Investing in Precious Metals

While our site is primarily centered around gold and silver jewelry, we also realize that some folks are looking for information on taking the next step, and potentially investing in precious metals.

With such an important decision, we believe it is very important to do some due diligence, in the form of researching the various customers and their customer reviews. Given that, we have compiled a list of sites where you can find more information on some of the leading precious metals dealers:

Regal Assets Review – This company is the only firm in the industry that reportedly maintains an A+ BBB rating.

Rosland Capital Review – This company has its fair share of controversy, but also has many happy clients.

American Bullion Review – This company is relatively new, but reportedly has very aggressive tactics, including pushy phone salesmen. But at the same time, they do have quite a few customers.

Goldline Review – Promoted heavily on radio by Glenn Beck, this is the largest and oldest company. But they have also been under investigation from the FTC?

Lear Capital Review – One of the top searched phrases related to this company is “lear capital scam”, which we can only assume is not a good thing!

With so much money on the line, trust is the most vital factor. We encourage you to research and speak to each firm, and form your own decisions. Feel free to share your feedback with us!

Buy Gold Jewelry And Get The Best Value

There is nothing to match gold jewelry as a gift, whether it’s a brooch, a chain, a bracelet or an exquisite pair of earrings. However, when you purchase these items, it’s easy to pay too high a price. In order to ensure you get value for money, it’s important to understand exactly what you are buying.

Gold earrings and necklace

One of the main factors that determine the price of a piece of jewelry is the purity of the metal. Before starting to look for jewelry, it would be a wise idea to familiarize yourself with the karat quality marks. Karat is the measure of purity, and enables you to tell what percentage of the metal is actually gold.

If the metal is 100% pure, it is marked 24 karat. However, metal of this purity is too soft to be practical to use in jewelry, and it is mixed with other types of metal — such as copper, silver, zinc or nickel — to make it more durable. Most pieces of jewelry are 18 karat (75% pure), 14 karat (58.5% pure), or 10 karat (41.7% pure), with 10 karat being the minimum purity at which a piece can legally be sold or described as gold in the US.

gold and diamond ring

If you are buying in Europe, the markings are different. A mark of 750 is equivalent to 18 karat, 585 is equivalent to 14 karat, and 417 is equivalent to 10 karat. Whether in the US or Europe, in addition to purity markings your piece should carry a trademark or hallmark identifying its maker, and a mark of its country of origin.

Because of the mixture or alloy with other metals, you will find gold comes in a variety of colors. Yellow is alloyed with copper and silver, pink with copper only, and white contains palladium or platinum as well and zinc and copper. Yellow is the most popular for jewelry, but white costs about 10% more than other colors.

three rings

For you as a buyer, the problem with karat marking is that it can easily be faked. Less reputable stores can assure you that a piece of jewelry is 14 karat or 10 karat, when in fact it is far less. It’s virtually impossible to tell simply by looking at an attractive piece whether it’s 10 karat, 9 karat or even less.

The best way to ensure you get value for money is to purchase from a store that is known to you, or one with a solid reputation. In particular, you should look for stores with quality assurance programs, which test their own pieces for quality. This doesn’t just apply to the most expensive shops — major department stores such as JC Penney, Sears, and Walmart all have their own testing programs.

buying gold jewelry from a store

Another factor you have to be aware of is the pricing system that many jewelers use, which is known as keystone pricing, or triple keystone. If a jeweler is using keystone pricing, it means the item is being sold for approximately double the wholesale price. Triple keystone pricing means the item is sold for about three times what the jeweler paid, or at a 200% mark-up.

For example, if you see an 18 karat bracelet weighing four ounces, you know that this is 75% purity, so it contains three ounces of gold. If the price of gold per ounce is $1,000, this would make the value $3,000, and this is about the price you would expect to get if you were selling it. If you bought this in the jewelry district on 47th Street, you would expect to pay around $4,000, but elsewhere, where triple keystone is the norm, you could be charged around $9,000.

