Most book characters who go from riches to rags often sell their beloved heirloom jewels as a last resort. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it helps your broke fictional character get back on their feet for a little while.

Sell Old Jewelry

In the real world, selling used jewelry for cash is not that easy. First of all, there are a variety of places to offer your used jewelry for sale. Would you go to a jeweler, a pawnshop, or an online seller? How about selling the gold for its scrap value? There’s also the issue of being under-compensated. At a first realistic glance, selling used jewelry now looks like a big risk.

It doesn’t have to be, however. Below are the things to keep in mind when selling your used jewelry.

1. Know Your Worth

To be more correct, know your jewelry’s worth. The business you’re about to bargain with considers stylistic value the most, and jewelry styles become out of fashion quickly with the increasingly fleeting fads. Dig as deep as you can into the history of the piece you’ve chosen to sell. Is it just an old necklace that went out of style ten years ago or is it an antique piece from a century ago that can be sought by collectors? The answer to this question may mean hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

More often than not, however, your used jewelry may just be that — used. In that case, it will not garner as much money as a new piece would. Out of style pieces naturally don’t sell in the jewelry business and old pieces are generally less durable. If your used jewelry isn’t a collectible antique, don’t expect much.

To get a more specific value for your jewelry, you may choose to consult with professional appraisers who can then look at the jewelry with an objective eye. While you’re at it, you may also ask the appraiser how well the piece could sell in different markets.

2. Prepare Your Piece

Since the jewelry industry is an aesthetically-driven one, it’s important to have your piece look its best. Clean and neat jewelry can fetch a higher price than something dusty and broken.

Jewelry cleaning can be done at home using warm water and dishwashing soap. Salt and baking soda can be added if a stronger clean is needed. If you don’t feel confident about cleaning your jewelry yourself, you can leave the cleaning (as well as any possible repairs) to a professional jeweller.

3. Sell it

Once your piece is clean, repaired, and given an estimated value, you can start selling it. There are four places you can go to, each with its perks and quirks.

Selling your used jewelry to a local jeweler may get you the highest possible price, especially if you’re already a regular customer or if you give off the vibe of a potential one. However, jewelers in stores rarely buy used jewelry, since they already receive good discounts on fresh wholesale gems.

If going to the jeweler doesn’t work out, you may offer your jewelry for sale online. While you could also get a decent price on an online platform, waiting for that one buyer will take a long time. Shipping and payment are also potential points of trickery. You may also choose to meet up with the buyer, but that in itself brings up many other risks. In short, online selling can get you a decent price not unlike in the jeweler’s shop, but it’s going to be a long game.

Meanwhile, pawn shops are quick to transact with, but you will need considerable experience in these establishments to get a good deal. More often than not, pawnbrokers offer less money than jewelers or online buyers for your jewelry. It’s quick cash, but there won’t be that much cash either.

Another option would be selling your used jewelry for scrap. In this scenario, you’re selling your piece based on its components, which will then be melted down afterwards. Check the price of gold (or of any metal that makes up your jewelry) and see if it’s the best time to sell your jewelry for scrap. Then go to at least a few different gold buying shops and see which deal gives the highest price.

Selling used jewelry isn’t simple, but with the right knowledge and good bargaining skills, you can make money out of your used jewelry.


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