3 Creative Ways to Find Gold

Gold is perhaps the most precious metal on earth, and by far the most cherished among jewelry metals. However, it is not always treated as such. Some people nearly give it away at garage sales, yard sales and other events where a sell-it-now attitude persists. You can also find this metal in places you wouldn’t expect–even thrift stores. So, before you put on that gold miner’s hat and grab your pan, check out these unique and creative ways to find gold without a lot of work or expense.

Going the Extra Yard for Gold

Yard Sale Gold

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Yard sales and garage sales are like downsized gold mines you don’t have to dig too far to find. You may have to sift through dozens of items before you lay your hands on that elusive gold, but it won’t be as hard as chiseling through solid stone, and you’ll never have to lift an axe. All you have to do is resell the gold to a gold buyer, who will offer a price minus a small fee or commission, or direct to a refinery that accepts raw gold from sellers. Simply check your yellow pages or the Internet for dealers.

Some people simply don’t account for the value of gold at a yard sale. You may find it in some very strange places. Look for gold spoons, gold candlesticks, and even gold picture frames. Other common gold items include gold thread (made with real gold and often overlooked), gold leaf paper, and even gold cooking utensils, plates or thimbles. These items might be sold off as invaluable, or even donated to a thrift store. So, check there as well!

The New Digital Goldmine

Digital Gold

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It is possible to find gold in electronics, although it is a challenge. Gold is a very good conductor of electricity so it is the preferred metal for electrical connections in computer motherboards, cables and wires (like your HDMI cable) and even old televisions.

Now, it takes time, effort and energy to extract the gold, but if you are willing, you can do it. You first remove all the connectors using metal snips or a similar tool. Then, extract the gold by dissolving it in acid, chlorine bleach and water. Just be very careful, this process requires special preparation. So, if you are unsure, do not attempt it. Instead, go ahead and send it off to a refinery with your other gold finds.

A Golden Estate of Affairs

Gold Estate

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Estate sales are another excellent way to find gold without a pick axe. Be on the look out for gold-lined china dishes, platters, utensils, spoons, forks and other housewares. Be on the look out for necklaces, earrings, and even bracelets. If jewelry items appear damaged or broken, sellers will often give you a deal. If you are shrewd enough, you can work out a deal with the estate sellers who often just want to sell everything quickly.

Other items include gold class rings, cuff links, trophies, and coins. You will also find many items appearing to hold little value except for their gold! Remember, objects like canes may have gold handles, and even jewelry boxes contain gold inlays, latches, or trim.

Gold is a popular metal and often turns up in the strangest places. These items will often sell for half the value of the gold they contain. If gold is going for $1500 an ounce, you don’t need a great big pile of it to make money.

5 Reasons George Soros is Wrong to Sell Gold Now

If you follow gold, you have probably heard of George Soros. Not only is he a billionaire, Soros Fund Management is one of the biggest gold traders around. And you may have heard that in February, 2013 the crazy billionaire sold off over half his shares in the gold EFT, Kinross Gold Corp and Freeport-McMoran. There are many reasons that, as a gold investor, you should not do the same.

Reason #1: He’s Done it Before, and He’ll Do it Again

Soros Sells His Gold

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Maybe Soros is picky. Maybe he is nervous. Or maybe he just has a thing against gold. However, the 2013 purge of gold shares isn’t the first time the billionaire has played this trick. In 2011, he sold off about $800 million worth of gold, gold-related shares and investments.

Reason #2: Gold Prices Fluctuate

Gold Prices Fluctuate

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Let’s be honest, the price that Soros sold his stocks at is a dipping price. Since he sold, the price has started rising again. In fact, many predict that the price will continue to rise. There is a trick to buying and selling gold. You don’t want to sell at the lowest price. Don’t get scared just because you see a dip in the market.

Reason #3: There’s a Reason it’s Called the Gold Standard

The Gold Standard

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Gold has been around for a really long time. Much longer than our paper money, our stock market, or even our current society. So think about it. Do you really, truly think that gold is going anywhere? Not only has this precious metal been used for centuries as currency, it is also used in medical equipment, scientific experiments, artistic works, and more. Companies may come and go; stocks may rise and fall, but gold… well, gold is forever.

Reason #4: It’s Gaining a Global Market

Global Gold Market

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In the United States, there may be less demand for gold jewelry. However, this does not mean that there is less demand throughout the world for gold in general. Other countries are clamoring for jewelry-quality gold. On top of that, there is gold that is used in a variety of other products. Remember, gold is not a local market, it is a world-wide commodity.

