Steps to Determine the Value of Your Vintage Jewelry

4 Simple Steps to Determine the Value of Your Vintage Jewelry

Perhaps you once loved those filigree earrings, that diamond watch, the sparkling ring, or your fancy dangling bracelet. Now, however, they’ve lost their appeal. Maybe they don’t fit your style anymore or remind you of an ex-love you’d rather never think about again. Or they could’ve been a gift from a distant relative.

Vintage jewelry you never wear is a wonderful opportunity for making some cash — but you might wonder how to identify vintage jewelry and determine its worth.

We’ve put together the ultimate guide on how to identify vintage costume jewelry and how to assess the value of that vintage jewelry. There are several vintage jewelry identifiers you can use to figure out whether what you own is, in fact, vintage jewelry.

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1. Identify Vintage Jewelry

You might own several pieces of both fine and costume jewelry, but you might not be sure what you’ve got. Let’s look at surefire vintage jewelry identifiers.

Steps to Determine the Value of Your Vintage Jewelry

  • Think about where you bought it. If you remember picking it up at a big-box retailer in the last few years, it’s probably not vintage. If you snagged it at a flea market, antique shop or estate sale, it’s more likely to be vintage. It may even be rare valuable costume jewelry!
  • After nailing down where you acquired it, consider the piece’s look. There have been a plethora of styles of jewelry crafted in the last century. The time period is a good vintage jewelry identifier. If your piece of jewelry fits into one of those categories, it could be vintage. Art deco, retro, mid-20th century, ’70s and ’80s pieces are all vintage styles of jewelry.

Keep in mind that vintage jewelry isn’t as old as antique jewelry. For a piece of jewelry to be considered vintage, it must be at least 20 years old. Once a piece has its 100th birthday, it’s considered an antique and might be even more valuable.

2. Examine Your Vintage Jewelry Items

One of the most important things to do when trying to determine the value of your vintage jewelry is to examine it closely.

Steps to Determine the Value of Your Vintage Jewelry

  • Note the craftsmanship. Large-scale manufacturing processes that became popular in the middle of the last century made it easier to create jewelry quickly and in large quantities. When looking at your vintage jewelry, see if the piece shows signs of being handmade. Keep in mind, however, that even if it’s not crafted by hand, it could still be valuable. A good portion of vintage jewelry was mass-produced in the 1940s and ’50s.

Don’t just look at the top side of the piece. Turn it over and check out the detail on the underside. High-quality pieces are nicely finished from top to bottom.

  • After looking at the craftsmanship, consider the materials. A vintage and antique jewelry identification guide always focuses on materials. A popular vintage and antique jewelry value estimator deals with the materials used to make the piece. Vintage jewelry might consist of fine materials such as diamonds, sapphires, gold and platinum, or it might feature less expensive materials, such as silver, rhinestones and amethysts. Use a magnifying glass to search for marks inside the piece. If it’s made from gold, platinum or silver, it will have a stamp. The material the vintage jewelry is made from can make literally thousands of dollars of difference in its value.
  • The cut of the gems can also point to specific eras. For example, “old mine cut” and “European cut” diamonds are no longer produced. These old cuts can also identify the era the jewelry was crafted in, and they often raise the value of the piece. Look at the shapes and cuts of the stones.
  • Check the clasps. The types of clasps used on necklaces, pins and bracelets can indicate certain time periods — as can the posts on earrings. Bracelets and necklaces might be vintage if they have box clasps or ring clasps. Today’s popular lobster clasp wasn’t widely used until the 1970s. Brooches and pins, which were wildly popular during past decades, feature different latches, such as C clasps and trombone clasps. Your piece’s fasteners can help you estimate its worth.
  • Take the type into account. Styles and trends changed dramatically during the 20th century. Is the piece of vintage jewelry big and bold with bright colors, or is it delicate and demure? The overall look of the piece can help pinpoint both when it was made and its value. For example, during the mid-20th century, styles were extravagant, with larger pieces and brighter colors being the rage.
  • Look for evidence of the designer. The designer is an important vintage jewelry identifier that can make the worth skyrocket. Several vintage designers remain popular to this day: Tiffany, Chanel, Christian Dior, Hobe, Cartier and Bulgari, among many others. Some of these brands marked their pieces with logos. Scour your vintage jewelry piece to see whether you can find a designer’s signature, as this could increase the worth exponentially.

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  • Track down your vintage jewelry’s paperwork. If you bought the piece at an estate sale or inherited it, it’s possible that certification paperwork exists somewhere. Authentication helps determine the value of your vintage jewelry. Look through old papers, dig through your attic, ask your relatives, and call the place where you purchased it to see whether you can get your hands on any kind of authentication. Other items that lend to a piece’s value are special bags, boxes or cases. For example, if it’s in a little turquoise box with a white ribbon, you might be the owner of a piece of jewelry from Tiffany.

Closely examining your piece of jewelry and tracking down any existing certificates of authenticity might take time, but it’s critical to figuring out the worth of your jewelry.

3. Research Your Vintage Jewelry

Steps to Determine the Value of Your Vintage Jewelry

Get online and visit sites that offer vintage and antique jewelry valuation services. There are several trustworthy resources that can help you estimate your vintage jewelry’s value. Find a vintage and antique jewelry identification guide to get you started.

