How much cash could you get for your old jewelry? With the high price of gold these days, some coin and jewelry stores are anxious to buy up your old gold. Some of your old stuff might have resale value, but most is bought as scrap and melted down. With gold back up in the $900 range, jewelry that's just collecting dust, like a broken bracelet or a necklace from an old boyfriend, could be worth $100 or $200 dollars.
Independent jewelry appraiser Heidi Harder, of Chicago Gem Evaluation Services in Chicago, showed me a formula for figuring what your old jewelry is worth. You'll need to know the price of gold and the weight of your jewelry. Jewelers go by a measurement called pennyweights (dwt) and while you can buy a jewelry pocket scale online, your best bet is to ask the store to weigh your jewelry as soon as you arrive and then you can plug the numbers in and do the math using the formula, while the store is figuring quotes for your items.
Take the current price of gold, divide by 480, multiply by the gold purity (14kt, etc..) and that equals the price per pennyweight. Then multiply the price per pennyweight by the weight of your jewelry.
Here's an example:
$850 / 480 = 1.77 x 14(kt) = 24.78 (price per pennyweight)
24.78 x 5.3 (pennyweight) = 131.33
Then expect the store to subtract 10-20% for their profit and a potential melting fee charged by the refiner.
$131.33 - $26 = $105.33 (this is the least you should expect to be paid)
News 4 Investigates took several pieces of jewelry to independent jewelry appraiser Heidi Harder, who told us what we should expect to be paid. Then we took the jewelry and an undercover camera to the three local stores that have advertised the most recently, about buying old jewelry. The stores where we got price quotes are Lindstrom & McKenney, Midwest Money and Scotsman Coin and Jewelry. Our undercover investigation proved that it's important that you shop around for different quotes. One store offered a much higher price for gold dental crowns and another consistently offered less on most items. Take a look at this comparison of the price quotes. kmov-Selling Old Jewelry.xls
Lindstrom & McKinney issued this statement about the price quotes from their store. Lindstrom & McKenney Statement.doc
Lastly, if your jewelry is still in good condition you might consider selling it on consignment. Some aution houses sell more than just high dollar, fine jewelry. The higher the price you get on your jewelry, the more they make so there's less of a chance that they'll try to low-ball you.