Five ways to avoid the cash-for-gold rip-off

If you want to avoid being ripped off by cash-for-gold websites, do your homework first. Get a rough idea of how much your jewellery is worth before sending it off.

Here are our top five tips:

1. Weigh your gold

Weigh your pieces on an accurate set of scales so you know how heavy each piece is in grams.

2. Check the carat

Find out the gold content. Carats are the measure of purity. Pure gold is 24 carat (ct.) This can also be expressed as a percentage: for example, 9 ct. gold is 9/24 = 37.5% pure, so a 10g piece of 9ct gold jewellery will contain 3.75g of pure gold.

If you don't know the purity it might be worth taking your it to your local jeweller for advice.

3. Check the price of gold

Scan the financial pages of a daily newspaper or a financial website such as the London Bullion Market Association ( to find out the current spot gold price, which is quoted per troy ounce (one troy ounce = 31.1 grams).

As at 4 March the spot gold price was £895 or £29 per gram. But don't confuse this with the scrap metal value, which is lower. According to Goldprice (, which has a useful scrap gold price calculator on its website, the equivalent scrap gold price would be around £21 per gram (18ct.), £11.68 (10ct.).

You probably won't be offered anywhere near this by a buyer, but if the offer is less than 10% of the intrinsic value, look elsewhere.

Write an inventory

Before sending any jewellery to a cash-for-gold website make sure you write an inventory of the items and take photos of them to record their condition. If you reject the offer but a piece comes back to you damaged you'll have evidence to refute any claim that it arrived in that condition.

Check the website's policies

If your item of jewellery contains gemstones, make sure you know what the gold-buying company's policy is first before sending anything off.

More about

Your Comments

post gold for cash the ann robinson one first offered £121 for my gold. when I queiried this stating the price I would be offered in the shops she came back with £438. It was not 20 % more than their competitors.

Unfortunately the rip off begins in the jewellery store when you buy the stuff. If you look at the spot price of gold and then factor in it's 9ct people are seriously ripped off with basic gold jewellery items like gold band rings and chains. You could buy a $200 chain and the next day offer it back to them. See what they offer you. Then you get an idea of how astronomical the ripoff is. I don't begrude anyone a premium for profit and fabrication costs but 200 to 1000%! Thats robbery.