Helzberg Jewelers just recently started a gold buying program called “Helzberg diamonds gold purchase program” (their official jewelry store name is “Helzberg Diamonds“, they aren’t actually buying diamonds with this program).
Helzberg has been around for over 104 years. They have 210 stores all across the county, so they are very well known and very reputable.
Their program is simple. You send them your gold. They send you a check.
Easy as that!
But is it?
I wanted to see if this program was fair, simple as they say, and what happens in the process… Hence, the purpose for this review.
I put Helzberg to the test.
Signing up for the program takes no time. You go to their website and select the “gold purchase program”. See below…
It will take you to a page that talks about the program that says it’s as simple as 4 easy steps.
You’ll see a button that says “request a packet“…
That’s what you want. That leads you to a sign up page on HelzbergGold.com. Fill out the information and hit submit…
They send you a email called request confirmation…
As you can see from the image, the email tells you what to do once you get the packet.
1) Ensure your info is correct. Remove your gemstones from your items (more on this later). Place your gold or platinum in the bag.
2) Put the bag in the prepaid preaddressed Fedex envelope.
3) Call Fedex to pick up or drop off at a Fedex location.
Helzberg makes it simple. It really is a no-brainer.
The confirmation email also states that the Fedex package is prepaid and insured for up to $500 against loss or damage. (So if you think your items may be worth more than $500, you may want to think twice about participating in this program.)
The packet arrives
The packet Helzberg sent me arrived within 2 days.
In the package was a Fedex package, a poly bag, a letter telling you about the program (pretty much what the confirmation email said), and a brochure.
The letter has your Fedex tracking number printed right on the page, which is great if you ever need to track where it’s at (go to Fedex.com to track it).
The back of the letter is quite funny. It’s an entire page of nothing but hard to read (small text) disclaimers. 14 of them. That’s enough to make my eyes water. Who ever reads those anyway?
The enclosed brochure
Kudos to Helzberg for putting together such a great looking full color brochure. Presentation is everything, right?
The brochure goes into a lot of details about the program. Things like…
What Helzberg buys:
The brochure lists exactly what they buy:
Gold crowns? Yes!
They make sure that you see that they accept damaged and broken jewelry (broken clasps, tangled chains, missing earring mates…). This is good, because that’s what you get paid the most for. :)
They buy 10k gold, 14k gold, 18k gold, 22k gold, and 24k gold. Plus, even the European equivalents. And of course, they buy all platinum.
What Helzberg doesn’t buy:
These are the items that you won’t get paid for…
It clearly states:
Remove all stones before sending.
If you send in a ring that has a Diamond in it, you will not receive a penny for that diamond. This is a gold and platinum buying program only! That is all they ask for, that is all they will pay for.
Best value from Helzberg:
Best value?… Or at least that’s what their brochure states. They compare their rates up against 5 other competitors and it shows that they pay more. It doesn’t say who the competitors are, so this chart is pretty useless.
I send my jewelry to Helzberg:
I grabbed 6 items for testing.
5 of the items were 14kt gold, 1 of them was a stainless steel chain. The reason I sent in a stainless steel chain is simple: I wanted to see how they dealt with items that didn’t fit in their criteria. It’s a fact, some people don’t know what content their jewelry is and some people will probably send in items that are not real gold or platinum. What will Helzberg do?
Here is a picture of the items I sent in…
I also weighed my items before hand just to make sure the amount they were giving me was accurate.
Stainless Steel Chain = 50 Grams or 57.871 dwt (dwt is pennyweight).
14kt Gold Jewelry = 40 Grams or 25.72 dwt.
Read more about grams and pennyweight.
3 of my rings also had diamonds or gemstones (onyx) in them (even though they said to remove them…). I didn’t want to demolish my rings just to review this program…
Plus, I wanted to see what they did. After all, I can’t imagine many people busting up their own rings just to remove the diamonds or gems before they sent them in for a quote. Leaving the stones in is a more accurate and true test.
Sending my jewelry to Helzberg:
I put my goods in the poly bag, closed it, then put that bag in the prepaid Fedex envelope, sealed that tightly and dropped it off at the nearest Fedex drop box (which was at my local Post Office).
Now all I had to do was wait…
I didn’t have to wait for long.
2 days later I get an email saying “packet received“. They said they would keep you up-to-date on the process: They are good on their word.
The email states that they got my package and they have begun the process of assessing my jewelry. It says they will get back with me in 2 days with an offer.
Great, so far it’s picture perfect. I really am impressed at how smooth Helzberg has made this whole program.
The email also states that I need to go to HelzbergGold.com and set up an account. They give you a transaction ID# and an order number to use.
Setting up an account does 2 things:
1) It allows you to review your offer and watch the video of them opening your package (as you will soon see).
2) It gives them the info they need to send you your money (a check) if you decide to accept the offer and sell your jewelry.
My offer is ready:
That very same day I received another email saying my offer was ready for review. That was fast!
