15 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Gold and Silver

Today, gold is worth more than $1,600 an ounce and silver is nearly $16 an ounce. It doesn’t take many ounces of silver to reach hundreds of dollars, and it doesn’t take many ounces of gold to reach thousands of dollars. But I warn you: there are many”Smoke and mirrors” you’ll encounter when selling your precious metals, and it’s all designed to help Buyer not that Seller.

If you don’t know how to play the game, if you don’t know what exactly you have… before selling it… then you are the prime candidate to use in the sale. Here are just a few things you should know and a few things you should own before trying to sell your precious metal treasures.

  • Avoirdupois vs. troy ounces: If you do not understand the difference between these two, and if you do not know how to convert one to the other, then you will probably be taken advantage of. Avoirdupois Ounces are bathroom scales or gourmet scales. Precious metals are weighed using Troy ounces, which are a completely different measurement of weight. You better know the difference.
  • Ounces vs. Pennyweights vs. Grams: Everyone A troy ounce contains 20 Pennyweights (deed.) or 31.1 Grams (g). Some buyers use Grams to calculate the cost, while others use Pennyweights. This will vary from store to store. And if you don’t understand how they work, and if you can’t turn one into the other, you’ll probably be taken advantage of at some point.
  • Purity of sterling silver: You must understand Sterling silver is always 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% base metal. Never more and never less.
  • Other samples of silver: You should understand that some countries used the silver standard, except Sterling, such as 95%, 90%, 90%, 83.5%, or 80%. Each is marked in a different way and you need to understand how to identify the different markings and distinguish one from the other.
  • Solid vs. weighted sterling: There is a big difference between Solid sterling and Weighted sterling. Both metals contain 92.5% pure silver, but Weighted sterling contains heavy cement to help prevent the piece from tipping over. And no one is going to pay you for cement.
  • Without silver Silver: If you think so German silver, Alpaca Silveror Sheffield Silver real silver you are wrong. And it could cost you.
  • A test of gold: If you don’t understand the difference between 10K, 14K and 18K gold, it can also cost you dearly. It’s very basic, and when gold is over $1,600 an ounce, a small miscalculation could cost you thousands.
  • Others are gold: If you don’t know the difference between Gold rental, Gold plate, Gold filling, Golden Vermeilor Golden tone… it can also cost you a lot of money.
  • Troy scale: If you don’t have a $15 precious metal scale, you won’t be able to properly weigh what you have, and you won’t know exactly what you have.
  • Precious Metals Testing Kit: If you don’t have a $15 acid test that can test and/or confirm the gold and silver assay, you won’t be able to definitively confirm what you have or don’t have.
  • Diamond tester: If you don’t have $15 Diamond tester, how do you know if it’s a real diamond or a fake? (Did you ever hear the story about the family who sold their mother’s $10,000 diamond ring for $10 because they thought it was costume jewelry?).
  • Are the buyer’s scales accurate? Can you tell if the buyer’s scale is set to a dimension that favors them over you?
  • Counterfeit gold and sterling items: Counterfeit US and foreign coins look real but are not. And we’re seeing an increasing number of counterfeit jewelry labeled “Sterling“, or with a fake”10k, 14k, 18k“gold markings. Most are made in China and imported here. Can you tell the difference?
  • Real or artificial gems? Can you tell the difference between real and fake gems? And the value of each?
  • Buyer reputation and longevity: Does the buyer have a lot of experience, or have they recently opened? I would like to deal with someone who has been doing business in the same location for a long period of time. You won’t stay in business for decades if you don’t treat people fairly.

Always remember this: The Seller always wants as much as possible, while Buyer wants to pay as little as possible. If you’re somewhere in the middle, you’re probably fine. But if you don’t understand the value of what you have… before selling it… they will surely take advantage of you. Need help selling Jewelery products, Coins and/or Sterling silver? Perhaps we can help. Call us at 215-264-4304 if you have any questions or need our help turning your treasures into cash.

WHAT DOES IT COST?: We were helping a Florida woman sell the sterling silver flatware she sent us. Before we sold it, we called her and gave her our estimated weight and estimated resale value. Her immediate response was that our weight didn’t match hers and sounded too light. I asked her three questions

  • Did she weigh him on the scale? Yes, it was.

  • Did she weigh him while the cloth wraps that protected the various parts were still on? Yes, it was.

  • Did she weigh the sterling handle knives at full weight, not just the weight of the hollow sterling handle. Yes, it was.

We took her weight, then subtracted the weight of the cloth wrap and the weight of the sterling knife and converted it Avoirdupois weight to Troy oz. and guess what? We were there. And she was finally happy.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: