How does one sell a bar of gold?

I friend of mine claims her mother has a bar of gold secreted in the attic somewhere for emergencies. Assuming that’s true, and assuming the zombie apocalypse doesn’t come, how does one go about selling a bar of gold? Note: I am not planning on stealing my friend’s grandma’s gold. This is purely a hypothetical question.

In my area, any coin store will buy or sell gold and silver. By coin store I’m referring to places that sell coins and stamps to collectors.

Help with how to sell gold bars?

How fast you can sell it will be determined by how much the buyer trusts you and if the bar has a paper trail. An unmarked bar will have to be tested, which takes time. Even if all they do is melt it and re-cast it.

When I was selling off silver, I went to the local coin store, where I knew them and they knew me. Made it reasonably painless.


A “bar” of gold can be as little as one ounce. Small bars aimed at investors who fear the collapse of the dollar often come with certificates and are stamped with company information. Some of them are well known by coin dealers, who can usually verify them quickly.

When we were looking into selling some silver and gold that had been inherited, we checked pawn shops, jewelers, a “buy gold” place, and the local coin shop. The coin shop gave us the highest estimate. It was significantly higher.

What does that mean? The coin shop paid more than their estimate, or their actual fees charged were higher than their estimate?

Probably meant coin shop made the best offer.

You can also sell gold and silver on eBay.

They not only gave the highest estimate, it wasn’t just highest by a little. It was significantly higher than even the next highest estimate. In fact, except for the two highest estimates, the rest of the estimates were laughable.

They were estimating from a list of coins. When we turned in the coins, they checked them. If the coins hadn’t been as represented, the estimate would have changed.

There were no fees.

During the Great Recession my late spouse and I sold a small gold bar that had been given to him by his mother, who came from a long line of authority-distrusting “mountain people” inclined to doing things like viewing their bed mattress as a secure vault for valuables.

We went to a local jeweler/coin dealer who gave us a very reasonable price for it, much higher than the BUY GOLD!!! place down the road.

The dealer did perform an assay on the bar on the spot to determine it was genuine gold and the level of purity. We walked out with a thousand dollars cash in our pockets.

Basically, you shop around for a reputable and reasonable dealer, then sell your gold.

You could sell it a bit at a time. The trick would be to divvy it up.

a standard gold brick (“Goodbye, Mister Bond!”) is, according to Wikipedia:

400oz x $1225 = $490,000. I assume a coin shop would pay you in coins.

What, bags of quarters?

No, if they can handle the transaction, they would issue you a check - although I’m sure they would also be open to a trade for gold coins or smaller bars, with terms slightly to their advantage. For a transaction that size, I would anticipate a lot of paperwork and checking for authenticity and provenance of the bar.

Naw, we got cash, that is, bills. Although I’m told checks are also a common form of compensation for these transaction.

Also, the sort of gold brick my in-laws would stash in their mattress isn’t necessarily a “standard brick”, and in fact it wasn’t - it was just over an ounce. See, gold is easily melted and reformed. The stuff we had was dental gold. The dealer said he was a bit surprised it was in bar form, apparently he often gets people bringing in actual teeth. :eek:

If you have gold or silver coins to sell, ALWAYS go to a coin dealer, never a jeweler, or BUY GOLD! place. Jewelers and BUY GOLD! places give you the value of the coins’ weight only. Period. Coin dealers give you the numismatic value of the coins, which could be a lot more than the value of the gold or silver. Just as an example, I have a Mercury Dime that is worth about $400. That is way more than the silver in a little dime, but it is a rare date, in very fine condition. I also have a collection of Seated Dimes, and those date from 1838-1891. Virtually every one is worth more than the silver in the dime. They range in value from $10 to $500, depending on condition, and scarcity of date.

Now, if you have a sackful of silver Washington quarters that look pretty worn, chances are they aren’t going to be worth more than the silver price, but you never know. There are a couple of scare Washington quarters, and you might have one of them.

Even if you are looking to sell bars of gold or silver, you may still have better luck with a coin dealer, because a coin dealer is going to know someone (probably several someones) on the market for such things, and will resell them from his shop. Even if he doesn’t have an immediate buyer, he’ll put it in the display case, and sell it in a week or two. The BUY GOLD! guy is going to ship it somewhere to be melted down, and he has to account for the shipping cost (gold is super heavy) in his offer.

I’ve been hanging around coin shops since I was 11.

Second, third, whatever, for the coin shop. I had to sell some silver a few years back to settle a debt, so I went to our local guy. The silver was in 50 one-ounce bars, marked with the purity (.999) so he didn’t even test them. He gave us full spot price, which meant I got close to $1900 for the lot; silver was over $29 at that time.

People don’t bring in their teeth. They bring in gold crowns that were replaced by their dentist. I did that several years ago and even though they weren’t coins, I found that coin dealers gave the best price. I tried calling a pawn shop and they wouldn’t even quote a price over the phone. I figured that was because they paid so little, so they wanted people to bring their gold in. Once you’re in their store, you’re more likely to accept their money rather than try somewhere else.

Up to a certain amount?

Would authorities–who? the Treasury Feds?–step in if it looked like you would wreck the reserve currency (although we’re off the gold standard) or otherwise screw with foreign trade deposits (a lot of gold)?

For big transactions or jewelry they want to take a photocopy of your drivers license and a signed statement that it’s yours to sell.

Yeah. I also inherited three teeth. They had no problem dealing with them. I was wondering if I should have tried to pry the gold out, but they had the tools and the skill.

Some places send dentists envelopes, so that you can send your gold tooth to them. Don’t do it. You’ll get nearly twice as much from the coin guys.

Even when I was selling rings, the coin place had the highest quote. So even if your coins don’t have added value, you’ll probably get closer to the current metal value from the coin place.

When I had a crown replaced, I took in the old crown with no tooth attached and got $36. (It was small.) And I guess that’s probably the way that most people bring in crowns.

The teeth I inherited, those had big honking roots on them. One was a two-fer, with one crown covering two teeth. Seven roots in all on that. The woman at the window didn’t even blink. She broke 'em down right there. The tool was under the counter.

For small quantities shipping charges will be significant, so sell locally. But for large quantities look at the large online bullion dealers such as APMEX and get quotes from several.