Getting an Appraisal
How do I sell estate jewelry that I inherited?
Deciding if you should sell jewelry that you’ve inherited is not an easy decision. It can be very emotional and should be done with much care and consideration. Once you have made the decision to sell you will probably have a lot of questions about how to move forward. How do you know which pieces are valuable and which are not?
You may have a diamond engagement ring that you know has some value…but it’s not certified so you have no real idea of its worth. Most older diamonds were not certified because The Gemological Institute of America (G.I.A.) was not founded until 1931. It did not even release its grading standard until 1955. Before the G.I.A., older rings were appraised by jewelers and the jewelry companies. A lot has changed since then. The G.I.A. now sets the international standard for grading diamonds and gemstones. In order to determine the true value of your precious heirloom, it may be necessary to have the ring or stone certified by a recognized laboratory like the G.I.A. At the very least, your jewelry should be appraised by a graduate gemologist who has been trained by the G.I.A. and who can appraise not only the quality of the stone, but also the rarity of estate and antique pieces. That rarity can add value to a piece of jewelry above and beyond the worth of the diamond or gemstone alone. At Sell My Diamonds (Owned by Joden Jewelry), we have three graduate gemologists on staff, whose expertise also includes a vast knowledge of antique jewelry’s current market value.
What Should I Expect if I take my jewelry to a Local Jeweler?
The first thing a local jeweler should do when presented with the jewelry you’ve inherited is divide up the items according to value. He or she should separate gold and natural diamonds from costume and synthetic pieces. While some rare costume jewelry has collector value, most of it has very little value for inheritance or tax purposes. If the jeweler finds a piece that he believes has unique value, he may recommend you send the piece out to a certified lab before you try to sell it. That certification can mean the difference in thousands of dollars and may be well worth the extra time it takes to have the item sent out for independent grading.
Is It Possible to Get A Pre-sale Estimate by Phone?
If you have the proper documentation (certification, appraisals, etc.), we can make an estimated range of the piece’s value. It also helps to have photos which you can submit by e-mail. See Tips for Preparing Your Estate Jewelry for Sale. At Sell My Diamonds, we welcome your initial contact via e-mail, but we encourage you to call and talk to us about your estate pieces. We offer free, insured shipping for items we might want to buy from you. We also encourage you to be careful of internet only companies who send you a bag and have only existed for a few short years. We have been in business for over 44 years and are family and locally owned. References available on request. For more information on our credentials, go here.