Home Forums Living Spaces Bedrooms What to do with jewelry?

This topic contains 13 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  maco 7 years ago.

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  • #159816

    maco
    Member

    I have a bunch of jewelry I’ve been given as gifts over the years by my dad. The only bit of it I wear is my claddaugh ring and some cheap earrings that I haven’t changed since 2008 (they’re the only pair I have that are 12g). I’m not sure what to do with it. It’s *real* jewelry — gold, silver, diamonds, sapphire, emeralds — so obviously it shouldn’t be dealt with the same way one would deal with costume jewelry. I mean, it doesn’t take up much space, just a corner of my underwear drawer. It’s probably 2-3 diamond bracelets, a couple pairs of earrings, a few necklaces.

    Pawning it doesn’t seem like the right answer, and I hear that cash4gold is a scam.

    Should I just consider it an investment and keep it since gold appreciates in value?

  • #209200

    chacha1
    Member

    What to do with jewelry?

    A lot of people *perceive* that cash4gold, and the related businesses that have sprung up since precious metals prices went through the roof, are scams because they see the per-ounce price on the Internet and expect to get that price for their jewelry. But most gold jewelry sold, in the U.S. at least, is not very high karat and people vastly overestimate its value.

    14 karat gold is only 58% gold. If you have a chain that weighs 1/8 of an ounce ..

    let’s say the price per ounce is $1000 (keep it simple!). An eighth of an ounce of pure gold would be worth $125. Times 58% is $72.50.

    And on top of that, a seller is not going to get pure bullion prices anyway, because there is a cost associated with compiling low-karat gold, melting it down, and recovering the pure gold. I don’t know what retail prices are but I’m guessing the price paid is about half the gold value. So in the scenario above, the seller might get $36.25 for the chain. And they might feel scammed, because they paid $100 for it back in the 1980s, but that’s what it is really “worth.”

    Anyway. If you don’t need money urgently, or aren’t strongly motivated to declutter this stuff, I wouldn’t bother trying to sell small jewelry items.

    You may decide, later in life, that you would like to take all the various pieces and combine them into a single piece that you would actually wear. I have a pendant set with opals from my mother’s engagement ring and an opal DH bought for me in Australia, the gold is from mom and dad’s wedding rings, and it’s on a gold chain my grandma gave to mom years ago.

  • #209209

    lucy1965
    Member

    What to do with jewelry?

    Riffing off of chacha’s post, I was intrigued by a necklace here (scroll down to “Gem Jambalaya”); that way you could reuse the metal and stones.

  • #209212

    lucy1965
    Member

    What to do with jewelry?

    @anita — isn’t it great? I found her work when I was looking for a compass pendant; if I ever wanted another ring, it would be something like the cabochon garnet farther down on the page.

  • #209213

    What to do with jewelry?

    I have a ring that is platinum and diamond. I don’t want it, it’s not a relevant piece to pass down, but I would like to sell it. Do the cash for gold places take pieces with diamonds or is there somewhere better to try? I’ve wondered about this for years now, not knowing if I’ll be ripped off.

  • #209215

    loripax
    Member

    What to do with jewelry?

    chacha’s analysis is right on.

    If you want to cash it in, avoid the cash for gold places. Ask your coworkers and friends for a recommendation for a local jeweler. A reputable local jeweler will be able to give you an appraisal of the piece and let you know if it’s worth anything as a piece above and beyond the scrap value (and many will take pieces on consignment, or sometimes buy outright). If it has value only as scrap, they’ll also be able to tell you if the stones are worth anything or not, and if they are, they may buy them from you.

    Most of the cash for gold pieces don’t deal in stones at all. They’ll simply strip them out, and usually don’t even bother returning them to you.

  • #209218

    What to do with jewelry?

    thanks so much. It’s a platinum solitaire so I imagine it could sell as is, I just have no idea where to take it. My coworkers all suggested the pawn shop!? I’ll discreetly ask some local friends.

    I guess the other option is to keep it and have a jeweler remake it into a pendant as in the link that was shared. I rarely wear jewelry, so I’m not sure it’s worth doing.

  • #209220

    djk
    Member

    What to do with jewelry?

    Fine jewelers also often have “estate” sections where they sell estate pieces. I agree: get a certificate of appraisal from a reputable jeweler and then see what the local jewelers will offer.
    The size and quality of the diamond will be a significant factor in the appraisal, and the setting will also determine resale value.

    If there are no negative emotions linked with the piece, and if money isn’t the motivator, I also agree with the others–maybe have it altered.

    I’ve been metaphorically sitting on my rings from my first marriage. I like them and see them only as fashion fun, no negativity, to mix things up a bit with other rings. However, DH doesn’t like the idea of me wearing them, and I understand his point. So I’ve been tossing around a gazillion possible redesigns but haven’t picked one yet.

  • #209224

    chacha1
    Member

    What to do with jewelry?

    lkh, the resale value is going to track with the size and quality of the diamond. An appraisal (though you’ll likely have to pay for it) will at least let you know what you could expect to get for the ring. Certain vintage styles are extremely and durably popular. Would definitely not take something like that to a pawnshop … agree with djk, look for a jeweler with an “estate” section.

    Be aware you will *not* get “full retail value” for your ring. The jeweler has to be able to put a markup on it and still sell it.

    There’s a business called The Gold Guys that has an outlet here in L.A. and they will handle diamonds over a certain size. Anything else, they will remove from the setting and give back to the seller to do with as they see fit. Most small gemstones from “mass market” jewelry have no significant value.

  • #209231

    What to do with jewelry?

    Thanks Chacha. I’ll figure out how to get it appraised and ask my local friends if they know of jewelers with an estate section. Definitely not my area of expertise, so thanks for helping me declutter something very negative.

  • #209243

    djk
    Member

    What to do with jewelry?

    Lkh, just look in the phone book for jewelers in your city, call the first one and ask if they do appraisals and if they say no ask them which jeweler does. They will know, (unless they are a cheap-crap place with a teenager answering the phone) and they will refer you to an appraiser. Two phone calls max.
    The appraiser will write you a certificate of appraisal (for a fee, ask beforehand of course) and then you ask the appraiser (after you get the certificate) where you should go to sell it. They will be able to make good recommendations.

    A few simple phone calls, always politely asking the person who can’t help if they have any idea who could, who they can recommend. That is the big key to successful phone research.

    If you don’t like the phone, ask a friend to make the calls for you.
    Most of my work history has involved information-seeking in areas I could know nothing about and this always is effective.

    If you want I will call for you. Really.

  • #209261

    maco
    Member

    What to do with jewelry?

    Conny, my dad’s still alive 🙂 My concern with giving stuff to my cousins is that my dad may recognize them at the next wedding/Christmas/whatever. I have no intention of offspring, nor does my sister. My little brother may adopt some day, but if he does it’ll be about 20 years before there are any nieces old enough to trust with precious metals.

    Anita: I’m not wearing them because I don’t generally wear jewelry. I can probably remember every time I’ve worn any more jewelry than “the earrings that never come out” since finishing high school. I’ve been thinking about just letting my ear piercings close up. In the case of gems, there’s also the added squick of blood diamonds.

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