With gold prices setting records, more and more people are trying to turn their old or unwanted jewelry into cash. With gold hovering above $1,200 an ounce right now, it's amazing how much that kinked necklace or dented bracelet will get you. But before you head out, here are a few things you should know:
It pays to shop around.
Not every shop that buys gold will pay you the same rate. There was a considerable gap in the prices we were quoted for the same pile of gold.
What you'll need besides gold.
Be prepared to show a photo identification and sign a waiver pledging the jewelry is yours to sell. A thumb impression also is required.
Not sure if it's real?
Take it anyway. Shops have a quick test they can do to determine whether a piece is real, and if so, what karat it is.
Don't expect to actually get $1,200 an ounce.
The price of gold is based on a troy ounce of 24 karat, or pure, gold. Anything less will be discounted accordingly. Also, shops take a percentage. The price you'll be quoted will likely be in pennyweights; 20 make up a troy ounce.
What about gemstone jewelry?
Most places don't pay extra for gemstones. So if you have an old pearl ring, for example, the weight of the pearls will count toward your overall gold tally. If you have a valuable piece of jewelry, it may be more valuable to resell rather than sell as scrap gold.
How much per piece?
Want to know how your piece may stack up? Here's what we were offered for these single pieces:
Gold chain: $600
Turtle pin: $100
How much for this?
We took this gold pile to three different places Wednesday. The offers:
David Reynolds Jewelry and Coins, 4009 Central Ave., St. Petersburg
Bond Diamonds, 2241 66th St. N, St. Petersburg
Gold Buyer at the mall kiosk inside Tyrone mall, 6901 Tyrone Square, St. Petersburg
Gold prices, 2000-2010
The price of an ounce of gold has been on a steady rise since 2000. Prices have risen dramatically since mid 2007 in part because of the uncertainty of the U.S. economy.
the low: $255.95, April 2001
the high: $1,242.70, May 2010
May 15, 2010:
May 15, 2000