How to sell antique jewelry? Asked Miles
Maria, I found your appreciating service while searching on the internet. May you can help me with some antique jewelry that my family owns? We plan to buy a new RV. Our 1996 Coachmen Santara has just run 80,000 miles but it’s too old now and also very bad on gas. Modern RV’s are expensive and we have some antique jewelry here. We would like to sell the pieces if we can realize an amount in the range of 7,000 bucks. We know for sure that especially one ring is very valuable. It’s a platinum ring with a huge mounted diamond. But that’s not all. We have 3 other pieces too. How to sell antique jewelry, Maria? And how to sell it for the highest price?
Miles from Lakewood in Colorado
I try my best, Miles. As you already know, I’m an expert for jewelry and antique jewelry is my personal passion. I can help you with your concern but please consider that an evaluation from afar is not binding. Especially antique jewelry is a formidable challenge for an evaluation from afar. But Miles, it was fun to work with you and you were a great partner. Let’s see what we found out.
reDollar appraiser, Maria Taint
Miles wants to know, how to sell antique jewelry.
Miles: Maria, how much is my antique jewelry worth? And how to sell antique jewelry? I sent you some photos and additional information based on your requirements. Let me summarize once again what we have. First, there is a platinum ring with a huge diamond. Then, there is a small box with some stones, the religious brooch and an antique women’s watch covered with small glass stones. We were told some years ago that this antique jewelry is valuable. Only the watch can sell for some thousand dollars, so our realistic hope. All this pieces and some others more that we own, belonged to my mother’s parents. They always bought fine jewelry and this 4 pieces are now for sale. The other jewelry will be kept for our memories.
Maria: You sent a huge photo collection, Miles. That was very helpful for me. And making photos with a ruler in the picture gave me an idea about the measurements. Good job. I would like to start with the platinum ring. Maybe this ring was an engagement ring. It’s a gorgeous Art Deco piece, created in the 1930s. It’s an old European cut diamond coming with a so-called prong setting. Color and clarity unknown. Thanks to you, we know the diamond’s diameter. But the diamond’s color and the clarity are decisive for finding the price. We know that it’s a diamond because of the engraving saying “DIA” but this engraving is a mystery. Art Deco jewelry was not marked as “DIA” why I guess that this engraving relates to another time. Maybe the ring was marked many years later by a goldsmith doing an adaptation. I don’t have another explanation for it. And Miles, we also don’t know for sure that it’s a diamond. Maybe the stone was replaced? But let’s say it’s an authentic diamond and let’s say it’s a stone of nice quality and good color. Not the best, just average. I can imagine that this piece can sell for about $3,000. Remember, the diameter shows nearly 8mm. If it’s so, we have almost 2 carats here and I trust your measurement because of the caliper that you used. Many consumers ask me questions concerning rulers to measure the diamonds. I appreciate your caliper’s use. But Miles, your antique diamond ring can be worth $10,000 or more if it’s from very high quality. And worst quality can reduce the value down to $1,500. You see, an evaluation from afar is very vague. It works perfectly for many pieces but not for such special items, sadly.
Miles: Don’t worry Maria. We know that and we also know that your explanation is unbinding. But it helps us to make decisions. Maria, where and how to sell this antique jewelry now?
Maria: Before I tell you how to sell antique jewelry, I would like to continue with the evaluation of all pieces. Let’s discuss the value first, and your selling options at the end. Is this fine for you?
Miles: Very well. I don’t want to bring you in a hurry.
Maria: The next piece I would love to discuss is your box. It’s not just a box. It’s a snuff box. Beside the design, you provided measurements telling me for sure that it was used as a snuff box. But Miles, it’s not gold. It’s made of silver but gold plated. It’s a nice handmade piece. I can’t see the goldsmith’s markings, but maybe they are present. For the moment, I see a very nice antique snuff box with complete ornaments in probably original condition. This antique box sells for more than the material value, a lot more. If we would talk about the material value, we would have $50 here. But this boxes sells to collectors for $400 or $500. Our company would offer between $300 and $350 for this box.
Miles: We were very sure that this box was not made of gold. We also saw the markings saying “925” but we thought there is a chance that the gold covered lid was made of gold. But you meet our expectations with your evaluation.
Maria: Do you want me to tell you a very big surprise talking about your watch? I’m very excited and you will become excited too. I remember that you were told to own a valuable watch. And I can tell you, this is true. Furthermore, you know that there is no brand engraved into the case and no brand printed on the dial. On the back it shows just some numbers. I asked you if you ever have opened the clock to see the clockwork and you denied. If you would have done so, you would have found out that it’s an authentic Rolex watch. At the beginning I was not sure, I had to study some old antique catalogs before I finally found this model. The clockwork shows us the information “TIMED 6 POSITIONS” plus “ROLEX PRIMA” plus “15 RUBIES.” The inside of the back cover shows us “18” what means 18K gold and the company “R.W.C. LTD.” This watch is also an Art Deco piece made in 1927, 1928 or 1929. It was made of 18 karat white gold with authentic diamonds. It has a sprung bracelet, prima movement and a pale ivory colored dial. The case was decorative engraved with hinged lugs and pavé set diamonds. The diamonds are sparkling, I guess? You’ve never thought about the diamonds?
Miles: No ma’am, we never did. I’m so surprised that it’s hard for me to find the right words. How much is it worth, Maria?
Maria: There is a collector’s demand, absolutely. But nobody wants to wear such watches anymore. In the 1980s, such watches were most sought and loved. These days, collectors buy them for their collections. But anyway, this watch can sell between $3,000 and $4,000. I can’t tell you our binding offer from afar. I really have to see the watch. But trust me, you own a very special and nice antique piece. But let’s talk about your brooch too. This brooch is more old-fashioned than antique. Its nice looking but I can’t see a huge demand. I’m pretty sure that this broche was made in Italy and we know that it’s made of 18K gold. The hallmark shows us the purity. Based on the weight of 9 gram we have a value of about $250 here. But in total, I’m sure we reached your target. Isn’t it?
Miles: Absolutely. But your information brings us to a final and very important question. How to sell the antique jewelry now?
Maria: I can offer you to determine your pieces in person. After a detailed check I can make you a binding offer. You can ask other gold buyers in your town what they are willing to pay. Our offer is a helpful benchmark for you. But don’t expect that gold buyers are waiting for you. The average is not used to special items like yours. Another selling option are auction houses. But consider the commissions up to 20% of the winning bid. You have to pay $1,000, if your antique jewelry sells for $5,000 or $2,000 if it sells for $10,000. Keep that in mind. Furthermore auctions often come with additional costs for insurance or photo prints and long waiting times to get paid. I would say, check your local dealers and if you think that selling with us can bring you the best profit, go ahead. I can really imagine that selling to our company is a good way for you. But it’s up to you and I want you to shop around to get a feeling for our prices.
Miles: I will discuss our options with my family. Together we will make the final decision. But I want to thank you for your efforts. We really, really appreciate your friendly help.
Maria: You are more than welcomed to ask further questions. I love to run evaluations for our customers.