Five pleasant, efficient people were working at a series of tables performing the assessments. Guests were invited to enjoy a cup of coffee and a Krispy Kreme doughnut. (This turned out to be the best part of the trip to Puyallup!) Overall though, it was an interesting and transparent process to observe.
The first step is sorting with a magnet. If items are drawn to a magnet, they're ferrous metal and thus not what they're looking for at all.
Of the items I lugged along to have them assess, only one tiny bracelet -- I do mean tiny -- was actually gold. How tiny? After weighing it and calculating the value, it came out to 18-cents. Since that was the only item I had that actually had any gold in it (as opposed to 'on' it) I didn't want to put them through the hassle of writing me a check for 18-cents, so I just kept the tiny bracelet.
As I learned, the refiners will not accept anything gold-plated or silver-plated. Even a watch, which was stamped "10kt" on the back, was disassembled and tested. It, too, turned out to be gold-plated, but not gold.
There were only two other potential patrons there at the same time that I was:
- A man had brought in a ring with a large stone in it; they suggested he take it to a pawn shop for a better value.
- A woman had brought in a gold crown from a molar stating that her dentist told her she should get at least $340.00 for it. She appeared to be in shock when they told her that it is worth $38.00. She objected at first, but the person in charge quickly chirped, "$38.00 is better than just having that sitting in your drawer, isn't it?" The woman looked as if her mind was whirling, but agreed to accept a check for $38.00.
My tiny 18-cent bracelet...the man and his ring referred to a pawn shop...and the woman's gold crown for $38.00. Hmmm... Underwhelming to say the least. But the hot coffee and fresh doughnut made the adventure worthwhile. As I walked back to the elevator and noticed the glistening, shimmering chandelier in the lobby below, I could not help but think, "All that glitters..." is definitely not gold.