How to Find More Gold Jewelry – Don’t Discount “Junk” Jewelry

The title of this article is somewhat vague so let’s just get right to it. If you want to find more solid gold jewelry, always take a second look at the junk jewelry… specifically pendants and bracelet/necklace clasps.

Solid Gold Pendants

Funny enough, quite a few people will take a beautiful, solid gold pendant and put it on a really cheap (sometimes even junky) necklace. When browsing the local thrift stores for gold jewelry, more than once I’ve found nice gold pendants on cheap chains and necklaces. More than once! And each time I find one, I almost miss it! Why? I’m automatically filtering out the cheap/fake jewelry and never take much notice of the pendants (unless the necklace catches my eye first). Not many people do take notice of pendants on cheap necklaces (or charms on cheap charm bracelets for that matter). I think we automatically assume that junky pendants will be on junky necklaces.

Well, let’s stop assuming because if we do, we’re leaving gold behind! Next time you run across junk jewelry at a thrift store, yard sale, flea market, etc, make sure to check the pendants and charms even if they’re on cheap jewelry. If you make this a habit, I guarantee your solid gold finds will increase.

Clasps on Bracelets & Necklaces

Another way I increase the amount of solid gold I personally find every year is by making a point of checking the clasps on bracelets and necklaces. Make a special point of checking (real) pearl necklaces and bracelets as I’ve found countless 14k solid gold clasps with real pearls. Sure, the clasp doesn’t have much gold, but it is real gold, it is out there waiting to be found, and it is usually on the types of jewelry that you can buy for cheap.

Plus, most people miss this sort of thing… meaning that you’ll be able to find more gold because you’ve got the edge and know what to look for when everyone else leaves money on the table.

Note: To tell if the pearls are real or not, rub one across your teeth. Real pearls feel gritty like sandpaper while fake pearls feel slick and smooth like glass or plastic.

How to Find More Gold Jewelry at Garage Sales

Summer is my favorite time of year for many reasons, among them: Garage sales and estate sales are in full force and if you’re armed with a little knowledge and persistence, these sales offer amazing opportunities to make a lot of extra money finding gold jewelry.

Around here, garage sales are everywhere in the summer-time.  Many of these sales have jewelry, and a few always have “good” jewelry like sterling silver or solid gold items.  What’s more, the jewelry (good and junk) is usually priced at “garage sale prices”.  In other words… really, really cheap.

Not only can you find real gold and silver items at yard sales, you can get started making money right away with a laughably small amount of cash out of pocket.  If you’ve got transportation to get to the garage sales, you can make money on gold jewelry even if you’ve only got a couple bucks in your pocket.

Here’s a few tips to help you find more gold jewelry at garage sales

  1. Go Early – Let’s face it, nobody appreciates a doofus ringing your doorbell at 4:30 in the morning, so be respectful, but be ambitious as well.  Time and time again, I’ve seen 90% or more of the good deals at garage sales get snagged up and sold before the advertised starting time.  Some people don’t have patience for early-birds, but most do.  So if you drive by the sale a half hour or so early, chances are they’ll be setting up and won’t mind at all when people show up with cash wanting to buy stuff.
  2. Take Your Time – When garage sales have jewelry, it’s often found at or near the same place the hosts of the sale have set up to take money, make change, and “run” the sale.  As such, it can sometimes be difficult to take a good look at any jewelry for sale, especially if there are a lot of people at the sale.  We all miss stuff, sometimes good, valuable stuff.  So next time you’re at a crowded sale, a sale with TONS of jewelry, or in a hurry to get to the next sale, take a deep breath and focus on the task at hand.  After all, you don’t want to leave a nice chunk of 14k gold priced at a quarter behind…
  3. Ask – Simple as this sounds, it works!  Garage sales are a lot of work involving dozens or even hundreds of items.  Often, whoever is running the sale will forget to put some items out for sale or not have the time to do so.  Just as often, they have stuff they WILL sell, but hadn’t got as far as considering it for the garage sale.  If you don’t see any jewelry at a sale but it’s a good sale… ask if they have any jewelry.  If you’re at a sale with jewelry, ask if they have any more they want to sell.  It doesn’t hurt to ask and sometimes the rewards are plentiful.
  4. Be Persistent – It would be great if we could just hit one garage sale and get a bag full of scrap gold jewelry for a few dollars.  But that doesn’t usually happen and even the best gold jewelry finders have slumps where they don’t find anything good.  Especially when you’re first starting, it may seem discouraging, but don’t let that get to you.  The key to successful “urban treasure hunting” like this is to keep at it because you never know when or where the next gold item will be found.
  5. Shop the Unadvertised Sales – This is one of my favorite tips, and a time-tested way to increase the amount of gold jewelry found at yard sales.  Most garage sales will be advertised in a local paper, online, a “penny pincher” type weekly paper, etc.  This is great if you want to hit a lot of garage sales, but keep in mind these are the same exact sales everyone else is going to as well.
    In the summer-time, people have almost impromptu yard sales, or ones with little/no thought to advertising.  They’ll usually toss a sign or two out at street corners, but unless you happen to drive by, these sales are largely “unknown”.  This means they don’t get as many people, don’t get picked over as quickly, and often times have deals still for sale when the advertised sales have been picked clean hours earlier.  Make a point to stop at these random sales next time you see a sign.