THE BRONX - The holidays are one of the busiest times to buy and sell jewelry.

However, those looking to sell their gold this season are being told to be extra careful because three out of four gold buyers are in violation of local laws, claims the Department of Consumer Affairs.

These findings come after the department conducted an undercover operation leading to deceptive weighing practices and inconsistent pricing appraisals in pawn shops throughout the city.

Inspectors showed that some jewelry valued at $175 at one gold buyer could go as high as $450 at another jewelry dealer.

The department warns consumers to shop around before selling gold, make sure you find a licensed dealer, weigh each piece separately and ask that the jewelry is measured on a scale with a Department of Consumer Affairs