How Much Is My Jewelry Worth?: A Guide to Appraising and Selling Your Expensive Jewelry

It may not be possible to turn straw into gold, but you can definitely turn gold into money. If you have a pile of old gold jewelry lying around, it’s a good idea to figure out how much it is worth in case you want to sell it.

Often after a divorce or an inheritance of estate jewelry, folks look for a way to get a quick cash value from unwanted jewelry. They may wonder, “How much is my jewelry worth?” but never take the next step to appraisal.

Unfortunately, many of these people end up at pawn shops where they may be seriously underpaid for the value of the jewelry. The better way to sell your jewelry is to have a jewelry appraisal done and go directly to a jewelry buyer who will give you the correct value for your items. 

So, How Much Is My Jewelry Worth?

This is a complicated question. It’s actually three complicated questions: What’s the replacement cost? What’s the market cost? What is the value of the materials it is made of?

You might expect that the cost you paid for your jewelry is still what it’s worth. Unfortunately, jewelry often depreciates, particularly as styles change. It is important to understand how jewelry appraisal works to determine the value of your pieces.

You may have experienced appraisals before in terms of homeownership or a car. These give a good idea of what the value of the property is and how you can expect that same price in a sale. 

A jewelry appraisal is distinctly different.

What would it cost to replace this exact piece of jewelry?

Jewelry appraisal looks for the highest number, also known as the replacement cost. This calculates what it would cost to replace the exact piece of jewelry should it be lost or stolen. It may be higher than what you paid for it.

Jewelers use the appraisal cost to make a piece of jewelry sound more valuable than it is. Since there is often a disparity between the appraisal price and sale price, it can seem like a good deal.

For example, a $5,000 ring may be appraised at $8,000. That $3,000 gap does not suddenly materialize in value when you own the ring. Instead, it’s the additional price of finding the exact ring in the case of damage or loss.

When selling your jewelry, it is important to let go of appraisal costs. These are numbers that are significant to insurers, not to owners, jewelers, or jewelry buyers.

Regarding insurance – verify that your appraisal price is accurate as your insurance will be based on that and not the lower price you paid.

What does it sell for?

The next number you need to consider when selling jewelry is what the piece sells for.

Presumably, you or the previous owner purchased it at the market value. Let’s say, $5,000. That was then. This is now, and the market value of the piece has more than likely gone down. Particularly since the piece is now considered “used,” you will not get the total you paid for by selling it now.

Doing some research to see what other similar pieces are selling for is the best way to get a beat on what a good market price is. This can give you a better idea of what you may be able to sell it for.

Estate jewelry generally comes in with a lower payout. The simple reason: it’s used. People like to buy new things, modern things, and fashionable styles. Selling estate jewelry is a case where you either need to find someone looking for specific antique jewelry or “sell it for parts,” as they say.

What is the value of the raw materials?

For pieces that are too outdated for resale as-is, or if you are simply looking for a quick payout, selling to a raw materials buyer may be your best option. This is the case with 99% of gold jewelry.

A $5,000 ring may only have about $2,000 worth of actual gold content. If this is a finely made ring, you may get a little more than $2,000. However, if the buyer will simply use the gold to create something else, they will pay you just for the value of the gold. 

Get That Appraisal if You Want to Keep Your Items

Here’s how to get your jewelry appraised.

Look for someone who is a graduate gemologist. They will hold a certification from the Gemological Institute of America. They charge a small fee, generally per item or hour, which may start as low as $50.

They should be able to give you precise information. Their appraisal should consist of a description of the piece, how they came to the price (did they look at other similar pieces or historical price trends?), and their personal qualifications. If they don’t sign it, request a signature.

Most importantly, they should break down the value of the piece into replacement cost, market price, and what you could get in a declaration of bankruptcy. 

Know Your Materials

When you go to sell your expensive jewelry, it’s important to have some basic ideas about the value and quality of the raw materials your pieces are made of.

Metals may include gold, platinum, or silver. Most gold will be stamped with a karat measurement, such as 18K or 24K. This gives you a general idea of how much pure gold it consists of.

Stones may be diamonds or other precious stones such as rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. The prices of metals and stones vary depending on market fluctuation.

Some quick research can prepare you for the appraisal or sale and give you an idea going in of what a fair price could be.

How Much Can You Really Expect?

The amount you can expect depends on three main factors. The spot price of gold, the karat of the gold, and the weight of the gold. There’s no way to know the exact amount you’ll be paid until you visit a buyer. 

If you want to find the answer to, “How much is my jewelry worth?” Do some research and go get an offer with an understanding of the values they will give you.

When it’s time to sell, bring your jewelry to Crown Gold Exchange. We pay for gold jewelry in any condition. Stop by to set up a sale.

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