Is the timing right? Is it worth to sell my gold, now?

My aunt had a passion. She was hunting for collectibles. There was no garage, rummage or tag sale and even no estate auction in our community or neighborhood where she didn’t show up. Moreover she was friends to local dealers and flea market sellers. Over the years she bought any kinds of collectibles such as furniture, pottery, glass, decorative art and gold articles. Now I think about selling some of her items. I picked out a brooch, some rings, a necklace, earrings and a chain. I read your article “how to spot real gold jewelry” and I already know that real gold jewelry bears hallmarks. I’m pretty sure that I found the hallmarks you were talking about in your article. Now I wonder, is it worth to sell gold? My aunt couldn’t spend much money. The most items were paid with pocket change so probably keeping is the better idea. What do you think?
Glenn from Salt Lake City in Utah

Glenn, your aunt had a great hobby. There are so many ways to discover collectibles and all of them bring joy and fun. Some collectors are limited to a special artist or designer, to materials, motifs, themes or a certain period of time. I understood that your aunt grabbed what has attracted here eye. I think the golden rule of collecting is, buy what you personally like. Buying as an investment is mostly a bad idea. I think your aunt did a great job because the photos of the items you’ve sent me, show several articles which could be valuable. I think it’s really worth to sell your gold. expert, Maria Tait

Is it worth to sell gold?

Glenn: When I was young, I often joined my aunt’s hunt for collectibles. She was a very lonely person and I think that loneliness was one reason why she was crazy for flea markets, tag sales or auctions. Besides hunting for sleeping treasures, chatting with locals, friends and neighbors brought her pleasure. Mostly she bought; just sometimes I saw her selling. Every once in a while she had a stand at our community flea market because she was the co-organizer. 4 decades of collecting leaded to an overstuffed house. I began to clean it up and decided to sell some things. It’s too much for me and I can need some money for the cleaning and remodeling work. I appreciate my aunt’s hobby and god bless her but I would feel much better if keeping only things I’ll also use as decoration.

Maria: I think joining estate sales, garage sales and flea markets is one of the most exiting activities to do if you felt in love with collectibles, vintage stuff or antiques. Such events are one of the last opportunities to get great stuff for a fistful of coins. It’s affordable and sometimes you can really make awesome deals. And if you only buy what you like to keep and use, you can create a great collection. Normally, quality pays off and quantity fails. First, when I saw your aunt’s home on the photo, I thought that’s a quantity-collection. Maybe it is but the articles you shared with me are admirable. The only bad news is that the brooch isn’t made of gold or other precious metals. It’s stamped with an old English “9k rolled gold” hallmark what can confuse laymen. Generally, 9k stands for real gold, that’s doubtless but the additional imprint “rolled gold” let an expert know that it’s not a solid gold made item. Very simply explained, rolled gold is laminating a gold alloy onto a cheaper base metal. To make a long story short, your brooch doesn’t reflect a significant value. It was not made of gold or made from a special designer.

Glenn: That surprises me but I didn’t keep attention on the rolled gold. What caused my astonishment was the fact that the brooch was particularly oxidized and I learned in your article that solid gold never oxidizes. So that’s fine for me.

Maria: You’re a very smart guy. Oxidation is a very good hint that something wasn’t made of solid gold. But let’s talk about your gold rings. They are certainly made of solid gold. I see only correct hallmarks and no signs that they are probably made of rolled gold or gold filled. It’s a mixture of various gold alloys. I saw 10k, 14k and 18k gold rings. The two 14k marked rings are so-called college-rings. I couldn’t decode the related college. Check the rings from the sites with a magnifying loop if you are interested in the colleges. The stones of your gold rings are from no interest. This are most likely no gems and pretty sure worthless. But the gold is worth to sell. I can’t tell you the exactly amount because you didn’t provide me the weight but the 18k gold rings might sell between $90 and $140 each – depending on the weight. The class rings can probably sell for approx. $80 each and the 14k gold rings for approx. $90 or $100. I compared your rings with present gold rings in my lab of almost the same size and shape. Don’t forget – it’s a very rough estimation without knowing the weight and I can make binding statements only after knowing the true facts.

Glenn: That sounds really promising and I’m pretty sure my aunt didn’t pay the gold price. I can imagine that she even didn’t know that it was gold. But Maria, that’s not the only great deal she made. Do you know what I found in the garage? It’s hard to believe, I know – an authentic Tiffany lamp from the 1920s. An auction house confirmed the authenticity to me. It’s a rare design and my aunt didn’t know what she got once. The lamp wasn’t either well-placed or well-stored.

Maria: WOW, that’s great! But Glenn, I have some more exciting news for you about your aunt. You sent me the photos of your earrings. Thanks to the high-resolution of your photos and my Photoshop program I was able to identify the earrings’ imprints. Seldom jewelry bears stamped information about diamonds besides gold. Your earrings have diamonds set weighing approx. 1 carat. From afar, there is no way for me to check the cut quality, the clarity, the color or the treatment status. But nevertheless they are vintage diamond earrings and worth at least $500 in poor quality ore much more in better quality. I have to have the earrings in my laboratory to tell you more.

Glenn: That’s crazy and a very big surprise. Thank you so much, Maria.

Maria: Don’t thank me. Thank your aunt. She had the nose for the value stuff, I guess. And even the necklace and the chain are valuable gold articles. Both are stamped with “14k” and can sell for a good amount. They are worked thin and when I view the pictures I think they aren’t very heavy. But nonetheless they are made of gold and worth probably a couple of hundred dollars. Glenn, do me a favor – don’t sell your aunt’s stuff without running an estimation check with various experts. Your aunt had a great taste and probably she was more familiar with valuable things than you would expect.

Glenn: I’ll, I’ll but first I’d like to sell my gold to your company. And let me say – THANK YOU, MARIA.

Maria: It was nice to serve you, Glenn. Thank you too.

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