“Cash for gold” might as well be the national anthem for Canadians looking to make some extra coin. But with so many options out there, how do you separate the wheat from the chaff to get the best deal for your bling? We’ve scoured the Great White North to bring you the ultimate guide on how to get cash for gold in Canada. From the tried and true to the lesser known, we've got you covered. So grab your gold, sit back, and get informed!

How much cash will I get for my gold?

Not as much as you think you should! Sentimental value is like the love you have for your grandmother's antique vase, while market value is like the price you'd get if you tried to sell it at a garage sale. One is priceless, the other is just priced.

Trying to part with some of your gold? If you're selling coins or bars, you can expect to receive a sparkling return of 90-95% of the market value. But if your gold is in the form of jewelry – brace yourself for disappointment. You’ll get a slightly less brilliant payout of 70-80% of the melt value. This disparity can be attributed to the dealer's need to turn a profit and the process of melting down, refining, and reincarnating your gold into new, lustrous bullion or jewelry.

That’s why it’s important to know the value of your gold before selling it. If you price it too low, you won't get as much cash as you should. If you price it too high, you could alienate interested buyers and lose the sale. Here's what to understand about the value of gold and how to assess the value properly.

Understanding weight & purity

When it comes to getting cash for gold, understanding the karat weight and purity of your items is key. A karat is a unit of measure used to describe the purity of gold. Lower karats indicate less purity, while higher karats indicate more purity.

All that glitters is…

Gold jewelry is typically made up of an alloy, which is a combination of metals that help give it strength and colour. The amount of pure gold in any alloy is measured by the karat, with 24 karats being 100% gold. Anything 14K or above is considered “pure” and can be easily resold for cash.

While 14K gold is obviously not 100% pure gold, it does have a higher percentage of gold than other metal alloys. That's why 14K gold is often considered “pure,” because it has a much higher proportion of the stuff gold dealers want. 

Having said that, it doesn't mean that 14K gold is always worth more money than lower-karat pieces. The resale value of an item can be affected by a variety of factors, so the actual value may vary depending on the market.

Understanding the karat weight and purity of your items can help you get a better sense of their worth before you try to get cash for things like gold jewelry. Pay attention to these details to avoid missing out on a lot of money.

Why is my gold weighed?

Gold is weighed in troy ounces to determine its value when you're trying to sell it for cash. A troy ounce is a unit of weight commonly used in the precious metals market and is equal to 31.1035 grams.

When you take your gold to a professional buyer or a precious metal dealer, they will use a scale that measures in troy ounces to weigh your gold. They will then calculate the value of the gold based on its weight and the current market price of gold.

For example, if the current market price of gold is $50 per troy ounce and you have 1 troy ounce of gold, the value of your gold would be $50. The value of your gold may be higher or lower depending on the purity of the gold and the current market price. So, troy ounces are used to measure the weight of gold, while karats are used to measure the purity of gold.

How value is calculated

Calculating the value of your gold items can be a tricky process. Resources like the Canadian Jewellers Association and online gold calculators can help give you an accurate idea of what your gold items are worth. These resources take into account the proportion of gold in your items and the current spot price of gold to give you an estimate of its value.

What is the spot price?

The spot price of gold is the current market value based on its supply and demand. It fluctuates constantly, so how much it's worth at any given time can be a lot different from what it was worth even just a few hours ago.

The spot price is affected by things like supply levels, geopolitical events, and investment trends. It's important to stay up-to-date with the latest news before you try to get cash for cold. The price can change dramatically in a short period of time and you don't want to miss out on getting as much money for your stuff as possible.

Pro tip: It's always a good idea to research what other similar gold pieces are going for on the market, even if they're not exactly identical. This can give you an idea of how much cash you are likely to get so you can price your pieces appropriately.

Online calculators

Online gold calculators are easy to use and can provide a quick estimate of the value of your gold items from the comfort of your own home. However, they rely on the information you provide about the weight and purity of your gold. If this information is incorrect, the estimate may not be accurate. In addition, online gold calculators cannot physically examine your gold items, which also impacts their accuracy.

A professional appraisal

A professional appraiser will physically examine and test your gold items to determine their value, ensuring a more accurate estimate. They take into account the quality, craftsmanship, and other factors that may impact the value of your gold items. Professional appraisals are more expensive than online gold calculators (which are free) but can provide a much more accurate estimate of the value of your gold items.

Where to get cash for gold

The best place to get cash for gold in Canada will depend on your location and what type of gold you have. Generally, most large cities will have cash for gold stores, pawn shops, and professional jewellers that specialize in buying and selling precious metals.

If you have gold in the form of coins, wafers, or bars, there's a good chance you can sell them to a bank! Some Canadian banks offer precious metal services where you can sell your items, like TD Precious Metals and CIBC Precious Metals.

A word about online cash for gold dealers

When selling gold for cash, try to avoid online dealers because they do not offer the same level of safety and security as physical locations. With a physical location, you get the assurance that your gold is being inspected in person by an expert and that the exchange is taking place in a secure environment with trained personnel.

