Right now is a great time to sell gold for extra cash. Currently, gold prices are hovering around $1,800 per ounce, which tops typical prices. What’s even more exciting is the price per ounce is expected to rise to $2,500 by the end of 2022. Many of us have treasures sitting right before our eyes and we don’t even know it. Do you have a lone gold earring missing its partner? Perhaps you have your late grandfather’s old coin collection. Do you spy a knotted clump of gold chains sitting at the bottom of your jewelry box? Or possibly, you’ve been holding onto an ostentatious gold bracelet that you received as a gift from your aunt. These seemingly small treasures can add up to a lot of extra cash. While the process can seem intimidating, it doesn’t need to be. Read on for a few tips and tricks you need to know before you sell gold.

Look for a reputable buyer

The most important step to take before selling your gold is to look for a reputable buyer, such as a pawn shop. Not all pawn shops are created equal though, so make sure to do your research. Look for a pawn shop that pays a fair market value for your gold. A reputable pawn shop will shop their competitors to make sure they are paying top dollar. Other factors to look for are the number of years the pawn shop has been in business, if they pay cash, how quickly they pay, and their reviews online. One example of a reputable buyer is Gene’s Pawn Shop in Charleston. Gene’s Pawn Shop has been in business for over 30 years and they provide both in-person and out-of-town estimates with a no-pressure, no-charge quote. They also offer cash for gold and pay the same day.

Know what you have before you sell gold

Many times, gold jewelry is not made from 100 percent gold. Pure gold, or 24-karat, is often too soft to use in jewelry, so manufacturers will alloy other metals with the gold to increase its strength. A karat is a unit of measure for the fineness of gold. The most common gold in the United States is 14-karat, although you can also find 18-karat and 10-karat gold alloys. Oftentimes, gold jewelry is marked with the kartage, look for “10K,” “14K,” “18K,” or “24K,” respectively. It is important to note that the higher the karat, the higher percentage of pure gold, thereby the higher cash value.

When thinking of gold, we often visualize an item yellow and shiny, however there are many gold alloys that create a variety of colors. A metal alloy is created when gold and another metal are combined. This can result in white or rose gold options. White gold, which is made with gold and rhodium is more affordable, and therefore has a lower resale value. Rose gold is created by alloying gold with copper and is often 14 karat.

Gold-plated and gold-filled jewelry are other gold alternatives that look like gold but have significantly less value. Gold-plated jewelry is a piece of metal with liquid gold on top. If the gold plating is on top of a precious metal, like silver, it still could have value. However, if the gold plating is on top of a cheap metal, such as stainless steel, brass, or zinc alloys, the value is significantly lower and may not be accepted by the pawnbroker. Make sure to know what you have before attempting to sell. Check out this great article on understanding the various types of gold.

Think outside the ring

While you can certainly sell your gold rings, necklaces, and earrings, you can also sell scrap gold. Look around your home for broken jewelry, old trophies, gold coins, statues, name plates, or even old tooth fillings. You may be surprised at what items contain gold. Many pawn shops, such as Gene’s Pawn Shop, will purchase broken and scrap gold. Selling scrap gold is a win-win solution because the damaged items may not mean much to you, but you can still reap the rewards of cash for gold.

Consider selling online

Look for a pawnshop that accepts out of town estimates. While you can certainly visit your local pawn shop to sell your gold, many pawn shops offer an easy and risk-free option to sell your gold online. You can fill out a request form online and the company will mail you an envelope or box. A few days after the company receives your gold, they will be in touch with your offer. You can decide to accept or decline, risk-free. If you accept the offer, you will receive a check. If you decline, the company will return your items.

Know the price of gold

It is helpful to understand the value of your gold prior to bringing it into a pawnshop to sell. Visit a reputable site, such as Kitco.com, to obtain the latest value of gold. The price listed is the wholesale value, so this is not the price that you will receive. You can also easily calculate the value of your gold by visiting a site, such as Gold Calc. Simply enter the weight and gold purity and you can calculate your gold scrap value. Invest in a digital gram scale, which is inexpensive and can be found at a variety of retail stores, to weigh your gold.

Have realistic expectations

Selling gold will not make you rich, but it will give you a little extra money that you didn’t have previously. It’s important to understand that the price listed on sites, such as Kitco.com, will not be the price you will get paid for your jewelry, but it will give you a reference point so you can have context for your offer. You will get paid a fair price for your gold, minus fees and other costs the pawnbroker incurs. Pawnshops are a business and function as a business and retail shop. Check out this article on how pawnshops make money for more information.

Understand tax implications of selling gold

Remember that gold sales are taxed at the capital gains rate. Precious metals, like gold and silver, are treated as collectibles for tax purposes and carry a 28 percent top federal tax rate on long-term capital gains.

As you can see, selling your gold is not difficult, especially if you find a pawnshop with a good reputation. Take a look around your house for extra scrap gold and you can make some extra cash quickly and easily.