Finding Gold and Silver

Thrift Wars cover

Finding Gold and Silver at garage sales and thrift stores is easy and profitable. You just have to know where to look. On this webpage,  we will teach you the art of finding precious metals at yard sales, and thrift shops. It is a thrill to find gold and silver treasure for almost nothing at a garage sale, and it happens more than what you might think.

Finding Gold and Silver at Garage Sales, Thrift Stores, and Flea Markets: Do Your Research!



finding gold and silver Finding gold and silver at garage sales and thrift stores used to be easier ten years ago. You could find karat gold jewelry often mixed in with costume jewelry and tarnished sterling silver decorative items for next to nothing.Now, the spot price of gold has skyrocketed and silver spot prices have also increased dramatically. The average garage sale host is much more knowledgeable about the value of precious metals now than ten years ago.

  • What does this mean for the garage sale picker? You have to do your research! There are still valuable gold and silver items that you can find for cheap at garage sales, but you are going to have to know where to look, and be able to determine their value.
  • These items are usually going to be priced higher than many of your typical garage sale finds, but the profit margin is also higher and their value will be determined by the spot price of gold and silver. These items also make an excellent investment. You may opt to clean them up, harvest the gold and silver, and save them in a safe place until the spot price of gold increases again.
  • This webpage is intended to help you conduct gold and silver research. It is a “hub” of information, with some personal input from finding gold and silver at garage sales and thrift shops. I find this particular niche interesting, so I have been researching ways of finding gold and silver for free or for cheap at garage sales and thrift stores for over ten years.
  • You may want to bookmark or link to this webpage, as I will be adding to this page frequently, and there are a lot of links to quality free informational sites on finding and identifying gold and silver here. They will take some time to review, but are well worth your time spent.

The most important prerequisites to finding gold and silver for cheap:

  1. Be able to identify silver and gold when it is present
  2. Know how to figure out the spot precious metal value, and
  3. Know how to harvest the precious metals after finding gold and silver
  4. Know how and where to sell it.


Finding Gold and Silver: Identifying Gold and Silver


Free Gold and Silver Identification Resources


Guide to Finding “almost free” Gold at Garage Sales – A must-read! Great intro for beginners on how to ID gold and determine value in easy-to-understand steps.

Guide to Finding “almost free” Gold -Advanced Guide – Part 2 of the series by the same author – great for separating plated gold from solid gold, and properties of gold

Guide to Gold Plate, Silver Plate, Rolled Gold, Filled Gold – Part 3 of the same series. The info on plated silver is dated. You can make money on plated silver, if you can get it for cheap.

Guide to Finding “almost free” Silver – by the same author – very well done!

Is My Coin Silver? – CONTAINS UP-TO-THE MINUTE SPOT PRICES FOR SILVER AND GOLD! A great resource for determining if a coin contains real silver and how much it is worth

Where to Find “Junk” Silver for Reselling or Investment – A MUST READ. great information on finding gold and silver, w finding gold and silver coins ith links to spot prices. How to get great prices on silver at second-hand locations or eBay.

Sterling Silver Prices – Excellent resource with price value list – just plug in the weight of your sterling item by ounce, troy ounce.

How to Identify Silver Items, Sterling Silver Using Marks, Maker Marks, Sterling Marks, Silver Hallmarks – Lots of clear photos for identifying if an item is silver or not, and the value.

How to Identify Karat Gold by Hallmark, Maker Mark, Gold Marks


Finding Gold and Silver: Identification Tools


These are the tools that you have to carry with you while you are garage sailing or thrift store shopping to determine the value of gold and silver items that you may find.

Don’t try to guess the values of gold or silver jewelry or coins! Carry these important tools with you. They are easily packed into a purse or placed in your pockets (I usually wear cargo shorts or loose fitting jeans with huge pockets when garage sailing.

You have to carry your tools, and a pocketful of quarters and dimes for paying for single items!).

We have placed links at the bottom of the page for ordering tools. These are the products that we use, and are the most inexpensive and useful products that we could find.

  1. A Magnet (solid gold and silver are non-ferrous)
  2. Gold and Silver Test Kit – Do yourself a favor and buy a quality set to start with. The cheap $10 kits are almost worthless!
  3. A Small Scale (See the Pocket Scale below -must have Troy Ounce Setting. It also has a protective case for riding in your pocket or purse)
  4. Electronic gold testers are very handy, but have an initial investment. Well worth the price, if you enjoy selling in this niche
  5. lighted pocket Microscope or jeweler’s loupe for seeing tiny karat markings. The one below works awesome. The battery life is pretty good. Use size 312 hearing aid batteries for replacements, and save yourself some money!
  6. A calculator – Probably already one on your cell phone!


Free Gold and Silver Refining Research


Shor International page on how to recovery of gold from circuit boards and plated gold. Links for buying all of the necessary products and materials

Instruction for Refining Silver from Silverplate, Circuit Boards, etc. With links for all materials needed. Also an alternate method using materials available at your grocery store

How to Recover Gold from Gold Plated Circuit boards and Decorative Items – Used chemicals – Do this at your own risk, and never inside.

How to Recover Gold from Computer IC Chips – Used chemicals – Do this at your own risk, and never inside.

Scraper’s List: A MUST READ -Large list of valuable parts of circuit boards, cell phones and other electronics, and where the valuable scrap metals are, including gold, silver, and platinum.

Gold Refiner’s Forum – Step by step instructions, with lots of helpful photos. Lots of information.

Scrap Metal Junkie – A GREAT SITE!! How to scrap a junk computer for gold, silver and platinum, plus links for many other junk items to take apart for valuable precious metals and high profit scrap.

Cash for Electronic Scrap – How to start making money by selling junk electronics and components, with a price list for what they pay.

Boardsort – Price list of what they pay for electronic scrap – $125/LB for IC chips, and $74/Lb for clean gold circuit board fingers (12/12). Start collecting those junk computers! Plus they pay up-front using Paypal! Of course, if they are paying you a set amount, you may be able to get more by selling them on eBay.

Article Name
Finding Gold and Silver
Finding gold and silver at yard sales and thrift shops is surprisingly easy. You can also find more precious metals than you would think in vintage junk electronics and machinery. We will tell you how.
Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013-2015