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Selling Unwanted Jewelry

a pair of outdated earrings that could be sold or restyled

Almost every woman I know possesses fine jewelry she no longer wears. Sometimes the pieces were inherited and never suited her taste. Sometimes her taste has changed, and they no longer work in her wardrobe. Often there has been a divorce and the engagement ring and wedding band are no longer wanted. There are dozens of reasons why jewelry might be sitting in a drawer or safety deposit box, each as reasonable as the next.

So, what to do? It can be daunting trying to figure out the best way to liquidate one's own jewelry. Who pays a fair price for used jewelry? What is a fair price? How do you know if you are being properly compensated? Do you really want to visit the jeweler who sold you your engagement ring to try and sell it back for cash? Maybe you don't even know whether a piece is platinum, white gold, or silver, but you know you would like to be rid of it and receive a fair value for it.

Allow me to be of service. I work with clients to discretely sell their jewelry through my own network of reputable jewelers, on-line dealers, private buyers, estate dealers, and others. I will meet with you, inspect each piece of your unwanted jewelry, and discuss its salability. Frankly, this is often the most difficult part of the process, so let's address it directly, to head off potential disappointment.

What's it Worth?

A piece of used jewelry is "worth" what someone will pay for it, cash on the barrel head. It is NOT worth the value stated on your insurance replacement appraisal, which is the cost to replace it in case of loss with a similar piece of like kind and quality, through a retail jewelry store. It often isn't worth half of the value stated on this document, because just like a brand-new car, once it is driven off the lot, it is considered used -- even if you only wore it once.

Used jewelry is often purchased by an entity that will turn resell it as pre-owned jewelry directly to a consumer, or sell it to a jeweler who will sell it to her customers as pre-owned jewelry. The more hands that touch the jewelry, the higher the eventual selling price. This is not unfair in any way, and is standard practice for any business that wishes to make a profit. 

Realistic Expectations

For reference -- and this is a very broad statement - I tell my clients that if they know the price paid for a piece when it was brand new, they might expect a high return of 25 percent of what was originally spent. The condition of the piece, its age, wearability, how fashionable it is, fluctuations in the price of precious metals, and designer cache' can all affect its salability. There are some definite exceptions to this scenario, but it's better to have realistic expectations of potential proceeds than to be hoping for an unattainable number.


Each used jewelry buyer with whom I work specializes in certain types of jewelry, and isn't interested in others, so it is my job to maximize your potential profit and reach the right buyers as efficiently as possible. I work quickly to make the best use of your time and money. Once I have obtained an appropriate number of offers on your pieces, I will present them to you and make my recommendations, which may include auction estimates or consignment arrangements as well. It is not uncommon for a group, or "lot," of five pieces to have three different recommendations for sale. You may accept or reject any of them -- that's your decision to make. I am simply paid my hourly fee for the time spent on the project and will respect your choice either way. If you wish to liquidate, I will immediately sell your jewelry and pass the proceeds directly on to you, with no markup or commission.  

Sometime clients do change their minds after learning what their jewelry is worth in the market today, and instead give these pieces to family members, redesign them, or put them back into the dresser drawer. But it has been my experience that most decide to proceed with liquidation and enjoy receiving their proceeds promptly to spend on travel, a new handbag, or a beautiful new piece of jewelry that they will enjoy wearing.

Contact me for more information about selling your unwanted jewelry.

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