How to Sell Estate Jewelry
Organizing someone’s estate can be challenging. Honoring your lost loved one is so important, but retaining all of their possessions isn’t always practical. Selling precious items such as jewelry is often lucrative, allows you to reduce the number of items you have to keep yourself, and can help you more easily move on from your loss.
If you want to know how to sell jewelry from home, especially estate jewelry, use the following tips to help you get the best value for the quality. Doing so can also help you honor the sentimental value of every piece.
Be Realistic About Your Jewelry Value
Image via Flickr by InterGem Jewelry
The value of estate jewelry can vary dramatically. Classic pieces are perennially popular and tend to hold their value. Some less traditional pieces can fall out of favor as tastes change. However, an antique piece that’s right on trend can fetch much more than the value of its metal and gemstones. Time your sale right and you can ensure you get the best value for each item.
One thing that never determines value is our attachment to them. Our personal connection to items can make them seem more valuable than they really are. However, if you’re serious about selling, you must understand sentimentality doesn’t boost value. Research similar jewelry on online marketplaces so you can learn roughly what your pieces are worth at a given time. Understanding the true value of your jewelry can make sure you don’t reject a good offer because your expectations are set too high.
Clean and Polish the Jewelry
You wouldn’t dream of taking your car for a trade-in before cleaning and polishing it. The same rule applies to jewelry. Taking the time to clean and polish the jewelry can emphasize its beauty and show that it’s been well maintained. When the gold gleams and the gems sparkle, pieces will be more attractive to a potential buyer. Most jewelers offer cleaning services. Alternatively, you could follow online guides for cleaning jewelry at home.
Repair Any Flaws
It might seem counterintuitive spending money fixing jewelry you intend to sell. However, flaws in your jewelry can substantially lower their value. Take any broken jewelry to a trusted jeweler that specializes in repairs. With clasps fixed and cracks filled, your jewelry will be much more valuable.
Sell It With Its Original Box, If Possible
We all know action figures and other toys in their original packaging command the highest auction prices. The same holds true for estate jewelry. If you still have it, put the jewelry in its original box before getting it appraised. Vintage jewelry boxes can be collector’s items, especially when they come from leading brands like Cartier and Tiffany & Co.
Get a Gem Grading Report
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is the country’s most trusted source for jewel grading reports. These documents eliminate the guesswork and detail a precious gem’s type, clarity, color, cut, and other features influencing its value. It’s worth visiting a fine jeweler and obtaining these reports before selling your estate jewelry. A dealer or buyer can feel confident your ring contains a diamond and not cubic zirconia, for example. So long as your estate pieces feature high-quality gems, these reports can really boost your jewelry’s value.
Gather Other Paperwork
Any paperwork you have about the estate jewelry can help a buyer understand your pieces’ value. Original receipts, certificates of authenticity, and insurance descriptions can be useful. Gather these documents and present them with the pieces you’re selling. They can all help you get the fairest valuation.
Take Quality Photos
With many options to sell your estate jewelry from home, it’s best to have quality photos of each piece you plan to sell. You can use these photos to send to prospective buyers, dealers, or appraisers. Photos can also be used to document the quality of the pieces should you send them via expedited shipping to be appraised.
Consider the Melt Value
While it may be hard to consider melting down a piece that belonged to a late loved one, it can sometimes be the more valuable option. Like all things fashion, jewelry styles change. What was once the height of fashion can seem passé today, and that can affect the appraisal price.
Melting jewelry for gold can be a good option for people with estate jewelry without stones or hallmarks. If your jewelry has diamonds and other precious stones or comes from a designer brand, it’s likely more valuable in its current state.
Be open-minded about the possibility of melting your jewelry down. Ask the jewelers you speak to about the “melt value” of your pieces and their value in their current form.
Research Reputable Jewelers and Dealers
Not all jewelers and dealers are created equally. Sadly, some businesses only care about their bottom lines. Researching local jewelers and dealers can help you find credible businesses near you.
Yelp, Facebook, and Google print star ratings and customer testimonials. These details or great sources of unbiased information about businesses. Read through the reviews to learn about other people’s experiences. Look for businesses with several reviews. If businesses can encourage many people to vouch for them, they must be doing something right.
In addition to customer reviews, look for signs of accreditation on the websites of businesses you’re interested in. Only the best businesses receive accreditation from organizations including the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and industry-specific institutions like luxury watch seller Chrono24, the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC), International Watch & Jewelry Guild (IWJG), and GIA. Online accreditation stamps are often clickable so you can read more about the businesses’ connections to reputable organizations, training for their appraisers and dealers, and overall business ratings.
Get Multiple Appraisals
It might be tempting to just sell your jewelry to the first person willing to buy. However, it pays not to be hasty. Make appraisal appointments at two or three dealers specializing in estate jewelry. Making an appointment ensures the jeweler has time to really assess your pieces and offer the fairest quote. Once you have a selection of appraisals, you can decide who to sell your jewelry to.
At Las Vegas Jewelry and Coin Exchange, we understand how emotional the experience of selling estate jewelry can be. Our sympathetic staff will help you through the process and offer top-dollar valuations for all of your estate pieces. There’s no obligation to accept our appraisal figures, so there’s no pressure.
Visit us in Henderson or, if it’s more convenient, we can come to you. Contact us at (702) 986-0153 to organize your appraisal appointment.