Got gold? There's money to be made in selling old jewelry

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By Laura Lewis, Reporter

Got any old gold jewelry knocking around that you haven’t worn in years?

If so, you can make extra money just in time for the holidays.

Doug Turner, owner of Douglas Diamond Jewelers in Shallotte Crossing Shopping Center, says the holidays have been prime time for people to bring in old gold jewelry to sell for money.

“More than ever, people are looking for disposable dollars,” Turner said.

Selling old gold jewelry pieces they no longer wear is a “nice, safe, easy, advantageous” way to do that, he added.

“I’m actually seeing a little influx,” Turner said.

The market is good for selling old gold, he said, prices for which fluctuate based on the New York spot price, which is affected by daily economic conditions.

Precious-metal buybacks are also in vogue at Tripps Jewelry Shop at 4910 Main St. in Shallotte.

Don Hobson, owner of the longtime jewelry store, said they buy silver, diamonds and coins pre-dating 1964 as well as scrap gold. “We have all the proper licenses in place and use legitimate forms,” Hobson said of his store’s buy-back procedures, which are what the Better Business Bureau advises looking for to determine legitimate buyers, coupled with business reputation.

“We think gold is going to go up because of the economy, because it’s a good, solid investment,” said another gold buyer, Mike Russell at We Buy Treasures in the Village Center on Queen Anne Street in Sunset Beach.

“Think about it—what else is there?” Russell said.

Land is a sellable investment, he said, but that requires paying taxes.

“Generally speaking, [the gold market] goes up when the U.S. dollar is weak and down when it’s strong,” Turner explained.

Lately, Turner said gold has spiked a bit in price, providing a shot in the arm for those who have been procrastinating and holding onto their gold.

“In all cases, it’s necessities I see on a regular basis,” he said.

He recalled a woman who recently came to his store with old gold jewelry to sell. He said she had tears in her eyes as she thanked him for making it possible for her to buy presents for her grandchildren.

“In some cases, it’s paying the power bill, the phone bill,” he said of the cash sellers receive in exchange for their old gold.

Turner said the general business plan he uses for buying gold is considered higher than the industrial average.

“We have established that in the community to now the word-of-mouth has really gotten around, friends telling friends to come and see Doug and Brandi,” he said. “It’s no secret—we absolutely, without a doubt give more than the typical industry.”

He said they do that by shopping the competition to see what’s going on.

Whether it’s 10-karat, 14-karat or 18-karat gold, Turner said he uses his 30-odd years of experience in the industry to scrutinize purity and value of each piece brought in.

10K jewelry is 41.6 percent in gold purity; 14K is 58.3 percent and 18K is 75 percent gold. Turner scrutinizes each piece by karat and weight. The higher the karat, the greater the value.

Turner showed a pile of assorted gold jewelry he recently bought from people, everything from fine chains to a thick 14K gold bracelet for which he shelled out $311.

“It seems more than anything else we get old broken chains, class rings, wedding bands and mismatched earrings,” Turner said.

Yellow gold in particular is a popular tradeoff as it has lost favor the past several years.

“White gold, platinum and sterling have really taken front row,” he said.

“The 30-and-older crowd won’t even look at a piece of yellow gold,” he said. “Now that it’s not trendy, it makes it easier for consumers to get rid of it.”

People can also trade old jewelry for new jewelry at the shop, if they prefer to do that instead of receiving cash.

The old gold he buys is sent to a refinery to be melted.

When customers bring in what he deems to be valuable heirlooms, Turner said he’ll talk them out of selling.

But pieces that are broken, with stones that are chipped or worn to the point of not being re-settable are ideal for selling for extra cash, Turner said.

Overall, “it’s been a good thing for everyone,” Turner said.


Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email llewis@brunswickbeacon.com.