapes and sizes. If the hallmark looks unusual it’s best to take your item to be expertly valued. Often the hallmark is difficult to see with the naked eye and can be open to misinterpretation.
Can you sell gold without hallmarks?
Yes. Hallmarks can wear off gold for all sorts of reasons. If the mark is stamped in a place of high wear and it’s worn often – as with a stamp inside the band of a wedding ring. The marks may wear down or become unreadable. The higher the purity of the gold ring, the faster these markings will fade, because the metal is softer.
If you take a gold item to be repaired or re-sized the hallmark may be removed, although it is generally considered bad practice for a jeweller to do this.
In very old jewellery it wasn’t necessary to have a hallmark. Some older jewellery may be gold but not have any hallmarks.
Of course, sometimes gold with no hallmarks isn’t gold. If you are in any doubt, get your item valued first. A professional valuer will be able to test the metal reliably and without damaging it. Once you know your item is gold and what fineness it is you’ll be able to make a more informed choice about selling it.
4. How to tell real gold jewellery from costume jewellery
Gold comes in various alloys. Because it’s such an expensive material there are many ways of using it to produce gold jewellery that is cheaper than solid gold alternatives. Once you’ve assessed the hallmarks and the fineness, find out if it’s plated, rolled, gilt or solid gold.
You may have heard terms like gold plated or rolled gold before, they are especially popular in jewellery. This doesn’t mean the jewellery doesn’t contain gold, but they are less likely to be solid gold. Some of these types of gold are valuable. If old they may have a resale value. Sometimes they can be valuable as a stand alone piece if they are vintage or rare items.
It’s very common to use gold alloys (like gold plating or rolled gold) in costume jewellery, so understanding the difference between pure gold and gold alloys will help you determine whether your jewellery is real gold or costume jewellery. Alloys are also used in gold ornaments and sometimes in flatware too. Next we’ll look at the different types of alloys you might come across.
What is gold plate?
Gold plating is when a base metal such as copper is covered with a layer of gold. This is done using electroplating. A complicated system involving chemicals and a small electrical current.
Gold plated items tend to tarnish easily and show signs of wear quite quickly if used or worn often.
Modern gold plated items are not usually worth very much. This is because there will only be a few microns of gold in the plated layer. Often the cost to recover the gold from such items is higher than what you would make on the gold.
An exception to this is hard gold electroplate which is usually electroplated with 100 microns of gold. It’s usually marked with HGEP or HEP and can be found on things like watch casings, pocket watches and old spectacle frames.
What is rolled gold?
Rolled gold is where a sheet of base metal like copper is covered with thin layers of gold and then fused together using heat. As a general rule, rolled gold must contain at least one 40th of its weight in gold, so it is worth more than gold plate.
You’ll usually find the following markings on rolled gold: RGP, RO, RG, GO. There may also be a number followed by a k. This will tell you the carat of the gold that was used.
What is filled gold?
Gold filled items are those where the base metal has been bonded with a layer of solid gold using pressure. Filled gold does not tarnish as easily as gold plate and is far more resistant to to wear and damage.
It’s common for filled gold items to have a more valuable core metal like sterling silver, rhodium or brass.
Filled gold pieces are more valuable than gold plate or rolled gold. They must contain at least 1 20th of their weight in gold.
If you are selling your filled gold items as scrap, the gold content can be recovered from the item and can be sold by weight. If the base metal is also valuable you’ll get a price for that by weight too.
What is gold gilt or gold gilding?
The term gilding refers to a method of using gold leaf as a decoration. In this process thin sheets of gold leaf are transferred to surfaces such as wood, stone and metal to decorative effect.
A gilded object is referred to as being gold gilt. Gold gilt items will only be valuable if they are rare, antique or vintage. The gilt is not usually valuable as its weight in gold.
Gold leaf is easy to forge and typically doesn’t contain much gold. If you want to sell gold leaf and you know it’s definitely gold you’d have to sell in bulk to make any money. If you aren’t sure it’s gold, you may be better off selling it as a crafting material.
5. Selling gold coins
Coins have been produced for many reasons throughout history. There are times when coins have been minted that contain real gold.
As with all coins, forgeries are not that rare. So you should get your gold coins tested or appraised so you know what you are dealing with.
