By Robb Hicken/ chief storyteller
Charlotte Parker of St. Anthony decided, Wednesday morning, a gold necklace that was too small may be worth some money, so she visited a ‘traveling gold buyer’ in Rexburg, who had stopped for the day.
The company had published large, flashy advertisements in the newspaper offering to pay the best prices, she says.
“He asked me, ‘What were you expecting to get for it?’” she says, admitting she did not have a firm idea on the price of gold or the jewelry’s karat weight. “I said, ‘I don’t know a hundred dollars,’ and he said he’d call his boss in Massachusetts.”
She said right then she remember reading a story about thinking twice before selling jewelry that had been written by the BBB. She stood up and walked out of the room.
Ms. Parker said she had already planned to travel to Idaho Falls later that day, so she stopped at a couple of jewelry stores to verify the $200 price offered by the traveling gold buyer.
“They offered me $200 for the necklace,” she says, “and the businesses in Idaho Falls each offered me nearly $800.”
Everyone who is thinking of selling jewelry should think twice before selling, she says.
By Robb Hicken/ chief storyteller
Recently a four-page, full-color advertising spread appeared in the Statesman placed by Kravit The Estate Department. In the ad, it asks individuals to stop by and have their jewelry appraised and purchased.
The gold and silver buyer from Florida promises anxious sellers the best deal on their precious metal, but the Better Business Bureau has a warning for you, and responded in a recent report on KIVI News 6.
The Kravit company say it is the largest gold and coin buying organization in the nation. But, the BBB says this organization’s good standing was revoked for violations several years back.
“We always encourage people to do their research before just diving into something like this,” BBB spokesman Dale Dixon said. “Don’t just go with the first estimate that’s offered to you.”
In the company’s Business Review, it states: “Following an advertising review, Kravit was asked to substantiate their claims of “We Pay the Most” as well as the claim that “We are the largest diamond, gold, antique jewelry, coin, objects d’art buying organization in North America” or to modify their advertising to reflect a more accurate statement per the National Advertising Division. As of July 26, 2011, they have not made any adjustments in their advertising or substantiated either claim to BBB’s satisfaction.”
Beware when selling coins, jewelry or gold.
- Knowing what the price of gold is on the day you sell is one key factor to take with you to the sale. Knowing how much pure gold will sell for and how valuable your gold is will help you with the decision once an offer is made. Keep up with the price of gold. Know how much gold is going for on the day you sell. This will help you know whether you’re being offered a fair price and will help you make a decision to sell or walk away.
- Don’t let jewelry of different karat value be weighed together. Some dealers will weigh all jewelry together and pay you for the lowest karat value. Separate your jewelry by karat value before selling.
- Know the karat weight of your gold items. Jewelry and other items aren’t pure gold, but a mix of gold and other metals. The karat weight tells how much gold is in the item. Something marked 10K is about 42% gold; 14K is about 58% gold; and 18K is about 75% gold. The more gold in the item, the more you will be offered for it. Understand that you won’t get the full price for your gold, because you’re selling to a dealer who then will re-sell the items to be melted down.
- The true price of gold may not be what you receive. If gold is worth $1,700 per ounce, you aren’t going to be paid $1,700 for every ounce of gold you are willing to sell. Ask what you will be paid (if an online company, make sure you ask for specifics and give details on items you’ll be sending BEFORE you send them). The going price for gold is for pure gold only.
- Don’t let anyone steal your diamonds or other gemstones from gold pieces. Single gold stud earrings might be worth $5 or $10, yet diamonds in the earrings can be saved. Some are too small, and the labor to remove them might exceed their value, but engagement ring diamonds, for example, should be given a value separate from the gold.
- Get two or three bids. Comparing offers from more than one buyer will help you determine the market value for your item.
- For items that may be valuable, consider getting a professional appraisal. You will have to pay for the appraisal, but you will gain important information.
- Some gold items might be worth more when sold as they are, rather than as scrap gold. If that gold necklace or bracelet comes from a notable designer or maker, it might have a value to some buyers beyond the gold it’s made of.
- When using a mail-away service, be sure to understand the terms and conditions. Send the items insured. Find out how long before you get the check, how long they will keep your gold before melting it down, and how many days you have to turn down the offer. Make a list and take photos of your items before sending, and if you send back the check to reject the offer, consider sending it certified.
- If at an in person sale, read the appraisal form and any other documents you are asked to sign. Make sure you understand what you sign. Your signature means you agree to the terms therein.