  • Look for photos of latches, clasps and markings that are similar to those on the jewelry you own. Note the time periods associated with those materials.
  • Search any stamps or markings you found on your jewelry. You might hit the jackpot and find it’s the signature of a famous vintage jewelry designer!
  • Check out online sale prices for pieces from that timeframe. Popular sites can give you a broad idea of how much your jewelry could be worth.

Even with an idea of your vintage jewelry’s value, you still have one thing left to do.

4. Find A Buyer

The most priceless heirloom in the world isn’t worth much if you can’t find a buyer to purchase it. Selling it yourself on Craigslist or eBay won’t usually snag you the best price and can be quite a hassle. Talk with a professional, experienced jewelry buyer and get their recommendation. They will most likely want to examine the piece themselves and then offer you an appraisal. This service typically costs a nominal fee, but they can help you sell your vintage jewelry simply and safely, while pulling in the most money possible.

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Knowing how to identify vintage jewelry is the first step toward selling those unworn pieces you have filling your jewelry box. Whether you have rare valuable costume jewelry, designer vintage jewelry or even an unknown piece, it could be worth much more than you expect. Looking closely at the piece helps you know exactly what you have and figure out how to estimate the piece’s value. Do some research and find any hard evidence of authenticity, then contact Truval to make sure you get top dollar for your piece.

Jewelry Identification Marks: Hallmarks & Maker's Marks

Jewelry Identification Marks: Hallmarks & Maker’s Marks

Distinguished jewelry requires the proper distinguishing marks. It’s this process of authentication that endorses quality jewelry for what it is: a highly refined work of art. Ornamentation is nothing if not a reflection of one’s personal style, a marking of both taste and creativity. Throughout history, jewelry has been an early identifier of a person’s social status. If we consider its interpretations in, say, the reign of Cleopatra, it was both a staple of her exotic style as much as it was a reflection of her eminence. The modern world may not always outwardly show the true disparity between culture and class, but jewelry still stands as a highly prominent countenance of outward distinction. And when making a new purchase – especially a large one – proof of authenticity is abundantly important.

Fine jewelry lives in a world all its own, and wading through the expanse of real authenticity can be tricky. Knowing what exactly to look for will help in deciphering a piece’s value, helping you make an educated purchase and ultimately feel confident in what you’re wearing or gifting. Whether you’re choosing a staple piece, an intentional family heirloom, or you’ve simply found a favorite at an estate sale (lucky you!), there’s a great deal of information that lives behind each piece of jewelry. To make that educated purchase, here is everything you need to know. But first thing’s first: knowing what’s what.

To back the authenticity of their pieces, jewelers will inscribe their wares with a distinguishing mark. Throughout history, these marks were etched into noble metals to certify their legitimacy, leaving little-to-no question as to where each piece had come from. Markings are typically found on items made of silver, gold, platinum, and though small in size, they have quite a serious impact on an item’s worth.

In 1906, the United States mandated that jewelers add a purity mark on their wares in the National Gold and Silver Stamping Act. But this came a long time after Great Britain’s 14th-century decree for hallmarking, which required a date letter stamp – a letter that would link to the year in which it was registered. The French were well ahead of their game with a markers system that dates all the way back to the thirteenth century. Needless to say, systems for designating jewelry have been in place for quite some time. Now, it’s all about deciphering these marks to know more about the pieces you may own or intend to buy.

Jewelry Makers’ Marks

Jewelry Identification Marks: Hallmarks & Maker's Marks

Jewelry makers will often have designated maker’s marks that are registered and thus enable them to be widely recognized and tracked. This helps both the maker and the buyer in that it verifies authenticity and can be easily traced when necessary. A maker’s mark ensures that quality is maintained and that no one can replicate a jewelry maker’s craft with a different content. In this way, a maker’s mark becomes their trademark, building both a brand reputation and proof of craftsmanship. But the aforementioned content is the key component to a maker’s mark, and the biggest distinction between a piece’s hallmark.

Jewelry Identification Marks

Jewelry Identification Marks: Hallmarks & Maker's Marks

Though romanticized in movies, jewelry heists have been prevalent throughout history. (The Hope Diamond comes to mind.) And oftentimes theft can lead to “recoveries,” where crafty go-getters will attempt to replicate items that may be perceived as the real thing. This is where identifiers come in handy, and jewelry identification marks have allowed many items to be proven genuine time and time again. These markings and labels help verify the time in which a piece originated, the era in which it belongs, as well as a variety of other things such as craftsman’s techniques and how it was manufactured.

Pocket Watch Makers Marks

Jewelry Identification Marks: Hallmarks & Maker's Marks

The pocket watch is a highly acclaimed piece of jewelry that gained tremendous popularity in the 1800’s. Men were most known to carry the trend as it was considered feminine to wear a watch on your wrist. But, as with any watch, it was a highly mechanized item that was both intricate and delicate. And made with fine metals only made it that much more of a specialized adornment that was not only trendy but somewhat lavish. Pocket watches were often heirlooms, handed down from grandfathers to grandsons and the like. Today, being that telling the time is essentially always at our fingertips, the pocket watch has become a bit archaic. In other words, an antique. This makes designations important, especially for watches prevalent in, say, the Victorian Era. Which brings us to our next topic…

Period Marks

Jewelry Identification Marks: Hallmarks & Maker's Marks

Jewelry style can often be identified by the era in which it was conceived. But this again makes markers of the utmost importance, as they ensure that items do in fact belong to the era in which they claim to belong to. These hallmarks are typically organized in reference materials as another means of cross-checking an item’s authenticity.

