When selling an old family heirloom or other piece of antique jewelry, it can be tricky to figure out what the jewelry is worth and how exactly to go about selling it. While you may be able to unload it very quickly at a local pawn shop, that's probably not the best way to get a fair price for your jewelry. Instead, follow these tips for getting top dollar when you sell your antique jewelry:
Gather Everything You Know
The more information you have about your antique jewelry, the easier it will be to price it appropriately and market it to the right type of buyers. If you inherited the jewelry, ask your parents or other family members for any details they may know, including the era and history of the piece. If you bought it, find your receipt as well as any other paperwork you have stashed away.
Have it Professionally Appraised
Unless the jewelry is inexpensive costume jewelry, you should have it professionally appraised. A qualified jewelry appraisal will be able to determine all sorts of valuable information about your jewelry, including an estimated age, diamond carat weight and clarity, and how rare or common the piece is.
When you advertise your antique jewelry, you will be able to be much more specific thanks to the information in the appraisal. In addition, customers will be more willing to purchase your jewelry at top dollar when they know its value has been officially assessed and that the jewelry will come with appraisal paperwork.
Consider Selling on Consignment
If you are patient and don't need the money right away, selling your jewelry on consignment at an antique jeweler may be a good way to go. The jeweler will display your piece in their store along with the other jewelry they have for sale. They may also advertise for you by listing your jewelry on their website. Some jewelry shops even have professional photos taken of your antique jewelry as part of their consignment services.
You will not receive your money until the jewelry sells, which can take weeks, months, or even longer. The jewelry store will take a modest percentage of your profits as their fee, so be sure to clarify how much this is before listing your jewelry with them. A trusted antique jeweler may be able to get a much higher price than you are able to get as an individual, making the wait and the fee worthwhile.
Clean Your Jewelry
The cleaner and more sparkly your antique jewelry, the more willing your prospective customers may be to pay top dollar for it. You can always pay someone at an antique jewelry store to clean your jewelry for you, or if you'd like to save some money you can clean it yourself at home.
Compare to Similar Jewelry Online
If you plan to sell your jewelry online, you should spend time researching similar jewelry to get a solid idea of where to price it. Look for pieces of similar eras, quality, and condition. You may want to list your jewelry at a slightly lower price than the competition, especially if the competition are more established sellers with a large number of positive reviews.
This way someone who is on the fence between you and another seller may be won over by the deal they're getting, comparatively. Just don't list it for dramatically less than it's worth or than other sellers are listing their similar pieces for.
Selling your antique jewelry can take time and know-how, but it's worth the effort in order to get top dollar for your valuables.