Gold guide — How to sell your unwanted jewelry

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Gold Guide: How to sell your unwanted jewelry

We’ve all seen the ads running constantly on late-night TV that promise to turn your unloved gold jewelry into cash. But is it really worth it? Consumer Reports’ Money Adviser weighs in with some tips and pointers to help you get the most for your gold.

Ways to sell your gold

Refiners — You’ll typically get close to full market value from refining companies. The problem is that refiners usually only buy in bulk. That makes this an unlikely route for you to sell just a few small pieces of gold.

Local jewelers or pawn shops — The second-best pay day can typically be had from these kinds of buyers. Call around to ask how much they’ll offer for your gold, once you determine its weight using the suggestions below. Use the Better Business Bureau or consumer review sites like Yelp to vet any questionable businesses.

Gold parties — These events take their cue from Tupperware parties, lingerie parties or any similar gatherings. You can enjoy a few glasses of wine and socialize with your friends, but don’t expect top dollar.

Mail-in buyers — The absolute worst deal for your gold and jewelry comes from firms that advertise online, on TV or on highway billboards. Money Adviser checked with Cash4Gold, GoldKit and GoldPaq and found they only pay about 11 to 29 percent of daily market value.

Before you sell

Make sure your gold does not have any antique value that would trump its meltdown value.

Weigh your gold using a simple kitchen scale. Use an online calculator like Dendritics.com to convert the weight into pennyweights or troy ounces — the most common measurements for gold — to determine its value.

Check today’s prices.  Kitco.com tells you the day’s current price of gold as a guideline.

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