Jewelers’ Marks List

Jewelry Identification Marks: Hallmarks & Maker's Marks

Key identifiers can be matched using a jeweler’s marks list. In the past, these lists were difficult to locate, and not to mention huge. But in today’s digital world, it has become easier to access these lists and in helping people discover what their jewelry is worth, where it’s come from, and what types of pieces they may want to add to their collection. In a marks list database, one might find an array of hallmarks and maker’s marks, plus information regarding the date and place of origin, and the makeup and composition of the piece, too.

Gold Jewelry Marks

Jewelry Identification Marks: Hallmarks & Maker's Marks

Gold jewelry will often have different numbers inscribed or etched in them to signify the metal’s karat content. A ‘750’ marking means that a piece is 18-karat gold while ‘585’ signifies 14 karats and ‘417’ 10 karats.

Costume Jewelry Makers Marks

Jewelry Identification Marks: Hallmarks & Maker's Marks

Always an incredibly relevant part of a time period’s story, costume jewelry is indicative of so much more than ornamentation. To know the origin of costume jewelry, it’s helpful to know what to look for. Markings on costume jewelry are much the same as any other piece of jewelry’s marks, but instead of signifying a piece’s metal content or otherwise, it is often the company or brand in which made it.

Jewelry Hallmarks Guide

Jewelry Identification Marks: Hallmarks & Maker's Marks

Jewelry hallmarks vary widely in that they are there to decipher the maker via a registered trademark. Some countries have a registry, others do not, and this can make the identification process invariably difficult. The registration of hallmarks is not always required, and though most countries practice it, places like the United States do not. Even still, some countries practice varying modes of symbolism – the French with animal heads, the Brits with numbers, and so on.

Hallmark Meaning

Jewelry Identification Marks: Hallmarks & Maker's Marks

Above we outlined the maker’s marks, stating that their validation process sketches a picture of a piece’s metal content and composition. The hallmark, however, differs in that it is like a maker’s brand staple or trademark.

Jewelry Makers Marks Silver

Jewelry Identification Marks: Hallmarks & Maker's Marks

Much like gold jewelry maintains a relatively straightforward identification process for karat content, so does silver. Sterling silver, for instance, will have a mark of ‘925.’ This signifies that the piece of jewelry maintains a silver content of no less than 92.5% silver.

Your Ultimate Guide to Diamond Appraisals

Your Ultimate Guide to Diamond Appraisals

Diamonds have long been the most sought-after gemstones on the market, which makes them a valuable commodity. However, not all diamonds are created equal. For this reason, jewelry professionals offer appraisals to separate high- and low-quality pieces. If you’ve never utilized this style of service before, you are probably curious about what it entails as well as how to determine if you need it. Fortunately, this guide holds all of the answers. Whether you’re preparing to sell your jewelry or are simply curious about a family heirloom, here’s everything you need to know about diamond appraisals.

What Is a Diamond Appraisal?

Many gemstone and jewelry owners wonder, “What does ‘appraisal’ even mean?” In short, an appraisal is a process in which an item’s value is assessed based on the current market. In terms of diamond appraisals, this means that the process is focused on the value of the diamond itself. In other words, how much you could potentially ask for when selling it. Since demand is always changing, an appraisal will help you identify the current market worth to eliminate the guesswork.

Although the process of evaluating a diamond is similar across the board, jewelry appraisers can reach different values based on their experience and skill set. As a result, it’s imperative that you choose an appraiser that’s well-versed in diamond evaluations. Opting for someone that simply works in a jewelry store or behind the counter at a pawnshop puts you at risk for receiving an inaccurate value.

There are also different outcomes from the appraisal process based on your goals. If you want proof of the value for insurance purposes, you’ll need an appraisal that highlights the jewelry’s retail replacement value. If you want to sell the gemstone or ring to a particular outlet, they can provide an appraisal for the purpose of resale.

Why Diamond Appraisals Are ImportantYour Ultimate Guide to Diamond Appraisals

There are a variety of reasons you should request a diamond ring appraisal. Most commonly, they’re used when insuring jewelry against theft, fire, and other losses. Without an appraisal value, you won’t be able to purchase jewelry insurance.

Although homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policies cover items like jewelry, most insurance companies set a limit on the coverage amount. If your gemstone or ring is valued higher than their limit, you’ll need to purchase additional coverage to ensure it is protected in the event of a disaster or theft. A diamond appraisal is necessary for this process so that you not only know how much coverage you need, but you can also provide proof to the insurance company.

Diamond ring appraisals are also valuable when you intend to sell. Far too often, owners end up selling their jewelry for substantially less than it is worth simply because they’re inexperienced. A diamond appraisal from a qualified specialist will ensure that you know the value of your piece so that you can enter negotiations with the upper hand.

What’s Involved In the Ring Appraisal Process?

Valuing diamond jewelry isn’t as easy as inputting information into a ring appraisal calculator. Jewelry appraisers evaluate a variety of different factors to come up with an accurate number as to the item’s worth. For diamond ring appraisals, they consider both the gemstone as well as the ring as a whole.