How to sell gold sovereigns
Are sovereigns gold?
Yes. Sovereigns are gold coins with a face value of £1. Before 1932 it was used as legal tender. The half sovereign is a gold coin with half the value of a full sovereign. Today it is used more as a bullion coin. It can sometimes be found in rings and jewellery.
Sovereigns have become a form of bullion gold because of the fineness of the metal used to mint them. Real gold sovereigns contain 7.315 grams of pure 24ct gold. They are prized by bullion dealers because they are consistent in weight and purity.
Are gold sovereigns a good investment?
Provided they can be verified as real coins they can be a good investment and can make good money when they are sold.
How much are sovereigns worth?
There isn’t one blanket price that can be given for sovereigns, because the age, rarity and condition of the coin will influence their value. There are different types of sovereign coin. Older sovereigns may be worth more than the gold content. Some sovereigns are rare, especially if they contain mistakes in the minting. When selling your sovereigns and your sovereign jewellery make sure to get them valued first.
Research the best places to sell them. Some companies that buy gold for cash will do just that. They don’t always have the expertise to tell you if your gold sovereign is worth more than it’s scrap or melt value.
How to sell gold bullion coins
Gold bullion coins are relatively easy to sell. First you need to understand what type of coins you have to make sure you get the best price for them. Here we’ll tell you everything you need to know about selling your gold bullion coins.
Gold bullion coins are not intended to enter general circulation. They are produced as either commemorative coins or coins that can be bought and sold as gold for investment purposes.
The Royal Mint in the UK produces three types of coin that aren’t intended for circulation: Proof, Brilliant uncirculated and bullion.
What are gold proof coins?
Gold Proof coins are more valuable than brilliant uncirculated gold coins and bullion gold coins. They are handcrafted and stamped and produced to the highest standard possible. Because so much time, care and attention goes into creating each gold proof coin they are made in smaller numbers. Proof coins are rare but are prized among collectors and are usually worth more than their weight in gold.
What are brilliant uncirculated gold coins?
Brilliant uncirculated gold coins are more valuable than gold bullion coins. Their dies are handcrafted but they are machine fed into the stamp. They don’t have such a detailed finish as a proof coin. They are less rare because they can be produced faster than gold proof coins. Brilliant uncirculated gold coins may be worth more than their weight as gold. Their value will be determined by their scarcity and age.
What are gold bullion coins?
Gold bullion coins are usually bought for their intrinsic metal value. They are produced to the same standards as the coins that currently circulate as legal tender. They are rarely likely to have value exceeding their weight as gold. They are usually purchased for investment purposes because they are easy to store and care for.
How to sell gold Krugerrands
Are Krugerrand gold?
Yes. Gold Krugerrands were the first bullion coins to ever be minted in 1oz weights. Krugerrands are produced in South Africa and have been since 1967.
Krugerrands are legal tender in South Africa, though they don’t have monetary face values.
1oz Gold Krugerrands weigh 33.93 grams and contain exactly 31.10348 grams of pure 24 carat gold.
Krugerrands can also be found in jewellery
Are Krugerrands a good investment?
Provided they can be verified as real coins they can be a good investment and can make good money when they are sold.
How much are gold Krugerrands worth?
There isn’t one blanket price that can be given for Krugerrands, because the age, rarity and condition of the coin will influence their value. There are different types of Krugerrand, some are rare, especially if they contain mistakes in the minting. When selling your Krugerrand and your Krugerrand jewellery make sure to get them valued first.
Research the best places to sell them. Some companies that buy gold for cash don’t look at the value of an item beyond its weight in gold. This means there is a potential for rarer and more valuable items to be sold for less than they are worth.
6. How to sell scrap gold
There are two important things you should do when preparing to sell your scrap gold. Firstly group your gold by it’s caratage, so all the 9ct gold is in one pile, the 18ct in another, gold plate in a another and so on, then weigh each pile. This will tell you exactly what you are selling and will allow you to to get an accurate quote from different buyers.
How to weigh gold
You should always weigh your gold before you sell it. Dealers have to weigh precious metals on specially calibrated scales. This means if you weigh it on your kitchen scales you may get a slightly different weight, but you should still have an indication of the gold you are selling by weight.
