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How to Make Easy Money at Goodwill, Salvation Army, Thrift Shops Finding Sterling Silver and Gold Jewelry

Updated on January 13, 2017

Here's a Video I Made of My Best Finds!

This type of magnet is very strong and can tell if an item is definitely not gold or silver.
This type of magnet is very strong and can tell if an item is definitely not gold or silver. | Source

Gold and Sterling Silver at Thrift Shops and Tag Sales

I just love thrift shops and tag sales. If there is one thing that I am always looking for, it is gold and silver. By far, head and shoulders above anything else, I love precious metals. There is only one thing better than finding gold and silver, and that's finding it for nearly nothing.

In the video to the right, I show a few of my favorite finds from 2011. For everything in the video total, I paid less than $10! I sold all of it for nearly $2,500. Talk about easy money! Gold and silver are always the number one thing I am on the lookout for because they are easy to store, easy to sell, and easy to make money on!

Never Give Up

You might have to check on the bottom of hundreds of silver plated trays before you find a sterling one, but when you do, it will all be worth it. You might have to search through thousands of watches to find a gold watch, or you may never find one, but if or when you do, it will be worth it!

Get a Strong Magnet

Get a Neodymium magnet and bring it with you everywhere you go. These are great because yo will instantly know if an item is definitely not gold or silver. Also, you can instantly tell if the item is magnetic, which means it's not copper or brass. These magnets are must have tools and they can be found very cheap on Ebay!

Here is a mixed picture of some cool old coins that I have bought in my time picking tag sales, estate sales, and thrift shops.
Here is a mixed picture of some cool old coins that I have bought in my time picking tag sales, estate sales, and thrift shops. | Source

You Should Not Pass up a Large or Heavy Silver Plated Item If the Price Is Right.

Remember, most silver plated pieces are either brass or copper underneath. Sometimes there will be a "C" marking in the middle of three markings. This mark generally means that it is copper underneath, and that means it is worth at least $3 per pound. I can usually pick up silver plated stuff for $1 or less. Sometimes it is even free. It is much more common to be brass underneath but even still, if it is large, or better yet free, then it is totally worth piling up because it adds up quickly!

Gold Filled Watches Can Be Worth a Lot

Gold filled can be valuable and there is more gold than you probably think. Gold plated is almost not even worth picking up for free, but in large quantities, it is worth it (if you can get gold plated for free.) I am always looking for gold filled watches but I wouldn't pay more than $5 for most. Some are worth more than others, but it really does take a lot of research to learn which ones are worth the most. Some watches, regardless of whether they have gold or silver in them, can be worth a fortune as well but that's a whole other story!

Have you found any noteworthy gold and silver real cheap?

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Learn to Recognize Markings

The watch I got was marked 750, not 18k. Some stuff will not be marked by karat, but rather just marked by the purity percent. If you are serious about finding gold and silver, I would suggest that you look into learning about less common or older markings!

I hope you enjoyed this article!

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    • profile image

      ERIC MICHAEL 16 months ago

      Thanks for sharing useful tips.. I appreciate it!

    • profile image

      GILAC 3 years ago

      I appreciate it

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 4 years ago from North Carolina

      As a ragstoreaholic, I can relate to the thrill of finding something in a thrift store. Voted up. Thanks for sharing. Kim