How to Know When Junk Jewelry Isn’t Junk Part I - Gold and Silver

As a little girl, I remember the thrill I received whenever I sneakily got the chance to rummage through my mother’s larger than life jewelry box. It sat atop her dresser and held all the dreams I wanted for my grownup life. 

Flash forward to my now adult life and I’ve no idea what kind of treasures were actually in the jewelry box. Back then, everything inside was precious and beautiful and sparkly and more valuable than any idea I had. As my mother ages, she sometimes decides to tell me that this or that ring or necklace is worth something, but otherwise, I’ve no idea how valuable her jewelry collection is.

Enter: Mile High Coin. If one day I hope to sell the jewelry I so coveted in my mother’s jewelry box all those years ago, their help can prove invaluable, much like I hope the contents of the jewelry box will.

But first, what can we do to understand the worth inside our mothers’ jewelry boxes? We’ll start first with identifying whether any of the jewelry is either gold or silver and therefore possibly worth quite a bit. 

You must first figure out if the pieces you have are actual gold or silver, or just gold or silver colored or plated. One trick you could try is the magnet test. Gold is not magnetic, so if you hold a magnet up to your jewelry and it is attracted to the magnet, then that piece is not gold. You may need a stronger magnet than your typical refrigerator magnet, so try finding a stronger one at a hardware store. But even if your jewelry isn’t attracted to the magnet, this does not guarantee your jewelry is gold.

Next, you’ll want to look for any kind of marking or hallmark that tells you it is gold or silver. Typically you are looking for a number. This number often tells the purity of the precious metal. Sometimes a location is also present on the marking. With jewelry, usually you can look inside the band of a ring or on the tag of the clasp of a necklace. It may be helpful to have a magnifying glass nearby as these markings can be quite small.

Along with a number, the shape of a marking can be telling as well. Typically, an oval stamp will indicate that the item is silver, while a rectangular shape will indicate that it is gold. If you find a stamp that is shaped like a house, this tells you that the item is platinum.

There are other markings you may find, including dates and locations that will all help in determining the worth of your jewelry, but the shape and number are your most telling indicators of the type of jewelry you have.

Once you have a bit of an idea of what you have and decide you want to sell your valuable jewelry, head to Mile High Coin to sell it for a fair price. They will inspect it further and give you details of the pieces you are selling. Be sure to call ahead and schedule an appointment. They are A+ rated and accredited with The Better Business Bureau, so you can rest assured they know what they’re talking about. Contact us today to learn more.
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