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Buying gold and used or unwanted jewelry has been a service provided by jewelers since the beginning of time. Whether people are looking to make a few dollars selling old jewelry or just want to clean out their old jewelry box, selling gold and unwanted jewelry is a common part of the jewelry industry.
But how does selling jewelry work? More importantly, where should you go to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible? Let’s dive in and explain the process so that if you decide to sell jewelry in the future, you’ll know what you’re doing and have some reasonable expectations.
First, set your expectations; it is very, very rare that you will receive the original price you paid for your piece of jewelry. Just like buying a car, once you drive it off the lot, or take your jewelry home, the value decreases somewhat. This means you most likely won’t get what you paid for your jewelry, even if it’s in pristine shape.
But before we start talking about money, let’s discuss how selling jewelry works:
1) First, a sales associate will evaluate your gold. They will do this by splitting up and organizing the different kinds of gold/silver/platinum you have and weigh them separately. If there are gemstones or diamonds they are assessed and priced out as well. This can be done if the gemstone are loose or part of a piece of jewelry. To get a better feel on appraisals, check out our article on How much does jewelry appraisal cost?
If you have an abundance of jewelry, scheduling an appointment would be beneficial. This is especially true if your item is valuable or intricate and an expert would need additional time to evaluate the item.
2) Second, a sales associate will give you an offer. They will break down what each piece costs and answer any questions you may have.
3) Third, once you accept the offer, you’ll need to show a copy of your driver’s license. (This is a law that we need to follow enforced by New Jersey Police Departments as well as the Department of Weights and Measures.) Depending on your sale, you will receive cash or check.
See! It really is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
When selling unwanted jewelry and gold, keep these general concepts in mind.
A jeweler will sometimes pay you more money for certain items. For example, if jewelry can be resold as an estate piece, if it’s a collectable, or it’s a designer piece from a prestigious company like Tiffany or Cartier, then your piece of jewelry may be more valuable.
If you’re selling an item with stones, such as diamonds, rubies, or sapphires, your best bet is to head to a local jeweler, who will take the stones into consideration when evaluating your piece. Jewelers pay extra for larger diamonds. A jeweler can sell a larger diamond, but has no resale outlet for the other stones. This includes birthstones and pearls, as the jeweler will not pay gold weight for either of them. Even if a jeweler is paying more to put a piece in the case, he or she is prepared for the fact that it may stay around for a while, and that it may need to be scrapped inevitably if nobody falls in love with it and buys it.
If you have an insurance appraisal for the piece of jewelry and you wonder why the offer to buy is so different than the original sale price, here’s why. When jewelry is bought originally, the customer pays for labor, design, and even the marketing of that piece. Jewelers and refiners are buying the commodity only, and all the labor, sentiment, and anything else originally attached to it are not considered.
Concerning the price or value of your piece, there’s honestly too many variables to take into consideration to even give you a ballpark idea of what you might get when you sell your gold or unwanted jewelry. The price for gold and diamonds can fluctuate, and the quality of the piece of jewelry, the designer, its age, and condition are among the many factors than can affect the value.
How can you get the most value for your gold or unwanted jewelry? Stick with a jeweler you trust. Deal with a jewelry store that’s reputable and trustworthy to ensure you’ll get a fair price for your item(s).
Before you commit to selling your gold or unwanted jewelry, we usually advise our customers to see if there’s any other option they’d wish to pursue.
For example, you should think about only selling items that are broken, missing parts, or are truly “unwanted.” And when I say unwanted, I mean you should ask your family and close friends if they are interested in whatever you are selling before you bring it in. “Re-gifting” may work great here.
If you bring a piece in and a jeweler gives you an “offer to buy,” you may want to consider your friends or relatives before you accept the offer. You may not want to “gift” a piece of jewelry worth more than $100, but an item worth only $20 to $40 might make a great gift for someone who would cherish it.
If you decide to reject the jeweler’s offer and keep your jewelry, we are always willing to polish and clean it so it can be worn again. Some customers choose to keep their items once they’ve been restored to their former luster, while others want their items to look pristine before giving them to someone else.
There are other options, as well. Jewelry can be reworked into new pieces. You might not like your piece of jewelry now, but with a little creativity and expertise, your old item can be turned into something brand-new and amazing. Rings can be made into wearable pendants. Diamonds, gems, or pearls can be removed from one piece of jewelry and incorporated into another. Yellow gold pieces can be updated with a white rhodium plating. Yes, doing any of these things would cost you money, but you would be retaining a piece of jewelry that may mean something to you.
The bottom line: Deal with someone you know and trust. He or she will be fair with the offer-to-buy price—and sensitive to the emotional attachment if there is any. For many, selling a piece of jewelry can be as emotional as buying one. Deal with someone you know, and who knows you.
To learn more about selling gold or unwanted jewelry, feel free to visit either of our New Jersey jewelry store locations in Morristown or New Providence to see for yourself and talk to any of our expert jewelers.
If you’d like to talk to someone directly about selling gold or unwanted jewelry, you can contact us online anytime by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply fill out our contact form. We’ll answer your questions quickly.