Your Ultimate Guide to Diamond Appraisals

When it comes to the diamond, the appraiser will focus their attention on the 4Cs:

  • Color: Color equates to purity in the diamond world, so the less color a gem has, the higher it is valued.
  • Clarity: Any presence of naturally formed inclusions or blemishes reduces a diamond’s clarity ratings.
  • Cut: The cut of a diamond refers to its reflective properties. A higher valued gem will display an eye-catching, bright sparkle-effect when exposed to both natural and artificial light.
  • Carat: The carat, or weight of a diamond, is also an important factor during the diamond appraisal process. An appraiser will estimate the gem’s weight if it is part of a ring.

After determining the value of the gem, the appraiser will turn their attention to the rest of the ring. For this aspect, they’ll consider four main components: the setting, band material, age, and designer.

The arrangement, condition, and details of the ring as a whole can increase or decrease its overall valuation, depending on the design quality and overall aesthetic it provides. The material used to create the band will also affect the appraisal because every metal is priced differently on the market. Platinum and gold are two of the most valuable metals while silver typically fetches less. Regardless of the material, if the band is severely damaged, it will decrease the ring’s worth.

Finally, the appraiser will consider the piece’s age. Older rings may fall into special categories—vintage or antique, depending on the year they were crafted. Such labels are popular among collectors, and can dramatically increase the ring’s worth. However, these characteristics also limit the potential market size due to specialization, so you may have to wait longer to complete a sale.

Your Ultimate Guide to Diamond Appraisals

How Much Does a Jewelry Appraisal Cost?

The cost of a diamond ring appraisal depends largely on your plans. If you’re obtaining a ring appraisal solely for insurance purposes, then you’ll need a certified appraisal. In such instances, the cost will vary based on the jewelry appraiser you choose. On average, you can expect to pay between $50 and $150 for the service.

If your goal is to sell your jewelry, then you have two main options: sell it on your own or go directly to a jewelry buyer. To sell it on your own, you will need an official value certification from an appraiser to provide proof to buyers. You will also likely need to list it for sale online to reach your desired audience, which comes with additional costs.

Instead of attempting to sell an item on your own, you can work with a company that specializes in buying diamonds and diamond jewelry. In this case, the buyer will complete a jewelry appraisal to value the piece for free. Next, they’ll make you an offer based on what they’re willing to pay. The offer is typically slightly less than market value, but you get to bypass the additional marketplace and PayPal fees. Plus, you don’t have to wait for a buyer as they’ll pay you upfront. In most cases, this option is the most cost-effective choice.

How to Get a Ring Appraised

Now that you understand more about the value and process of diamond appraisals, you’re probably wondering, “How exactly do I get a ring appraised?” To get an accurate value on your diamond ring, you need to work with a professional jewelry appraiser. Although most jewelry stores offer appraisal services, many of them simply base their value on bare minimum factors. However, at TRUVAL, we go above and beyond to ensure the satisfaction of our clients.

If you’re ready to obtain a diamond appraisal for resale value, our skilled team will assist you with the process. Our team of certified diamond buyers utilizes their extensive knowledge and experience to ensure each seller receives the most accurate appraisal value. Request a quote today by filling out our online request form or schedule an appointment at one of our five New York City locations. You can also learn more about our free diamond appraisal and purchase process by calling our team at (212) 938-1002.


7 Essential Tips for Selling Gold

Do you have gold in a forgotten jewelry box that is really just taking up space?

You’ve probably seen the offers to buy gold from various dealers and gold shops and maybe even thought about selling your gold to make some quick cash.

Do you wonder what the best tips for selling gold are?

To get the most for your gold, there are a few things you should know before you decide to accept or steer clear from an offer.

Don’t Miss These 7 Powerful Tips for Selling Gold

Don’t Miss These 7 Powerful Tips for Selling Gold

1. Be Aware of Causes of Gold Price Fluctuations

Supply and demand influence the price of gold. High demand and lower quantities mean a higher return for the seller. Remember, there is only so much gold in the world, so as time marches on, gold production levels will continue to decline. Market conditions can also influence gold prices.

As an example, during the recession in 2011, gold prices went all the way up to $1,917.90 and set a record high. At that time, it was a seller’s market for gold. Also related to gold price fluctuation, currency depreciation can cause the price of gold to soar. As the value of the U.S .dollar drops, the price of gold rises, which is beneficial to investors and not quite so great for sellers. An investor or a buyer will know that they can offer less and get more for their money.

2. Take the Time to Shop Around for Quotes

To understand what you can expect to receive for your gold, check to see what the LBMA has to say about the value of gold. The London Bullion Market Association, or LBMA, sets the gold standard for the gold market. Prices are set twice per day.

The IBA (ICE Benchmark Institution), a third-party committee, created the process to set the gold benchmark and works with the LBMA to distribute the price of gold in real time to investors around the world. To know the value of your gold, you will want to check on global pricing before setting out to sell your wares.

Once you have the information, shop around to different buyers to see who will give you a fair offer for what you are selling. It’s also a good idea to research the reputation of your potential buyer on places like Yelp or the Better Business Bureau to avoid possible scams or other negative experiences.

3. Know What You Have to Sell

Another one of the best tips for selling gold is to know what you have so you’d be able to determine a fair offer from the individual or business trying to buy it from you.

You can try a strong magnet on your gold pieces. If it is magnetic, your gold is either imitation gold or is gold of lower quality. Gold jewelry is made in 10k, 14k, 18k, and 24k gold, among other grades of purity. A higher number means purer gold, and lower numbers indicate a higher content of additional metals like copper, zinc, or nickel. Keep in mind that you will only ever be paid for the parts that are pure gold.

