5 Best Ways to Sell Your Gold Jewelry Fast

Do you have any gold jewelry sitting around that you don't want? Maybe it's broken, out of style, or simply associated with bad memories. Selling your jewelry can be an easy and fast way to make money, but keep in mind you won't get the full market value for the gold: you'll get a percentage of its scrap value as buyers will melt it down and pay a smelter for this service. Some gold jewelry is also more pure than others. Pure gold is 24 karat (24k), but it's common to see jewelry ranging from 8k to 18k because gold is a very soft metal and mixed with other metals to make it more durable.

A good rule of thumb is you can expect to receive up to 70-80% of the scrap price of the jewelry, according to Kiplinger. Depending on how fast you want the money, you may end up settling for a much lower amount.

Ready to unload the jewelry you aren't using? Here are 5 ways to make money fast with your unwanted gold jewelry.

1. Mail-Away Cash for Gold Companies

You have probably seen ads for companies offering to send you a check quickly in exchange for your gold jewelry. These companies typically require that you mail in your jewelry in a prepaid envelope and promise to return the jewelry if you aren't happy with the price.

This option can be a very fast way to get money for your gold, but be aware of the trade-offs. You will pay big for the convenience as most companies only offer 11% to 29% of the scrap price of the gold. You may end up with just 25 cents on the dollar compared to what you could get elsewhere. If you choose a cash for gold mail-away company, make sure you choose one with a history in the industry. Be sure you have at least several days to respond to an offer otherwise the company will assume you have accepted, even if you received a very low-ball offer.

2. Sell to a Local Jewelry Shop

While selling to a refiner can give you almost full market value for your gold, refiners typically only buy gold in bulk so this most likely won't apply to you. The second-best option may be turning to a local jewelry shop. A jeweler will need to pay for the gold to be melted down, but you may get up to 75% or 80% with this option. Try calling several jewelers in your area and ask how much they will pay for gold. Before you call, make sure you weigh your jewelry yourself and calculate its gold content based on the stamp. You probably won't need to visit in person as the jeweler won't be buying your jewelry for its appearance or style, just the gold content.

3. Try a Pawn Shop

While you may not expect to get top dollar for gold at a pawn shop, this is actually one of the better options for getting a higher offer and cash in hand. According to Bankrate, there are a few steps you can take to get the best price for your gold at a pawn shop:

  • • Sell it outright. The pawn shop owner may push to loan you money for the gold so you will return for more business, but you will get more money by simply selling the jewelry outright.
  • • Don't be afraid to negotiate higher.
  • • If your jewelry has more worth than its gold content, consider having it appraised before getting offers from pawn shops.

4. Attend a Gold Party

Gold parties have become very popular over the last decade as they allow you to socialize with friends and go home with cash for jewelry you don't want. Be aware that you will likely get a low offer for your jewelry in exchange for the convenience. You will also need to be on guard that the gold buyer is legitimate and trustworthy. Make sure you separate your jewelry by karat and do not allow all of your jewelry to be weighed together if the karat weights are mixed.

5. Find a Private Buyer

The best way to get top dollar for your gold jewelry is attempting to find a buyer who wants the jewelry for its style and not to melt it down. This option will work best if you have modern and stylish jewelry in good condition or antique jewelry with value. Try advertising in the newspaper or online sites like Craigslist. You can even try auction sites to find a buyer. This option can pay out the best, but it may be some time before the jewelry sells -- if at all.