Fool's Gold: Getting cash for jewelry

(WMBF) - You've seen the ads promising cold hard cash for your old jewelry. With so many people looking for extra money these days, more and more people are sending old wedding rings, necklaces and earrings for the promise of cash.

But how does it work and does it really pay off as promised?

Jana Deligne wanted to get her cat fixed, but didn't have the money. She sent a ring, necklace and earrings to Cash for Gold.

Her big payoff: $10.

"I can't understand the lady that says, 'I got enough gold for my vacation,'" Deligne commented. "I figure you would have to stuff that little envelope so hard that it was like a gold brick before you'd get that much."

After 'her' experience, we thought we should check it out for ourselves.

We looked at three companies: Cash for Gold, Get Gold Cash and Gold Kit.

We bought three pieces of 14 karat gold jewelry: A pair of stud earrings for $17, hoop earrings for $50, and a necklace, also for $50.

When brought to a jeweler, the jewelry was weighed and came in at 2.9 grams. Based on the price of gold at the time, the jeweler told us the studs were worth $3.52; the hoops were worth $13.86 and the necklace was worth $14.96.

Cash for Gold, where we sent the chain, gave us $3.24. The company pointed us to its website which clearly states, "You may get more money at a jeweler or pawn shop."

Gold Kit, which got the hoop earrings, gave us $3.20, more than $10 less than what the jeweler said they were worth.

Get Gold Cash sent us $1.03 for the stud earrings, one-third what our jeweler said they were worth.

So if you need cash, you should bring your gold to a trusted jeweler, because bringing them to one of these companies is not much better than giving it away.

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