There is a lot of talk about gold right now. With the latest news from Wall Street, many have seen their portfolios take big hits. At least those who deal in precious metals, stand to benefit as more people begin considering buying gold. If the dollar continues to tumble like a kid pushed down a stairwell, it is likely that the price of gold will continue to rise, but while many are thinking of buying is seems there are others who are anxious to sell.
Selling your old stuff has always been one way of to raise cash, and the hottest thing selling now is gold. Over the last few months, I’ve been invited to a number of “Gold” parties. For those of you who have yet to be on one of these guest lists, gold parties are an an opportunity to turn unwanted gold jewelry, including broken chains, orphaned earrings and even dental gold, into greenbacks.
The gold party isn’t my thing. Though turning unwanted jewelry into cash may be tempting in an economy like this one, what little gold I have, I wear. Not only that, but knowing every piece of gold I own was purchased for a price greater than it’s actual value, if someone stands to make a good return on my jewelry, I’d prefer it be me. Despite this, I recently attended a gold party as a favor to a girlfriend who was hosting. Though I had nothing to sell, I was curious to see the items brought and the prices they would fetch. It’s an interesting scene as women (and some men) show up with odd bits of precious metals.
The purchasing agent assesses and tests items, weighs them and then tells what price he will pay. Most of the sellers seemed to be surprised (and pleased) by the amounts offered for their cast-offs. I too was surprised, in fact, it took all my self-control to watch as a gentleman sold his an exquisite signet ring for a paltry $75. I was tempted to commit the ultimate gold party faux pas, by offering him more. Instead, I swallowed a small lump in my throat as I watched the ring tossed into the pile with other scrap headed for a refinery. As I watched the assayer handing out piles of hundred dollar bills to the party guests, I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of profit he stood to make.
The price of gold is high and still climbing, so if you’re inclined to sell this is a great time to do so, but you should realize you won’t be getting it’s real value, and there are a few things you should know. Gold parties are illegal in some places. This is mostly to protect sellers from unlicensed or unscrupulous buyers,and to prevent the traffic of stolen items. If you are worried about being taken advantage of or being party to illegal activity, consider going to a reputable jeweler, preferably one who deals in a high volume of metals, as they usually offer the best price. (The best prices is given by refineries, but refineries generally don’t buy from individuals.)
The real value of jewelry is often outweighed by its intangible value. After all, who can put a price on a piece of jewelry handed down from a long-gone family member, or a insignificant ring which reminds us of young love? So while some husbands may be home calling their broker about acquiring gold, their wives may be out selling the gold they’ve acquired, but I will be holding. If you aren’t ready to part with your jewelry, wear it and enjoy it knowing that even your cheapest pieces have gone up in value.