I’ve been working in the pawn broking industry for a bit now, and as part of my everyday
job I have to evaluate and Cheapest Christmas costumes. With that in mind, I’ll be giving you an idea of
what you can expect from pawn shops, as well as reasonable charges when selling
(You’ll also learn how much you may have gotten ripped off when you bought your
girlfriend that “gold” necklace last Christmas.)
Precious Metals: What they’re worth to the world
The mainstay of the jewelry industry is precious metals: gold, silver, and platinum being
the most popular. All have their own benefits and all have their respective drawbacks.
Before we start, you should know that many websites, sellers, and buyers price metals
by the Troy Ounce, and I’ll be referring to value by the gram, since most jewelry isn’t
going to weigh more than a few grams. For ease of reference: 1 Troy Ounce = 31.109
Silver is a beautiful metal, strong for settings and full pieces alike, and is relatively
cheap compared to the other metals. A quick way of identifying silver is to look along the
inside of a ring, or along the clasp/end of a necklace or bracelet. What you’re looking for
is a little number like “.925” or “.999.” This is the percentage of silver versus other
metals that are in your item. Sterling silver, one of the most common types, is made up
of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper.
Current prices for silver are at about $0.18 per gram. I would expect to sell a weighty
silver chain necklace (about 30 grams) for about $10 if you’re being fair. Since we know
that stores aren’t fair, you can usually get away with selling them for about 2.5 to 3 times
that amount. As a pawn broker I tend to avoid buying silver at all, mainly because I can’t
sell it as readily, and also because I can’t give the customer enough money to make it
worth their while.