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The Best Ways to Sell Silver and Gold [Coins, Bullion & More]

Jeff Clark, Senior Analyst, GoldSilver 

If you’re selling gold or silver bullion, you obviously want the best price you can get. Perhaps you’re sitting on a big gain and want to capitalize on it… or maybe you need some cash for a big life event… or inherited some gold or silver from a family member… or are cleaning out your jewelry drawer. [ View the Current Gold Price ]

Whatever your case may be, this how-to guide is designed to help make the selling process is as smooth, and profitable as possible. [ View the Current Silver Price ]

We look at the most important topics to consider before you sell your precious metals, including:

  • Getting a fair price
  • Selling different forms of bullion (coins, bars, jewelry, or scrap metal)
  • Where to sell your precious metals—and where NOT to sell!
  • The easiest and safest solution

When you decide to sell some or all of your holdings, the three primary factors to consider are price, convenience, and safety.

Let’s look at how all these factors come into play, beginning with the biggest question of all:

What’s a Fair Price When Selling Gold and Silver?

How much will your bullion fetch you?

Here are the primary factors that will determine how much you might receive when you sell your physical gold or silver.

What Kind of Bullion Are You Selling?

Some gold and silver products are more valuable or in greater demand at a given time. Factors like whether it’s gold or silver, a coin or bar, and a government or private mint product will all play into resale value.

Generally speaking, bullion that demanded a higher premium upfront will fetch higher prices upon resale, though it does depend on demand at the time. One way to assure that you have a strong resale ability is to buy the most popular products.

1. Selling Gold & Silver Coins

Gold and silver coins generally hold their value well for resale. Because sovereign (government) coins are government-backed and guarantee purity and content, they usually fetch the highest resale price.

You’ll usually get a higher resale value from coins than from rounds or bars.

Additionally, the retail market for coins is generally greater than for bars or jewelry, which means there is almost always a buyer.

Gold and Silver Coins

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2. Selling Gold & Silver Bars

Gold and silver bars generally have high resale value, especially those bars that have been kept in professional vault storage.

Bullion bars produced by the most reputable mints and refineries have the strongest resale value. These bars come with a seal from the mint of origin, and sometimes include a serial number for easy identification and certification. With these bars there is low risk involved in buying or selling.

Gold and Silver bars

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3. Selling Gold & Silver Jewelry

The big factor here is if you’re selling bullion jewelry or costume jewelry.

Bullion jewelry are pieces that contain nothing but gold. Some 22-karat pieces contain an alloy to give it added strength, but its content is otherwise nothing but real gold. This signals to buyers that if they want an adornment that will also have resell value tied to the price of gold, then they want to buy bullion jewelry.

In contrast, costume jewelry contains many other items besides gold or silver (and in some cases none at all). Some costume jewelry can be very valuable of course, but resale is usually not as high because 1) the value is more subjective, and 2) the retail markup was initially very high.

Gold Jewelry

Browse our selection of gold jewelry

4. Selling Scrap Metal

Resale prices for scrap metal are much lower than for investment grade products. This is because scrap metal has to be melted down and then fabricated into a form for investors or industrial users.

Most bullion dealers don’t buy scrap metal. If you have scrap metal to sell, try a refinery or a pawn shop.

Another factor will determine how much you’ll be paid at buyback…

5. Selling from Instavault

If you buy metal through the Instavault program you can sell instantly. Even if you decide to sell shortly after you bought, you can sell as soon as your payment settles. Or take delivery.

Another attractive feature of Instavault: you can buy and sell physical metal at the lowest spread available in the market. You can convert your real metal to specific products later if you wish, or just sell from the vault when you’re ready—either way both the purchase price and buyback price will be the best the market offers.

How Much Are You Selling?

Dealers may offer a higher buyback premium if you have a large lot to sell. Or if the dealer is in short supply of a specific product at the time. Always inquire (you can ask GoldSilver.com at 1-888-319-8166).

Generally speaking, most bullion dealers will offer about 95 percent of the spot price, though this will vary depending on market conditions. If supply is tight and demand is high, you could fetch more, and if supply is ample and demand is low you could get less. There are also circumstances where you could be offered spot or even above.

Buyback prices are less for a piece of bullion jewelry, since more advanced design and fabrication went into it. For costume jewelry, keep in mind the actual precious metal content may be low, and buyback would thus only be based on how much gold it actually contains.

Where to Sell Your Gold and Silver

Most gold and silver bullion is sold to an online dealer, or a local coin shop.

Selling Gold & Silver Bullion Online

Selling precious metals to an online dealer may fetch the best price because they’re operating expenses are much lower than a local coin shop that has to maintain a physical storefront.

Selling your gold or silver online to GoldSilver.com is easy. Just follow this process:

  1. Login or Create an Account.
  2. Click to “Sellbacks.” Then “Create a New Sellback”.
  3. Enter the quantity and product description you are selling.
  4. Confirm the location of your metals.
  5. Confirm your account address.
  6. Indicate your method of payment.
  7. Enter your credit card to submit your sellback contract for approval.
  8. Upon your sellback's approval and confirmation by our staff, you will then receive an email with required instructions, pertinent packing slips and documentation requiring your signature.

Sell Your Gold and Silver near You

You can sell your gold and silver near you by using a local coin shop.

The advantage of a local coin shop is that one can receive the cash more quickly. The drawback is that they may not offer the best price since their expenses are higher. And a small shop may not be able to handle large buyback orders.

There’s also the safety factor… walking into a coin shop with a significant amount of gold or silver makes you more vulnerable to burglary or assault, especially if you have a large amount. This is where security and privacy may be more important considerations.

Where NOT to Sell Your Gold and Silver

There are a couple places we would avoid:

1. Local Pawn Shop

A pawn shop should be your last choice, as they offer the lowest return. They may not even recognize what a particular coin or bar is actually worth in the market. There’s typically room for negotiation, but you’ll almost always receive far below what a reputable bullion dealer will offer.

If you do go to a pawn shop, make sure you know the current spot price of gold and silver beforehand, and compare the buyback prices of some other dealers first (and then subtract your shipping costs). Also, clean your metals beforehand, and bring any documentation you have from the original purchase. Shops are more likely to offer a better price for something that comes ready to resell and can be authenticated.

2. eBay

Buyers on eBay typically won’t offer as high a price as a bullion dealer. This is because there’s more uncertainty in a market like eBay. You also risk fraudulent procedures or products.

The Easy Route

As we've discussed, you want your transaction to be safe, convenient and fair. The easiest way to get all that is to buy and sell online from the safety of your home.

This is much safer, as it greatly reduces the possibility of burglary and theft. And the bullion is fully insured, something that’s expensive for home storage.

And when you’re ready to sell, you can simply log on when you want, 24/7, and lock in your price. And the proceeds will be on their way in one or two business days.

At GoldSilver.com, we offer world-class secure vault storage that works seamlessly with our sell-back program. It’s the easiest way for investors to make sure their entire investment process is safe, convenient and fair.