How to Get The Best Value For Your Jewelry and Coins

Cash for gold

Selling Your Jewelry For Top Dollar in New Hampshire.

You may have inherited some valuables in the form of jewelry, watches, silverware or gold and silver coins. Or you may have been recently divorced, or have some jewelry that you no longer use and would like to get some cash. Or you just need some extra cash and would like to sell your valuables.

Here are some tips to ensure that you get at least fair value for your items.

1. Prepare to sell.

Take inventory of what you have and what you wish to sell. Assess which valuables you definitely can part with and those items that you do not wish not to sell.

2. Do research on the value of your items.

Research the values of the items you wish to sell as well as those you wish not to sell. You may find that items that you do not wish to sell have a higher than expected value which may change your outlook.

Try to do as much research online to limit transportation expenses. After doing online research bring your items to a reliable jewelry and/or coin store for an estimate of their value. Call in advance to ensure that you can have your valuables reviewed when you arrive.

Jewelry, diamonds and watches

You will need to know the condition and value of your jewelry, watch(es) diamonds and other gems. First determine their age, wear and any damage. Is your gold or silver jewelry, diamond ring or gold watch(es) made by a prestigious designer (eg. a Tiffany ring, Cartier bracelet or Patek Phillipe watch). Designer items may sell for higher premiums than similar items that may only fetch their “scrap value”, or something close to the metallic or gem content only.

Jewelry that is out of fashion or extremely worn my not fetch a premium and be valued for its precious metal or gem value. In such cases you will receiving a percentage of the precious metal or gem value. You will need to know how much gold or silver are in your items to get an idea of their approximate melt value.

To make this determination you will need to first determine if your gold is 9K (37.5% gold), 10K (41.7%), 14K (58.5%), 18K (75%), 22K (91.6%) or 24K (100%). Gold jewelry will have these carat marks stamped somewhere on the item. After determining the gold content, weigh your item and calculate its metallic value by multiplying the weight of the item by the percentage of gold it contains.

Example: If you have a 18 carat gold item that weighs one half an ounce. Multiply the 18 carat percentage 3/4 or .75 times the 1/2 ounce weight or .50 and you get .375, or a 3/8 of an ounce of gold. (.75 x .50 =.375)

Then multiply the sum .375 ounces by the current per ounce price of gold. Say gold is $1200 an ounce, multiply that by .375 ounces and you’ll get $450. That is the approximate gold value of your item.

You can use the gold price widget in the right hand column of this site to get the gold price.

Gold coins

For gold coins, you will need to determine their weight and percentage of gold content to perform the calculation. Gold coins, like jewelry may have more value than simply their metallic content. In coins, this added value is called numismatic value. You can check approximate values online by searching for the date and type of coin(s) you have. Generally gold coins will need to be in excellent condition in order for you to receive the numismatic value.


Values of gems like diamonds and rubies are more difficult to assess without the assistance of a jeweler or gemologist. If you have purchase receipts of any gem items, you may be able to get a sense of value but since prices vary over time, a professional assessment will probably be required if the gem item (s) were obtained a few years or more ago.

Silver Items


Silverware is generally either “sterling silver” (92.5% silver) or sterling plate (very little silver). Silverware is generally sold for its silver value. To make an initial determination of value multiply the weight of your silverware in ounces times the silver percentage.

Example: If you have three pounds (48 ounces) of sterling silverware Multiply the 92.5% or .925 X 48 to determine the number of ounces of silver in the silverware. (.925 X 48= 44.4 ounces). Then multiply the number of ounces times the per ounce price of silver. Say silver is $17 an ounce, multiply that by 44.4 ounces and you’ll get $754.80. That is the approximate silver value of your silverware..

You can use the silver price widget in the right hand column of this site to get the silver price.

Silver Jewelry

Most silver jewelry, like silverware, is sterling silver. You can calculate the metallic value of your jewelry in the same way that silverware value is calculated above (weight times % silver time per ounce price of silver)

Silver Coins

Silver coins range in metallic content. The most popular silver bullion coin the American Silver Eagle is 99.9% silver. Pre 1965 US dimes, quarter and half dollars are 90% silver. For other silver coins you can check approximate silver content and values online by searching for the date and type of coin(s) you have. Generally silver coins, like gold coins, will need to be in excellent condition in order for you to receive the numismatic value.

Should You Clean Your Items?

Silver and Gold coins

Under no circumstances should you clean your coins to try to make them more attractive. Cleaning coins can damage them and destroy their numismatic value.


It doesn’t hurt to polish your silverware, but polishing it is time consuming and probably won’t increase the value of it.


Cleaning jewelry in advance of presenting it for an estimate may help raise the eye appeal and hence the value. However, jewelry cleaning is best left to professionals as do it yourself cleaning may indeed damage your jewelry.

3. Selling Your Items

Where to sell

Once you know approximate values of your items you need to determine where you will sell them. Your main options include selling them online or to a pawn shop or coin and jewelry store.

Selling Online

Selling your valuables online sounds attractive as prices individual buyers might pay is often higher than what a jewelry or coin store may pay. There are, however, many downsides to selling your valuables online. For example, you may have to wait to find a buyer at the price you set, or you may not find any buyer at all. If you find a buyer, your goods could get lost or stolen in the mail or stolen. Even if your items are insured by the U.S. Postal Service, it may take weeks or longer to get reimbursed. In order to claim the insurance, you will need to provide the value of your items at the time of they were sent and proof of purchase which in many cases you may not be able to provide.

If you find a seller your buyer could reject your item and refuse to pay. Most online market places offer escrow services for higher priced items to reduce potential buyer/seller issues.

Selling to Pawn Shop or Coin & Jewelry Store

There are many advantages to selling to a pawn or coin and jewelry shop. For example, you can present your valuables for appraisal at the shop and get a quick estimate of the value of your items as well as an indication of the shop owner’s interest in buying them. A pawn shop or coin and jewelry shop can also usually pay cash on the spot for your valuables (bring ID).

The advantages of selling to a pawn shop or coin and jewelry store near you exist only if the store is reliable as evidenced by reviews and a top better business bureau rating. Don’t bother bringing your items to a poorly rated shop.

We Buy, Sell and Trade

  • Diamonds and Estate Jewelry
  • Old and New Jewelry
  • Precious Metals: Gold, Silver, Platinum
  • Scrap Gold & Silver
  • Watches & Timepieces
  • Rolex, Bulgari, Cartier & Tiffany Items
  • Bracelets & Earrings
  • Gold & Silver Coins

Visit Port City Coin & Jewelry

Bring your valuables to Port City Coin & Jewelry for an estimate of their worth or call 603-373-6185.

best pawn shop near me

Port City Coin & Jewelry is located at 599 Lafayette Rd (Route 1) | Portsmouth, NH (next to Bowl O Rama)
Call: (603) 373-6185

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