for precious metals, bar none, the best.
Use these four steps to ensure you are getting the most out of your gold.
Another way to protect yourself is to look for stamps on your items to see what karat is marked on them. The lower the karat number the lower the cost. 24K is the most pure gold while 10K is much less pure and therefore less valuable. By knowing the karat of each piece you will be able to know if a dishonest buyer is trying to buy your 18K ring at 10K prices. If you can't read or see the stamps then take the items to a jeweler or someone you trust to tell you the approximate value. You can also use our How To Sort Jewelry Guide to decipher some of the stamps you see.
Shop around for the best price! People often go to the first place they see that buys gold. It pays to shop around for a better price. Cascade Refining is one of the few places that posts their prices online for everyone, even their competitors, to see. By even going to two different places you will see that each place pays drastically different prices.
You can use Cascade Refining's calculator to get an estimate online! As long as you know the karat and weight of your items you can get a quick estimate.
There are many different options to choose from when deciding where to sell your gold. There are pawn shops, online gold buyers, people in classified ads, and refineries.
Pawn shops are a great resource if you need quick cash and you would like to get the item back at some point. Generally speaking, pawn shops don't pay the best price because they don't have a proven method of testing and inevitably buy fake gold so they have to buy all gold at a lower price to account for this.
Online gold buyers are another option. Online gold buyers will usually have a minimum fee or lot size hidden in their fine print and they take advantage of the fact that you didn't read the fine print. Before using an online gold buyer be sure to read the fine print and study their pay schedule so you know you are getting a fair price.
The way to get the highest price for jewlery that is still in good, wearable shape is to sell it privately. Classified ads and auction sites are great resources for this but it comes with a risk. Scam artists use these resources as a hunting ground for people that don't know what they are doing, especially in face-to-face dealings. Be careful of who you meet and always meet in a very public place so any would-be thieves are unlikely to steal from you.
Most of the options above are basically middle-men. They buy gold from you and then sell that gold to a refinery so there are actually two people or businesses making money off of the same item. If you sell your items straight to a refinery you are able to cut out the middle-man and get paid much more for your gold. Precious metals refineries are definitely the best place to sell gold and Cascade Refining is indeed an actual refinery. By selling your gold to the refinery, you can be rest assured that the employees are experienced and can easily test any material to see how much it is worth.
Now that you know what to do and how to do it, open that jewelry box and start shopping for the best price possible. Don't forget to weigh your items beforehand so you know what to expect to see on the scale. Don't be afraid to take notes on your items and bring those notes along with you. Nobody will begrudge you for trying to protect yourself from scams.