LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- You can't drive far in the valley without seeing a gold buying shop.
There is a good reason for stores are popping up on every corner because gold prices are through the roof. News 3 Kim Wagner has this special report on gold-buying shops in Las Vegas.
Many people are seizing what they think is a golden opportunity: selling high-demand metals such as gold, silver and platinum at shops around the valley but sellers should really do their homework before making a deal.
New 3 took a hidden camera to several gold-buying shops around Las Vegas to see what our crews could get for four pieces of gold.
Our offers varied from about $2,000 to more than $2,000. So how you can get top dollar?
Experts say-- do your homework.
Mark Scott is the appraiser for Nevada's treasury department. He's also the owner of Sahara Coins.
“Obviously you really, really want to take time and do your homework,” Scott said.
Scott used his 32 years of experience to analyze our loot. He put its value, on this day, at about $4,200.
“That's the price you would get for it,” Scott said
He says the first thing you need to do is figure out the current price of gold. It changes about every 10 minutes. This is something that can be done through the Internet.
”Because it's so high, people don't really understand how high it is,” Scott said.
Next, it is important to determine the fineness of the gold and know if it is 14 karat, or possibly 24 karat.
If you don't know, an acid test kit will give you the answer.
Next, you need to weigh your gold. Combine all these numbers by following directions and using simple math.
Then you'll know what your gold is worth, but you're not done yet. You still need to shop around.
Kathy Walczak was determined to get top dollar for two gold rings she no longer wanted. She and her husband visited three places in New York before bringing her rings to Las Vegas.
When you go to buy a home or car, you look for comparisons for what other people are selling them for.
Gold is so high right now, you could take that $4,000 and buy a car," Scott said. "It's worth taking a little time to figure out what the value is."
Scott doesn't buy jewelry, only gold coins. He tells us it's much easier to determine their value. You can just look in a book.
As for the cost of buying the acid kit and a scale, you're looking at about $70 dollars. Well worth it if you can make an extra $2,000.
Gold buyers are under no legal obligation to give you a fair price. Ultimately, this is a case of seller beware and like we tell our kids, “Do your homework.”