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The Right Time to Sell Gold

When is the Right Time to Sell Gold?

Gold has been a valued commodity for millennia. Archeologists believe gold was first used as currency approximately 7,000 years ago. Gold’s long history helps us understand the enduring value of gold. Your gold holdings are a form of tangible wealth that would be as recognizable to an Egyptian in 3000 BC or a Norman soldier in 1066 as they are to us today. With such stable and consistent value, you may wonder, when is the right time to sell your Gold and receive the most value?   

Reasons to Sell Gold

Here are three key reasons why you may want to sell your gold:  

  1. You need the cash. Perhaps you have an unexpected medical bill, or you need to make a down payment on a house or car. Gold is a valuable asset that can quickly turn into cash when needed.  
  1. You want to diversify your investment portfolio. While gold has held its value over time, it is not immune to market fluctuations. You can diversify your investments and reduce your risk by selling some of your gold.  
  1. You no longer feel comfortable holding gold. Maybe you are worried about a potential decrease in gold’s value, or you simply don’t like the idea of holding a physical asset.   

If you are considering selling your gold, it is important to do your research and understand the process. There are a few different ways to sell gold, each with its pros and cons. You can sell online, through a gold buyer or dealer, or at a pawn shop. It is important to understand the current value of gold so you can get the best price for your sale.  

The Right Time to Sell Gold

If you are considering selling your gold, when is the right time? Here are a few things to consider when deciding to sell your gold that are further detailed below:  

Current Market Conditions

It is important to research the current price of gold to get the most return on your investment. Gold spot prices fluctuate daily and having market knowledge will be beneficial to your portfolio decisions.  

The Gold to Silver Ratio

Some investors have utilized the gold to silver ratio as part of their trading strategy, which may help when trimming holdings in one metal to invest in another.  

Personal Circumstances

Sometimes, selling gold may be a necessity rather than a choice. For example, if you need to bring your gold holdings down to a specific number of items or ounces for the purposes of estate planning or another similar situation.  

Investors holding gold should track what they paid for each purchase to determine when to sell to ensure a profit. To get the most return on your gold investment, you should sell when prices and demand are at their highest. When there is increased demand for gold, the prices tend to be higher due to investors searching for the safety the popular yellow metal provides. 

On top of researching the current spot prices and global supply and demand, also consider how gold premiums may be affecting the current prices as well. Gold premiums are additional costs incurred when buying gold. This could be in the form of shipping and distribution, storage, production, other overhead costs or more complicated factors such as global supply and demand. When gold premiums are high, it can indicate that gold is in high demand. 

Monitor the Gold Spot Price

When you sell your gold, you will be paid based on the spot price of gold at the time of sale. The spot price is the current market value of an ounce of gold. This price constantly fluctuates, so it is important to stay up to date on the latest prices.  

There are a few different ways to track the spot price of gold. You can check live spot price charts online offered by online retailers, such as APMEX’s Live and Historical Gold Spot Price page. You can also sign up for alerts using our mobile app to notify you when the spot price reaches a certain level, letting you know it is time to sell.  

If you sell your gold through a local dealer or buyer, they will likely give you a quote based on the current spot price. Remember that buyers and dealers will also factor in their fees when they make an offer, so you usually will not receive the full spot price. It is a good idea to check the current spot price before selling to ensure you are getting a fair deal. Some gold coins also have a certain numismatic or semi-numismatic value and sell for a premium over spot.  

How to Sell Your Gold 

When you decide to sell, there are various ways you can choose to sell your gold. The quickest and most convenient way to sell your gold is online. To sell precious metals online, find a respected and trustworthy website or dealer, create an account, and follow their instructions. For example, APMEX buys and sells precious metals with quick processing times and easy shipping.

One benefit to selling online is that it’s easy to do. You don’t need to leave your home or meet anyone in person. You also don’t need to worry about storing or shipping your gold. The dealer will take care of everything for you. Finding a reputable precious metals retailer is the best way to sell your gold online to ensure you get a fair price without any scams or extra hidden fees.  

Selling to a Local Coin Shop

Another option for selling your Gold is selling it to a local coin shop. You can find shops locally by searching online or through word-of-mouth. Once you find a shop you trust, you will need to take your gold to them to be appraised.  

The local coin shop dealer will then make you an offer based on the current market value of gold. They will give you cash or a check for the agreed-upon amount if you accept their offer. The downside of selling to a local coin shop is that it can be time-consuming to find someone you trust. You will also need to transport your gold to them, which may not be convenient if you live far away.   

Selling to Local Pawn Shops

Another option for selling your gold is to take it to a local pawn shop. Pawn shops generally offer lower prices than selling online or to local coin shops, but they may offer convenience if you live near one.  

Pawn shops are also not always reputable, so it is important to research the shop before taking your gold to one. You can read reviews online or ask people you know if they have had a good experience with a particular pawn shop.

In general, we recommend taking your gold to a coin shop or bullion dealer either online or in person before using pawn shop services. Not only do prices tend to be lower from pawn shops, but they are often located in neighborhoods with a higher crime rate. Carrying valuable gold unsecured on your person often has its own risks. A local coin shop or online precious metals dealer will also have better knowledge of the value of any numismatic gold you are trying to sell. 

The Wrong Time to Sell Gold

Selling gold can be a great way to liquidate assets but selling at the right time is crucial. Monitoring the current market conditions and premiums is the best first step before deciding to sell. For example, selling your gold may not be a good idea if: 

  • You are selling without a plan for the money. Inflation always chips away at the value of a dollar. Unless you have a specific plan for after selling your gold, it is generally better to leave money in some sort of investment vehicle. 
  • You are selling at a loss: If you bought your gold at a higher price and the market conditions have changed, you may be selling at a loss. In this case, it might be better to sell your gold after the market improves.  
  • You are selling in a panic: It is encouraged to invest and sell rationally instead of making decisions based on emotion. An investor may see a crash in the market and panic, pull out their investments and take a considerable loss. If the market is experiencing unpredictable swings, hold steady and stick to an investment plan. 

Generally, the best time to sell gold is when the market conditions are good, and you stand to make a profit from the sale. Selling gold can be a great way to liquify your assets, but it’s important to sell at the right time to get the best possible return on your investment.  

The Bottom Line

Selling gold is a personal decision that depends on your financial goals and circumstances. There is no specific “right” time to sell, but many factors must be considered before deciding. If you need cash or are downsizing your collection, selling some of your gold holdings may be a good option.

However, if you are not in a hurry to sell and want to get the best price possible, you may want to wait for the right time to sell. No matter when you decide to sell, be sure to do your research to get the best deal possible. With a little bit of planning, you can maximize the return on your investment.  


Gold makes for a great investment opportunity; for any questions regarding selling specific gold products in your investment portfolios, please consult your financial advisor.

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