Q. My wife and I have a number of pieces of sterling silver and we want to sell it as it has never been our style. Most of the pieces are from family members who passed it on to us. How can we locate a reputable person or company that would give us a fair price for the pieces? Also, we have a few commemorative gold coins which we would also like to sell, and again, we don’t want to be duped.
A. You’re correct about being suspicious.
When you have items of value, but you don’t know much about the market, it can be hard to trust that a potential buyer is being honest with you.
Start by inspecting the pieces, looking for markings such as “925″ or “Sterling” for pieces made in the United States, said Altair Gobo, a certified financial planner with U.S. Financial Services in Fairfield.
These pieces are usually darker in color and are naturally lighter in weight, he said.
“Sterling silver pieces have intrinsic value and can often be resold,” he said. “Fortunately, flatware and sterling silver sets can be worth a good amount of money, making it worth your time to sell your unwanted silverware.”
Before selling your silver to anyone, it’s important to understand the current price for the metal so that you will not be ripped off, Gobo said.
“Understand that the buyer needs to be able to make money reselling it,” he said. “You can search online or find places near you that offer this type of service. The same is true for the commemorative coins.”
Another resource is your local jewelry store or the jeweler that your family may have a relationship with, Gobo said.
“To help ensure consumers are not cheated when they sell precious metals, New Jersey law requires, among other things, that the buyer must weigh the precious metals and test their fineness, within clear sight of the seller,” he said. “The buyer must give the seller a receipt for the purchase.”
Email your questions to Ask@NJMoneyHelp.com.
Karin Price Mueller writes the Bamboozled column for NJ Advance Media and is the founder of NJMoneyHelp.com. Follow NJMoneyHelp on Twitter @NJMoneyHelp. Find NJMoneyHelp on Facebook. Sign up for NJMoneyHelp.com’s weekly e-newsletter.
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