You may also want to consider getting an appraisal for antiques or heirloom pieces because they may be worth more at appraisal value compared to weighted value. At the same time, understand that sentimental value does not increase the actual value, so it is best to have a professional recommend selling by weight or by appraisal.

Know What You Have to Sell

4. Know What Counts in Karat Weight

Investors will know the differences in troy ounces, grams, and how karats relate to both. It would be a good idea to educate yourself on these conversion rates, too. A troy ounce is equal to 31.1 grams in weight.
We already know that different karat ratings stamped on gold indicate different levels of purity, but how does that translate into karats and grams? 24k is considered pure gold, so a single karat is equal to 1/24 part of a piece of gold. 18k is 18/24 parts gold, 12k is 12/24 parts gold, etc.

When a dealer or buyer gives you an offer, they weigh the piece to find its total weight. At that point, you multiply the weight in grams by the purity. As an example, 12k is 50% gold, so you would multiply a piece that weighs 8 grams by 50% which would give you 4 grams of pure gold. To convert the grams to troy ounces, you take the pure grams and divide that number by 31.1 to get the troy ounce equivalent. In other words, those 4 grams of pure gold divided by 31.1 will equal 0.13 troy ounces of gold.

5. Separate and Organize Gold

Once you ascertain the different purities stamped on your gold, you will want to separate it by karat. Doing so is especially useful in calculating grams of pure gold as well as troy ounces. Also, separate out anything with gemstones as this will influence the total weight and cause a different type of calculation depending on the type and size of the gem. Don’t forget to pull out any pieces that are also stamped with a GP or GF as gold-plated and gold-filled jewelry is not worth much from an investor’s perspective.

Organizing your items beforehand is another one of the most important tips for selling gold because you will be able to ensure better prices for yourself and avoid manipulative tactics that pawnshops or dealers sometimes employ.

6. Impulse Equals Less Cash in Your Pocket

Once you choose to seek out a gold dealer or buyer, do so after being educated and informed on what to expect. Don’t sell your gold just because you want to put some extra cash in your pocket. If you do sell on impulse, you will likely end up with a lesser deal than you would have had if you had done your research to get the best deal available. Your chosen dealer should be able to tell you what your gold offer is per ounce or per gram so you can compare with the industry price. If the answer they give you is fuzzy or vague, steer clear of that buyer and take your gold elsewhere.

7. Document Everything and Read Buyer Policies

When researching to see where you will get the best offer for your gold, you will come across a variety of companies both locally and online.

To cover yourself and your gold, be sure to document everything once your choice has been made. Take pictures of the gold if you have to ship it or if you have to leave it overnight somewhere. If you ship your gold, be sure you send it with a return receipt and a tracking number. Check policies for lost pieces in the unfortunate event that you find your package has been lost in the mail or lost at a shop. Will they cover the cost? Do they offer insurance? Finding the answers to these questions will help you make your decision in addition to avoiding any undue stress during the process.

Above All, Do Your Research

The bottom line is that you need to do your research and go in with current information about price, weight, and purity. Study the gold fluctuations, get multiple quotes, and make an informed decision once you have all the information you require.

Being aware of the industry standards will clear the way for your expectations to be realistic as well as making sure you recognize an unfair offer versus a fair offer. When you’re ready, you can go forth and sell your gold with confidence, knowing that you are well-informed and can otherwise spot someone trying to take advantage of you.

How Much is My Diamond Worth?

How Much is My Diamond Worth?

Have some diamond jewelry or some loose diamonds laying around? If so, you’re probably wondering “how much is my diamond worth?”

Selling diamonds and old jewelry is a fast and easy way to make a few extra bucks — especially if the jewelry doesn’t hold any particular sentimental value.

Unlike gold jewelry, a diamond’s value is calculated by many more factors than simply weight alone. Sure, many factors determine the cost of gold, but when you sell your gold jewelry, most locations calculate the value based on nothing more than weight.

Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to calculate the worth of a diamond on your own. Diamonds and jewelry must be appraised by qualified professionals.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t get somewhat of an answer to the question “how much is my diamond worth” on your own.

Wondering “How Much is My Diamond Worth?” Here’s What Appraisers Consider…

How Much is My Diamond Worth?

It isn’t easy to determine exactly how much your diamond is worth. Appraisers take many factors into consideration. Color, clarity, cut and carat — otherwise known as the four Cs.

Next, the appraiser must consider the band and setting. Is it in good shape? What is the material?

Finally, other external factors contribute to the cost of diamonds such as market value. In other words, your diamond is worth exactly what other people are willing to pay for it. Still, this doesn’t mean you’ll get exactly what it’s worth (but we’ll get to that later).

The Geological Institute of America (GIA) has an official grading system for calculating the worth of diamonds and diamond rings Here’s what appraisers typically consider when you bring in either a loose diamond or diamond jewelry.

1. Color

Although chocolate or pink diamonds are all the rage right now, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re worth more money.

If you have a white diamond, appraisers look to see how “white” it is. Any yellowish or brownish tints can significantly degrade the stone’s value.

When it comes to colored diamonds, the prices fluctuate even more.

How Much is My Diamond Worth?

Naturally occurring colored diamonds may be worth way more than white diamonds due to their rarity. The Hope Diamond, for example, is dark blue and worth nearly $250 million dollars.

Fun fact: many people possessing (or attempting to steal) the Hope Diamond throughout history have met untimely fates.

