Four Tactics for Finding Precious Metals at Estate Sales

If you have attended estate sales, you know that most of them are pretty similar. A company that specializes in liquidating home possessions has gone over the contents of the house, looked things over, taken away any high-value items that have turned up, and gotten things organized for sale day. On that day, a line of people will be outside, waiting for the sale to start. When the doors open, the situation inside the house will look like the aisles of Walmart on Black Friday as people shoulder past one another, looking for treasures.

Image courtesy of njestateservice(dot)com

Image courtesy of njestateservice(dot)com

But Do Not Give Up Hope . . .

Despite the fact that everything will have been examined by the company that is liquidating the contents of the home, it is still possible to find precious metals if you apply these tactics.

Focus on Little Things

Many of the shoppers at estate sales are looking for items that are quite visible, like furniture, silver candelabras, pianos, collections of dolls, electric train sets, rugs, lamps, light fixtures, and chests of silverware. You can find precious metals by adopting a different strategy, by looking for very small items that contain gold, silver and platinum – items like pens, lighters, and cigarette holders and cases.

Look in Cluttered Areas

You are unlikely to find any undiscovered small items made of precious metals on tables or in cases where the estate liquidation company has laid out items for display. But you might be able to find items made of gold and other precious metals hiding in cluttered, disorganized jewelry boxes, in dresser drawers, or even in shoeboxes. The more cluttered and disorganized the area, the more likely it is that you will find something valuable that other people missed.

Look for Shiny Items

As you look at a jumble of costume jewelry, knickknacks or kitchen items, let your eye gravitate toward items that are shiny. This technique will lead you to many items that are not valuable, such as costume jewelry and ceramics with gold-toned glazes. But it will also help you zero in on small items of potential value like gold-plated pen barrels, gold shirt studs, gold-plated belt buckles and other gold-plated jewelry items that can be profitably recycled by a qualified precious metals recycler.

Look for Tarnished Items

This tactic is the opposite of the one just above. Instead of using your eyes to find shiny items, look for items that are gray and tarnished – in other words, items that are silver-plated or made of pure silver like silverware. For example, this strategy will help you quickly scan a box of old kitchenware – serving spoons, spatulas and napkin rings - and focus immediately on silver items that can be profitably recycled.

Putting these Tactics to Work . . .

These strategies can help you find precious metals, even in crowded house sales. They also work well in antique malls, at estate auctions, and in other settings where a number of old items are set out for sale. If you capture some promising items and are not sure what they are, call us at 800-426-2344 and tell us about the potential treasures you have on hand. One conversation with our specialists could help you claim big dollars from the little items you have discovered.

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