When you need some extra cash and that unwanted jewelry is staring at you, you are likely asking yourself, “how can I sell my jewelry at the best price?”. You might be very attached to that piece of jewelry but you really need the cash for a big purchase on the horizon. Maybe it’s an old piece of jewelry that use to dazzle you but no longer brings you joy. No matter what the reason is for wanting to sell your jewelry, you would like to cash in on that old jewelry and get the best possible price for it. I know I would, and I have done so a few times in the past.
Unfortunately, many people don’t end up selling their jewelry and it just sits there uselessly in their jewelry box at home or in their safe deposit box.
Here are the top 4 reasons people don’t end up going through with selling their unwanted jewelry:
1. They are worried about getting scammed.
2. They can’t get the price they want.
3. They don’t know how to go about selling it.
4. They don’t have time.
Top 5 tips for selling your unwanted jewelry at the best price:
The purpose of this article is to ease your concerns and give you answers to questions you are likely asking yourself. Questions that I have asked myself, and now as a jeweler answer on a daily basis. And if this is an issue of time, this process can be much simpler and quicker than you think! So let’s get into our top 5 tips for selling your unwanted jewelry at the best price.
Tip 1: Make sure you know what your unwanted jewelry is worth.
You need to have an understanding of your piece of jewelry and the price of precious metals when attempting to sell your unwanted jewelry.
Selling your jewelry for the intact value:
“Is it worth more than I expect?”
This is a very common thought. Although it’s not the case the majority of the time, you need to know what your piece of unwanted jewelry is worth before you can determine the best way to sell it. Imagine if you were to take a piece of jewelry that was passed down to you from your grandmother and have it melted down just for the value of the gold, and then you find out later that it was a very old piece (a true heirloom) from the late 1800s…That would be absolutely devastating.
Not a likely case, but a possibility nonetheless.
In fact, it is very rare to have a vintage piece that is worth a lot of money. However, if you believe any of the unwanted jewelry you have might be of interest to collectors or are antiques that are worth more than just the gold, silver or diamonds in them, get your items properly assessed and valued by a professional jewelry appraiser (rather than a pawnbroker) before selling them.
What’s the condition of your unwanted jewelry?
If there are prongs, chips in the diamond, scratches in the gemstones, you may lose some value. Rings and bracelets always receive more wear than pendants and earrings. So, if your jewelry is flawless, and you are selling it for the intact value, you can ask for a higher price.
Current and vintage jewelry is the easiest to sell intact.
In most cases, unwanted jewelry is neither current or vintage and is usually sold for the intrinsic value of the silver, gold or platinum, or diamonds and gemstones.
Selling it as scrap (the quickest way to sell your jewelry):
If it is determined that selling it as scrap is the best option (which is the most common case), here are a few things you need to know.
Selling it for its scrap value (intrinsic value) means you are getting value only for the materials that make up the piece, so your unwanted jewelry will be disassembled and melted down into bullion. This is by far the easiest and quickest way to sell your unwanted jewelry.
To do this, just show up at a precious metal or jewelry buying store with your unwanted jewelry, or mail them in, and they’ll likely make you an offer immediately.
Understanding the melt value – GOLD:
The purity of gold is defined in karats. A karat is 1/24 part of pure gold by weight, so 24-karat gold is pure gold. Most gold jewelry is rarely pure gold. A lot of jewelry in the US is 10-, 14- or 18-karat gold, which means it is comprised of gold and other alloys. To find out how many karats your unwanted jewelry has, look for the symbol (K, kt or Kt) which should be located somewhere on your piece of jewelry. When melting down and selling your gold, you will only get money for the weight of the pure gold.
Now that you know the weight and purity (measured by karats), you can find the metal or melt value by using this online bullion value calculator. Use this as a guide to see if you are getting paid enough by the buyer. However, please note that you are likely only going to get 70-80% of the melt value as the difference reflects the buyer’s profit when reselling it. Plus, the buyer has more costs when melting and refining your gold to turn it into new jewelry.
Lastly, consider the best time to sell gold! You can find the current gold and silver spot prices here.
