DENVER (CBS4) – With gold and silver prices on the rise, many Coloradans are digging through their old jewelry and their grandmother’s silverware to see if they have precious metals that can be converted to cash.
But all that glitters is not gold or silver.
Raz Gnat of Gnat Jewelers in Cherry Creek North says an experienced jeweler can often recognize precious metals by their feel, their weight and yes, sometimes their smell.
“When it’s not gold sometimes we can smell the copper or brass,” Gnat said.
Gnat recommends getting items tested in a specific machine that can detect gold in less than a minute.
At Rocky Mountain Coin in Denver, consumers hold what they hope will be valuable items they can convert to cash. A young man went there with an extensive collection of coins handed down from his grandfather.
“They’ve been sitting around collecting dust,” he said.
The buyer inspected the coins and handed them back saying there was no gold or silver in his collection.
A Colorado cowboy came in with a nugget wrapped in a Kleenex.
“I brought a gold nugget my granddad found up by Leadville. I don’t know how much I’ll get for it,” he said.
It turned out it was real gold, so he walked out with more than $340 in his pocket.
Experts say gold tends to be heavier than its imitator. It has a solid sound when rattled. Also, real gold and silver come with real markings. They should be labeled with what carat they are or should read sterling silver.
Still, the best and most accurate way to know if jewelry box treasures are worth anything, bring them in to get tested. Most jewelers and precious metal traders will evaluate them free of charge.
Have possessions inspected at more than one place so you know that you’re getting the best price. Remember all that glitters is not necessarily gold and silver.