A Quick Guide To Selling Unwanted Jewelry

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Thanks to the current coronavirus pandemic, you might be feeling a bit shaky right now about finances, and rightfully so. Businesses have temporarily closed for the foreseeable future, people are staying at home (often without pay) and things are looking hazy. But if there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s the wild selling when it comes to gold, silver, and other precious metals in order to get some cash. So in these uncertain times, should you sell, repair, or repair and sell your jewelry? Here’s what we have to say about selling jewelry.

Selling Precious Metals 

Typically, when the economy is bad gold goes up in price. It’s seen as a more reliable investment, and is inversely related to the stock market. When stocks crash, people resort to precious metal.
At the moment, however, because jewelry businesses are suffering and selling off inventory to liquidate their assets, gold prices have hit a low. It’s important to take note of this, because it’ll affect the way you want to sell jewelry. You can either sell for scrap, or you can resell. Here’s what makes them different.

Selling for Scrap

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This 14k cross had its stones removed and is ready for scrapping.

To sell jewelry for scrap is to essentially dump your pieces off at any place that says “CASH4GOLD.” The jewelers there will assess your piece based on its metal gram weight, and stone quality- not on its craftsmanship, condition, or design. This is because you’re selling that piece off to the jeweler who will then have it scrapped (melted down). 

While this method is the easiest way to rid yourself of jewelry and get some quick cash, it may not be the most lucrative method. Considering the current situation, you may even be offered lower prices for what you have to sell. 

How can you make a better profit, then? It’ll take some patience and a little investment, but refurbishing and reselling can be quite profitable.

Reselling Jewelry

Selling jewelry to other people (not jewelers!) is actually more profitable, even if it takes a longer time. The reasons behind this are quite simple; people are buying your ring or necklace for its actual design, not for scrap reasons. As such, you can set your own price and sell it for a higher margin.

There are two ways to resell jewelry. One is as-is; leaving the jewelry in its pre-owned state. People will still buy it, but you’ll have to set a realistic price given the condition of the item. It’s also not a good selling method for pieces that are missing stones or in need of some TLC; you’d have to count on someone really loving the look of the piece in order for them to purchase it and invest some time into repairing it.

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This silver onyx ring was thoroughly cleaned and polished. It makes a huge difference!

The second way to resell is the most time-consuming and expensive, but also the most rewarding. By working with a jeweler, you can get the item cleaned with a quick polish, or repair any other damage to the piece. This will allow you to mark up the price, covering the cost of the repair work. Out of the three ways to sell your jewelry, selling a refurbished item is the most lucrative method, but it also has a longer, less predictable timeline. You’ll have to wait until someone bites and purchases the piece. 

How to Get Started With Reselling

In order to increase your chances of selling your jewelry to other people, there are a few things you should do:

  1. Verify the value of your item: Take it to a jeweler and ask for a quick, on-the-spot appraisal. Get it tested for metal content if possible as well. Once you have more details about the piece and its materials, check out similar items online and see how much they’re going for. That’ll give you an approximate idea about pricing.
    If you’re really willing to spend more money for higher-value items such as branded jewelry or expensive diamonds, consider getting an official appraisal or a GIA certification. These documents will help you raise the price, as you can include them with the sale.

    This appraisal was done for a client’s ring by our gemologist.

  2. Check for damage: While you’re at the jeweler’s, ask them to examine the piece for any repairs needed. Prongs may have to be rebuilt, areas soldered, or stones replaced. Get a quote for the repair and weigh your options to see if refurbishing is worthwhile. 
  3. Set up an online ecommerce account: You don’t really have the time to build your own website and draw people to it, so try using Facebook Marketplace, Instagram, Etsy, Rubylane, or Ebay to sell your item. All of these platforms have huge audiences and you’re guaranteed to get someone looking at your piece. 
  4. Take good pictures: Images are important when you’re selling online! Don’t post blurry photos; your customers need to see what they’re purchasing. 

Now you’re all set on how to get the most out of the jewelry you’re looking to sell! If you have any questions, comment below. 

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