Gold, Silver & Coins
Gold, Silver & Coins are hot sellers right now and we’re getting lots of queries from people who want to buy and sell. We’re hearing “Can you sell this coffee can full of Grandpa’s Coins for me?” as often as we get a call from someone who tells us “I’m investing in gold and wondered if you might sell to me directly.” For us, the answer to both questions is an invitation to check out our sales and especially our Online Auction. We explain why below, and also offer some ‘Pro tips’ at the bottom of the page to help guide folks in some self-evaluation of gold and silver values.
What to Know About Selling Coins
It’s audacious to claim to be an expert on coins. Humans have been minting coins for over 2500 years. There are thousands of ‘issuers’ and hundreds of countries and people have used just about every material known, from paper and plastic to gold and silver, to issue money. Our personal passion is Foreign Coins and we have dealt with so many coin collections that we are well versed in US Coins as well, and we appreciate the challenge of ‘knowing all there is to know about Coins. So the main thing to know if you have coins to sell is that it pays to deal with someone with knowledge and experience!
Key factors in determining Coin Values are the Material, Date, Mint, and Grade. Gold and Silver Coins are very popular and tend to hold their values. A ‘Wheat Penny’ is a type of coin that was made 50 years but collectors look for ‘key dates.’ In the US, 1964 is important because that’s the last year Silver coins were made for circulation. Most US Silver coins are 90% Silver. The price of silver is higher than it has been in ages. That means this is a great time to sell silver coins! If you aren’t very familiar with coins, seek an expert. Since Coins are our passion, we are very glad to help with this, free of charge.
What to Know About Selling Silver Flatware and Jewelry
Silver flatware is also selling well due to the high value of silver right now. Check the back of any solid silver piece and look for the word ‘Sterling’ or ‘.925.’ A service for 12 can bring $1500 or more at this point! However, If you see ‘EPNS’ or ‘Silver Plate’ then your set is not solid silver and the value is only about 1/10th of a sterling set. Because the price of silver is so high now, most sets are selling for their ‘bullion’ value. However, there are a few patterns that still command higher prices. You need to be able to search completed auction results to make that determination.
Selling Silver Jewelry is a little more complex. Silver jewelry is scrapping for 60 to 75 cents per gram at current prices. However, Southwestern Jewelry, Rings with Gemstones, Signed Pins, and some other items will often sell much higher than their ‘melt value.’ We’re great at sorting silver jewelry into ‘sell vs melt’ piles, and the ‘sell’ piles do great in our Online Auctions! We buy silver for melt as well.
What to Know About Selling Gold
A little gold goes a very long way right now so it pays to understand the little bit of math needed to calculate the melt value of a necklace or ring. See our info down below on doing the calculations yourself.
In general, any gold jewelry that is broken, dinged, earrings without mates, class rings bent chains or stuff that’s just plain ugly is destined for the scrap pile. Gold teeth go in this pile, too. Again a little goes a long way and it is common to find little bags and bottles of this stuff squirreled away in old jewelry boxes. We’re great at finding it!
On the other hand, old Wedding Sets, Gemstone Rings, Signed pieces, Charm bracelets, and other pretty items will often sell for much more than they would melt for. Knowledge and experience are your friends in making this determination, and our Online Auction is a great place to sell these items.
If you’d like some free help assessing what you have collected or inherited, fill out our Contact Form or give us a call to set up a consult.
Meanwhile, here is some handy info for doing some self-evaluation of your gold and silver items:
1) Start with the Market. Gold and Silver prices change by the moment and the current value is known as the ‘Spot Price.’ We use Kitco.com/market to follow this. You will see the price for a ‘Troy Ounce’ of each metal listed. It is *important* to know that a Troy Ounce weighs 31 grams, which is different than the ‘AVDP’ ounces on your kitchen scale, which are only 28 grams.)
2) Identify and weigh what you have. Look for marks on your items. On gold jewelry, look for 10k, 14k, or 18k. (Jewelry from other countries can also be 9k, 22k, etc.) Sometimes 14k will say 585 (It’s 58.5% gold) and 18k might say 750. If you have lots of pieces you’ll want to sort them into piles of these types. Weigh your piles with a gram scale.
3) Do some Math. Since the different types of gold have different degrees of purity, you need to correct them for that. To get the value per gram of 10k gold, Multiply the Spot Price x .01375. For 14k gold multiply by .0185. Then multiply your gram weight by the number you got above for each type of gold. The result is the ‘bullion value,’ or the actual value of the gold there. Sterling Silver is 92.5% silver so you need to adjust ‘spot’ down by about 10% to get a value for your silver items. Some silver says ‘800’ and that will be 80%.
4) Know a good deal. There is a food chain amongst people who buy and sell gold, with the Refiners who actually melt stuff down at the top of the chain. They pay the most but typically they only work with licensed dealers who pre-sort and weigh what they sell them. So for the average person, the best deals come from someone who sells direct to the refiners and who takes a reasonable commission. From what we see, 80-90% of the ‘spot’ value is very fair, especially if someone else is doing the sorting for you. Don’t be afraid to ask a potential buyer ‘What percentage of the spot are you paying?’
We are always happy to help people sort and evaluate their valuables. We buy gold, silver, and coins and also take lots of pieces into our auctions on consignment. Please fill out our contact form or call us so we can get together and look at what you have.
Jeanne, Will and the Seven Seas Crew.