RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Gold futures reached an all-time high of $1,217 an ounce today. And with precious metals that high, and many Americans cash-strapped, the market for scrap gold has gone through the roof. But before you start selling your unwanted jewelry, beware; not everyone is on the up & up.
We took three pieces of gold jewelry - a ring, cufflinks, and earrings - and had them valued by a reputable dealer at $223 on the scrap market....and then, with hidden cameras, we tried to sell them at area jewelers.
At Beverly Hills Jewelers on Staples Mill Road, the jeweler examines our pieces very closely but offers us far less than our first estimate.
"Probably looking at $170 for everything." For all three? "Uh-huh."
We got a surprise with Paul Sims Incorporated on Patterson Avenue, an offer of $251.
So of the jewelry we had appraised at $223, we had offers as low as $170 and as high as $251. According to master jeweler Chris DeCapri the key is to avoid "mail-order" or internet scrap gold companies and do business with people you know.
"I would think I would want to go to my trusted jeweler, whoever that might be...who's now buying - who helped you with a purchase, and can now help you with a sale. You'll probably get the best value that way," said Chris DeCapri, Capri Jewelers.
And if you plan to attend a "gold selling" party, or a similar event at a local hotel, you should have your jewelry "professionally" appraised before attending so you'll know if someone is trying to rip you off.