The Right Way to Sell Old Jewelry

Around the world, precious gems and metals alike have captivated humanity, and for much of history, only the wealthy and royalty could have access to such precious materials. Gradually, gold and silver, and many different gems, found their way into more ordinary families and households too, and now, many families around the world have heirlooms featuring gold, silver, and gems of all sorts. These are commodities like any other, and a person may choose to sell antique jewelry to a local jeweler. But they should be careful, since if they sell antique jewelry for a poor price, they may lose some money. Fortunately, antique jewelry, antique silver, and gold items can be assessed first by an expert to ensure that the price is fair both both the buyer and the seller. Selling silver or gold is something to do quite carefully, but if you sell your antiques with a reliable third party involved, a fair deal can be made. How can you sell antique jewelry the right way?

Gems and Jewelry

Let us first consider jewels and jewelry. Aside from sea glass, gems in jewelry are precious stones found in the earth, formed with pressure over time. Diamonds are a common example, but jewelry may also feature rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and more. The variables are many, such as a gem’s cut pattern, its weight (carats), and how many flaws and inclusions it has. That is in addition to the jewelry item’s gold or silver body, such as a ring, necklace, or earrings. Often, women pass down family jewelry to their daughters, and women often buy decorative jewelry for themselves, too. Some jewelry is “off the shelf,” but other pieces may be custom ordered and designed for taste. Some men even buy customized engagement rings for their girlfriends for a more personal touch.

To sell antique jewelry, the seller may want to consult a jeweler, who can carefully look it over. A jeweler may evaluate the gem’s carats and cut, as well as use a microscope to assess its inclusion level. Truly flawless gems are extremely rare and valuable, and ordinary Americans will probably never even see one, let alone own one. Instead, the jeweler may use a ranking scale to determine the gem’s quality. Flawless (FL) tops the chart, followed with categories such as VVS (very very slight inclusions) to somewhat included to included (I). The more inclusions, the lower the gem’s value. Often, jewelry customers won’t even bother buying anything whose gems rank I, or included. But in this way, a jeweler seller may list a fair price, and they may sell gems or jewelry online at auction sites or even visit an antique trade show to find buyers in person. Other times, the owner of jewelry may sell those goods directly to the store. The owner may be certain that the store will carefully assess a jewelry piece’s quality before making an offer, if any.

Gold and Silver Goods

What about gold and silver items? Rarely are items made from 100% pure gold or silver, as these metals are too soft. Instead, they are typically alloys, such as sterling silver, for strength. Gold and silver may be used to coat other items such as trophies, tea set trays, forks and knives and spoons, photo frames, watches, and even lighters. In some families, men may pass down gold or silver wristwatches or pocket watches to their sons. Professional eyes should assess an item before a fair price for it can be determined.

What to look for? An expert will assess the item’s gold or silver purity, and a higher purity means a higher value. Another factor is the workmanship, as some gold or silver items may have been more carefully crafted than others. A shoddily built photo frame or trophy may suffer a reduction in value, and the same is true if the gold or silver is damaged or tarnished. The item’s rarity and age may also be a factor, and experts will have the proper references to determine those factors. Such goods can be sold online, sold at a trade show, or sold to a store. Shipping these items may include padding to protect it from breaks during travel, and a tightly sealed box to keep water out.

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