15 Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Gold & Silver

Today, gold is worth more than $1600 an ounce and silver is close to $16 an ounce. You don’t need many ounces to reach the hundreds of thousands of dollars. It takes only a few ounces of gold. However, there will be a lot of smoke and mirrors when you sell your precious metals. It’s all about helping the Buyer and not the seller.

You don’t need to know the rules of the game, or what your inventory is before you decide to sell it. This will make you a prime candidate for being taken advantage of when you are selling. Before you attempt to sell precious metal treasures, here are a few things that you need to know and some things you should have.

  • Avoirdupois vs. Troy Ounces: You will likely be taken advantage of if you don’t understand the differences between them.Avoirdupois OuncesBathroom scale and delicatessen scale weights. You can weigh precious metals usingTroy OuncesThese are completely different weight measurements. It is important to understand the difference.
  • Ounces Vs. Pennyweights Vs. Grams: EveryTroy OunceIncludes 20Pennyweights(dwt. (dwt.)Grams(g) Some Buyers UseGramsOthers use value calculation, but I do it to calculate the valuePennyweightsIt is possible to find it here. It can vary from one store to the next. These will vary from one store to the next.
  • Sterling Silver Fineness: Understand theSterling SilverIt is always 92.5% pure and 7.5% base silver. Never less.
  • Silver Fineness: It is important to understand that certain countries used a different standard than the one you are currently using.SterlingYou can choose from 95%, 90% or 90% and 83.5% or 80%. Each marking is unique and you must be able to distinguish between them.
  • Solid vs. Weighted Sterling: There’s a huge difference betweenSolid SterlingAndWeighted Sterling. Both metals contain 92.5% pure Silver, butWeighted SterlingIt contains a thick cement to prevent it from tipping. You will not be paid for cement.
  • Non Silver Silver: If that is what you believe,German Silver?Alpaca SilverOrSheffield SilverYou would be wrong to think they are real silver. It could also cost you.
  • Fineness It could cost you dearly if you don’t know the difference between 10k-14k and 18k. This is a very simple concept and a small error could result in thousands of dollars.
  • Other golds: Don’t confuse the twoRolled gold?Gold Plate?Gold Fill?Gold VermeilOrTone in GoldIt could also end up costing you big bucks.
  • Troy weight scale: A $15 scale for precious metals is essential. Without it, you will not be able to accurately weigh your possessions and won’t be able to determine what they are.
  • Precious Metal Test Kit: A $15 acid test kit that allows you to test the fineness and/or confirm silver and gold is not available to you will not be able to verify exactly what you have.
  • Diamond Tester:Diamond TesterHow do you tell if it’s real or fake? (Didn’t you hear about the $10 family who sold Mom’s $10,000 diamond engagement ring because they thought it was costume jewellery? .
  • Is The Buyer’s Scale Accurate.Is it possible to determine if the Buyer’s scale has been set to a measurement that favors you over them?
  • Fake gold and sterling itemsFake US and Foreign Coins can look authentic, but they are fake. We are seeing more fake jewelry marked “Sterling“, or with fake10k, 14k and 18k“Gold markings. Many were made in China and imported to the United States. You can tell the difference.
  • Gemstones: Real or FauxWhat is the difference between real and fake gemstones? Is it possible to tell the difference between genuine and fake gemstones? Which one is worth more?
  • Buyer Reputation & LongevityIs the Buyer an experienced buyer or just starting out? I prefer to deal with someone who has been in business at the same place for a long period of time. If you don’t treat people fair, you won’t be able to stay in business for many decades.

Remember this: The Seller wants the most money possible while the Buyer wants the lowest possible price. You’ll probably be fine if you find yourself somewhere in between. You’ll likely be taken advantage of if you don’t know the value of your items . Do you need help selling jewelry, coins, and/or sterling silver? We are likely to be able to help. If you have questions or need help in converting your treasures to cash, call us at 215-264-4304.


WHAT’S THE VALUE?: A woman from Florida sent us some sterling silver flatware. We helped her sell it. We called the woman with our estimated resale value and calculated weight before we sold it. She immediately replied that our weight was not comparable to hers and that it sounded too light. I asked her three questions


  • Did she weigh it on the bathroom scale? Yes.
  • Did she weigh it in cloth wrappers? Yes.
  • She weighed the Sterling-handled knives at their full weight, not just the weight of the hollow Sterling handles. Yes.

We calculated her weight and subtracted the weight of the cloth wrapper and the Sterling knife weight. Then we converted her Avoirdupois to Troy ounces. Guess what? We were spot on. She was happy in the end.

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