In addition, you have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have before handing over your gold. You will also get a receipt of the purchase detailing all aspects of the transaction. Online dealers cannot provide this level of protection so it's always best to opt for a physical location whenever possible. 

How to safely get cash for gold

Time to turn your scrap into stacks? Getting cash for gold in Canada is easy and safe if you follow the right steps.

1. Research

First and foremost, always make sure that you research the dealer or location thoroughly before handing over your gold. Check the Better Business Bureau list of accredited gold buyers, look for reviews, and make sure they have a good reputation with a history of fair pricing.

2. Assessment

Have your gold weighed and assessed by a professional to determine its purity and value. This will ensure you are getting the most cash possible for your gold.

3. Compare quotes

Don't settle for the first cash-for-gold store you find. Compare merchants and get quotes from several gold dealers to ensure that you are getting the best price for your gold.

4. Verify authenticity

Before selling your gold for cash, verify that it is genuine. Some gold dealers offer this service for free, while others may charge a fee.

5. Off-site appraisals

If a gold dealer sends your gold offsite to be appraised, make sure to get all the details in writing. This includes what the procedure will be and when you can expect to receive payment, as well as any associated fees or costs that may arise as a result of having your gold appraised.

It's also important to ask questions about the safety and security of sending your gold offsite and if there is any additional insurance available should something go wrong during transit.

6. Keep records

Make sure to keep records of the transaction, including the weight and purity of the gold, the purchase price, and the buyer's contact information.

7. Meet in a public place

If selling your gold directly to a private buyer, it's best to meet with them in a public place such as a bank or shopping center for added security. Some police stations also provide a safe space to exchange goods.

8. Be cautious of unsolicited offers

Be cautious of unsolicited offers to buy your gold, especially if they are made over the phone or online. Scammers may offer to buy your gold for an excessively high price, but then send you a counterfeit check.

9. Take precautions

Are you selling high-value items? If so, take precautions when carrying large amounts of money. Bring someone with you who can act as an extra set of eyes and ears, travel during daylight hours, and let someone know where you are going.

10. Get paid first

Before handing over your gold, make sure you receive payment in full.

What documents do I need to get cash for gold?

In Canada, you do not typically need any specific documents to get cash for gold. However, some gold buyers may ask for government-issued photo identification to verify your identity, such as a passport or driver's license.

The requirement for identification may vary depending on the buyer and the amount of gold you’re selling. It is recommended to check with the specific gold buyer for their requirements. If possible, it's also a good idea to have proof of ownership, like a receipt, and any information on the purity or weight of your gold.

Are there any fees to get cash for gold?

If you have your gold professionally appraised, there's a likely cost for the service. Other fees may include ones related to certifying the authenticity and purity of your gold. If a gold dealer sends your items offsite for appraisal, there may be fees associated with shipping and/or insurance.

Is selling gold for cash worth it if I need money fast?

It really depends on what you’re selling and when. Selling gold for cash can be a quick and convenient way to get money if you have things like coins, wafers and bars – especially if the value of your gold investment has increased since you bought it. However, the price you actually get for your gold may be lower than the market price thanks to fees, commissions, and other costs involved in the sale. 

If you’re trying to sell items like gold jewelry, things get a little more complicated. Most gold dealers want just the metal, which means you’ll likely need to sell things like diamonds and gems separately. Plus, most gold jewelry is not pure, since gold is too soft on its own to secure things like gems, it's mixed with other metals to make it stronger. That’s not to say all gold jewelry isn’t worth it, depending on the item you could make bank. That’s why it’s a good idea to have your items appraised. 

Before selling your gold for cash, it's important to consider what it is you’re trying to sell, the current market price of gold, and compare it to what you are being offered. These tips should help you get the most cash for your gold items.

Cash for Gold FAQs

How to sell gold coins for cash?

To sell gold coins for cash, you can sell them to a local coin dealer, a gold exchange, or a precious metal buyer. You can also sell them online through a reputable dealer, but you should proceed with caution. Physical locations are safer so try to use a local dealer whenever possible.

Can you exchange gold for cash at a bank?

Some banks in Canada may offer exchange services for things like coins, wafers, and bars. However, it's best to check with your local branch to confirm their capabilities and procedures.

Can you sell gold jewelry for cash?

Yes, you can sell gold jewelry for cash. You can take it to a local gold buyer, a jewelry store, or a precious metal buyer.

How is gold weighed for cash?

Gold is weighed for cash using a scale that measures in troy ounces, which is a unit of weight commonly used for precious metals. The value of the gold is determined based on its weight, purity in karats, and the current market price of gold.

How does cash for gold work?

Cash for gold works by selling your gold items to a gold buyer or a precious metal dealer, who will weigh the gold and offer you a price based on its weight, purity, and the current market value of gold. The buyer will then pay you cash for your gold.

Available on Android & iOS
Hardbacon - Your all-in-one budget app

Enjoy an all-in-one budget and investment tracking app in your pocket. Get personalized suggestions, investment ideas and exclusive offers. 

Download Now!