I went to an auction yesterday at the Preble County Fairgrounds in Eaton, Ohio, known as the birthplace of Swine Improvement in America. No swine were visible yesterday. The crowd included farmers, townspeople, and the same old antiques dealers and gold buyers whom I see at every auction in Cincinnati.
There was so much to sell that it filled two large rooms inside the fairground buildings. I love auctions like that because it usually helps keep prices down when there is an abundance of goods. Yesterday, though, auction bids were surprisingly high….apparently the recession hasn’t hit Eaton, OH. There were at least 200 ziploc bags of jumbled vintage costume jewelry for sale. I competed against one particular guy in overalls (!) and paid dearly for about 20 bags.
There was half of a room dedicated just to sewing supplies. In boxes of supplies, I would see a bakelite clip here and a bakelite clip there. I intended to stay and bid on these boxes but eventually ran out of time.
My best purchase was a 1970s Lanvin signed colorful enamel pendant necklace. Very Pucci looking. I hope to list it on eBay sometime next week.
Until gold prices shot up this past year and “Cash for Gold” ads hit the media, the practice of selling scrap gold and sterling seemed to be practiced by people already in the know (coin dealers, jewelry dealers, antiques dealers, jewelers). Now, everyone knows that “Cash for Gold” will buy your scrap. However jewelers and coin dealer have been buying scrap metals for years & years.
A little research will help you determine if you are getting your best price.
1. Get on the Internet and look up the spot price for gold and/or sterling that day. There are many sites that post the spot price. Realize that the seller is going to get 70-80% of spot price when selling to a gold buyer.
2. Sort your pieces of jewelry by their gold/sterling marks. Put your 18K, 14K, 10K gold in different piles. Also, you will probably only be able to sell sterling (925) silver.
3. Call your reputable local jeweler, someone you know in your hometown. Ask them what they are paying for scrap…it will most likely be higher than Cash for Gold.
4. Invest in a cheap little scale and weigh the jewelry yourself. That way you’ll have a good idea prior to selling how much you have.
4. When selling your jewelry, are the stones worth anything? If you think they might be, have them pried out prior to weighing the scrap and selling.
Good luck! Selling scrap gold is a good way to get some money out of something you’ll never wear again. But make sure you are aren’t “giving” your scrap away.