Get the Most Cash For Your Diamonds, Jewelry and Timepieces

Author Lexi
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Date Feb 9, 2014

Here's our advice on maximizing the value of your unwanted diamond, diamond ring, jewelry, scrap gold or timepiece:

If you don’t have someone you trust, shop around for the best offer. Most people have no idea what their jewelry is worth when selling it, which makes it challenging to find a fair value. If you don’t have an established jeweler whom you trust to be fair, get multiple offers. Tell them that you are visiting other stores so they put their best foot forward. Be cautious of “mail in” cash for jewelry offers because some make it very difficult for you to get your jewelry back if you decline their offer.

Know what drives the value of a piece. If you have a diamond, the condition of the diamond is important because chips and nicks could depress the value of the stone. One big diamond is worth carat for carat more than lots of smaller diamonds while old style shapes like miner’s cuts aren’t as valuable as today’s popular diamond shapes. A famous designer’s signature or mark, such as Cartier, can greatly increase the value of the piece. Of course, the more gold, silver or platinum weight in the piece, the higher the value as well.

Negotiate! Don’t accept an offer without asking if that is their best price or asking for a little more. It never hurts to ask. Ask for additional value if you take store credit towards a new piece of jewelry, diamond or timepiece instead of a cash payment. The value of your future business (as a buyer or seller) often raises the offer price in order to entice you to come back, so use that in the negotiation.

Sentiment doesn’t pay. Unfortunately, no one but you or your family will appreciate the sentimental value of your jewelry. So if you don’t like an offer on a piece of jewelry that means lots to you, considering keeping it in your family. No one will pay you for that sentimental value.

Appraisal values are very different than cash offers you will likely receive. Written appraisals are formal documents from a jeweler which are used by insurance companies to value and replace a new item. However, a cash offer is how much someone will pay for your piece in its current condition and it is often much lower than the appraised value. This difference is similar to the dramatic price gap between you buying a new car vs. you selling a used car. Written appraisals are similar to the new car price and represent a high value, while cash offers are more like what you can expect when selling that car to someone a few years later for a lesser price.

Paperwork and supporting documents can help you maximize the offer. You don’t need an appraisal to sell a piece of jewelry but the information on the appraisal can help inform the purchaser and potentially raise the offer price. Original receipts, boxes, warranties and other documentation can also be helpful so bring them along if you have them. Certifications from reputable gemological laboratories (such the GIA and AGTA) can take some of the subjectivity out of the discussion. In other words, they help move you from “what is this?” to “what is this worth?”

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