You have been out gold panning and found some gold. What do you do with it?
A Quick History Lesson
During the gold rush days, commerce was done with the gold and a pair of scales. The vendor and the miner would determine the purity of the gold and a price. Once the purity was determined, the weights on the scale were changed and gold was weighted out to pay for the purchases.
As an example if the gold was 90% pure and worth $1 a gram it would require 1.1 grams to pay for a $1 item.
You could even go to a bank and exchange a $1 bill for $1 worth of gold.
This system worked well for the miners, but no so well on a practical level. The solution came with roads and railways, standard currency and banks.
Now a country’s dollar is not based upon gold reserves and the value of gold is determined by supply and demand, as reflected by a gold price fixing agency. Just like any other commodity, the value changes and is updated twice a day. Much like buying stocks, you can maximize your profits by timing the sale of your gold.
The best thing I can recommend is find a reputable prospecting store and talk to the people there. They will be able to give you a good idea as to the purity and value of the gold, as well as what to do with it.
Here are a few things to consider before selling:
- How much gold do you have?
- How pure is the gold?
- What are the current gold prices?
- Do you wish to smelt it?
- Do you have nuggets?
- Before you can sell your gold it must be as pure as possible. Remove all black sand and anything else that isn’t gold.
Who To Sell To
The amount of gold that you have will determine the best way to sell it.
If you have less than an ounce of gold, then perhaps your best option is to sell your gold to a prospecting store. Check your Yellow pages. A second source might be a parks and recreational guide from your local city, which may have a listing for a gold panning club. Another option is to look for authorized resellers of gold related items, such as metal detectors on the web.
A final option. Wherever you go to stake a claim should be able to tell you where to sell your gold. Claim staking and gold sales are ultimately controlled by the government since gold can be used as a currency.
If you can not find a nearby buyer, two final options are a jeweler and eBay.
What Will You Get?
It may be prudent to check with a few prospecting places to see what they will pay. If gold is worth $15 a gram, you can expect to be paid $10-13 a gram depending upon purity.
If you have an ounce or more, it may be better to have your gold smelted. Smelted gold will be returned as pure gold in a bar form. A pure bar of gold will fetch full market price and is sellable at more locations, such as some banks. This can be costly, often a fee plus 10% of the value of the gold, so it may not be practical unless you have larger quantities of gold.
The purity of the gold may also determine the best course of action. If your gold has a lot of impurities in the gold itself, then you will have to smelt it.
Before selling your gold it may be a good idea to examine the trends in gold prices recently. If a country just sold a large volume of gold, the price will be lower until the surplus is used up by gold buyers. This means that an ounce of gold may currently be worth $300, but will go to $350 the next week, an impressive gain.
There is another option for gold nuggets, selling as art pieces. Gold nuggets can be worth 2-3 times more than the gold content itself for use as jewelry. Many examples of gold nuggets for sale can be found on eBay.
If you look closely you will notice that some people sell their gold as weighed in grains or gr. This looks very similar to gram or g. and may make you think you are getting a better deal than you are.