Gold prices bring out fast-buck operators The Mesa Tribune | The Hometown Newspaper for the city of Mesa, AZ

Gold prices bring out fast-buck operators

Gold prices bring out fast-buck operators


With gold at an all-time high and economic times tough, Mesa Jeweler David Nelson is warning people to be cautious if they want to sell their unwanted gold or silver items for cash.

“When gold prices make headlines, it is not uncommon to see an increase in advertisements from companies that buy gold,” said Nelson, the owner of Nelson Estate Jewelers at 2051 S. Dobson Road.

Nelson suggested that through the next year or two, “we will most likely see many new gold buyers pop up, all making claims that they ‘pay the most for your gold.’”

He said during the Great Recession in 2008, “there was a gold buyer on every corner with sign spinners in the street” and most of them disappeared when the economy improved.

“Most ‘gold buyers’ pay a small fraction of the liquid value of what is being sold,” he said.

“This includes pawn shops, ‘we buy gold shops,’ jewelry stores, and businesses that set up temporarily in hotels or run parties in people’s homes. Not everyone can truly be the ‘best buyer’ or say they pay the most.”

Nelson said he focuses on being the fairest buyer based on market-value and offers consignment options for those who are not necessarily in a hurry to sell and wish to get more money for their jewelry pieces.

Nelson said he has made offers to people who have indicated that they were offered up 500 percent less somewhere else.

“People are especially susceptible to being taken advantage of in times like these,” he said. “This is especially true for the elderly, which is unfortunate because they are usually the ones that need to get the most money they can for their valuables.”

“Businesses need to make money to survive, but businesses that do not reuse or sell the items they buy will generally offer the least to make the greatest profit by reselling to a dealer like myself or to a refiner,” he added.

He said dealers that manufacture jewelry or resell the pieces after refurbishment will likely pay more since they have an outlet for these pieces.

“Times are tough and people can get taken advantage of if they wander into a place that can see that they don’t know the value of what they have. Not every established business has morals or ethics, and just because it is legal doesn’t make it right,” said Nelson.

He offered some tips for people:

Use all available resources to research a prospective buyer’s reputation, including Google, the Better Business Bureau and

Deal only with people in fixed locations that are licensed and reputable.

Know the current spot price of gold and/or silver. These numbers can usually be found in the stock section of a newspaper, or online on sites such as

Understand the differences in gold – 10K, 14K, 18K, etc. A simple web search can help.

Bring any supporting documents, such as an appraisal or GIA Certificate, to the evaluation. “However, an appraisal is most likely a retail replacement appraisal and no dealer will pay you the full retail price for your pieces,” he said.

If a buyer makes you uncomfortable, get a second or third opinion.

If you are selling estate jewelry, go to a place that specializes in estate jewelry and watches.

A reputable jeweler will try to be as fair because they have an interest in doing business with you again. “Caution should be taken in dealing with anything you are not familiar with,” he said.

Nelson Estate Jewelers offers free evaluations and second opinions.

Information:, 480-459-9867. 

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