However, there is another major factor determining price where jewelry is concerned, and that is workmanship. If you were to purchase an 18 karat bracelet of the same weight, but made by Cartier or Bulgari, you could pay as much as $30,000. You are paying a substantial premium for the design and the name, over and above the price of gold. If a piece has historic, antique or collectible value, you will also pay a premium. However, if you were to sell these pieces, the premium you received would not be nearly as much.

cash for gold

The major point to be aware of is that, if you are looking for a precious metals investment, you would be better to purchase bullion, coins or ETFs (exchange traded funds). Jewelry is not ideal as an investment, because when you purchase you are paying for much more than the metal itself. Purchase gold jewelry for its main purpose — for its beauty and decorative value, and for the pleasure it brings to those who wear it.

Tips And Information On Selling Your Jewelry

Selling personal jewelry or those of other members of the family can be quite an emotional experience; however, the sluggish global economy and the fact that the price of gold is at an all-time high have resulted in a number of individuals selling their jewelry as a means of supplementing their income. For individuals who have made the decision to get cash for gold, it is important to be aware of some vital information to make sure that the best possible deal is made and to prevent fraud. Below are a few useful tips that provide insight on how to proceed:

Know the Karats

In order to add color to pure gold and make it more durable, other metals are added. Karat is the term used to describe the fineness of the alloy. In terms of weight, one karat is equal to 1/24 of pure gold. Therefore, 14 karats is an indication that the jewelry piece is 10 parts other metals and 14 parts gold. Knowing the karats is very important if an informed decision is to be made on the scrap value of the pieces.

Understand the Scale

The value of the item will largely depend upon its weight but it should be kept in mind that jewelers utilize Troy ounce, which is a measurement standard that is different from the norm. For example, a U.S. scale measures 28 grams for each ounce, while the measurement of gold is 31.1 grams for each Troy ounce. In addition, a number of dealers may utilize a system of weights known as pennyweight to measure the Troy ounce; 1.555 grams is the equivalent of a pennyweight. Ensure that a dealer does not measure the pieces by pennyweight but make payment by the gram. Sneaky dealers will try to do that in order to pay less money for more weight.

Know the Value

Before selling, carry out online research or make phone calls to ascertain the existing market price of the pieces. A number of dealers are aware that individuals are looking to quickly cash in and they will offer payment that is way below the actual value.

Keep the Karats Separate

Make sure that jewelry pieces of different karat value are weighed separately. There are dealers who will weigh all the pieces together and make payment that represents the lowest karat value. Separate the items according to karat value before attempting to sell them.

Be Aware of What is Being Sold

There are many items that may be worth a lot more when sold as is, instead of melting them down. If a bracelet or necklace is from a well-known maker or designer, it could be of more value to some buyers that goes beyond the metal from which it is made.

Know the Buyer

Seek out buyers and jewelry stores that are registered with the Better Business Bureau. A Better Business Bureau review outlines basic information as it relates to the business, along with any complaints that have been made against the business and whether there has been any resolution to the complaints when they were highlighted by the Better Business Bureau.

Shop Around

Bear in mind that there is absolutely no need to accept the very first offer that is made. Shop around at a few different places and get a few offers. To make sure that the best price is being offered for the pieces of jewelry, get an appraisal done before making a sale. This may mean more upfront cost; however, the items could be worth more than what they weigh when embedded gems, artistic value and workmanship are taken into consideration.

Bring Along an I.D.

The law requires that buyers request government issued identification for this type of transaction. The requirement is intended to protect consumers by assisting the authorities in preventing money laundering and investigating the sale of stolen goods. Every reputable buyer complies with these rules; therefore, take it as a warning if identification is not requested.

It is important to bear in mind that if the jewelry was recently valued for insurance purposes, the valuation will have no bearing on the expected cost when it is sold. The valuation will inevitably be considerably higher than what can be expected from the sale, unless the pieces are being sold to a private individual.

Selling gold jewelry can be a very fast method of earning some additional money; however, a bit of research ahead of time will ensure that the best deal is received for the merchandise.