Most older relatives don’t intentionally hide precious metals from members of their families. What some tend to do, however, is to underestimate the value of the precious metal items that they own. As a result, they fail to cash in on their value at a time of life when money could come in very handy for them.
This happened in my own family, when an elderly male relative passed away about five years ago – a man with a fierce kind of dignity who never let his worries about money show. He was in poor health during the last few years of his life that he spent in an assisted-living facility. After he died, his children started to go through his possessions and found some valuable items that included several gold fraternity membership keys, a set of gold tuxedo shirt studs, a gold tie pin, a Zippo lighter with a heavy silver case, and even a beautiful old Swiss watch made of 18K gold. They divided up the items and kept them as mementos and didn’t bother to find out how much they were worth. But they did take the time to reflect that their father might have made good use of the money that the items were worth. Even if they brought him only a few hundred dollars from recycling his gold, he could have made good use of that money during the last few years of his life.
Helping Older Relatives Unlock the Value of Precious Metals
It is not always comfortable to speak with older relatives about selling items that they have owned for years. Some of those possessions, after all, can have personal value. Yet there can also be items that are made of gold, silver, and other precious metals that relatives might be happy to part with in exchange for cash. If you introduce the idea as a sound financial decision, they might be receptive. And if they are, you can help them unlock significant value from items they might not have thought about in years.
Checklist of Items to Look For
- Jewelry. Dresser drawers and old jewelry boxes can contain a surprising quantity of gold, silver and even platinum jewelry.
- Coin collections. An old collection that has not been examined in years can contain some real treasures – both for their collectable value and for the gold and silver that they contain.
- Old circulated coins. Old quarters that are stashed in drawers and piggybanks can contain large quantities of silver that are well worth refining.
- Medals, trophies and awards. Until about 20 years ago, they were often plated with thicker amounts of silver than is used today.
- Religious jewelry of all kinds. Much of it is made of karat gold.
- Class rings. The jewels that are set in them are usually not worth much, but the rings themselves can contain significant quantities of karat gold. (Look for stamped markings of karat rating inside.)
- Smoker’s items. Cigarette cases were often made of silver in years past. You might even find some that are made of platinum. Older cigarette lighters often contain a lot of silver, especially larger tabletop models. And look for gold trim on cigarette and cigar holders, cigar cutters, and pipes.
- Bar accessories. Look for silver and silver-plated shot glasses and cocktail swizzle sticks.
- Candelabras and candleholders. Older ones are often heavily silver-plated.
- Picture frames. In decades past, they were often plated with silver. Even smaller ones can contain quantities of that metal that are worth extracting.
How to Help Your Relatives Cash In
Give us a call at 800-426-2344 and tell us what you have. We will be pleased to help you turn your discoveries of gold into cash that might just come in very handy today for your elders.
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