With gold prices around $1,700 an ounce, many Wisconsinites may be looking to trade in that old ring or necklace for a little extra cash. Before handing over your valuables though, State Division of Trade and Consumer Protection Administrator Sandy Chalmers says it’s a good idea to research what you have.
If you don’t know the purity or weight of the gold, Chalmers says a local jeweler can help appraise the item. Before selling, she says you should check out several buyers to make sure you are getting a fair estimate for your items.
Buyers only pay the weight of the gold, so consumers should also be aware of whether the item has other factors that could increase the price. Having a ring made by a popular jewelry designer could increase the value of the item well above the scrap price of the gold.
Consumers are urged to inspect the scale being used to weigh the gold to make sure it’s rated for precious metals. Chalmers says scales should have a seal on them from state or local regulators showing they have been checked.
Get an estimate in writing and make sure the buyer’s evaluation and weight matches up with what you know about your gold. Chalmers says the high value of gold right now makes that especially important, because the slightest miscalculation could end up costing you hundreds of dollars in value.
While checking out local buyers is always a good idea, Chalmers notes a number of transient businesses are working in the state now. She says many of those buying out of hotels or malls have contacted them to make sure they comply with state regulations, but she cautions that selling old gold really is a “seller beware” kind of situation and consumers should take steps to protect themselves.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:04)