Need cash in a hurry? If you’ve got any gold jewelry laying around your house, you just may be in luck!

But before you go rushing off to exchange that gold for cold, hard cash, read these tips first. They can help you save time and money, not to mention a lot of headaches! Here’s what you need to know before you sell your gold.

Tip #1: Know your gold

Did you know that gold jewelry is rarely made from pure gold? Most gold pieces are comprised of gold and other alloys. In the United States, gold jewelry is mostly 10, 14 or 18 karats. Because you’ll only get paid for the parts of your jewelry that are pure gold, knowing how many karats your gold piece is can help give you a better estimate of how much you’ll make.

Tip #2: Get an appraisal

Most jewelers buy gold by weight, but what if your gold jewelry is worth more than that? Antique or intricately designed gold jewelry may be worth more to sell as a whole piece than just for the metal it’s made from. Only one way to find out—have your jewelry appraised before you sell it, just to make sure.

Tip #3: Shop around

It’s easy to get tempted by all the “WE BUY GOLD” signs you see hanging in stores all over town, but you want to be sure you are getting the best price for your gold. Before choosing a buyer, be sure to get bids from several companies first. You may find that the offers you receive vary substantially from buyer to buyer.

Tip # 4: Find a reputable buyer

Is the business that wants to buy your gold jewelry licensed to do so in your state? Are they a member of a jewelry trade association such as Jewelers of America? Are there any complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau or unfavorable Yelp or Google reviews about the buyer? These are some of the questions you want to ask—and have answered—before you part with your gold jewelry.

Selling your unwanted gold can be an excellent way to earn extra money in a hurry, but it is still important to be cautious and make good choices when it comes to selecting a buyer and getting the best price for your jewelry. Follow these tips to ensure a good experience when you sell gold in Denver and you’ll be glad you did!