Diamonds vs Gemstones
The greatest value goes to large, good quality diamonds, followed by sapphires, emeralds, and rubies. Besides those, you won’t receive much value from other gemstones unless they are large, rare and high-quality.
If you have documents on your diamond(s), this can be helpful, but it’s usually not worth going out to pay for a formal, written appraisal unless you suspect it is a very high-value piece. Verbal appraisals can be much more affordable and might be a good option to look into.
Tip 2: Trust whom you are discussing the sale of your unwanted jewelry with!
Be sure to discuss the selling of unwanted jewelry with someone who is solely in the business of selling and buying gold, diamonds, watches, and estate jewelry (unlike pawnbrokers who deal with all sorts of items).
It’s always best to avoid middlemen, that way you can maximize the amount of money you can make. If you are going directly to a jeweler, it’s likely that you are getting accurate information and you aren’t dealing with a middleman. Actual jewelers work with estate jewelry owners on a daily basis and they can be trusted.
Ask around for references, you likely know someone who can refer you to a reliable source.
A simple online search for the reputation of the company can go a long way. A poor review doesn’t necessarily mean the company is a scam or the experts there are incompetent, though. For example, they might have gotten a poor review because of the buyer’s lack of understanding of the costs of the silver or gold at that specific time. On the other hand, if 10 out of 15 reviews are negative, we’d suggest steering clear of that company. This brings us to our next tip…
Tip 3: Where to sell your unwanted jewelry? Go to a local or online retailer…
One of the most common questions people ask is “where can I sell my jewelry?”. Usually, when asking that question you are only thinking of a location in a specific area. However, an important question to ask is, should you sell your unwanted jewelry at a pawnshop, jeweler or maybe even online? You need to consider first what your piece of jewelry actually is, and then the pros and cons of each place that you can sell it. Then you can make your decision based on your preference and needs.
1. Local Jeweler:
Local jewelers are likely to give you the best price because they’ll see you as a potential customer. They also know a lot about jewelry (that’s all they do!) and not just about the price of the precious metal itself. Another advantage of selling locally is that you get your money much quicker. It’s likely that you can get the money the same day they make the offer. Most local jewelers will test and appraise your jewelry right there (I know we do at Raymond Lee Jewelers in Boca Rotan) and will make an offer right there on the spot.
You may find that a Local Jeweler won’t buy used jewelry, they may just offer you store credit.
2. Sell it online:
Selling it online can mean a lot of things.
You can try your luck on an auction site like Ebay. Note: eBay usually sides with the buyer, so if anything goes wrong, you could be out of luck.
Big online retailers – You’ve probably have seen big online retailer buyers on TV stating that you can send in your jewelry and get paid CASH CASH CASH. We’ve heard good and (a lot of) bad stories about these big online retailers.
Big online retailers aren’t intimate with their customer service like smaller local retailers are. It can be a bit of a headache in terms of communication. Many times these big retailers take advantage of uneducated sellers. They might not scam you completely, but they could very well rip you off and that’s pretty much just as bad.
If selling online, I’d recommend boutique-style reputable Jewelers who handle buying of unwanted jewelry online. A lot of local boutique-style jewelers have opened up their online doors and are accepting buying of jewelry from all over the country.
It is 2018 after all and pretty much everything can be done online.
Assuming that everything goes well, it is quite convenient to sell your old jewelry online, as you can do this from the comfort of your home.
To avoid any complications in regards to communication when selling your gold and silver jewelry online, be sure to ask them these three crucial questions:
- How long will it take to make a decision on your offer?
- How will you give me back my jewelry if you don’t want to buy it?
- What percentage of “melt value” do you pay?
It’s possible the company will give an answer with a range for the last question. This is because costs for recovering precious metals in some items can be more difficult than others. However, if the company hesitates to give an answer, just forget about that company.
