Early Show consumer correspondent Susan Koeppen showed on The Early Show Wednesday where she got the best deal selling three identical 18 Karat gold rings at three popular venues: the jeweler's, a gold party and online.
After three visits to different New York City jewelry shops, the highest offer was $52.
Helena Krodel of The Jewelry Information Center, a trade group for the jewelry industry, told Koeppen that is a realistic expectation.
At the gold party, Koeppen was offered only $38.
"If you're going into this gold party thinking it's going to be entertainment," Krodel told Koeppen, "maybe it's a option for you."
But Koeppen received the least for the gold ring after sending it in to the popular Cash4Gold company. Koeppen received a check in the mail for only $8.95.
Krodel said the amount was "absolutely unacceptable."
Koeppen added that Cash4Gold also takes a percentage and pays for postage and insurance.
However, all of Koeppen's dealings fell short of the rings' actual value, according to The Jewelry Information Center, of $58.
"People are discovering the gold rush isn't what it's cracked up to be," said Krodel.
When asked by Koeppen if people are getting ripped off, Krodel said "buyer beware."
Koeppen told Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith The Jewelry Information Center recommends getting at least three estimates before you sell your gold.