Other rare colors include yellow, pink, and red — the rarest of all.

How Much is My Diamond Worth?

Minerals in the soil contribute to a diamond’s color. Boron results in a blue diamond while graphite may produce a black or gray diamond.

However, manufacturers may also alter a diamond’s color. These artificially colored diamonds don’t carry the same value as their naturally occurring counterparts.

When appraisers look at a diamond’s color, they usually consider how appealing it is to the eye along with its rarity.

A grading scale ranging from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow) determines the stone’s color, grade, type, and potential value.

2. Clarity

As appraisers evaluate color, they also look at the stone’s clarity.

At this stage, appraisers look for any defects or abnormalities called “blemishes” and “inclusions.” Blemishes are located on the diamond’s surface while inclusions are within the stone.

Most of these defects are not visible to the naked eye so appraisers use binocular equipment at 10x magnification.

After identifying any inclusions or blemishes, appraisers rank the diamond on a scale from flawless (completely clear) to included (obvious flaws or cloudiness). In between these two rankings are varying degrees of clarity including internally flawless, very very slightly included, very slightly included, and slightly included.

This system is used by the GIA, but other organizations such as the American Gem Society and World Jewellery Confederation have their own ranking systems.

Diamond inclusion shaped like a unicorn.

Inclusions or internal characteristics may include:

  • Clouds
  • Feathers
  • Graining
  • Laser lines
  • Crystals
  • Cavities
  • Knots
  • Twinning wisps

Blemishes on the diamond’s surface could include:

  • Polish lines
  • Nicks
  • Scratches
  • Pits
  • Chips
  • Breaks
  • Dark spots or light spots

A completely clear or “flawless” diamond is most valuable due to its aesthetic appeal and market value.

3. Cut

Contrary to what the term implies, a diamond’s cut does not refer to its shape.

Instead, it describes the stone’s internal and external characteristics and crystal structure. Diamonds with a high-quality cut are more brilliant and luminous.

When appraisers evaluate the stone’s cut, they look at facets inside the diamond that contribute to three factors: symmetry, polish, and proportions.

These three factors go hand-in-hand. Diamonds with an exceptional polish are often more symmetrical and reflect light in a special way.

Diamond cutters take the cut into consideration when developing the shape and exterior cut of the diamond. In addition to considering the interior cut, appraisers also look at the exterior cut by evaluating at least three factors:

  • Table size: the largest central facet. A medium size is ideal.
  • Crown height and angle: angled portion on top of the diamond.
  • Pavilion depth and angle: angled portion on the bottom of the diamond.
  • Girdle thickness and diameter: the area between where the crown meets the pavilion

Each portion of the stone contains its own facets which appraisers will examine. When a diamond is perfectly symmetrical and exhibits crisp angles, this is referred to as the “heart and arrows phenomenon” due to the pattern’s resembling hearts and arrows.

How Much is My Diamond Worth?

Diamond cuts have changed drastically over the centuries. Table-cut stones or old single cuts were popular in the 15th century.

How Much is My Diamond Worth?

Now, several fancy cuts are available in addition to traditional brilliant rounds.

How Much is My Diamond Worth?

4. Weight

What might be the most significant factor contributing to a diamond’s overall value is its weight or carat. Carats are used for measuring the mass of not only diamonds but all gemstones and pearls.

One carat equals 0.2 grams and each carat correlates with a particular price. Diamonds that weigh more are usually — but not always — worth more than lighter diamonds.

However, size often plays a more important factor than weight. Large diamonds are almost always worth much more than their smaller counterparts. As a result, the price per carat increases as the diamond’s size increases.

This is because large diamonds are much rarer than small diamonds. And when it comes to gemstones, rarity and appearance reign supreme for determining the price.

Are the Stones Loose or Mounted?

Each situation has its ups and downs.

If your stone is mounted in a setting — like in earings or on a band — it can be significantly harder to appraise. For mounted diamonds, the appraiser will have to estimate the weight so it won’t be entirely accurate.

A setting can also hide certain flaws or give an inaccurate depiction of color and clarity. A diamond on a gold setting, for example, could make the stone appear yellowish which would decrease its value.

At the same time, you could receive more money if you sell the diamond along with a gold setting.

Setting and Band

Just like the diamonds, many factors determine the price of your setting or ring band.

The first thing appraisers consider is the type of metal. Is it silver, gold, platinum, or something else? If the diamond is attached to the setting, they’ll need to estimate the weight. Keep in mind that metals have different grades. Gold, for example, uses the karat system. (Not to be confused with carats for diamonds.)

They also take condition into consideration. Obviously, scratched bands and worn out prongs will significantly reduce the piece’s value.
The appraiser may also look at the setting’s design. Intricate patterns and shapes are more difficult to create and much more labor intensive so this increases the setting’s value.

Determining the Value of a Diamond Ring

How Much is My Diamond Worth?

Now you need to determine the value of the loose diamond or piece of jewelry to answer your question “how much is my diamond worth.”

Since the value of diamonds is based on much more than just weight alone, it’s hard to determine exactly what yours is worth.

Plus, the market value significantly impacts the price of your diamond. If people collectively and suddenly stopped considering diamonds to be valuable, their price would plummet.

Diamonds are only worth what people are willing to pay for them.

The rarer the diamond, the more people are willing to pay.

Once you’ve figured out how much your diamond is worth, you’ll need to find someone willing to pay close to the value. Easier said than done.