Remember you’ll get different prices depending on the fineness of your gold, so you’ll want to group together your gold depending on its fineness before you weigh each group. You’ll also get different prices for your plated and rolled gold, so ensure they are grouped and weighed as well.
What is a troy ounce of gold?
One Troy ounce of gold is equal to 31.1035 grams.
It’s very unusual when selling just a few small pieces of gold to come across the term Troy Ounce. However, if you are dealing in larger amounts it’s something you may hear. A Troy Ounce is the standard among dealers for weighing precious metals. One Troy Ounce is equal to 31.1035 grams.
Selling broken gold jewellery
If you have broken or damaged gold, you might sell it as scrap gold. That means you’ll be given as much money as the gold content is worth by weight. The heavier and better quality the gold the higher the price.
Gold is a precious metal that is relatively scarce, this means it has intrinsic value. During times of economic downturn gold is still seen as a good investment. This is because it tends to retain its value over time.
Don’t be fooled. Just because a piece is broken it doesn’t mean it’s not worth a few pounds. Even a single earring back made of gold is worth some money. Make sure you know who you are dealing with. There are many online sites and high street stores offering cash for gold. Often though, they will treat your gold as scrap because they might not be able to spot something rare and therefore more valuable than its scrap price.
7. How much is gold worth?
This is one of the harder questions to answer, there are so many things that can impact the value of gold. The market price is usually where most gold dealers start, and if you’re selling scrap gold, it’s likely the only thing that will have a bearing on how much you are offered aside from the purity of the metal. If you’re selling vintage, antique or rare gold though, it’s value will be dependant on other factors like age, rarity and condition.
Next we’re going to explain a little about the value of gold and later we’ll look at those rarer pieces that could be worth more than their weight in gold.
What is the gold spot price?
The price of gold is called the spot price and it can be found on the London Bullion market. This changes twice daily and is known as the gold fix, it happens once in the morning and once in the evening.
The difference between the spot price and the selling price is called the premium or the spread. The premium includes a profit for the seller, production and minting costs and insurance and shipping costs.
The premium can change based on the demand and the availability of gold.
Unless you have an awful lot of gold and you are selling direct to a bullion dealer, you are unlikely to get spot price for your gold. This is because whoever you sell it to will eventually sell it to a bullion dealer themselves or will have to get it melted down and minted. All of these have associated costs which are passed on to you, the seller.
The best place to get gold valued
If you are in doubt and you want to know if your item is gold, only an expert will be able to confirm this with any certainty for you. They can test the metal with acid or a metal testing ‘gun’ that detects the purity of a metal.
In this video Antony explains more about the metal testing gun:
If you are getting your item valued, shop around. Make sure you know what type of valuation you are getting. Retail value, insurance value and regional values are not the same thing. If you got an insurance valuation for an antique item you won’t necessarily be able to sell it for that price.
At Vintage Cash Cow we appraise every item we receive so you can be sure you’re getting the best price.
Are gold coins legal tender?
It’s rare to see real gold being used as legal tender. Where gold is used by the Royal Mint it’s usually in commemorative coins or coins from the pre-decimal era.
In the 19th century, gold coins were legal tender to any amount, so gold coins from this era were at one point legal tender, but aren’t now.
The Coinage Act of 1971 made gold sovereigns legal tender for any amount. Although the value is not usually mentioned on them, the face values of gold coins are 50p, £1, £2, and £5, although they are usually worth more as gold than their face value.
Are gold bullion coins legal tender?
Gold bullion coins that are minted in the UK are technically legal tender in the UK. This is due to laws that allow us to trade in whatever materials are acceptable to the selling party. While gold bullion coins are technically legal tender they are not meant for general circulation.
This means they can’t be used as legal tender in shops, banks and other places where money is exchanged for goods and services.
8. Where to sell your gold
There are plenty of options when it comes to selling gold. From online to high street, here’s everything you need to know about selling your gold in the UK.
Where can you sell gold near you?
If you are selling gold on the high street, look for the hallmark assay guide – in England and Wales it’s legally required to be displayed in any premises that deal in precious metals, like this one in our valuation department:
When you go to a high street store, your gold will be tested and weighed. Make sure you can see your gold being tested and that you see it’s weight on the scales.
When selling on the high street make sure your items don’t leave your sight. Unfortunately scams happen. One that is common on the high street is that your items will be taken away to be tested. When they are returned to you though, you might not notice they have been replaced with a cheaper metal.
