How to Sell Jewelry — A Guide to Finding the Right Buyer

Have you taken a look at your jewelry box recently? Is it full of items you no longer wear? If that’s the case, maybe it’s high time to go through your collection and part ways with some jewelry pieces to make room for modern and fashionable items.

Our professional jewelers at Estate Watch & Jewelry Co. understand that it can be difficult to say goodbye to old jewelry, especially if the item has sentimental value for the owner. Estate Watch & Jewelry Co. Scottsdale, Phoenix logo

However, if you’ve finally decided to sell your jewelry, our certified staff is at your service to help guide you through the process.

We’re here to answer all the questions going through your head:

  • Where should I sell my jewelry?
  • How much can I expect for my jewelry?
  • Which items can I sell?

Once you’ve reached the end of our easy-to-follow guide, you’ll be equipped with all the relevant information needed to make an informed decision and sell your jewelry in no time.

The 4 Most Common Reasons for Selling Your Jewelry

Selling used jewelry has become common practice as it’s not only a great way to make some extra money, but can also help to declutter your jewelry box.

Broken jewelry

If your favorite necklace or bracelet is beyond repair, it probably makes sense to sell. At times, it may not be possible to fix a broken piece of jewelry cost effectively, so the best option is to find a reputable buyer who’ll give you a fair price for your jewelry. 

It’s always a better alternative to sell the piece instead of letting it sit around in your collection when it’s broken.

Old-fashioned jewelry

Many of the jewelry trends that grew in popularity just a couple of years ago, are now out of fashion. Once a product enters its 5th fashion cycle phase, it’s officially considered out-of-date.

Fashion cycle of a product

Fashion cycle-Image credits by brainkart.com

If you aren’t a fan of vintage jewelry, the smartest thing you can do is sell it to someone who will bring the jewelry back to life.

For instance, heavy necklaces and large bracelets are a fading trend, so now might be a good time to get rid of those and make room for new jewelry.

In need of money

Jewelry can be a good investment as it’s less sensitive to the swings of the economy, according to a 2017 study. When going through tougher financial times, many people come to the conclusion that selling their unused jewelry is a quick solution to the problem.

Unfortunately, sometimes you’re forced to sell a piece you’re emotionally attached to, but have in mind that you can always replace your sold belongings when the situation changes for the better.

No sentimental value

Another common reason people have for selling their jewelry is that they’re no longer emotionally connected to the piece. This often happens with old diamond rings or wedding bands after a separation or a broken engagement. 

gold engagement ring

Many find it easier to part ways with these items as it means they’ve finally put an end to that period of their lives.

3 Mistakes to Avoid Making as a First-Time Jewelry Seller

If it’s the first time you’ve set out to find a trustworthy buyer, you need to be aware of the most frequent mistakes people make in the process in order to avoid them.

Selling the jewelry to a middleman

A mistake often made by inexperienced sellers is that they turn to a “middleman” in hopes of getting a fair deal on the jewelry. As soon as you enter their small rented office, you’ll be met with a person who’ll try to offer you a lower price for your jewelry.

Since they’re not a store themselves, they’ll often be forced to sell your pieces to another jewelry store or to a refinery who will melt your jewelry.

So, if you’re looking for the highest price, find someone who’s the “end buyer” and has the ability to resell the jewelry right in their own store (so you can cut out the middleman).

Skipping the reviews

The best way to find out whether you’ve opted for a trustworthy jewelry buyer is to read the reviews and testimonials of previous customers. Check whether the buyer has a lot of Google reviews and see what others are saying.

satisfied customers

Are they satisfied with the service? Would they choose the same buyer again? If the answer is positive, then you’ve likely found the right buyer.

For instance, the Estate Watch and Jewelry Co. has a 4.9 star rating on Google, with more than 500 real reviews and each week we continue to get 5 star reviews from satisfied customers who turn to us when selling their jewelry.

satisfied customer review

 

Not evaluating the piece beforehand

An evaluation is an essential part of the process and by no means should this step be skipped. To find out the value of your jewelry, consult an expert who’ll carefully examine each and every piece of jewelry.

Once they’ve inspected the jewelry, they’ll put forward an offer based on the resale value and current market trends. The process is as simple as that, and if you’re satisfied with the offer, you’ll be able to sell your jewelry right on the spot with immediate payment.

jewelry evaluation process

What Type of Jewelry Can I Sell?

If you choose to sell your jewelry, you’re probably wondering which kind of items you can consider selling. The ones listed below are the most common types of jewelry you can sell.

Sell Gold Jewelry

Selling gold jewelry, whether it be old, broken, gold bullion or scrap gold, has always been very common as it’s one of the most widely used precious metals that people tend to exchange for money.

gold jewelry on display

The fact that the current price of gold in the USA has reached an astounding figure of $1,895 is strong evidence that the value of unused jewelry is very strong.

