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.

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