Don’t ask for quotes over the phone. A reputable dealer will only be able to give you a price once they’ve seen the item.
Shop around. If you visit a number of high street stores you’ll start to get a feel for the prices you are offered. This will help you see if there are any stores giving substantially low prices.
Online reviews are a great way to get to know a company. Some review sites like Trustpilot have strict rules that mean a customer must have used the service to leave a review. This means you can be confident they are genuine.
How to sell gold online
There are many online companies that offer to buy your gold. Key things to bear in mind when selling gold online:
- Make sure you know you are dealing with a reputable buyer
- Check what type of buyer they are. Will they just buy your gold for scrap value or will they be able to tell you if you have something special?
- Shop around. Many sites that accept only gold and precious metals will have some kind of calculator. Beware though. If you don’t know the purity of your gold or if the weight you enter differs to their scales once you’ve sent the gold you could get less than the calculators price.
- Check out returns policies. Some companies have an incredibly high spread or premium. If you send your gold off and you are unhappy with the price you need to know you can get your things back.
- Look for hidden fees. A lot of websites will let you send your things in for free but charge you if you want your items returned. A look a their terms and conditions should let you know if there are any hidden charges.
Selling gold to Vintage Cash Cow
Vintage Cash Cow was created to give people a fast free and easy way to sell their old stuff. We buy all sorts of old things from people all over the UK. Here’s what you should know about selling your gold to us.
At Vintage Cash Cow we have years and years of experience with vintage and antique items. We even have a dedicated coin specialist. We can easily tell you if your gold and gold coins are worth more than their scrap or melt value. Our free service was established to help people be more savvy about what they are selling.
How the process works
Before you start decluttering sign up to Vintage Cash Cow for free. We’ll send you a beautiful brochure explaining which items you can sell to us. We’ll also send you some free postage labels and some beautiful fragile stickers for your parcel.
Once you’ve got your labels, send us what you want to sell. We encourage people to declutter in bulk because we understand how frustrating and time consuming it is to sell one item at a time, so we accept a whole box-full at once. You don’t have to fill out any annoying inventories or take a zillion photos. Just put everything you want to sell in a box.
Once your box is ready you can attach your free postage labels and take your parcel to a post office. Or you can call us to arrange a free secure door step collection.
As soon as we’ve got your items we’ll let you know by text message. Then our experts will value your items and give you a cash offer. If you accept the offer you’ll get an instant payment, or you can get all your items returned free of charge if you decide not to sell.
What does it cost
It doesn’t cost anything to use Vintage Cash Cow and there are no hidden fees. Antony has always been passionate about giving customers a free and easy way to sell their things.
Are Vintage Cash Cow a reputable company
We’ve been around for two years now, and in that time we’ve helped over 50,000 customers to make money from their old things. Don’t take our word for it, find out what people are saying about us on Trustpilot.
At Vintage Cash Cow we have strict processes around opening customer’s boxes. Our appraisal bays are all clearly marked and cleaned down after every box – to make sure we don’t lose anything. We have a state of the art CCTV system with a camera over every appraisal bay.
You can see what our office looks like in this video:
All our appraisers are trained by Antony, the co-founder and head appraiser – here’s our appraisal team:
Why should I sell my gold to Vintage Cash Cow?
Vintage Cash Cow is a great place to use if you aren’t sure your gold items are scrap. Our vintage experts can look past the value of the gold to tell you if your gold items are valuable antiques or vintage pieces. If they aren’t we’ll also be happy to buy your items as scrap or send them back free of charge.
How to sell gold on an auction site
If you only have a few gold items to sell, an auction site like eBay or Catawiki is a great place to start.
There are usually fees for this type of selling, so compare a few different websites before you sell. It’s good to know how much you will pay in fees before you set the price of your gold items.
If you are selling for a fixed price, make sure you know how much your items are worth first. There are always people on auction sites looking for bargains. Some people actively search eBay and other sites for products with misspelled titles. Because so few people find and bid on them they end up buying your gold at a fraction of the price.
If you know how much your gold items are worth, and you are selling on an auction site, consider setting a reserve. You may have to pay extra for this service, but it means your gold items won’t sell for less than the reserve amount.
