Are Your Parents Going to a Nursing Home? Here Are the Best Strategies for Dealing with their Jewelry

Are Your Parents Going to a Nursing Home? Here Are the Best Strategies for Dealing with their Jewelry

If you have an elderly relative who is about to enter a nursing home or assisted living, chances are you are already working with a counselor who is helping you deal with their financial assets. Today’s post is not meant to serve as a substitute for the expert advice you can get from those counselors, who know the ins and outs of Medicare and other factors that can impact on financial planning for elders.

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Is It Time to Talk to Your Parents about their Precious Metals?

Is It Time to Talk to Your Parents about their Precious Metals?

If your parents, grandparents or other family elders are downsizing or moving into adult living communities, this could be a good time to talk to them about the silverware, jewelry and other precious metal items they own. Why talk to them today? Consider these reasons...

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Don’t Be Fooled into Buying these Metal Items

Don’t Be Fooled into Buying these Metal Items

Shakespeare once wrote, “All that glitters is not gold.” If he had thought about it, he could have written something similar about silver, platinum, rhodium, and other precious metals. The fact is that some shiny things that look like they should be worth a lot of money really aren’t. They either don’t contain any precious metals at all or they contain such small quantities that there is no point sending them to a qualified precious metals refinery like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners, because the cost of extracting those metals will be greater than the value of the metals themselves.

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Why Watching Downton Abbey Can Help You Make Money in Precious Metals

Why Watching Downton Abbey Can Help You Make Money in Precious Metals

Watching Downton Abbey can alert you to all kinds of antique precious-metal items that you can find if you’re shopping online, at antique stores, at estate sales . . . just about everywhere old metal items can be found. Here’s a checklist of items that we noticed during just one episode of the show...

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Sterling Silver Flatware Brands and Marks to Watch For

Sterling Silver Flatware Brands and Marks to Watch For

Be aware that if you find even one spoon or fork from one of these prestigious makers, your discovery could be worth a lot of money to silver dealers, individuals whose sets are missing the item that you found, or as sterling silver that we can recycle for you.

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How to Buy Underpriced Silver at Estate and Home Sales

How to Buy Underpriced Silver at Estate and Home Sales

Experienced silver-hunters tell us that they find much more silver at home sales than they find in antique malls, where everything has been picked over by antique dealers or estate sale specialists. If you’re lucky, you may stumble onto entire boxed sets of sterling silver tableware – you might even find an heirloom set of Old English silver.

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Why Older Rings, Trophies and Beer Steins are Worth Searching for and Recycling

Why Older Rings, Trophies and Beer Steins are Worth Searching for and Recycling

If you walk into an estate sale or antique shop, chances are good that you will find trophies, class rings, beer steins and tabletop cigarette lighters. They all found their way into many American homes in years gone by. Those items are so common that it is easy to forget that they often contain significant quantities of silver and gold that are well worth recycling.

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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.

Related Posts:

Why Big Dollars Could Be Hiding in Small Quantities of Silver Tableware
Don’t Let Precious Metals Slip through Your Fingers when You’re Liquidating an Estate
Recycling Gold Filled Scrap - Big Dollars Could Be Hiding in Small Items
There Could Be More Gold in Old Commemoratives and Trophies than You Think
Checklist of Places to Look for Precious Metals in Your Home