So is it possible to get melt value for jewelery ? I would imagine there are a lot of dirtbags out there ,,, and you have to find a good dealer. Is it easier to get a better price during economic downturns ?
Yes and no. You have to start with phone calls and make a list of who will buy without mailing out YOUR PROPERTY
for valuation. Then research and see who has the best rep/reviews. Followed by a live walk-through and meet & greet. Once you get 2 or 3 that you think you could use. Bring in a sample of items and get an estimate. If they say they have to be "sent out" say "Thanks" and walk away. Sometimes what they say on the phone is to lure you in.
A good trader will give you a value after on-site inspection, a possible PM content test, and after reviewing current spot pricing. Anything else and the fix is in.
Keep in mind that most are only interested in gold/silver/platinum. Any stones may or may not get a valuation. Sometimes, if a deal is made, the buyer will ask if you want the stones back because he only wants the metal. If you say yes, he will unceremoniously pluck them out with a needle-nose plier and put them in a small ziploc or paper folder. The wincing I've seen was epic.
Once you find a buyer or two, use them exclusively, or until you find another place that you have put through the same paces. The rapport that you build is key to trust and pricing IMO. If you have receipts, bring them. Many times, the buyer may be suspicious of buying "stolen property." A good receipt can get you a sightly better price sometimes because he knows he won't have any "legal" problems with the purchase. Everything is fluid though and changes all the time, so be aware of that.
As to "better pricing during economic downturns" I've found that is when the pricing is lowest. The smell of blood in the water can bring in all kinds of low-ball offers if they think you "need" the cash more than the jewelry...
Like I said, try some trial runs with some smaller, inexpensive, less-sentimental pieces first; after doing your due diligence of proper selection of buyers.
Good luck and let us know how you make out.
: I've also seen traded jewelry in the display case for sale because they were nice pieces and not "melting" specimens.
If you have nice pieces of jewelry, my first advice would be to consign or sell them outright.