Ever wondered how much your estate jewelry is worth? We often have visitors that bring bags full of left behind jewelry from loved ones.
Sometimes they’ve nostalgically hung on to these pieces for years. Other times it’s due to finding these estate treasures while decluttering storage spaces and closets.
Lately, we’ve seen an influx of individuals come through with a need to sell estate jewelry for extra cash. Liquidating these precious goods can help cover expenses after a job loss, medical debt, or other emergency arises.
It doesn’t matter how long it takes the jewelry to end up in one big pile on our desks. What does matter is that you can recognize whether what you have is vintage, retro or trash.
I have so many people who are sure that their pile is worth millions, when the truth is– it might be worth pennies.
Look for These Signs to Estimate How Much Your Estate Jewelry Is Worth
Just because a piece of jewelry looks old doesn’t mean it is an antique or worth money. As jewelry buyers, we have to recognize the era of a piece, the retail value of a piece, and the resale value of a piece.
In a recent article in The Wall Street Journal titled ‘Cashing In Your Jewelry’, Heidi Mitchell wrote about how more women are turning their bling into cash. Cash for vacations, home updates, investments, or just to make more space at home.
Of course, these are women with high-end bling. But, how do you know if your bling is high-end versus costume jewelry?
Keep reading for our three best tips for guessing how much your estate jewelry is worth.
The High-End Test of Estate Jewelry
1. Look for a brand name or a hallmark.
Take out a loupe, a magnifying glass or even go to your local jeweler and look around the clasp of your jewelry or along the inside surface and search for either a name or a hallmark.
Once you find a name or a brand logo, look it up!
Get to researching on the internet for that name or hallmark. You might not only find out about the history, you might also even find the piece you own.
2. Know Your Karats.
The price of gold is on the rise, so if your piece is not a name brand, don’t despair. Check to see if it is marked with 14 kt or 18 kt gold.
If the metal is gray, notice if it’s marked silver, 14 kt, 18 kt, or platinum.
Depending on the type of metal and how much the metal weighs in grams depends on the worth of the piece as well. Remember, if you piece isn’t marked with a metal type, there is a test your jeweler can do to tell you if it is real gold or not.
3. Know the Carats.
What stones are in your piece? Are they real? What is the carat weight? This is where you might really need a jeweler to help you out.
Find someone you trust. Oftentimes, the heirloom piece you have is worth more taken apart then as a bracelet,necklace or brooch. If you are willing to sell it as a whole, don’t be surprised if afterwards the jewelry buyer takes it apart for resale.
How to Discard Worthless Estate Jewelry
What do you do if what you have ends up being scrap metal? Well, you obviously have a few choices:
- You can sell it to a jeweler or pawn shop and treat yourself to a movie and some popcorn.
- The other option for possibly making a few bucks would be to list it on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.
- Keep it and wear it as costume jewelry.
- Donate the estate jewelry to a consignment shop or other non-profit organization.
- Keep it and hand it down to your children as cherished family heirlooms. After all, you can’t put a price tag on memories.
related: How to Actually Make Money Selling Your Diamonds
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