3. Consignment jewelers
They will try to sell your jewelry for you. The best thing about a consignment jeweler is they will be looking to sell it at the maximum amount. The worst thing is they will take 25-40% commission and there is tons of competition so it might take a long time to sell. If you choose this option, make sure you obtain strong dealer references (remember back to the trust tip)…
If you are looking for cash extremely fast, a pawnshop could be your best bet. The problem is, dealing with a pawnshop is usually a crapshoot when it comes to getting anything close to a decent deal. They aren’t likely to pay you anything close to what you would get at a local jeweler or online. However, if you are in a rush for cash and you know how to negotiate and work your way around this kind of establishment, you might walk away somewhat satisfied with the deal.
This brings us to our next point, negotiation. In a world of no price tags, negotiation a.k.a. haggling is key.
Tip 4: Be prepared to negotiate to get to the best price for the sale of your unwanted jewelry
When jewelers or pawnbrokers throw a price at you, they always leave room for negotiation. That means the initial price they gave you is on the low-end of what they’d pay. This is simply good business, and it’s expected of them. The best thing you can do is be frank! Tell the jeweler you have already shopped around and you are firm on your price (hopefully your price is just on the top of the high-end of what the jeweler is willing to pay).
If you reach a point where the jewelry buyer won’t go any higher and you still aren’t satisfied, consider leaving out an item that you’d like to keep without changing their final price.
If you are selling online, negotiation via email can potentially be easier. You don’t have to deal with any awkwardness that you would in person, and you can be quite blunt and take the time needed to think over your response and counteroffer.
With all that being said, you still might not get what you were expecting, and usually, that’s the case. Most people’s expected selling price is usually higher than what they can actually get, even when dealing with an extremely fair and generous buyer. Which is why you need to be reasonable with your expectations…
Tip 5: Manage your expectations
Setting unrealistic price expectations for your unwanted jewelry will lead to disappointment with the outcome of the negotiation and sale. There are two approaches to figuring out a sensible price. The first is to have it appraised by someone trusted and knowledgeable. Ask them how much it’s worth as the market currently stands and with regards to any specific circumstance that may apply to your piece of jewelry.
Remember though, as we mentioned above, you would really only want to pay for an appraiser if the jewelry you are trying to sell is worth a substantial amount of money. If you do go this route, Tip 2 about finding a trustworthy, good appraiser applies. A good appraiser follows current market trends and can help you understand the potential resale value of your estate jewelry.
Alternatively, if your jewelry isn’t worth paying the fee for an appraisal, analyze the situation yourself. You can do this by comparing prices of similar jewelry on eBay. You can check local retail stores and online jewelers, and then factor in a discount as it is pre-worn jewelry.
Consider the buyer’s perspective
You must consider the buyer’s point of view. You are selling your jewelry to a buyer who wants to resell it or melt it down with the intention to make a profit it off it one way or another.
So before you get overexcited about selling your old jewelry for cash, it is super important to set your expectation realistically. Many times, people want to sell jewelry that has much more meaning to them than the buyer…i.e. it may have come from your aunt who just passed away and the value for you is more than money, yet unintentionally you set a price on that meaningful-value that others wouldn’t. To you, it might be a very meaningful, valuable piece of jewelry, but to the buyer, it’s just another piece of jewelry.
It is extremely uncommon to be able to sell secondhand jewelry for anywhere near what it was purchased for.
It’s also important to note that jewelry likely won’t even sell for anything close to what it was appraised at. This is for insurance purposes. The appraised values are established from the retail cost of the item, which includes the profit for the wholesaler and retailer.
Trade it for a new piece of jewelry…
You may have changed, but your jewelry didn’t. So a trade might be an interesting option. If you can’t reach the right price, an alternative is to exchange it for a new item. The jeweler may offer you a trade-in price that you will be able to use for the purchase of another item from their store.
The world is full of good-hearted people and if you stay positive everything should go perfectly well. As long as you are attentive, think things through, and you trust your instincts, you should achieve an outcome that satisfies you.
Selling your unwanted jewelry isn’t something that you will do often. So, enjoy the experience. Hopefully, you can learn something new and develop skills for future buying and selling situations.
If you’d like to speak with someone from our team about selling your jewelry, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
If you are in Boca Raton, you can drop by our location at 22191 Powerline Rd #12B, Boca Raton, FL any time. We’d love to have a chat.