With extra cash being so tough to come by these days, many consumers are looking to gold parties as a convenient way to make some money, but they may not provide you the best deal. The BBB serving Western Virginia recommends consumers do their homework before selling their jewelry at gold parties.
Never been to a “gold buying party”? Think of it as a Tupperware party in reverse – instead of buying, you’re selling; and, instead of household goods, you’re dealing in precious metals and gems. Gold buyers are subject to very strict requirements; the first thing you want to do is check with your local municipality to ascertain their legitimacy.
“Consumers often have a false sense of trust because they are attending an event hosted by a friend,” said Julie Wheeler, President & CEO of the BBB Serving Western Virginia. “Weighing your gold with a jeweler and knowing your jewelry’s karat content before going to a gold party will help you understand the value of your items to assist with getting the best deal.”
BBB recommends the following tips when attending a gold selling party:
• Understand the scales. The weight of gold helps determine its value. If you measure your jewelry on a home kitchen or postal scale it is important to understand that jewelers use a different measurement standard called a Troy ounce. A common U.S. scale will measure 28 grams per ounce, while gold is measured at 31.1 grams per Troy ounce. To add to the confusion, some dealers will also use a system of weights called pennyweight (dwt) to measure a Troy ounce while others will use grams. A pennyweight is the equivalent of 1.555 grams. Consumers need to be alert that a dealer does not weigh their gold by pennyweight, but pay them by the gram. This would allow the dealer to pay the seller less for more weight of gold.
• Know your Karats. Pure gold is too soft to be practically used so it is combined with other metals to create durability and color. The Federal Trade Commission requires that all jewelry sold in the United States describe a karat fineness of the alloy. 1 karat equals 1/24 of pure gold by weight. So 14 karats would mean the jewelry was 14 part gold and 10 part other metals. It is illegal for jewelry to be labeled “gold jewelry” if it is less than 10 karats. It is important to know the karats of your gold to make an informed decision on the scrap value of your jewelry.
• Combining karats. 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 attending a gold party.
• Call a local jewelry store or check with an online source, such as www.goldprice.org, to verify the current market price for gold before you sell.
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