The demand for gold jewelry has always been high, but has seen even stronger demand since 2021, amounting to almost 2,200 tons in the previous year.gold jewelry demand

Gold jewelry demand-Image credit by statista.com

Once you’ve found a reputable gold buyer, they’ll evaluate your pieces and take into consideration the jewelry’s karat and purity before providing a price.

Since most gold jewelry gets refined once it’s sold, most of the value is based on the weight of the pieces and whether or not the gold is 10k, 14k, 18k, 22k or 24k.

Tiffany’s trademark packaging

Tiffany’s trademark packaging-Image credits by harpersbazaar.rs

However, designer pieces such as Tiffany or Cartier tend to result in a higher offer as most of these pieces can be resold without being refined.

man assisting with jewelry purchase

Should you trust us with selling your gold jewelry, we’ll make sure you get the best price and leave our Scottsdale store satisfied with some extra spending money in your wallet!  You can learn more about where to find us and how to get in touch here.

Sell Sterling Silver

Sterling silver jewelry has always been popular as it’s easy to pair with different clothing styles and there is a wide range of designs. However, most people have a collection of silver they no longer wear and that’s why they usually decide to sell.

Most silver usually comes in the form of jewelry, coins, scrap silver or flatware. Before you actually start looking for a buyer, there are a couple of things you can do to make the process less time consuming.Sterling silver composition

Sterling silver composition-Image credits by antiquesilver.org

Firstly, pick up a magnifying glass and check for silver hallmarks engraved on the jewelry you wish to sell.

  • 925/92.5/Ster-used to refer to sterling silver as it contains 92.5% of silver
  • EPNS/EP-used to refer to plated silver(Electro Plated Nickel Silver)
  • 950-used to indicate that it contains 95% pure silver a.k.a. Britannia silver

925 sterling silver stamp
925 sterling silver stamp

    If you own a large collection of sterling silver, that’s good news for you as silver has risen in price over the years.

    Another useful tip to follow—even though your silver may not look brand new, don’t waste your time and make the mistake of trying to polish every piece before bringing it for an evaluation. This has no bearing on the value of the pieces.

    Sell Diamond Jewelry

    Have you inherited a diamond necklace or a pair of earrings that are not really your style? Have you finally decided to let go of your old engagement ring that brings back bad memories?

    If so, the best thing you can do is sell the piece of diamond jewelry and get some money that you can use on other things that are more important to you.

    in-store jewelry appraisal

    Selling a diamond is not a task to be taken lightly—if you want to get a fair price, you need to be familiar with the process. The moment you start researching, you’ll notice that experts advise turning to a store with GIA-trained staff who will evaluate the stone fairly and determine the carat weight and quality. 

    After a professional has thoroughly evaluated your diamond, they’ll take into consideration the diamond’s market value and make their offer. If you accept, all that’s left is to sign a quick form and you’ll be paid right on the spot.diamond jewelry on display

    Currently, the price of a one carat diamond can range between $1,300 to $16,500, depending on the cut quality, clarity, shape and color. If you’re not familiar with these terms, you can always find an online guide to read and educate yourself on this important information.the Four Cs diamond

    The Four Cs-Image credits by ainsworthjewellers.com

    Sell Watches

    Any passionate watch collector knows that sometimes it’s necessary to refresh your collection by selling an unused watch to finally buy a new Rolex or another Swiss brand watch that you’ve always wanted.

    You’ll probably get a better offer if:

    • the watch is in good condition
    • you have the original box (and accessories)
    • you can provide the papers and documentation 

    Naturally, the watch brand matters a lot as well. Rolex official papers

    Rolex official papers- Image credits by millenarywatches.com

    A high-quality Rolex watch, an Omega, Cartier or any other Swiss brand are always popular with collectors, so you’ll be able to sell the watch quickly and for a great price. Also, if the model is rare, you’re more likely to get an ever higher price given the market demand and desirability.

    Where can I sell my jewelry?

    Once you have a clear picture of what you can sell, it’s time to choose where to sell it. 

    There are several options and we’ll make sure to guide you through each one so you can make an informed decision.

    Jewelry Store

    The number one option (and often the most reliable one) is selling your jewelry in person to a local jeweler. Here, you know who you’re dealing with and it’s much easier when you can talk to a jeweler face-to-face and ask questions.

    It’s extremely important to have someone knowledgeable and reputable explain the process while they’re evaluating your jewelry.

    customer consulting with a professional jeweler

    As we’ve already pointed out—when looking for a local buyer, make sure to first check the store online and go through the store’s website to find out their process of purchase. 

    Some jewelry stores also have the option of selling on consignment. You may ask what this actually means?  It means authorizing the store to put your jewelry in their showcase and sell it on your behalf, in exchange for a cut of the sale price.

    When you choose to sell your high-end pieces on consignment in a jewelry store, you can rest assured that your jewelry will likely be seen by many interested buyers.

    You’ll agree on the jewelry store’s percentage of the sale beforehand and once the jewelry item is sold, you’ll receive the money—it’s as simple as that.  While consignment can sometimes lead to more money for you, the process will take longer than selling it outright on the spot.

