Selling Gold: What You Should Know

When it comes to gold and other valuables, a common question that we receive is, “When is a good time to sell?” In the past, jewelry and gold might have been considered “fallback assets” in the event of a crisis, however, there are many reasons for the rise in sales of these items. One of the main factors is how the internet has revolutionized the trade of selling valuables online. Sellers have more options, and whether they are experiencing a life change such as a divorce or a death of a loved one, or they simply want to finance a project without dipping into their reserves, these valuables can create cash quickly. Gold, in particular, has historically retained its high value, even in fluctuating markets.

In our initial discovery meetings, we factor in these types of material items as part of a client’s overall financial picture. Gold, fine jewelry and other items are investments that fluctuate in value over time.

Here are some key items to consider when exploring options for selling gold. 

Obtaining an appraisal: When selling gold, jewelry, or other valuable items it is recommended that a seller obtains an appraisal before moving forward in the selling process. The benefit of doing this would be having a greater understanding of the value of your property. 

A “con” of this, would be the time it may take to obtain an appraisal and finding an individual to appraise the item. 

Here are a few potential resources for finding an appraiser (recommended by Kiplinger)

Understanding variances in prices. When exploring options for selling gold, there will likely be variances in the offers you receive. 

For companies or entities that are physical locations (pawn shops, jewelry stores, etc.), there may be more of an “overhead” cost to business. This cost may be passed onto you as a buyer – resulting in a lower offer than what you may receive from an online entity.

Reporting sales in your taxes. Selling any tangible asset (sometimes referred to as “capital assets”) will likely trigger a taxable event, and there could be taxes owed on the sale.  

  • Depending on your buyer, they may (or may not) provide the documentation required to report the sale with the IRS. 
  • For additional information on the tax reporting associated with a sale of gold, read this Investopedia article
  • When selling any asset, we typically recommend clients discuss the implications of a sale with their tax preparer to ensure information is documented and reported as needed. 

In regards to finding a buyer, some individuals have found success in selling directly to a pawn shop. The benefit of these transactions can be that they are quick – i.e., you may be able to sell your valuables that day. However, there may be some additional legwork required on the tax reporting as well as the potential of you receiving a lower offer (as noted above). 

Alternatively, one could explore options for working with a direct buyer. There are a lot of options out there (both online and in-person). 

For online buyers, there may be requirements to mail your gold directly to receive an offer – so finding a reputable buyer would be important. Kiplinger’s article (linked above) also recommends reviewing the Better Business Bureau’s website to see if there are complaints against a specific company. Some clients have found success using online buyers such as Goldline.

Questions? We recommend you speak to your advisor about your gold, jewelry or other valuables and how they factor into your overall financial picture.


Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results.  Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future  performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including  the  investments  and/or  investment  strategies  recommended  or  undertaken by Private Ocean,  LLC [“Private  Ocean”]),  or any  non-investment  related  content,  made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated  historical  performance  level(s),  be  suitable  for  your  portfolio  or  individual situation,  or  prove  successful.  Due  to various  factors,  including  changing  market conditions  and/or  applicable  laws,  the  content  may  no  longer  be  reflective  of  current opinions  or  positions.   Moreover,  you  should  not  assume  that  any  discussion  or information  contained  in  this  blog  serves  as  the  receipt  of,  or  as  a  substitute  for, personalized investment advice from Private Ocean.  Please remember that if you are a Private Ocean client, it remains your responsibility to advise Private Ocean, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/ evaluating/ revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or  if  you  would  like  to  impose,  add,  or  to  modify  any  reasonable  restrictions  to  our investment advisory services. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any  specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. Private Ocean is  neither  a  law  firm  nor  a  certified  public  accounting  firm  and  no  portion  of  the  blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the Private Ocean’s current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available for  review  upon  requestor  at Please note: Private  Ocean does not  make  any representations  or  warranties  as  to  the  accuracy,  timeliness,  suitability, completeness,  or  relevance  of  any  information  prepared  by  any  unaffiliated  third  party, whether  linked  to Private  Ocean’s web  site  or blog  or  incorporated  herein,  and  takes  no responsibility  for any  such  content. All  such  information  is provided  solely  for convenience  purposes  only  and  all  users  thereof  should  be  guided  accordingly. Please also note: If  you  are  a Private  Ocean client, please  advise  us if  you  have  not  been receiving account statements (at least quarterly) from the account custodian.