Auctions are great, just be aware there are fees, postage fees, payment processing fees and that you’ll have to wait for your money.
Consider how you will send your gold items to their new owner. If you use a courier service and pay to insure your gold items, factor these costs into your selling price. Some websites will allow you to add the price for your item and a separate price for postage.
How to sell gold for cash on the high street
If you’d prefer to sell your gold closer to home there are no shortage of options. Jewellers, auction houses, pawn brokers and cash for gold shops are some good places to start.
If you aren’t sure your items are gold, it’s worth checking this with an independent expert before selling them. This will allow you to protect yourself against disreputable buyers. While it’s less common than it used to be, scams still happen.
An expert will likely look at your piece with an eyeglass, they may test your gold with a little acid or a metal testing gun. Once they’ve tested and weighed it they’ll give you a price.
How to sell gold at auction
Selling at an auction house can take a little while. Your gold items will be appraised by an expert who will tell you what they could be worth.
Once you know how much your gold is worth you may wish to put a reserve price on it. That means it won’t be sold for less than the reserve price. If your gold item sells, your fees will be deducted from the final selling amount and the auction house will pay you the remainder.
How to sell gold coins and gold bullion coins
You can sell your gold coins and gold bullion coins in the same ways you can sell your other gold items. Because there are many replicas and many factors that determine their value you should always get your coins appraised before you sell them. This is the only way to know whether your coins are worth more than their melt value.
9. How to clean gold
If your gold items have changed colour, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are poor quality. It’s common to get a residue on gold jewellery from perfume, sweat, hairspray and makeup among other things. Most jewellers would be able to clean this off for you without a problem.
Specialists can identify the key information they need no matter the condition of the piece. It’s highly probable that a dealer will want to clean the gold item themselves to avoid potential damage.
If you are planning to sell your gold items privately it’s a good idea to clean them first. Any potential buyer will want to know the items are gold and the more clearly they can see the piece the more confidence they will have in what you are selling.
If your gold needs a clean use hot soapy water and a soft cloth. If there are any prongs or stones be careful not to catch them with the cloth. Never clean your gold jewellery over an open plug hole.
There are gold polishes you can buy on the high street but these are specialist substances and should really be left to the experts.
10. How to take photos of gold to sell online
It may feel like photographing your gold should be a simple point and shoot affair, but if you want to get the best price, you have to make sure the quality of your gold and what you are selling is reflected in the photographs you take. Here we’ll give you some tips on getting the best snaps of your gold.
Photograph your gold items against a black or dark background. Try to take the pictures in natural light as artificial lights may distort the colour of your gold in the picture.
Make sure you take plenty of up close pictures of any markings, anything unusual or anything that’s damaged. This way the seller knows what they are buying and it will reduce any customer service action needed on your part later on.
If your gold is hallmarked try to take a clear and detailed picture of the hallmark. This may be difficult because hallmarks are usually so small. But it’s worth doing so your buyer knows what they are getting.
Take a picture of your gold item on a weighing scale. This shows your potential buyers the weight of the piece.
Take a picture of your gold item next to a ruler or tape measure. This shows your potential buyers how big the item is.
11. Selling gold – post sale
If you’ve sold on an online auction site or you’ve sold privately you’ll have to send your gold as soon as you’ve been paid for it.
Be wary of scam buyers on auction sites. Don’t send an item unless it’s been paid for. If you don’t opt for a courier delivery, make sure the item is sent by recorded or signed for delivery.
check that your parcel is insured for the value you sold it for. If it goes missing in the post it means you shouldn’t lose out on the money. You can check with your local Post Office if you have any concerns.
Make sure to message your buyer to let them know you’ve posted their gold items and when they can expect them to arrive.
Keep an eye on your inbox. If your buyer has any questions they’ll email you. So make sure you are able to see when they’ve messaged you.
Once you’ve exchanged your item for cash, spend or save as you see fit 🙂
Now you know absolutely everything about selling your gold. If you’ve got any questions for our expert Antony leave them in the comments for a swift reply.
for a free and easy way to cash in on your gold.
With special thanks to Marion at the Birmingham Assay Office and Charlotte at the London Assay Office for their help and insight into gold hallmarks, and for allowing us to use their pictures.
Now you’ve finished, check out some of our other selling guides 🙂