Deciding where to take your diamond after you’ve determined its value makes all the difference. Pawn shops typically sell their gemstones and gold to third parties like jewelry makers. Unless you sell the diamond or jewelry yourself, you’re probably not going to get what it’s really worth. Remember: all businesses need to make a profit off the transaction.

Even if you sell it yourself, you still probably won’t get exactly what you paid for it. Anything pre-owned usually sells for less than the same item new.

As you can see, that’s why it’s important to understand the real value of your diamond — so you can get as close to that value as possible when you decide it’s time to sell it.
Focus keyword: how much is my diamond worth?

How Much is My Ring Worth?

Selling your jewelry is always a great way to make some quick cash.

Even if you aren’t thinking of selling your ring, it’s still important to have an answer to the question “how much is my ring worth” for insurance purposes or even simple interest.
Either way, if you want to figure out the value of your ring, you’ll need to think like an appraiser.

How Much is My Ring Worth?

How Much is My Ring Worth?

Many factors determine the cost of your ring. If you want a solid answer to the question “how much is my ring worth,” your best option is to get it appraised.
A qualified professional has the proper skills and education to evaluate the jewelry. This way, you’ll know exactly what you should be asking for it should you want to sell it.
An appraiser will take many factors into consideration such as the center stone, diamond certificates, where you bought it, how much you paid for it, and how old it is.
Still, this doesn’t mean you can’t do a general evaluation on your own. Even if you don’t want to sell the jewelry, it’s still nice to know exactly how much your ring is worth — even if only for bragging purposes.

The Center Stone

It’s common for rings to have one large stone in the center. If yours does, what type of gemstone is it? Different gemstones are worth different amounts of money per carat.

Many people think diamonds are some of the most valuable gems. They’re certainly up there at $2,000 to $15,000 per carat, but white diamonds rank well below a handful of other gemstones.

How Much is My Ring Worth?A gemstone’s value mainly depends upon its rarity. Red diamonds are some of the most valuable gemstones in the world at about $1,000,000 per carat. Other pricey stones include fire opal, benitoite, and red beryl.

Rubies can range in price from $100 to nearly $15,000 per carat. Sapphires prices also vary drastically between $20 to several thousand per carat.

Gemstone Quality Factors

The value of diamonds and other precious stones depends upon four factors: carat (weight), color, cut, and clarity otherwise known as the four Cs.

Some gemstones, like opals, have additional quality factors due to their unique mineral deposits.

1. Color: Each gemstone variety has its own ideal color.

When it comes to diamonds, white is best and any yellow or brown tints can reduce the stone’s value. Unless, of course, the diamond is of a naturally occurring blue or red variety.
Artificially colored diamonds don’t hold the same value. As a general rule: the rarer and more aesthetically appealing, the higher the price.

2. Clarity: With many gemstones — and especially diamonds — the clearer the better. If the stone is cloudy that can decrease its value.

Appraisers also look for discrepancies both inside and outside the gemstone. Blemishes appear on the stone’s exterior while inclusions are inside the stone’s structure. The Gemological Institute of America (GMI) has a special chart for grading a diamond’s clarity.

In other gemstones, like opals, experts usually revere opaqueness instead of clarity.

3. Cut: A stone’s cut doesn’t necessarily refer to its shape but rather the structure and inferior facets. In a transparent stone like a diamond, the appraiser will look at the stone’s symmetry and brilliance.

The cut also refers to the stone’s polishing and exterior structural points such as the table, crown, girdle, and pavilion.

4. Carat: Carats refer to the stone’s weight. One carat weighs 0.2 grams.

It’s important to keep in mind that larger stones are significantly more valuable than smaller stones. So the price per carat amount increases as the size of the stone increases.

Larger stones are much rarer than smaller ones so this is taken into consideration when determining their price per carat.

5. Additional factors: In some stones, experts look for color patterns, textures, and other factors relative to the specific variety.

How Much is My Ring Worth?

Diamond or Gemstone Certificate

When you bought your ring, you may have received a certificate of authenticity for the diamond or gemstone.

A handful of organizations evaluate and certify gemstones. The most reputable organizations include the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), HRD Antwerp, the International Gemological Institute (IGI), and Gemological Science International (GSI).

Each organization differs in its evaluation techniques and many have their own scales for measuring clarity, cut, and color.

If you don’t have a certificate, you can send your stone to an organization’s lab for testing and evaluation. This might be worth considering if you’re wondering “how much is my ring worth” and you think it may hold significant value.

The Type of Metal

The value of your ring’s metal varies even more than that of the gemstone’s. This is because metals like gold are traded on the open market and their value fluctuates — sometimes drastically — every day.

Most rings are made with either gold, silver, or platinum. Each metal has its own criteria for measuring purity.

Gold, for example, uses the karat system. The higher the karat, the purer the gold. Although 24 karat is the stereotypical ideal, this level of gold is uncommon and somewhat undesirable due to its softness.

Most silver jewelry has the purity percentage stamped into the piece.

People tend to think that platinum is more valuable than gold, but this is not always the case. Platinum is actually much more abundant than gold but it is more expensive to produce. As a result, sometimes gold is worth more than platinum and sometimes it’s not.

Experts will also take the ring’s design into consideration. Jewelry with labor-intensive intricate patterns is usually worth more money than a simple band.

How Much Did You Pay for It and Where Did You Buy It?

