Selling Your Old Jewelry: 5 Things You Should Know Before You Sell To a Jeweler


If you’re selling an engagement ring specifically, you may want to check out THIS ARTICLE. In this article we’ll cover some of the most common questions we get about selling jewelry in general. Because so many people have items they inherited but don’t wear, or have a piece of jewelry that’s broken and sitting in the jewelry box, and now you’re wondering how/why/when/where to sell it. This article is for you!

selling your jewelry in Farmington, NM cover photo

Let’s get started!

Selling Your Old Jewelry: Diamonds, Diamonds, Diamonds

The most popular jewelry in America is still diamond jewelry and, in particular, diamond rings. A huge percentage of jewelry purchases are either engagement rings or diamond purchases to celebrate a birthday or anniversary.

So, naturally, what most jewelry stores are eager to buy is diamonds.

image of a diamond

Yes, jewelers will also buy colored gemstones (like rubies, emeralds, and sapphires), but these tend to sit in jewelers’ showcases longer because they require finding a more specific type of customer.

Most people love diamonds, but it takes a certain customer type of customer to fall in love with a colored gemstone, so jewelers are usually less eager to buy those and often less willing to pay competitive, top dollar for them.

Selling Your Old Jewelry: Diamond Size Matters

While it may be true that diamond size doesn’t matter when you’re buying an engagement ring for the love of your life

Diamond size matters to most jewelers buying diamonds and engagement rings.

As you probably know, jewelers have been buying jewelry “off the street” aggressively since the recession of 2009. By now, most jewelers are inundated with smaller diamonds. Many jewelers have more small diamonds (under 1/2 carat) than they know what to do with. So much so that they often just sell them in bulk to manufacturers and refiners.

So if the diamond you’re looking to sell is under half a carat, don’t expect to get anywhere near retail value. In some cases, some jewelers might not be interested in making much of an offer at all.

It’s not that they “don’t want” your jewelry. It’s totally an economic issue of supply and demand. The market is so flooded with smaller diamonds that their isn’t strong economic incentive right now for most jewelers to make a competitive offer.

Having said that, the opposite is also true. The demand for large diamonds has become more competitive in some markets due to the growing luxury goods consumption in China, India, Singapore, and the Middle East.

Large, high-quality diamonds are in high demand and many jewelers will either make competitive cash offers or offer to sell the diamond or ring on a consignment basis in their showroom.

If you’re not in a hurry to sell a large diamond, a consignment arrangement can often be the best solution. It allows the jeweler to sell the piece at a retail markup, take a percentage, and pay you out a better price for the piece.

Selling Your Old Jewelry: Watches

Like diamonds, the market has seen a huge influx of people selling watches since 2009. The bottom line on this is that few watches maintain resell value.

More or less, the only exceptions to this are high-end Swiss watches like Rolex, Patek Philippe, IWC, Breitling, or Breguet.

image of Rolex watches in Farmington, NM

These watches tend to maintain their resell value over time in general, and fetch higher prices in the pre-owned market.

There are nearly an endless amount of watch companies now making great styles. While these might be a great fashion statement and conversation piece, most watches have little resell value. Here’s why:

The most important and valuable part of the watch is not the style. Take Rolex as an example. The majority of its value comes from two things:

First, the movement. The “movement” is the inner workings of the watch. This is the obviously the most important part of the watch lasting over time. Swiss watch making companies do incredibly meticulous work to make sure their timepieces work properly not just for a few years… But for generations.

Second, the brand. Think what you want about branding and advertising, but brands like Rolex have done a world class job associating themselves with achievement and status. Like it or not, people are willing to pay more for a Rolex because it’s a globally recognized brand and a powerful symbol of personal achievement.

Most watch brands can’t hold a candle to Rolex, Breitling, and Patek Philippe in terms of reputation and mystique.

For all of these reasons, many jewelers will jump at the chance to flip a pre-owned Rolex, but they likely won’t even make an offer on an Invicta or Fossil.

Selling Your Old Jewelry: What About Coins?

This very much depends on the jewelry store you’re selling to.

Some jewelry stores will buy silver and gold coins. Some are only interested in what they can resell as estate fine jewelry.

Stop and think about it:

It might be a better idea to sell your coins to someone who specialized in coins.

Jewelers typically specialize in gemology and the art and beauty of jewelry… Not in coins.

Having said that, if a jeweler makes you an offer on your coins that you like, take it. Ultimately, if you got what you wanted out of the transaction that’s really all that matters.

Jewelers will often pay you simply by the weight of the metal and not on the rarity of the coin itself. Because many jewelers won’t resell these in their showroom, they’re not as interested in the collector value. Again, most jewelry stores sell jewelry.

They’re not coin shops.

Selling Your Old Jewelry: What about my scraps?

Many jewelry boxes have a broken necklace or bracelet in them.

If you have jewelry scraps that are just taking up space in your jewelry box, jewelers will buy these based on the quality and weight of the metal.

Just keep in mind that, in most cases, they’re not buying these to fix up and resell. They will often sell them to a refiner and get scrap precious metal prices.

This is a good way to get a few extra bucks for something that’s doing you no good anyway.

Selling Your Old Jewelry: Wrap Up

I hope this article was helpful for you and gave you some eye-opening guidelines when it comes to selling your old jewelry.

But also keep in mind that every jeweler is different, every jewelry store has a slightly different clientele and may be interested in different items, and you should check with the jeweler you’re considering before hauling your jewelry around town.

 

 

If you’re thinking about selling to Garcia and Company Jewelers in Farmington, NM, you can get more information about selling your jewelry HERE.