Is there gold at your house?

Given the economy, it seems everyone is telling you how easy it is to make money. Ads for making money in real estate, selling on Web sites, and the list goes on and on. Yet one opportunity caught my attention. I've seen advertisements for selling gold and jewelry for cash in the newspaper, on billboards, and even on a business card that was tucked in my car door at while I was at the grocery store.

I had a few old charms, a gold chain that was always getting tangled up, and three mismatched ear rings. All these items had some markings that indicated they had some gold content. But now what? Put them in a zip lock bags and drive around and see what vendors might give me? I checked the newspaper and it showed the price of gold today was $769.20 per Troy oz.

For help determining how much is my bag of past treasure was worth, I visited the Web sites of appraisers such as National Association of Jewelry Appraisers. I learned that the price depends on several factors including the gold content of the cast off items.

After doing a little research, I visited a local pawn shop and a local jewelry store with my zip lock bag of cast off gold. While those items had value when they were purchased and were chosen with care, I had to accept the fact they were bound for the melting pot. I did sell my items and let’s just say, I am not going a shopping spree. Both establishments were very helpful, gave me some tips should I consider selling other items and provided me a detail receipt.

This was worth the time and effort. Should you consider selling your gold items, do research, ask many questions, and visit at least two vendors. Take pictures of your items, retain any appraisals and if you mail your items to a store, use a mail method to track your package.

For more, watch Stacy Johnson’s Money Talks video titled Selling Gold Jewelry by Mail.

Cathy Williams is a former writer for MMI.