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Selling Gold – Don’t Get Ripped Off
Selling gold, like your old rings and necklaces, seems appealing these days. When you see the ads on TV and the Internet for gold buyers, all telling you that you will get top dollar for your junk gold, remember that you are trading a precious metal for inflation-ravaged US dollars. All things being equal, you’d be better off holding on to your old junk gold. Gold prices will skyrocket in the coming months and years. Don’t be surprised to see spot prices for gold above $5,000 within the next three years.
Gold is a pretty cool substance. One ounce of pure gold can be stretched into a thread five miles long, or hammered into a sheet so thin that it would cover an area 100 square feet in size and light would pass through it. The word “karat” (of which the notation for gold, “karat,” is a variation) comes from the Arabic word “qirat,” meaning “bean pod.” In Oriental bazaars, a small carob seed was a unit of weight measurement.
This list below shows the karat number of gold, followed by the percentage of pure gold in the alloy.
What kind of alloys go into gold products?
GOLD COLOR CHART
These are the alloys added to pure 24K gold to create its distinctive color.
o Yellow Gold: Copper and silver. Yellow gold consists of 85% of the gold that is sold around the world.
o White gold: nickel, zinc, silver, platinum and palladium. White gold symbolizes friendship and is the most important of the colored golds.
o Rose (Pink) Gold: Copper. Rose gold has become more and more popular and looks beautiful in combination with yellow or green gold.
o Green Gold: Silver, Copper and Zinc Green gold is increasingly used with rose gold and yellow gold and is an important part of Black Hills Gold’s signature grape leaf design.
I decided to test the market yesterday, and sell a piece of jewelry for the highest price I could find that day. So I called five gold buyers and tried the one that gave me the highest quote on the phone.
Today, July 4, 2009, the spot price of gold is $931.50 per ounce of 99.99% pure gold. So, every tenth of an ounce is worth $93.15 today.
The old 14K ring I sold to the gold buyer fetched $90.00. The ring weighed 0.3 ounces. So, I was paid $30 per tenth ounce. Big difference of $93.15 huh?
Here is how the buyer explained the pricing process. They start with the daily spot price of 24K gold. Then they determine the karat of the gold, and multiply the spot price by the percentage of pure gold in it. Then they deduct the refining costs to melt and recover the 24K gold. Finally, they deduct 10% as their profit.
So, the numbers of my transaction looked like this:
Times 58.3% $543.00 of 24K gold in 14K gold
Times weight 0.30 ounce
Gold value $162.90
Less Refinery ($18.60)
Less 10% profit ($54.30) actually 33% of $162.90
net cash value $90.00
This was the best price I could find. So, as you see, the dealers can and do games with the percentages, prices, and conclusions. It is almost as fair and easy to understand as buying a used car. Almost.
I don’t really know if the refining costs are high or not. I do not know whether the profit deduction is high or low. And neither will you. So, after the gold buyer has explained his bid for your gold, negotiate to get your best price.
My recommendation is that if you are desperate for money, call around and get phone quotes from dealers before you get in your car and start visiting dealerships. They don’t want to tell you anything over the phone because they want you to be in the store so they can close the deal. Then you approach gold sales transactions with knowledge, which will prevent you from getting ripped off.
So, I am killed on this transaction, and the gold buyer will make a big profit at the current gold price. He will probably wait until gold prices go up before he melts the gold, and then he will make more. If you try to sell your gold without knowing their games, you will also get the lowest price, not the highest price.
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