My Answer to Reader Query About Selling Placer Gold (Conclusion)

 (Is it time to sell that pile of placer gold?)

Here's my final segment in this series of posts. Once again, I want to thank Mark in New Mexico for posing his original question to me via e-mail and getting this ball rolling.

Sell in Larger Amounts

In the previous post I said that some gold buyers won't buy placer gold...this may have shocked some of you, but it's true none the less. There are a number of reasons for this, one of which is that some gold buyers (especially jewelers, coin shop owners, and selected larger bullion dealers) just find placer gold more of a hassle to deal with than it's worth...especially in very small amounts.

This latter statement brings me to my next point. It's always easier to sell placer gold in larger amounts than it is to sell one troy ounce or a half ounce. In larger lots, placer gold is more cost effective to refine and on your end, you'll get a better price overall from most buyers.

Do Your Own Refining and Casting?

A very perceptive reader posed the question in the comments section of one of my posts in this series if it wouldn't be advantageous for a seller to do his or her own placer gold refining and casting. Undoubtedly this would help in terms of making selling easier. However, any potential buyer will still test whatever you have to offer in this regard and for good reason.

Gold Concentrates
Gold Pans

Most home-made refined and cast placer gold is typically still not .999 (although it may be close in some instances). This reminds me of a couple of small dore bars of placer gold I sold about 20 years ago during some particularly lean times (I was out of work and as a family unit we were hurting, to put it bluntly). Those dore bars were refined and cast by a friend who knew his stuff but they still were not .999 pure. (You should file this info away for future reference.)

Finding a Reputable Buyer

Since starting this series of posts on selling placer gold I've been asked multiple times on where or who to sell placer gold to. In all truth, you need to work that issue out yourselves. If I start recommending potential gold buyers by naming names guess what? If things don't work out for you or you get ripped off (or think you've been) I get the blame...if not worse. Sorry, but I won't be recommending any buyer or business to you in this regard.

I will say this to you however, do your research when trying to line up a prospective gold buyer. Be especially careful about shipping off your placer gold to someone or some business you have no information on.

Ask Around

Yes, there are reputable buyers online but you're the person who needs to determine who that is. Look for things like how long they've been in business and whether or not they truly have a physical location for their business...not just a virtual location. It's easier than pie to set up a bogus business website, troll for "fish," and then take the money and run. Trust me, it's happened to people who thought they were a hell of a lot smarter than the rest of us.

If you have a jeweler or coin or bullion dealer in your community, ask around about them.  Make sure they've been in business for a while. Go into their shop and talk with them, get a drift on who they are (be sure and listen to your gut feelings while you're at it), whether they buy placer gold and if so, what sort of deal you can work out with them for cash or better yet, bullion trade.

What About Placer Nuggets?

Oh...I almost forgot...what about your placer gold nuggets? Invariably nuggets will command a premium, especially large or uniquely shaped nuggets. NEVER sell nuggets like these for their gold "melt" value...hate to say it, but you're an idiot if you do.

However, many miners consistently overvalue smaller nuggets...usually the smaller nuggets in your possession will have an additional 10%-15% bonus cash factor...providing you can find a buyer for them. That's not always as easy as it sounds...that's why you see so many nugget sellers on e-Bay.

Be smart, do your research, get the best value for your placer gold, and finally...don't get taken.

Good luck out there.

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "There's No Substitute for Experience"

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2012

Questions? E-mail me at


  1. Thanks for this series.

  2. You're most welcome Mark. Thanks for getting me off my rear and writing about this subject! J.R.


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