Reason #5: Blindly Following Anyone in the Stock Market Game is a Bad Idea

Investment Choices

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Assuming you don’t have millions of dollars to throw around, you probably don’t have the kind of money to make a crappy decision on the stock market and come out unscathed. To be honest, blindly following anyone, even someone who is supposed to be a ‘guru’ in the stock market, is simply stupid. Instead, weigh your options, talk to your financial advisors, and make a well-informed decision. Soros sold his stock to make a quick buck. If you are looking to make a good profit from your gold investment, do so smartly, not by following Soros.

When you invest in gold, you are making a great long-term investment. It is important that you don’t get scared out of the market simply because someone with a prominent name decides they want to sell off some of their shares.

Is the Gold Bull Market Over?

Most experts speculate that the gold bull market will continue through 2013. Some, however, disagree with this perspective. Comparing their arguments should help you decide whether you think now is a great time to invest in gold.

Bear Market: Growth in the US Economy Means Falling Gold Prices

Gold Market

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Some market speculators believe that gold prices will fall as the US economy stabilizes. US economic growth will mean that more investors around the world want to buy USD instead of gold. This will drive up the value of US currency while causing the value of gold to fall slightly.

Bull Market Response: The World Economy Suggests Higher Gold Prices

Gold Bull Market

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Yes, the US economy will likely grow somewhat in 2013, but that growth will come at a slow pace that will not excite investors around the world. Unemployment remains high; the government cannot take control of its debt; and wages have not risen to match inflation. All of this spells bad news for USD.

It’s also important to note that the price of gold doesn’t rely on the US economy alone. Half of the world is stuck struggling through a recession. The rest is stuck in economic depression. When seen from a global perspective, investors simply cannot put as much faith in currency as they can in gold.

Bear Market: As Interest Rates Rise, Gold’s Value Will Fall

Gold Bear Market

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During the 1980s, the price of gold fell as interest rates began to climb. Assuming that the Fed will begin to raise interest rates as the US economy improves and needs less assistance, the price of gold will fall during 2013. As the value of gold begins to slip, investors will likely panic and sell it at lower rates. This will lead to a steady decline in value.

Bull Market Response: Gold Maintains Value in all Economic Conditions

Gold Maintains Value

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Yes, there is some chance that higher interest rates could mean that the value of gold falls somewhat. This, however, is based on pure speculation. There simply isn’t enough historical evidence to support such a conclusion. It’s also important to look at the data from the 1980s. While one can find a general correlation between rising interest rates and falling gold prices, the chart is inconsistent. In some years, interest rates and gold prices were equally high.

The fact of the matter is that gold maintains value in all economic conditions. Buying gold is always the safe bet. Even if the value were to fall slightly in 2013, it would eventually rise again. What’s important is for investors to recognize the difference between short-term profits and long-term stability. It seems most likely that gold’s value will increase next year. Even if it doesn’t, though, it still offers more long-term stability and growth than other investment options.

Now that you have seen both sides of the argument, do you think that the gold bull market is actually over, or are you ready to start putting your money in a precious metal that will give you short-term profits as well as long-term stability no matter where the economy heads?

Panning for Gold Today: Where to Go & How to Succeed

You can find gold in almost any US state. Most places, however, just have trace elements. If you want to make money panning for gold today, you have to know where to go and what method to use.

Gold Creek, Alaska

Gold Creek

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The appropriately named Gold Creek runs through several towns near Juneau, Alaska. If you can stand the long hike, Last Chance Basin also has a reputation as a great place to pan for gold. Few people strike it rich at these locations, but rumor has it that someone found a 3/4 ounce nugget there recently.

You’ll need the standard panning equipment:

  • Shovel
  • Bucket
  • Sieve
  • Small spade
  • Waterproof boots (it gets cold in Alaska!)

You’ll also need dedication. Panning is hard work that requires physical and mental strength. If you get discouraged easily, then you’ve already failed.

Finger Lakes, New York

Gold Finger Lakes

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Gold prospectors have said for years that there isn’t anything worth finding in New York State. It turns out that the old-timers just didn’t have the right technology to get the gold.

If you want to find gold in New York, head to a basin in the Finger Lakes region and start looking in small cracks between rocks. How? You just need some suction.

