Do Banks Accept Gold in Exchange for Money?

gold in bank

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If you’ve been collecting gold as an investment or happen to have a stockpile of gold jewelry, you might be wondering where to go to exchange it for money.

  • Can you trade it in at your local bank?
  • Or is a gold exchange something that needs to be done elsewhere?

In general, most banks will not buy gold due to the risk of acquiring counterfeit coins and bars. Some banks will allow members to deposit minted gold for money at face value. However, there are plenty of other options for people to exchange gold for cash.

Buying and selling gold can be a solid investment for many. However, you have to know where to exchange those precious metals to get the most value for your efforts.

Below, I will explain why gold isn’t typically accepted in exchange for money at banks and where you can go instead.

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Can Gold be Exchanged at the Bank for Money?

If you are looking to exchange gold for cash, your local bank probably isn’t an option. While it might seem like a given that a bank would accept gold, many will not or cannot.

This is because they can’t ensure the value and quality of the gold. Much of the gold on the market today has been tampered with in some way. With counterfeit bars and coins on the rise, banks aren’t willing to take the risk with the exchange.

One exception is that you may be able to trade in minted coins (such as US Gold Eagles) for face value. However, keep in mind that this is a face value trade, and you won’t be getting nearly the amount that the coin is worth.

For example, the one ounce of gold in US 1 oz. Gold Eagles is presently valued at around $1,800. However, each of these coins has a face value of $50. 

So while you could certainly deposit $1,800 worth of gold in the bank for a $50 exchange, I wouldn’t advise it.

Does the Federal Reserve Accept Gold in Exchange for Money?

Contrary to popular belief, while the Federal Reserve reports information on gold weekly, it does not buy or sell gold or gold certificates.

In fact, the Federal Reserve does not own any gold at all.  This is because the US no longer uses the gold standard for money. In 1971 the United States stopped converting cash into gold.

Today, anyone is free to buy, sell, and hold gold, but exchanging it for cash at the Federal Reserve is no longer an option.

Alternatives to Exchanging Gold at a Bank

If you’re considering selling your gold, it’s crucial that you choose a buyer that you can put your trust in and who won’t take advantage of you. While banks are typically the first place that comes to mind for many people, as I went over earlier, that usually isn’t an option.

When it comes to selling gold, there are several options available. However, not all of them are equally effective. Here is a quick overview of how to sell gold and where to go to do it.

Exchange gold for money online

If you want to receive the most money for your gold, whether it’s in the form of jewelry, coins, or bullion, selling it online is the best option.

Internet gold buyers can afford to accept lesser profits on the things they acquire and subsequently resell, so you as the seller will get a higher price than you would from a local brick-and-mortar business.

However, it’s vital that you use a trusted website when you sell your gold. This is because there are many sites out there that are scams.

So, make sure to check how long an online gold exchange has been around before you sell your gold to them, and use sites frequently used by other sellers.

Some reputable sites include:

Most online gold exchanges pay with checks, PayPal, or other forms of money within 24 hours of receiving and evaluating your items.

Exchange gold for money with a pawnshop

Pawnshops are another option for exchanging gold for money. However, they tend to offer less than online buyers. This is because they will need to buy it cheap enough to make money by selling it for a fair price.

It’s also possible that the pawnshop won’t be able to tell how pure gold is and, therefore, can’t make you the best deal.

One advantage of selling your gold to a pawn shop, though, is that you will usually get paid right away. You also won’t have to ship the gold anywhere, meaning there is no risk of it getting lost before reaching the buyer.

Sell gold to jewelry stores

Another local option for selling your gold is at the jewelry store in your neighborhood. However, I wouldn’t bank on this one (no pun intended). Not all jewelers are willing to buy old gold, and you’ll often be offered much less than what you could get elsewhere.

The upside here, though, is that a jewelry shop will be able to tell you the value of your piece, so you’ll know whether or not you’re getting a good deal.

Sell Gold to Other Investors

If you’re not feeling the options above, selling your gold coins or bars to a private person is possible. You can use places like Craigslist, eBay, or other selling apps to post your listing.

However, be aware that there are risks that come with selling in private sales. Try to find a reputable buyer, and make sure you receive payment before delivering all of the gold.


Exchanging gold for cash in today’s world isn’t what it used to be. While it is relatively fast and straightforward, it’s not a quick run to the bank like many people think.

While it is possible to trade gold for face value at some banks, this isn’t really going to benefit you in the best way.  Selling gold online is always going to be your best bet.

However, make sure to look into your buyer before delivering the gold to ensure that you get the full value of what it is worth.

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