Unworn jewelry is one of the most common types of collectibles to wind-up in the back of a drawer or bottom of a jewelry box. Fashion change with the times, rings may become tighter with age, or sometimes there’s an unwanted memory associated with a particular piece. So, how about selling it to someone else that will appreciate it more?
If the jewelry is made with precious metals (gold, silver, or platinum), it is always at least worth the value of the metal. You can get a basic idea of the value using a kitchen scale that measures in grams and searching for a scrap metal calculator online or in your smartphone’s app store. Most jewelry made with precious metal will be stamped somewhere to indicate the type and/or purity of the metal (such as the inside of the band of a ring or the clasp of a necklace).
Designer jewelry is a particularly good candidate for resale, as it is one of the most popular categories on eBay. Luxury brands such as Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Gucci, Bulgari, and Chanel command some of the highest resale values online. Vintage jewelry is also quite popular, with unique brooches, ornate rings, and bangle bracelets being some of the most active categories.
If the jewelry has recently been appraised, the resale value is typically 20%-40% of the appraisal value. This percentage may seem low, until you remember that appraisals are typically done for insurance purposes and provide the retail value of the item, making it easier to replace should it be lost, stolen, or damaged. The resale value may be higher if the piece is particularly rare, unusual, or has significant provenance.
While describing the jewelry accurately is very important, having multiple, high-quality pictures of the pieces is even of greater importance, since buyers cannot see and touch the pieces themselves. Also, your potential buyers may not be native English speakers from the United States, so all the more reason to provide the best pictures possible.
Jewelry on eBay can sell for less than a dollar to $100,000 or more. Often, you can find similar items that have sold recently to give you a good idea of the resale value of your piece.
The original article can be found in the September 2013 issue of Southern Neighbor available here: www.southernneighbor.com.