    If you’re not sure where to start when looking for a buyer, we suggest that you begin to narrow down your search. For instance, anyone living in Arizona might want to start with looking at local jewelry buyers.the Estate Watch and Jewelry Co. store

    If you find yourself near Phoenix, don’t hesitate to stop by The Estate Watch & Jewelry Co. at 7121 E 5th Ave #23, Scottsdale and our certified buying staff will help you make the best decision regarding your estate jewelry.

    Online

    Another alternative is turning to online jewelry buyers, but it’s an option that comes with risk, so you’ll want to be very cautious when choosing who to trust your jewelry with.

    Based on the 2021 Internet fraud paper, there were more than 800,000 complaints reported by victims of online scams which proves you can’t trust everything that pops up online, namely when dealing with items as precious and as valuable as jewelry.  In addition, you’ll have to ship your items to them, which poses an additional risk.Comparison of online scam reports over the years

    Comparison of online scam reports over the years-Image credit by ic3.gov

    If you want to try and sell jewelry online yourself, a few options are:

    • Ebay
    • Amazon
    • Etsy
    • Craigslist
      Amazon/Ebay/Etsy comparison
        Amazon/Ebay/Etsy comparison-Image credits by nembol.com

         

        For anyone who’s using Facebook, the Marketplace could also be an option. Facebook Marketplace allows you to buy and sell your belongings to the US audience and get (or make) payments via PayPal.facebook marketplace scams

        Image credits by iamvouched.com

        However, unless you’re able to spot scammers on social media right away, it might be wise to steer clear of the above-mentioned selling methods, as fraudsters frequently take advantage of Sellers on Facebook Marketplace and other similar websites. 

        It’s generally better and safer to meet your jewelry buyer in person as they can provide assistance on the spot. Not only does it make the process more efficient, you’ll also feel more secure than when dealing with some unknown person online.  

        Pawn Shop

        The concept of a pawn shop has been present for centuries and currently, there are almost 9,300 of these shops in the USA alone. 

        When going through a financial crisis, many people will turn to the pawn shop as a quick solution that will get them some extra spending money. It’s very easy to find these shops as they run many ads online and are on about every corner in the city.

        The pawnshop symbol

        The pawnshop symbol-Image credits by everydaycheapskate.com

        However, is this really the best way to sell your fine jewelry?

        The shops are regulated by both federal and local laws and you can choose to either:

        • pawn an item 
        • sell it immediately 

        If you opt for the first option and fail to pay off the loan before the agreed deadline, you’ll lose the piece you put up as collateral.  These loans typically also carry very high interest rates, so be careful.

        In addition, not all pawn shops operate by the books. In fact, there are pawn shops who trick their customers and make them sign illegal and sketchy contracts.

        Selling your precious metals to a pawn shop will likely lead to you getting a lower price as it’s in their interest to pay you the lowest amount. They typically lend somewhere in the ballpark of 25% to 60% of the item's resale value if you choose to pawn your pieces.

        selling jewelry for money

        Image credits by washingtonpost.com

        Factors that Affect the Final Price

        Once you’ve finally decided where to sell, you should be aware of the factors that will directly affect the price you’ll be offered for your pre-owned jewelry. 

        Is the jewelry item in good (and resalable) condition?

        If you’ve cared for the jewelry piece over the years and it’s in good, resalable condition, it may result in a higher offer from the buyer. On the other hand, if the piece is in need of significant repair and the jewelry buyer has to invest time and resources to fix it, it’ll likely lead to a lower price (if it can even be repaired at all).

        Is the piece rare or unique?

        As we’ve mentioned before, a rare piece of designer jewelry will be worth more. For instance, a rare Rolex model or a Tiffany diamond engagement ring are more desirable and have strong market demand which leads to better prices for you.

        Having the original designer box and papers also increases the price that can be paid for luxury Swiss watches.rolex watches on display

        The rarer the piece, the more money you can expect, as there’s always someone searching for these types to add to their collection who will pay a high price.

        Is the stone a diamond?

        High-quality diamonds, as well as gemstones (rubies, sapphires, emeralds), are usually more valuable than other pieces of jewelry that only contain precious metals. 

        Gia diamond report example

        Gia diamond report example-Image credits by gia.edu

        If you have a diamond grading certificate from GIA, that will also positively affect the price as well.

        The Bottom Line

        We hope that this comprehensive guide has answered all your questions and provided you with the information you’ll find useful when selling your jewelry.

        Knowing where to turn to when parting ways with your gold and precious metals is an important decision and this guide should hopefully make it easier for you when choosing among the different options available.

        Should you still have a question about the process, visit our Scottsdale store which is easy to get to from anywhere in Phoenix. Our certified staff of jewelry professionals is ready to assist you with any questions you may have.

        We’ll ensure you get a fair evaluation and price for the jewelry that you have.