How to Sell Gold and Silver – A 4 Step Guide

Wondering how to sell gold or silver should you need to liquidate your reserves in the future?

Perhaps you’ve recently received some gold from an inheritance and don’t know what to do with it, or you’re a precious metals investor looking to offload some of your collection.

Whatever the reason, you’ll want to consider several important factors to ensure you get a sizeable return on your investment. Undeniably, you’ll want to get the best price for your gold and ensure that you don’t sell off too much of your collection at once, leaving you at a price disadvantage.

Whatever the reason for selling your precious metals, this guide will help you make sure your transaction is worth it and goes as smoothly as possible. It explores the most important factors to consider before selling your gold or silver, including:

  • who to sell to
  • when to sell
  • how much to sell
  • the type of gold to sell

1. Find the Right Buyer

The first question you should ask yourself before you sell your gold and silver reserves is, “Who should I sell my gold to?”

Your buyer’s trustworthiness is vital, as the industry is full of unscrupulous dealers who will more than likely lowball you.

Are you confident about the price offered by your potential buyer? What’s more, is your buyer willing to sell your gold to you at a later date, should you wish to repurchase it?

To be confident that you’ve got a good deal, you’ll want to find a reputable and trusted buyer offering reasonable market rates that agrees to both the above conditions.

Suppose a buyer does not have verifiable business premises, a license to buy and sell gold, or a current BBB rating. In that case, they probably don’t have the experience to evaluate your gold and offer you a fair price.

Find out if your buyer:

  • Has a good understanding and experience of buying and selling gold
  • Has added costs, seller fees, or shipping fees
  • Has had complaints from previous sellers

2. Know the Type of Gold or Silver to Sell

Once you’ve decided to sell some of your gold or silver collection, the next question to consider is which type of gold is accepted on the market.

Generally, the buyer will need to know the type of gold or silver you hold, and they’ll most likely ask whether your product is:

When thinking of how to sell gold and silver tax-free, these questions are paramount. The answers to these questions determine the overall price you’ll get, the price per ounce, and if you originally bought the gold or silver from a dealer, whether they can repurchase it from you.

Here are some of the most popular gold and silver bullions dealers will readily buy.

American Eagle Coins

The U.S. Mint produces American Eagle gold and silver coins in several designs, denominations, and metals. They feature two American icons, the Bald Eagle and Lady Liberty, which have appeared since their first minting in 1986.

Buffalo Coins

The gold and silver Buffalo coin, again produced by the U.S. Mint, follows the 1913 Buffalo Nickel design by renowned sculptor James Earle Fraser.

This classic coin celebrates the Native American tribes and the majestic buffalo, another enduring American symbol. It has been popular with investors since its introduction in 2006.

European and World Coins

Historically, European gold and silver coins were in circulation from around 1880 until 1930.

Gold coins like the British Gold sovereign and others from France, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland are still traded today. Likewise, historical silver coins like the Netherlands Silver 1 Gulden and Denmark’s Silver 10 Kroner are still valuable.

Popular modern European and World gold and silver coins that are readily accepted by dealers in the U.S. include:

  • Australian Gold Kangaroo
  • Austrian Gold Philharmonic
  • Canadian Gold Maple Leaf
  • Chinese Gold Panda
  • South African Gold Krugerrand
  • Britannia Silver Coin
  • British Silver Philharmonic
  • Austrian Silver Philharmonic respectively


Gold and silver bars match coin purity and content but cost less over the gold and silver spot price because they’re privately minted.

Each bar has a stamp showing its exact weight, fineness, serial number for provenance, and added security.

Gram Pieces

One of the easiest ways to sell your gold or silver is with gram pieces. These pieces are less than full troy ounce sizes, which makes them more affordable.

Many precious metal refiners create gram pieces as a quick and affordable asset for investors who wish to begin their collection.


You’ll most likely not get the same resale value as other bullion and coin products when selling your gold or silver jewelry.

Gold or silver jewelry often contains an alloy, which tones down the purity and makes the value subjective to the buyer.

A refiner will also have to melt it down and refine it into a bar, coin, or round, which means extra labor and, therefore, a lower resale price.

3. Consider the Payment Method

handing cash over after selling gold

Perhaps the most critical question you should ask yourself when thinking of how to sell silver or gold is how you’ll receive your payment.

Are you looking to liquidate in a hurry and get an instant payment, or can you wait a little while longer to realize a higher premium on your coins or bars?

Your urgency to sell will eventually determine which type of buyer you’ll pick. For instance, pawnshops may pay you immediately, but you’ll get a worse price for your items than if you chose to use an auction, which could take time to give you your money.

4. Find a Suitable Selling Option

Another thing to consider is which selling option is most likely to get you the best price for your gold or silver. Below are five of the most popular selling options.

Coin Shops

Local coin shops are an excellent option because they often pay you instantly for your gold or silver and typically give fair market prices for bullion and numismatic coins.

While these prices may not be as high as auctions or dealers, they are quite fair given that you do get your money without an inconvenient wait.

Coin Shows

Coin shows are excellent if you’re selling numismatic coins, as they offer excellent opportunities to get your coins assessed by different dealers all at once. This variety of dealers in one location gives you the best chance of getting the highest price.

However, coin shows aren’t that frequent and require planning, which does not make them a good option if you’re looking to sell quickly.

Online Dealers

Several reputable online coin dealers buy numismatic coins and bullion in the U.S. and worldwide.

They offer arguably the best gold and silver rates, but they require a minimum dollar amount to consider buying your coins. You’ll also need to ship the coins to them (at your own cost) and wait for payment.

Online dealers help you to avoid the high-pressure tactics of pawnshops and coin shops, especially if you bought your items from them in the first place.

Online Auctions

Selling gold and silver coins on eBay and other online auction platforms can land you a good deal if the buyers know the value of what they are purchasing.

However, with uninformed buyers, you may not get as good a price as you were hoping for a single collection, and you may have to perform several transactions or sift through potential buyers before you sell your whole collection.

You’ll also need to factor in seller’s fees, platform fees, and shipping costs.


Pawnshops should be your last port of call when thinking of how to sell silver or gold. They are a good emergency option when you need cash quickly but aren’t the best buyer if you have valuable numismatic coins.

Pawnshops exist to make a profit; therefore, you’re more likely to be shortchanged on rare coins and get a lower return on your investment as the dealer will leverage your desperation to sell.

Final Thoughts

two man thinking of investing

When considering how to sell gold or silver, you want the process to be convenient, safe, and fair. After all, you invested in your items to realize a return, and it would be a shame if you made a loss.

The easiest way to ensure that you sell your gold or silver profitably is to choose a reputable buyer,  preferably one with whom you’ve done business before.  Also, be discreet in your sale to avoid theft and the possibility of assault, and do your research well to realize the best price for your items.

Visit our section on Gold IRAs today to learn more about the facts, benefits, and advantages of investing in a Gold IRA. We give advice impartially to help you make the best decisions for your investment portfolio.


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