In times of economic trouble, gold is often seen as a safe investment and no more so than now, with the price of gold at an all time high.
But if you're thinking of cashing in on your unwanted jewellery then Carole Malone is here to give you the best advice and to make sure that you don't get ripped off.
Not only that, we're also tasting your favourite cereals to find out just how healthy they really are... Do you know just how much sugar you consume at breakfast? Well, you're about to discover the truth!
How money for gold companies work
Typically, you'll be required to send off your items in an envelope after getting a quote for them via a firm's website. Once they are received, assessed and valued, payment for the gold will be sent to you by cheque or deposited directly into your bank account.
Cash for gold websites may not offer the best deal: Make sure you research several firms and get a variety of 'quotes' from different websites before parting with it. Be aware that you can't trust everything you read online.
Cash for gold industry is unregulated: Money for gold companies are free to offer customers uncompetitive prices which compare poorly with what they could get from high street jewellers, pawnbrokers or even by selling their scrap gold online.
We took three items of gold jewellery got them valued by a reputable gold trader and then got them valued online- here's what we found:
9ct hollow bracelet with heart lock
Quoted value- £196.20
Actual value- £232.21
14ct horse shoe
Quoted value- £38.87
Actual value- £46.16
22ct full sovereign
Quoted value- £211.47
Actual value - £258.88
The alternative to using a specialist money for gold firm is to sell your old gold independently, either to a high street jeweller or through an online trading website.
How to get the best deal
- Weigh your gold: Weigh your pieces on an accurate set of scales so you know how heavy each piece is in grams
- Check the carat: Find out the gold content. Carats are the measure of purity. Pure gold is 24 carat (ct.) This can also be expressed as a percentage: for example, 9 ct. gold is 9/24 = 37.5% pure, so a 10g piece of 9ct gold jewellery will contain 3.75g of pure gold. If you don't know the purity it might be worth taking it to your local jeweller for advice.
- Check the price of gold: Scan the financial pages of a daily newspaper or a financial website such as the London Bullion Market Association (lbma.org.uk) to find out the current spot gold price, which is quoted per troy ounce (one troy ounce = 31.1 grams). But don't confuse this with the scrap metal value, which is lower. Be aware weighing gold only works if the item is all gold. Kitchen scales used at home will be slightly inaccurate.
- Write an inventory: Before sending any jewellery to a cash-for-gold website make sure you write an inventory of the items and take photos of them to record their condition. If you reject the offer but a piece comes back to you damaged you'll have evidence to refute any claim that it arrived in that condition.
- Check the website's policies: If your item of jewellery contains gemstones, make sure you know what the gold-buying company's policy is first before sending anything off.
Is your WIFI as safe as it says it is?
A shocking number of us don't check if WIFI is secure before using it, putting our data at risk.
A poll by internet security company VPNHQ revealed:
- 86% of Brits check their home Wi-Fi is secure
- But 56% do NOT check to see if a public Wi-Fi is secure before joining but 40% of all online UK adults worry about cyber-snooping.
- 40% of UK WiFi users could be putting their passwords and data at risk by using public WiFi to log-in to email, 37% access Facebook and 14% even log-in to online banking.
How to make sure your wifi is safe
- Be aware If the network does not have a password then it may not be secure. WiFi providers such as BT openzone or cloud wireless are protected but you still have to ensure the websites you access are secure.
- One way of protecting WiFi connections at public hotspots is to use a Virtual Private Network or VPNHQ. These provide users with a central organisational network and add extra security measures. VPNHQ,is a new brand protection enabling users to set up a VPN (Virtual Private Network) quickly and easily. VPNHQ employs native features of mobile devices to encrypt wireless communications, which makes using public WiFi networks far more secure and greatly reduces the chance of private information such as passwords or bank details being stolen or compromised. For more information please see http://vpnhq.com/
- Never send confidential information unless on a secure site
- Never send bank passwords, credit card numbers, confidential e-mail, or other sensitive data unless you're sure you're on a secure site: Look for the padlock icon in the bottom-right corner of your browser, as well as a URL in the address bar that begins with https. Such sites build in their own encryption.
- Always turn your Wi-Fi radio off when you're not at a hotspot Hackers can use it to create peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connections with your computer and access it directly.
- See our website for more details