Selling old jewelry for cash benefits you in a number of ways. Not only do you get fast money, but you clear out your jewelry box and have fewer possessions to worry about. While jewelry itself doesn't take up much room, moving out the items you no longer want is still a relief. One problem that people often face is identifying the metal in the jewelry as plating can make anything seem like gold or another precious metal, which affects the price you can get. And if you have a lot of jewelry that could be white gold or silver, it becomes very hard to tell unless you have a clue.
Silver Tarnish vs. Yellowing
White gold is yellow gold mixed with whiter metals like platinum or nickel and then plated with rhodium. Rhodium and white gold do not tarnish at all. But silver does. Look over the entire piece. If you see blackish patches or even a patch that looks like an oil slick with multicolored patches that look like partial rainbows, you've got silver on your hands.
However, if there is no tarnish, but you see a yellowish sheen, especially on the inside of the band, then you have white gold.
Worn Rhodium Plating
The yellowing you see in white gold is basically just the rhodium plating wearing off. When that nice, silvery layer wears thin, the yellower sheen of the white gold will show through. Remember, adding whiter metals to yellow gold won't turn the yellow gold white -- they will make the yellow much paler. So when the rhodium wears away, that pale yellow looks very prominent next to the rest of the rhodium that you're used to seeing.
If you're planning to sell the gold jewelry for scrap value, there's nothing you have to do. But if you were hoping to sell it as a collectible piece, you'll have to have the rhodium plating reapplied, which will cost you money.
When There's No Sign of Either
But what if the old jewelry is in really good condition and shows signs of neither tarnish nor yellowing? That's when you have to take the jewelry in to be appraised. You can get unofficial appraisals at gold buyer companies and at pawn shops. You won't get a certificate, but the workers there can tell you what you've got.
White gold and silver are both valuable, but the price difference between the two is substantial. You want to do your best to know what you have before you actually try to get cash for gold so that you know you're getting the right price.