I wasn't surprised that the most heavily advertised one, Cash4Gold, also pays the least. The reporter bought several pairs of 14k earrings ($160 list, something like $64 on sale), and tried various places.
A coin dealer- used to appraising metal- said the gold in the things was worth just under $15. This is not surprising; fabrication adds cost to what the metal itself is worth as scrap- one of the reasons why selling jewelry as scrap is, even in the best circumstances, not going to be the best way to get money for it; far better to sell it AS jewelry.
Cash4Gold paid a bit under $3. To be fair, they did say they deducted the cost of the "free" mailing from the total.
Something like $6-7 was more typical. And honestly, that's somewhat fair, albeit a bit low compared to what I'd expect for scrap... but finished jewelry is quite possibly not CLEAN scrap, and that doesn't get nearly as good rates from refiners. Plus these outfits are not refiners themselves; they are middlemen, and thus need to pay less than they'll get; that's how capitalism works.
I was sort of shocked, though, at the way the reported was outraged about people citing prices in pennyweights- which she said was "an obscure unit of measurement used only by jewelers." OK, that part is fair enough... but even a quick Google search shows that you can get the price-per-ounce from the price-per-pennyweight by merely multiplying the dwt price by 20.
Frankly, I'd think even a reporter would be capable of that!
She also seemed fuzzy about the difference between the spot price for 14k and what that means in terms of 14k, which is only 58.3% gold, and thus obviously is a lot cheaper.