The Attorney General provides Consumer Alerts to inform the public of unfair, misleading, or deceptive business practices, and to provide information and guidance on other issues of concern. Consumer Alerts are not legal advice, legal authority, or a binding legal opinion from the Department of Attorney General.
The value of gold and other precious metals is at near-record levels. One way Michigan consumers are making some quick cash is to sell their gold jewelry and other heirlooms made of precious metal. If you decide to sell your precious metals, make sure you take the time to protect yourself and get the most for your valuables.
The Michigan Precious Metal and Gem Dealer Act, MCL 445.481 et seq, requires precious metal dealers to register with the local government or local police agency where they intend to do business. The Precious Metal and Gem Dealer Act defines a dealer as "any person, corporation, partnership, or association, which, in whole or in part, engages in the ordinary course of repeated and recurrent transactions of buying or receiving precious items from the public within this state." The Act does not require consumers who are "engaged in the sale, purchase, consignment, or trade of precious items for himself or herself, to obtain a registration."
Precious metal dealers must keep a permanent record of each transaction, and must keep all precious items received for nine calendar days. If you would like more information on the requirements of the Michigan Precious Metal and Gem Dealer Act, the statute can be accessed for free on the Michigan Legislature website. If you have questions about whether you are required to be registered in compliance with the Michigan Precious Metal and Gem Dealer Act, you can contact the local police department for the area where you would like to do business via their non-emergency contact number. You may also wish to contact a private attorney to advise you regarding your obligations under the Act.
Take your jewelry to a jeweler and have it appraised before you decide whether to sell. Appraisals may cost a few dollars, but it is important to determine how much your valuables are worth if you are considering selling them. You can also call around to local jewelry stores to ask them if they will buy gold or other jewelry and how much they are offering per ounce.
Remember, even though "gold parties" (events where consumers can visit a friend's home and sell their gold) may seem like a convenient way to spend time with friends and make some cash, you may not be getting the best deal for your valuables. Unless you have shopped around first, and know exactly what your valuables are worth, you run the risk of losing significant amounts of money and your valuables.
If you have a consumer complaint, please contact the to the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at:Consumer Protection Division