You've probably seen advertisements or heard commercials on the radio stating "We Buy Gold!" That's because gold is a precious metal, and it's always valuable. When the economy is bad, the price of gold tends to rise over time, and in some instances, it skyrockets.  The same is true for silver. You should consider holding on to some of your gold for insurance purposes in case the value of the dollar declines and you need to protect yourself against hyperinflation. But you may decide to sell some of your gold and silver to earn a little cash now, to get out of debt, or pay some bills.

What to Sell

The first image that comes to mind when you think about selling gold is "bling." Those items will get you cash, but that's not your only option. Here are some treasures that you should consider selling:

  • Gold coins
  • Gold bars
  • Rings
  • Earrings
  • Broken or bent jewelry (Yes, you can get paid for it!)
  • Necklace chains
  • Junk Silver (Coins made prior to 1965 or 1964)
  • Silver dollars and half dollars
  • And yes, "bling" too: chains, necklaces

It can be tough selling some of your gold or silver because of the memories it holds. For example, you're probably going to hate selling your engagement ring or family heirloom. Many individuals have faced that challenge due to dire economic circumstances. If things get really bad for your family or in the overall economy, you may have little choice.

Start by prioritizing what you have on hand, from what's easiest to part with to the most difficult. Sell the easiest ones first and save the ones that mean the most as a last resort.

Where to Sell

You can sell gold and silver locally or online. Your local pawn shop, coin dealer, gold refiner, and jeweler are always in the market to buy gold at the right price. Even if they don't advertise that fact, ask them to make you an offer. You can find them in the yellow pages, or you can do a search online for dealers. Check your local newspapers and even Craigslist.

Enter keyword phrases into your favorite search engine, such as "online gold buyers" or "we buy gold" to find online dealers. You can also find people on EBay who want to buy your gold and silver. You'll have to mail in your jewelry, coins or other items, which you can insure.  It's very important to research an online gold buyer extensively before sending in your items. The last thing you want to do is send your precious treasure to an online criminal.

How to Avoid Scams

So you're excited about selling your gold and getting the cash you need. But before you rush into this, let's discuss the dos and don'ts of selling gold to avoid scams:

  • Don't do anything until you know the price of gold per ounce on the day you want to sell (Check Kitco.com)
  • Don't accept offers below the price of gold per ounce; someone will buy your gold
  • Don't mail your items to companies you're not sure about
  • Don't mail anything without insuring it for the value
  • Do see your local dealers first, so that you can walk out with your gold if you need to
  • Do your research on any local or online company before doing business with them
  • Understand the terms and conditions thoroughly before you mail in your items

The best way to find reputable dealers and to avoid scams is to get references from friends, family members, or co-workers.  You can also investigate each company by searching reviews online, as well as contacting your local Better Business Bureau.

Don't let the process of selling your gold and silver scare you. The trickiest part is doing your research upfront to know what you should get and who you should sell to. Once you overcome that challenge, you're well on your way to earning extra cash.

How to Successfully Sell Gold and Silver