If you have arrived at this page, presumably it is because you have a diamond or other pieces of jewelry that you want or need to sell. Whether you have jewelry or a diamond to sell, this page could prove to be an extremely valuable resource as you attempt to sell your particular jewelry items. So, take your time and read the entire page carefully.
On average, we receive 3 to 8 visits, calls, or emails every single day from individuals just like you who have gold, platinum, diamonds, colored gemstones, watches or some other type of jewelry they hope to sell. In response to those many contacts and simply as a public service to anyone with jewelry they want or need to sell, we have created this page. If, after reading the page, you still have questions . . . please don't hesitate to call or email your question or questions. We understand that you may have pieces from a previous engagement or marriage that you no longer want. Alternatively, we also understand that these are challenging economic times and that you may not really want to sell your jewelry. So, while we don't make a penny from the time we spend answering questions or coaching on how to sell a diamond, watch, or other jewelry, we gain great satisfaction from simply trying to help anyone who contacts us, regardless of the reason for selling. Your jeweler should try to help, not just when you are buying, but also when you want or need to sell. We hope the information you find on this page will be helpful.
Learn How to Sell Gold, Platinum, Diamonds, Watches, or any other Jewelry Item . . . Your Lesson Begins Here
If you are among those with jewelry to sell, there are things you need to know before you attempt to sell in order to receive the most for that jewelry. On this page, you will learn the brutal truths related to selling jewelry. You may have already discovered that it is far easier to buy jewelry than to sell it for a fair price. In any case, you will now learn how to sell your jewelry items in a way that will make it possible for you to receive the most money for those jewelry items.
Surprisingly, attempting to sell your diamond or jewelry to a jeweler/dealer is not the best alternative available to you. Jewelers/dealers may be very accommodating, even aggressive, when you want to buy a piece of jewelry, but they may show little or no interest when you have something to sell. Even the jeweler where you purchased the item is likely to respond with, "I'm sorry, but we don't buy jewelry." Or, a jeweler may offer what seems to be an absurdly low price. Well . . . we're here to help and offer suggestions for selling and receiving the most for any jewelry item.
Typically, a jeweler will offer prices that are among the lowest you will be offered by anyone, other than a pawnbroker. When first considered, this may seem unfair or seem as though the jeweler is trying to cheat you in some way. However, given some thought, there is a very good reason for the jeweler's low price offer.
In nearly every case, a jeweler can make or buy a piece of jewelry exactly like or very similar to the one you are trying to sell. More importantly . . . the jeweler will be making that item or buying it at a wholesale price. So, why would a jeweler or any other business person offer more than the wholesale value for an item that they can make or buy at a wholesale price? As a basic business decision, if the piece can be made or purchased by the jeweler at wholesale, there really is no good reason to even offer you the wholesale price. Unfortunately, the price you paid for the item or the appraised value of the item means little to a jeweler. The piece is simply going to be evaluated based on what the item would cost at wholesale. Consequently, unless you are willing to accept something less than wholesale, it is unlikely that you will ever sell anything to a jeweler. For that reason, and even though we are jewelers, we suggest that you try other alternatives before offering your piece to a jeweler/dealer.
First, gather any paperwork such as, receipts, appraisals, or certificates you may have related to the items you want to sell. If you don't have any paperwork, have your item(s) appraised. Anyone considering your jewelry, other than a jeweler, will want some proof that it's worth what you're asking. And, when having an appraisal done, you should make sure that it is a realistic "Fair Market Value" . . . not an inflated value. An over valued appraisal is of no use to you or the person considering your jewelry. You will have no idea of the real value of your item and, if they show it to an experienced jeweler, the person considering the piece may think you are trying to mislead them. And, that alone . . . could cost you the sale.
With solid fair market value documentation in hand, the following are your selling alternatives, best to worst.
CRITICAL NOTE: When pursuing the next three alternatives, make sure that you never list or provide your personal address to anyone who does not already have that information and certainly not to strangers, no matter how warm and friendly they may seem. And . . . if the location of your jewelry is requested, tell everyone that your jewelry is kept at your bank or other secure location. You should never tell anyone that it is kept where you live. Obviously, this is for security reasons. Next, if someone expresses interest in your item(s), arrange to show your item(s) at a bank or other public place. One of the most secure places to consider meeting a potential buyer is at a local police station. The location is public and the officers won't mind. If your potential buyer objects to meeting at a police station . . . you probably don't want to meet with them at all. After all, the police station provides security for both parties. With the following selling alternatives, you will be responsible for ensuring your personal safety and the security of anything you are attempting to sell. Your safety and security should always be your primary concerns.
The guidance above was not provided to frighten you, but simply to insure that you consider security issues that may be involved in your particular selling situation. We live with security issues every day.
1) One of the most common questions we receive is, "How should I price my item?" Well, the answer is that if you really want to sell your jewelry, you should begin by offering it at 25 to 30% off of the fair market value. One of the primary reasons anyone considers, used, pre-owned, estate, or consignment jewelry is because they expect "a deal" on the item(s). Regardless of condition, unless your item is a collector's piece or is a truly unique item that can't easily be reproduced, you are extremely unlikely to be offered anything approaching fair market value. Why buy a someone else's item at full price when you can go to a store and buy it brand new at the same price? You know the answer to that question.
