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Better Business Bureau ®
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In Denver & Boulder, Colorado

Buyers Tips

Buying and Selling Gold

A slow economy combined with high gold value makes way for a rampant industry of individuals and entities offering to pay "top dollar" for your gold. Your BBB Serving Denver/Boulder warns of many reasons why these buyers may be unscrupulous.

In the Denver market, large half-page and full-page ads are often found in our newspapers. These ads are covered with profuse claims to make sellers fast cash and to pay more than competitors. When claims like, "we pay more than anyone else" and "we pay four times the amount of our competitors" are being used in EVERY buyer's ad, the claims obviously cannot be trusted. Furthermore, many buyers travel all over the country holding conventions at hotels and have no stationary place of business which may make them difficult or impossible to contact if there's a problem.

Your BBB offers more advice and insight if you are interested in selling your jewelry:

*For an appraisal try to go to someone locally who you know and trust. Get the BBB Reliability Report first by visiting www.denver.bbb.org or call (303) 758-2100. Look to see if others have reported issues with the particular jeweler or jewelry store.

*Obtain two or three appraisals to compare prices, prior to any sale.

*Check out any online companies with your BBB too, and use a search engine to see what other consumers are saying about their experiences with the companies.

*Your jewelry may be stamped "14-Karat," but that does not mean it is gold. Some necklaces can have catches stamped as such, but the number alone means little.

*If gold is worth $930 per ounce, you aren't going to be paid $930 for every ounce of gold you have.

*Ask what you will be paid (if an online company, make sure you ask for specifics and give details on items you'll be sending). Note:
-The ounce quote is for pure gold only.
-14-Karat gold is composed of just 58.5 percent gold. Ask how much the company's going rate is for each ounce of each karat you are sending.
-The lower the karat, the less the gold content.

*Don't let anyone steal your diamonds from gold pieces. Single gold stud earrings might be worth $5 or $10, yet diamonds in the earrings can be saved. Some are too small, and the labor to remove them might exceed their value, but engagement ring diamonds, for example, should be given a value separate from the gold.

*Gold pieces with less color, or fewer stones, are worth more. A jeweler must break the stones out before the item goes to the refinery.

*Make sure your items are insured when being shipped, so if they are lost you can recover the value. Also note when mailing:
-Obtain appraisals prior to mailing items, so if they are lost you have proof of their value.
-Check the company's policy as to what they will reimburse if they lose your product. Many limit their liability.
-Make a list of the items included in the package, keep a copy for yourself, and put a copy in the envelope.
-Take a picture of the items you are sending, including any identifying marks.

*Ask about the company's guarantee if you are not satisfied with the price offered.
-Can you get your product back, if you return the check (many companies melt down the items in 10 - 14 days)?
-If you send the check back, mail it certified and stamped, "return receipt requested," so you have proof when it arrived at the company.

*If the company says they are bonded and insured, request that this be verified in writing.

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