Ads for gold buyers abound, so it’s natural to wonder what these people do with all of the gold they buy. Often, taking a close look at the advertisement will provide clues as to the final destination of the metal. Typically, there will be two general types of buyers: Those who will accept any gold, platinum, or other precious metals no matter what condition it’s in, and those who base their appraisals on the points commonly of interest to jewelers.
The ones who urge you to send in platinum & gold jewelry no matter what condition it’s in have a reason for not caring. They’re going to smelt it all down and sell it to a bulk buyer as ingots. These buyers are the ones who are just as interested in getting your old gold dental crowns as they are in obtaining a $10,000 necklace. To them, it’s all scrap – and they will pay accordingly. This is great if you happen to have some old crowns, damaged or broken jewelry, or other such items that are unlikely to net you more than the scrap value is worth.
If you have that $10,000 heirloom necklace, on the other hand, selling it to be smelted isn’t a smart move. In that case, you want to find gold buyers who are looking for intact jewelry. These buyers usually don’t advertise with nearly the “volume level” of the smelters, but they’re out there. They’re the ones who’ll tell you to bring your jewelry in so that they can give it a multi-point appraisal.
The reason they’re more careful about the appraisal is that they need to know more than the raw metal content of the piece. They’ll be interested in how intricately it’s worked, how old it is, who made it, and other traditional points of interest.
It would be incorrect to say that one type of gold buyer is better than another. Each type serves a different market. Bulk buyers are good for people who have had relatively cheap jewelry sitting around unused for years. They allow these people to turn that metal into something far more useful: cash.
Jewelers, on the other hand, are best for those who have fine jewelry that someone else is likely to want either as-is or after repairs. They’re the best ones to go to if you have something of high value.