2) Once priced, you should first offer your jewelry to relatives, friends and acquaintances, or business associates. Hopefully, these are individuals who know and trust you. Without a "go-between" you are likely to receive the most money for your items using this selling method. For that reason, this will very likely be the best of your alternatives . . . so, try this one first.
3) Run an advertisement in your local newspaper. They may also have an on-line presence, which could give your item double exposure. Start your ad with the words "must sell" . . . people who haunt the newspaper or on-line sites looking for jewelry items like to think they have you over a barrel. End your ad with the letters "obo" . . . which means "or best offer." This simply indicates to potential buyers that you are willing to "deal." Since there is no "go between" involved here either, this is very likely your second best alternative.
Unfortunately, while attempting this and the following alternative, you should expect to be contacted by thieves trying to steal the things you are trying to sell. If you expect this likelyhood, you won't be surprised and will be prepared to respond appropriately. One of the most common current scams is for someone posing as a potential buyer to ask that you establish a PayPal Account for your protection and for theirs. This is, by the way, normally a good option. Unfortunately, if a thief is involved, sometime after you tell your "buyer" that an account has been established, you will receive a very offical appearing email that you are to believe is from PayPal. This email will tell you that payment funds for the item you are selling have been deposited to your account and you should now ship the item. Again, if a thief is involved, nothing has been deposited to your account. So, you should always call PayPal to personally verify deposits to your account prior to shipping anything. Sadly, thieves who steal by fraud are often extremely practiced and very good at what they do. For this reason, we suggest "in person" cash payments as your primary choice for method of payment.
4) List your item or items on the internet, eBay or other similar website like Craig's List. We suggest sites like Craig's List over eBay simply because Craig's List and those like it are market specific and you can actually meet the individual considering your item(s). Take a digital picture of your jewelry piece to include with the description. Pictures help sell jewelry items. As noted above, with internet alternatives, you must be alert to fraud. Make sure your money is in the bank prior to shipping. And . . . you should know that those who shop on the internet expect a "deal". So, if your item isn't marked well off the "value" you list, don't expect very many . . . if any bids. This is the worst of the "private sale" alternatives.
Note: Many people are now selling jewelry on Facebook. There are "secret" or "private groups" where you can post items to sell. This is considered by some to be somewhat safer than Craig's List, however it is not without its pitfalls either. So, there are times when . . . the seller must beware.
Remember that with the above selling alternatives, there are no go-betweens . . . so, you aren't paying anything to a third party. Your only costs will be those for ads or placement fees.Finally, when using any of the above methods, do not be concerned about offending anyone in order to insure your personal safety or the security of your jewelry items. Honest individuals will understand. It is the dishonest individuals who will attempt to "sweet talk" you or intimidate you into making a mistake.
5) Place your jewelry on consignment with a reputable jeweler. Consignment will typically result in anything from a 70/30 split to a 50/50 split when the item sells. With this alternative, the jeweler should take care of everything. And . . . a jeweler has access to other jewelry dealers/brokers, diamond and gemstone suppliers, along with his own jewelry clients, so his resources could be vast. And . . . a jeweler is able to accept credit card sales. Many people prefer this method simply because they don't have to worry about security or deal with potential buyers. With this alternative, many individuals feel that the fee is well worth the resources and security a reputable jeweler can bring to your efforts. However, this is for you to evaluate and decide.
Note: We no longer buy or consign any loose gemstone or jewelry item, so our advice is offered on an unbiased basis.
6) With major pieces of jewelry, items valued at $25,000 - $100,000.00 or more, you might consider placing your jewelry for sale with a reputable auction house. There may be a local auction house in your area, however Christie's & Sotheby's are two of the most recognized names in the international auction industry. With this alternative you will pay percentages and/or fees. The major problem with a sale at auction is that you can never be sure how much your item will bring. However, you can set sale price limits.
7) Offer your jewelry to a reputable jeweler for purchase. But, as noted above, don't expect anything near the retail value of of your item. In fact, any offer from a jeweler/dealer is very likely going to be significantly below wholesale for the reasons noted above. As with any other item, if you need to make a quick sale, you are not going to receive as much with this alternative. However, if you are dealing with a reputable jeweler and your price is reasonable, you can be paid on the spot in cash or company check.
8) Offer your jewelry to a reputable "estate jewelry buyer" . . . but, don't expect much more than 20 to 35 cents on the dollar. One of the only good things about this alternative is that these estate buyers often pay in cash. This alternative is . . . one of the worst.
9) The absolute worst place to sell jewelry is to a pawn broker. You'll be lucky to be offered 10 cents on the dollar. Don't be surprised if you are only offered "scrap" value. This alternative should only be considered as . . . an act of desperation.
Summary: You are likely to receive the most money for any jewelry item you have to sell by: 1) selling it on your own to another individual, or 2) leaving it on consignment with a reputable jeweler.
We wish you success with your jewelry sale and hope this page has been interesting, informative, and proves to be helpful to you. The information offered above is base on more than 50 years experience in the jewelry industry. During that time, we have been called upon to evaluate and sell some very expensive pieces for individuals seeking assistance selling a wide variety of jewelry items. Most recently, we were contacted by the representative of an individual located outside the country who wished to sell a piece inside the United States. The item was a named diamond and the asking price of that item was 4.8 million dollars.
While we no longer buy or consign gemstones or jewelry, we are pleased to help you if we can. So, you are welcome to call or email Tom Ross with your question(s).