By Dave Clark
It seems that a modern day gold rush is happening, but this time there is no overland trek required to the Yukon. We only need to go to one of the local hotels on the day advertised.
I refer to the TV and newspaper ads, postcards and flyers we are being bombarded with from outfits from away, who flit into town for a day every couple of weeks with claims they will buy gold, silver and coins for fantastic amounts of cash.
The colourful, sometimes full page newspaper ads make it seem we should not miss out on a fabulous opportunity to part with any old gold jewelry, war medals, sterling silver and silver coins we might somehow have squirreled away.
Before being consumed with gold fever we would be wise to check our trinkets and do a bit of research on what they are worth.
As with the western gold rush of old, when people headed off to the goldfields unprepared for what they faced, many are now heading off to meet these visiting gold and silver bargain hunters, filled with visions of a handful of cash.
Most of us are very aware of the value of items we wish to sell, be it a car, a house or a craft item. It is simply common sense to know ahead of time how much money we should receive in payment. If we don’t know we take the time to find out.
Unfortunately, it is easy to be swayed by fancy ads and thoughts of instant cash. It is too easy to part with valuable items of jewelry and rare, collectable old coins, for far less than they are worth.
It is wise therefore, to know the value of our scrap jewelry and old coins before selling. There are local businesses here in our area that would be happy to help. Local businesses who know the value of gold and silver jewelry, and who also buy these same items.
These are businesses where the owners and employees live, work and pay taxes in our area, supporting our local economy. Would it not be better to deal with someone you know, who has built a reputation in this town and is willing to pay a fair price?
The price of gold bullion has hovered around $1,600 a Troy ounce lately and silver in the $27 per Troy ounce range. Silver coins before 1967 contain 80 per cent silver.
With any secondhand item for sale, you may not sell it for full value. The same with gold and silver items. The price will be discounted because dealers need a legitimate markup in order to survive in business.
But talk to a local jeweler, or estate broker, to get an estimate of the value of your jewelry or precious metals and compare that value with what is offered by the come-from-aways.
If you have old coins or silver bars you wish to sell, find a coin collector or go to an accredited coin dealer for an estimate of value. Most coin collectors would be happy to look at your coins and tell you how much they are worth.
Many old coins are worth much more to a collector than what some of these visiting buyers will pay as a scrap metal price. The collectable value depends on the rarity of the coin and the amount of wear or damage. It is a shame to see some of these rare old coins melted down for the metal content.
The key suggestion here is that it benefits everyone to ‘shop local.’ Learn what your jewelry and coins are worth so that if you ever decide to sell, you do so to a known reputable buyer for the best value you can achieve.
David Clark is a member of the Truro Daily News Community Editorial Board. He lives in Truro and is a member of the Canadian Association of Token Collectors.