I go to HelzbergGold.com and try to login…
I can’t remember my password. Crap… I usually write these things down…
I was lost…
I went back and re-read the email. OH… This is where I see that I need to set up an account first. :) I didn’t do that. I do that now…
Sign up for an account:
I sign up for an account with my transaction and order numbers. This only takes a couple of seconds.
Then I’m able to login with my username and password.
From there, I’m taken to a page called “my requests“.
Under the tab “decision requested“, you will see it shows the date and the offer.
They offered me $536.08 for my items (based upon the price of gold at the time, around $1,160 an ounce).
There are 2 buttons underneath the offer. 1) Accept offer 2) Decline offer.
What I don’t see is a breakdown of the items or even a pennyweight or gram listed. I have no idea what the amount is giving me credit for.
I also don’t see the video that they say I will see.
Hmmmm… I’m a little unclear at this moment.
There are a couple more tabs on the right side of the page. One of them says “packet opened“. I select it. It pulls up a box that says “play recording of opening“…
Oh… So this is where they hid the video.
I push the button and up pops up a dark screen with a video (below).
It shows them opening my package: Holding the bag up to the camera so you can see that it’s yours, opening the bag, laying out all your items, and then the person scoops them all up (even my stainless steel chain) and puts them on a scale to weigh. Then they pull out the keyboard and act like they are typing me up my offer.
End of video.
Watch and see what my offer looked like. Do note that I blurred out my name and address so you can’t see…
What Helzberg doesn’t show you:
They don’t show you the actual evaluation of the items. The don’t show them testing each and every piece, looking at the karat stamps inside the shanks, looking at the diamonds and gems with a jeweler’s loupe (you know they are), and they don’t break down for you what they buy and what they don’t buy.
I call Helzberg:
There is an 877 phone number on the left of their website that you can call if you have questions.
The lady on the phone was extremely friendly, nice and polite. She answered all of my questions quickly and easily.
The first thing she did was pull up my information and my offer. I asked her what the pennyweight was of the items they made an offer on. She tells me that it’s 26.74 dwt. (Which is actually more than what my scale said – 25.72 dwt)
That’s when she also told me (I didn’t have to bring this up) that not all of my items were gold and that I wasn’t getting paid for them. She offered to send me my chain back free of charge if I wanted it (I find myself very impressed at this. I didn’t expect it.)
She asks me if I want to accept or decline the offer while I’m on the phone. I lie and say I want to think about it, but really I just wanted to make sure I got screenshots of everything for this review.
Is this offer fair?
Yes! Helzberg actually paid 60% of what it was worth. Most gold buyers only pay around 50% or less. Granted these are scrap metal prices, and they are just going to melt them down and send them to a refinery. But it was a very fair offer.
I called a local jeweler that also bought scrap gold to compare prices with. I told him the pennyweight of the 14k gold and he said he would offer me $400.
Helzberg paid much higher…
Can you get more money?
Helzberg pays scrap metal prices, as said… BUT….
You can actually get more money for your items depending on their condition.
If your jewelry is in excellent or great condition (resalable), you can get more for them. You can take them to a jewelry store, antique dealer or pawn shop that resells estate jewelry or used jewelry, they will probably pay you more.
Plus, if you have diamonds or gemstones in your pieces like I did, you could probably get a few more dollars for them (maybe). If your diamond has substantial carat weight, you may get a lot more.
I called 3 jewelry stores in town that bought pre-owned (second hand) pieces. Here are their prices based upon the gold weight only:
Jeweler 1) = $627
Jeweler 2) = $720 – $850 (depending on condition)
Jeweler 3) = $650
Keep in mind, this is sight unseen, and their prices may vary once they see my items.
Plus, gold prices rise and fall daily, so these prices will always change.
But it does go to show you that if your items are not damaged or broken, and the jeweler can resell them… You will probably get more cash for your jewelry.
The bottom line:
The Helzberg program works perfectly fine (exactly as stated).
I saw no flaws other than the fact that there was no breakdown and no pennyweight listed with the offer.
But then again, if you take your items into a jewelry store to sell them, they probably wouldn’t tell you the pennyweight either (unless you asked for it, just like I did with Helzberg).
There are Limits
The Helzberg gold purchase program does have some limits. They will pay out up to $2,500 at a time and you can only send in up to 4 packages a year (totaling no more than $7,500).
My word of warning is this: They only insure up to $500, keep that in mind if you have expensive items that you want to sell.
You may want to call them for more information.
Also note that you must be 21 in order to sell your gold.
Would I recommend this program?
Sure. If you have scrap metal, broken jewelry, broken clasps or the such. Send them in. See what they offer. For these items, they tend to pay pretty good. Plus, it doesn’t cost you a thing to find out.
Helzberg is safe and reputable and all you have to do is accept the offer and they will mail you a check. Or decline the offer and they will mail you your items back. You have nothing to lose.
If your jewelry is in better condition, it may be wise to check out your local jeweler first and see what they say.
You may get more money…
You may not.
You won’t know until you try.