CORRECT ANSWER: Grams.
REASON: Grams are today’s industry standard, when a Western Pennsylvania gold buyer says he will weigh the gold in pennyweights, he will be the exception. Those who weigh gold in pennyweights often give poorer buying offers, depending on their policy regarding the rounding of amounts. You should ask a potential gold buyer if he is at least willing to weigh your gold in grams and do all of the calculations in grams for you. This will make it easier for you to comparison shop.
2. How much are you paying per gram today for 14 karat gold (or 10K, or 18K, etc.)?
CORRECT ANSWER: According to today’s market price of gold, we are paying ___ per gram for 14K gold (or 10K, or 18K, etc.).
REASON: Some gold buyers and refineries will use deceptive techniques in order to get you into their store. For example, they might say, “Today’s gold price is ___ per gram.” Then when you come in they will explain that the price they quoted you on the phone was what they sell gold for, not what they buy it for. They do this in hopes of capturing a certain number of people who will still go through with the transaction despite the “misunderstanding.”
3. Do you pay extra for diamonds and gemstones, or do you deduct for the weight of the stones like some businesses do?
CORRECT ANSWER: With diamonds, it depends on the size, quality, and the way they’re set in the jewelry. For example, if we are buying the jewelry for scrap and the diamonds are very small, of low quality, and set in such a way that it will be difficult to separate them from the gold, then we won’t be able to pay for the diamonds, since taking them out without breaking them could cost more than what they are worth. However, if they are of a certain size and quality, and can be removed from the piece without too much effort, then we will add the value of the diamonds. In the case of small color stones we use similar criteria, except they will be worth substantially less in most cases. In the case of large stones of low-value, we either deduct for the weight of these stones or take them out of the piece and value them separately. In the case of all stones of higher value, such as precious gemstones and diamonds, we will assess their value and add to it to the price we offer for the gold. In the case of jewelry that we do not plan to scrap, we would value the gold, diamonds, and gemstones individually to come up with the final price for the piece.
REASON: You should avoid businesses that say they deduct for the weight of the diamonds and stones, and leave it at that, since this is not a practical blanket policy. They should be willing to assess each item according to the more specific factors, such as those stated above.
4. Do you pay extra for designer gold jewelry? Can you please name a few brands that you pay more for?
CORRECT ANSWER: Yes. For genuine and in-style jewelry brands such as Tiffany, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, to name a few.
REASON: Whether you have any designer gold jewelry or not, it is useful to know that the gold buyer is willing and able to pay more for jewelry coming from a well-known designer, since that means he has the knowledge to buy your jewelry for the correct price it’s worth, rather than just following a blanket policy of paying so much per gram for the gold, since you just might have an antique Cartier or Tiffany piece in your jewelry box that you didn’t even know about (such as one handed down by a relative), and you want to work with buyers who can recognize such pieces, point them out to you, and be willing to pay you a premium for them.
5. How long have you been in business, and what is your background in the jewelry industry?
CORRECT ANSWER: Our store has been in the jewelry business for 25 years. Our store was voted #1 Jewelry Store and received Tribune Review’s Reader’s Choice Award in 2010. We are licensed by Allegheny County Sheriff’s Department as Precious Metals Dealers and by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking as pawnbrokers.
REASON: In rough economic times like these, there are hundreds of new people and companies getting into the gold buying business looking to prey on people’s unfortunate circumstances. These are the kind of businesses that immediately offer you a higher amount when you reject their first buying offer; and then a higher cash amount again when you reject their second offer. As with any kind of serious business transaction, you want to be dealing with proven professionals with expertise in their field so as to achieve the best results.
6. Will you pay me today by cash or by check?
CORRECT ANSWER: We will pay you today in cash.
REASON: When you sell your gold, you should have cash in your hand TODAY. That is the industry standard among professional gold jewelry buyers. If the buyer says that they will give you a business check or personal check, search for another gold buyer.