When you visit an appraiser and ask “how much is my ring worth,” they’ll probably ask where you bought it and how much you paid.

Unfortunately, you’ll likely only receive between 20% and 45% of what you originally paid. This is because all buyers need to turn a profit from the transaction and preowned jewelry doesn’t sell as well as new jewelry.

There is, however, an exception to this: brand recognition.

Brand names matter when it comes to jewelry. If you have a piece from Cartier or Tiffany & Co., for example, you may receive closer to 50% of your original price provided you have the original packaging and paperwork.

How Old Is It?

If you have a vintage or antique ring, you can throw many other factors on this list out the window.

Vintage jewelry includes anything between 20 and 100 years old. Antiques are anything older than 100.

If you think you have a valuable vintage or antique piece, you should seek out an expert appraiser to help you understand the ring’s origin and price.

A skilled appraiser should also understand the changing trends and history relative to vintage jewelry.

How to Get the Best Price

How Much is My Ring Worth?

If you want to get the best price for your ring, where you go matters.

Seek out second opinions from appraisers to make sure they don’t miss anything. After you get a good idea as to what the ring’s worth, you need to find someone to buy it.

You’ll get the most amount of money if you seek out a buyer on your own. Unfortunately, this method also requires a lot of legwork. You could try Craigslist and eBay, but many buyers on these platforms may not understand the significance of your ring’s value so you still may not get exactly what you are looking for.

Pawn shops usually don’t pay very high either because they often sell gemstones and metals to jewelers or smelters to melt down.

Consignment centers and pawn shops can help you sell the jewelry, but they usually take a cut.

Your best bet is to try a variety of options. Contact jewelers and other third-party sellers to see who can give you the best offer.

So, How Much is My Ring Worth?

The price of your ring depends on many factors including gemstones, type of metal, age, and original price.

Your ring’s gemstones and metal should be evaluated individually for a variety of factors. The value of metals depends upon their purity. Gemstones, on the other hand, have many quality factors including clarity, cut, and color.

Antique pieces are significantly more valuable than modern rings. Brand name also matters quite a bit.

If your ring includes rare or large gemstones and is particularly stunning, it could probably fetch you a pretty penny.

At the end of the day, jewelry is all about rarity and beauty.

Best Things to Sell for Quick Money Right Now

20 Best Things to Sell for Quick Money Right Now

Sometimes, you need money and you need it now.

If you’re looking for extra cash, paid online surveys and other side hustles are excellent alternatives to taking on another job.

Unfortunately, these options don’t pay off immediately.

Whether you’re in-between jobs, struggling to come up with a deposit, or looking for holiday money, the problem is the same: you can’t pull money out of thin air.

Or can you?

Take a look around. Is there anything you’re willing to part with? Chances are, someone out there is willing to buy all that stuff you never use.

These 20 best things to sell for quick money can help produce extra cash in an emergency, but they aren’t sustainable solutions. Use these tips and tricks to help get you through the most difficult times, and try to find a side hustle to fill gaps in the future.
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The Top 12 Ways to Tell a Fake Rolex from a Real One

The Top 12 Ways to Tell a Fake Rolex from a Real One

Rolexes, like any other luxury item, are a hot commodity. That means lots of scammers and thieves are going to be very interested in creating and/or selling fake ones at the price of a genuine article.

Scams of this type are very common, especially through the Internet, where sales can be made without ever seeing the face of or knowing the real name of the seller. What was once only seen in vans and street stalls in New York City has now become a worldwide phenomenon.

Whether you want to buy a Rolex for yourself or a loved one, how can you tell you’re getting the real thing and not a well-made fake? Here are the top 12 ways you can spot a real from a fake.
Continue reading The Top 12 Ways to Tell a Fake Rolex from a Real One

Things To Know Before Getting a Jewelry Appraisal

5 Things To Know Before Getting a Jewelry Appraisal

There are many reasons why you might need a jewelry appraisal. It may be that you need an appraisal for insurance purposes. Or, you may be liquidating some of your assets. Maybe you have gotten a divorce and need to know the value of your wedding band or engagement ring.

Whatever your reason, it is a good idea to start the process of jewelry appraisal with your eyes wide open and your head full of knowledge about the ins and outs of getting a jewelry appraisal, as well the different types of appraisals available.

Here are 6 things to know before getting a jewelry appraisal.
Continue reading 5 Things To Know Before Getting a Jewelry Appraisal

What To Do With Your Engagement Ring After Divorce

What To Do With Your Engagement Ring After Divorce

If you’ve gone through a divorce, you know there are many things you’ve had to reset in your life. You have rearranged your living situation, property, possibly custody of children, and finances. It’s an emotional life upheaval that brings many challenges to overcome.

After the dust settles you may feel like something else should be rearranged: your jewelry box. As you open it, there may be pieces of jewelry that catch your eye and spark good memories, or good memories that have since been stained.

Maybe you’ve already removed some of these things because you know you won’t be wearing them. It might be time to say goodbye to some of these things from your past, as you embrace a fresh start.

Usually when you are ready to let go of things, you might box them up and donate them to a local thrift store or charity. Clothes, shoes, and old lamp, or books. But what about valuable jewelry such as your engagement ring? That’s not something you can drop off at Goodwill.

When it comes to your engagement ring, what should you do with it? Keep it? Sell it? Save it for one of your children?
Continue reading What To Do With Your Engagement Ring After Divorce