Retirement Isn't So Far Off: How To Secure Your Future

Identifying High Value Gold Items

With the price of even a single gram of gold hovering around $38, the buying and selling of gold has become big business. Unfortunately, you may not be in possession of large quantities of gold jewelry, coins and bullion that you're willing to part with. That doesn't mean you can't find gold that is worth reselling though, so long as you know how to spot high quality items and turn a profit in the process.

What to Look For

Regardless of the form it takes, nearly every piece of gold has a mark which denotes its quality. These ratings range from pure gold, at 24 karat, down to gold plating and low content 8 karat pieces. When shopping for low priced gold it's a good idea to look for the highest possible karat rating on coins, jewelry and other items.

Most jewelry is made from gold which is rated between 14 and 22 karat, and is marked with this information. Common locations you can find these marks are on the clasps of bracelets and necklaces or on the inside of a ring's band. In addition, coins, bars and ingots will have their gold content rating stamped clearly on one of their faces. As you look through different items, make sure you're able to clearly identify these marks as they'll make a difference later on.

Where to Look

While pawn shops and thrift stores may have significant quantities of gold, you're not likely to find bargain prices on many high quality items. Instead, start with yard sales, garage sales and estate sales, especially if you have the opportunity to look at items closely before making a purchase. You might be surprised at just what some people are willing to part with for pennies on the dollar, just to make some space in their homes.

Auctions can be another good place to look for high quality gold, but as with other independent sources it's critical that you get a good look at what you're buying first. Any time you end up bidding on jewelry you haven't personally inspected you're taking a risk. This is especially true if the jewelry or coins in question are being sold in a lot, rather than as individual pieces. You might end up coming away with a remarkable treasure, but you're just as likely to have a box full of costume jewelry and gold plated slag.

If you plan to turn a profit by getting cash for gold, make sure you know what you're looking at in advance. Likewise, shop smarter, not harder, and focus your attention on places you're likely to get the lowest price per piece. Once you've got your second or third hand jewelry, turning it into hard currency is just a matter of finding a reputable gold buyer with a near-market purchase rate.