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Selling gold for max cash The top scrap gold buyers & how to max the price

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TV ads yell "sell gold for cash!", yet many receive a fraction of the promised sums. This MSE undercover investigation finds the best places to sell your gold for the maximum cash.

This step-by-step guide takes you through the top postal selling gold sites, what to sell (even old tooth crowns), specialist gold hubs, what to watch out for and more.

Why selling gold pays

In times of crisis, gold is often seen as a safe investment. Thus the gold price rocketed during the recession, encouraging American 'cash for gold' companies to flood in from across the pond to entice us to flog old jewellery and make £100s.

While the price isn't quite at the highs reached in the downturn, even scrap gold can still be worth a mint when melted down and turned into bullion.

Remember, as with other commodities, gold prices fluctuate. If you cash in now, you may lose out or gain more later, but no-one knows for sure. See the current gold price.

gold price over 5 years

How gold selling works

Gold-buying companies' business models are simple: they buy gold, melt it down and flog it on for more. This means you can get cold hard cash for broken and unloved bling. Yet it’s a Wild West out there, so, most importantly, get quotes from several reputable places including:

Jewellers. Pop into a jeweller's to get a price. If you’ve higher-value gold, try three. Prices can usually be beaten, but the pro's your gold’s with you at all times. In London and Birmingham, heavy competition in specialist jewellery districts means top prices. See selling gold to jewellers.

The top postal gold websites. Here you get a quote online, send in gold for verification and then they make an offer. Many gold sites are unreliable or poor players, but we've picked the shining examples. See top postal 'cash for gold' sites.

Never just send off your gold to any old TV gold site - some hucksters offer far less than your jewellery’s worth.

How much can you get?

Payouts shift each day, according to the price of gold. A little inspiration from Forumites' successes using this guide may help. Please add yours to the Gold Selling forum discussion.

I raided the loft and dug out some old gold jewellery that had been up there since the early '90s. Hatton Garden Metals promised £890, which seemed a lot. It then delivered £870. The weight was slightly out, as I only had kitchen scales to weigh it on. A couple of items weren't gold, which I suspected anyway. - PParka

I sent some old chains, earrings and rings – mostly 9ct, mostly broken. offered £970 - almost double my previous £520 quote from a high street gold shop.- happypig

I sold three packs of gold to Lois Gold – mostly broken bits and a few bowling medals. All three transactions were conducted with great speed. My bits and pieces totalled about £1,000 altogether. - JayJay14

How much buck could I get for my bling?
18ct wedding ring £65
9ct gold ring £30
Pair of 9ct stud earrings £5
14ct old gold tooth crown £35
9ct earring butterfly back £1.20
Typical payouts. Prices change daily - last updated April 2014

Selling gold: The DOs and DON'Ts

While it's possible to earn £100s, there are gold-plated traps to watch out for. Read these dos and don'ts carefully before parting with your precious bling.

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MSE undercover investigation

Fancy using the office credit card to buy jewellery? That’s the challenge MSE Jenny was set. She bought 10 identical gold bracelets from Amazon, all 9ct gold and weighing 4.3 grams.

To test how much you could get for selling gold, she went undercover to see where she could get the best price.

She posed as a gold seller on postal gold sites and pawnbrokers, as well as jewellers in London's famous Hatton Garden jewellery district. Prices ranged from £8 to £52.

Investigation last carried out Jan 2013.

How much is £50 of gold worth?
(Do read our top gold site picks before sending any gold)

Amount quoted/suggested
Amount received
Postage cost
Total profit
Best Hatton Garden jeweller price
Lois Jewellery
Hatton Garden Metals
ScrapgoldUK (1)
Tesco Gold (now closed)
Buying Gold (Chards)
Best pawnbroker price (2)
£51.17 (3)
British Gold Refinery
£53.96 (4)
£20 (5)
Postal Gold
Doesn't give quotes
£43.43 (6)

Full details

The top postal gold websites

To find the top bling-buying sites, as well doing our own investigation, we analysed hundreds of pages of feedback from this site's forum.

We've focused on nationwide buyers. Always check local jewellers first, especially for unhallmarked gold. Found a top gold site we're missing? Add it to the Gold Selling discussion.

Please note we last carried out a full gold investigation in Jan 2013, though continue to monitor forum feedback to ensure people are still happy with our top picks.

Beware, there's no protection if things go wrong - if a site goes bust, you may not get your gold back. We don't check companies' solvency.


01 Hatton Garden Metals* Established player with great feedback

While there are no guarantees, the site with strongest feedback and one of the highest payers we've found is Hatton Garden Metals*. Not to be confused with the Hatton Garden jewellers' area in London, this is a web-only postal gold buyer. Full info


02 Lois JewelleryAnother good payer, with less feedback

Also worth a look is Lois Jewellery. We don't have so much feedback on it, but what we do have is positive. It paid a smidgen more than Hatton Garden Metals in our test. Full info


03 Gerrards Top payer with potential

While it paid the most in our gold investigation, on the downside, we don't have any feedback from users on Gerrards yet. Full info

How to sell to jewellers

The simplest option is to flog your haul to a jeweller in person. Even if you don't want to sell it, it's a great way to get it valued. Of course, you're under no obligation to sell.

Go door to door, haggle and hand over the goods there and then. The good thing is that the gold's with you at all times. But, apart from in specialist jewellery quarters, prices are usually beatable.

Jewellers are the best option if jewellery's unhallmarked, as they can do a test in front of you. And if trinklets have stones, they'll tell you if they're worth owt. Here are our top 10 tips:

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Selling gold for max cash
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Duplicate links of the * links above for the sake of transparency, but this version doesn't help Hatton Garden Metals

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