Before heading out in search of gold, make sure you have a power sluice. It’s essentially a strong water pump attached to a mechanical sieve. Put your hose deep in those cracks to suck out hidden gold.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Gold in Charlotte

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Everyone remembers the California Gold Rush, but history seems to have forgotten about an earlier rush that took place east of Charlotte, North Carolina. Reed’s Gold Mine, as it’s known today, has recently started to attract new treasure hunters willing to wade through the Little Meadow Creek and other nearby waterways.

Don’t expect to find anything like the 17-pound gold rock that started the Gold Rush in 1799 or the 28-pound found by a slave in 1803. Many members of the local Gold Prospectors Association of America chapter haven’t found so much as an ounce.

Still, there’s a lot of potential in the area. John Reed eventually turned to underground mining, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still find gold in the water.

American River, California

California Gold

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California banned suction dredging in 2010, so you can’t use the same methods that have made a handful of New York prospectors rich.

Several locations, including American River, however, still let you use panning and metal detector methods to find gold. To make the most of your time, it’s best to use a combination of the methods.

What you’ll need:

  • A metal detector to find large deposits
  • Standard panning equipment
  • Luck

Using a metal detector can increase your chances of finding higher concentrations of gold in the silt, but metal detectors will also tell you start working whenever they find metal trash. That’s why you need luck as well as science to find gold in California rivers.

Do you have any secret spots where you hunt for gold, or have you found that it’s best to where others have already struck it rich?

What Kind of Gold Do You Really Have? Understanding the Differences Between Gold Items

It’s malleable but strong, aesthetically inspiring, and never tarnishes. Since prehistoric times, people have used gold to fashion a variety of objects. But it’s also rare and expensive, and so different items are made of differing amounts of gold and other metals.

“Solid Gold” Is Not Pure Gold

Pure Gold

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When an item is made from “solid gold,” this means the item consists of one piece of gold or gold alloy. It is not layered or plated on top of anything else. A pure gold item will be marked 24 karat (24K).

Gold is often alloyed with other metals including copper, silver, palladium, or others, partly to create a harder metal that won’t wear as easily and partly to lower cost. Twenty-four karat gold, which is nearly 100 percent pure, is 24 parts of gold per 24 parts of metal. The karat number divided by 24 equals the percentage of gold in the alloy. For example: 18K = 18/24 = 79.2% gold. A refinery can melt down the alloy and separate the gold from the other metals.

Gold bars are 24K. Bullion-grade gold coins are between 22K and 24K. Jewelry is made of many different alloys, and the color of gold in jewelry depends on the percentages of the other metals used. The law requires jewelry manufacturers to mark the karat weight on their pieces, but sometimes marks are counterfeited. Dental scrap in the form of gold teeth, fillings, bridges, etc. may contain between 60 percent and 100 percent gold, determined through chemical testing.

Gold Filled Items May Be Valuable

Gold Filled

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Some items consist of a layer of gold or gold alloy that has been fused to a core of base metal. The law states that these items must be labeled as gold filled. The ratio of gold alloy to base metal by weight ranges from 1/5 to 1/40. If an item is marked as “1/10 GF 14K,” this means that one-tenth of the weight of the object is 14K gold, and the other nine-tenths is base metal.

Corporate jewelry, including award pins for employees’ years of service from the 20th century, is sometimes made of 1/5 filled gold. Wire-framed eyeglasses often contain 1/10 filled gold. Refineries can reclaim a meaningful amount of gold from these items.

The terms “gold filled” and “rolled gold” are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are not exactly the same thing. If an item is marked “RGP” (rolled gold plate) or “HRG” (heavy rolled gold), the gold layer is thinner than it is on filled gold pieces. Refineries may refuse to process such items.

Gold Plate Contains Little Gold

Gold Plated

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Some items are mostly base metal, but have a thin layer of gold or gold alloy applied to them by an electrical process. Items will be marked as “GP” or “EP.” If the layer of gold is somewhat thicker, it is known as “heavy gold electroplating” and marked as “HGP” or “HGE.” In either case, any process to recover the gold from these items will not be cost effective, so a refinery won’t accept them.

Apart from jewelry, dinnerware and silverware are sometimes gold plated. Some collectible “gold” coins are also made this way. Cellphones and other electronics contain some parts that are gold plated to guard against corrosion.

Jewelry is sometimes made by electroplating gold over sterling silver, and this is called “vermeil.” Refineries can reclaim the silver, but not the gold, from vermeil jewelry.

All gold objects are not the same, so watch out for clues to the differences.