Explore the best ways to sell used jewelry for the most money.
They say diamonds are forever. That is, of course, until they’re not. Whether it’s grandma’s diamond ring or your great uncle’s Rolex, sometimes jewelry runs its course. There may come a time when selling your jewelry for cash makes more sense than letting it sit in the top drawer of your wardrobe. When you’re ready to sell your jewelry, you’ll have a few options. The key is to find the most lucrative ways to rid of it. You may have already read our 7 Essential Tips for Selling Gold. This time around, we investigate the best way to sell jewelry for the most money.
This First Step in Selling Your Used Jewelry for Cash – Evaluating Its Value
The first step in selling your used jewelry is evaluating the quality and value of both the metals and gems in your collection. Understanding the worth of your jewelry is an essential step in this process and one you want to approach realistically. It’s easy to believe that you’re sitting on a goldmine if you have a jewelry box full of gold and diamonds you haven’t touched in years. The best-case scenario is that you do. But in terms of selling your pieces in the modern world, you’re going to need to determine the most current fair market price of your jewels.
That process involves a few housekeeping tasks, like determining the level of wear and tear of each piece and whether or not they’re in need of any repair. Rediscovering that old ring’s sparkle may be as simple as a light rinse in some warm water and dish soap, but a more thorough fix-up may require a visit to a professional jeweler. They’ll not only thoroughly clean a piece, they’ll also be available to repair any other issues.
At this stage, you will want to get an appraisal for your used jewelry. It’s worthwhile to note that an appraiser is not the only place to go for this; it’s also possible to find a jewelry buyer that is accredited within the trade and qualified to appraise jewelry. At a jewelry buyer, specifically one accredited by the AGTA (American Gem Trade Association) and the JVC (Jewelers Vigilance Committee), you’ll be offered free estimates from people that have genuine knowledge of what something is truly worth.
If you get an appraisal by the American Society of Appraisers or associations with similar credentials, the assessment can be expensive and inaccurate, as they charge per piece and most often offer a “retail replacement value,” rather than a “resale value.” These appraisals may be useful when insuring jewelry, but are less accurate when selling jewelry for cash.
To avoid the cost of an appraisal and get an accurate idea of the fair market resale value of your jewelry, get two to three verbal appraisals from reputable, accredited jewelry buyers who are qualified as appraisers. Buyers that are also qualified as appraisers will take into consideration an assessment of the brand and designer of your jewelry, including its maker’s marks and hallmarks, which impact the value of your pieces.
Keep in mind that jewelry buyers that aren’t qualified as appraisers may use “weigh and pay” methods that don’t take into account factors like the designer brand, era, and the overall desirability of the jewelry in the pre-owned markets. Buyers who use the “weigh and pay” approach often apply heavy discounts to gems that should be appraised at a higher rate.
At Truval, we are accredited by the AGTA and the JVC and we take special care to evaluate all aspects of your piece to ensure that the appraisal we provide is an accurate representation of what you can expect to get for your used jewelry.
Knowing When to Sell Jewelry for Cash
An important factor to personally evaluate is whether or not it’s time to purge your collection. One of the best ways to do this is to put a timeframe on pieces. Take note of the last time you wore something and think seriously about your plans to wear it again in the future. Group pieces of jewelry by how often you wear them––once a month, once every few months, once a year. This will make it easier to determine each piece’s worth to you.
Next, you’ll want to check in with family members to see if the piece has sentimental value. A bracelet from an ex or an engagement ring after a divorce is personal only to you (and totally not worth holding onto, if you ask us), but a dated heirloom that no longer holds significance or functionality in your daily life may prove something of worth to a family member with ties to the same relatives.
Selling Used Jewelry Online Versus In-Person
You may have heard of stories of companies offering below standard prices, not sending payments or intentionally not returning jewelry. While scammers do exist in the vast digital landscape, know that there are legitimate places to sell your jewelry online. Just be sure to choose a reliable source and do your due diligence when vetting them. At Truval, you can rest assured that your pieces are in good hands. With professional, world-class shipping via a partnership with FedEx, customers are granted overnight labels and insurance for added protection.
One additional benefit of working with buyers like Truval is that you, the seller, will be offered the chance to sell in a few different ways. The buyer can buy a piece from you outright, they can consign your jewelry pieces, or they can offer you advice. If you are consigning, you can expect to be charged either a flat fee up front, or anywhere between 10 and 50 percent of the final sale. As a general rule, 10 to 25 percent is reasonable, but if the fee is higher than that, it makes more sense to sell the jewelry outright. At Truval, we only charge 10 percent.
One obvious alternative to selling your jewelry online is selling your jewelry for cash in person. Local jewelry buyers or pawn shops are available to purchase your goods, but knowing where to turn is important. Visit the American Gem Society’s list of reputable local jewelry buyers. The issue with these stores is turnaround time. If you leave your jewelry on consignment at a physical store, it can take a while for it to sell, as the stores are more invested in selling their own product than they are in selling your jewelry. Online sellers like Truval have hundreds of established relationships within the jewelry trade allowing us to showcase your jewelry to other vendors, online marketplaces, and auction houses.
Parting with your pieces is a deeply personal process that isn’t always monetarily motivated. But getting the best price for your jewels and gems is a smart business move. Follow these suggestions and you can rest assured your homework will pay off.