Selling Jewelry in TX
December 9, 2004 8:41 AM   Subscribe

What would be the best way for a person to sell their antique and really rather pretty jewelry in Texas? Looking at ebay, the prices tend to be quite low and pawn shops are even lower.
posted by Mossy to Shopping (8 answers total)
I have no experience in this sort of thing, but I think the next step might be to contact specialty jewelry stores and see if they would sell it on consignment.
posted by Doohickie at 9:31 AM on December 9, 2004

It depends on the type of jewelry it is. For pricing, start with the raw costs of the precious metals and/or stones involved, and be thankful if you get anything more from pros. Brand names, such as Tiffany, can help, but usually not unless you can prove it, in my experience. If any was bought retail, don't expect to get more than 10-20% of what you paid for it from a pawnshop or ebay. What you need to find is someone else willing to pay discounted retail prices - someone who isn't an expert. Maybe newspaper ads? Craigslist type ads? Consignment is a good idea, moreso with the antique jewelry, but for small lots expect to split the sale at least 50-50 with the seller. Unfortunately it's very difficult to make any kind of money selling jewelry secondhand, especially relative to the emotional or perceived value of the pieces
posted by loquax at 10:00 AM on December 9, 2004

"Jewelry" is sort of a vague term. Yet Pawn Shops are in the lending business, not the buying business, and would certainly be a rip-off. The value mainly consists of two things:
1. The actual materials: e.g., the platinum, the emeralds, the sapphires, the gold, and especially the diamonds which have intrinsic commodity value
2. The design, if the pieces are by a collectable designer or have other popular appeal. If they are collectible designs, that should be reflected on eBay.
You don't say if the jewelry is made of precious materials, or is more of the costume/semi-precious variety. If the former, an independent jeweller (not a big chain) should be interested in buying at least some pieces if they have decent stones and/or platinum. You should take them to three or four places that sell estate jewelry and/or do custom work and see what they offer. If it's not precious jewelry, the pieces won't really have much value unless they're collectible.
posted by sixdifferentways at 10:10 AM on December 9, 2004

So, in summary, be willing to accept that jewelry may not be worth more than you can get on Ebay.
posted by Mo Nickels at 11:26 AM on December 9, 2004

sixdifferentways says: 1. The actual materials: e.g., the platinum, the emeralds, the sapphires, the gold, and especially the diamonds which have intrinsic commodity value...

The commodity value of diamonds, while "inherent" is MUCH less than anything near retail. It's probably 20 or 30% (or even less) of retail. Which is why DeBeers would be royally fucked if any great number of people began to get rid of their diamonds. The market would crash. Diamonds are inherently worth something, but since the market for them is not a free market, it's hard to say what.
posted by zpousman at 11:54 AM on December 9, 2004

You're right - they're an artificial commodity - but as far as resale value goes, diamonds are the main thing buyers of used pieces are interested in.
posted by sixdifferentways at 12:37 PM on December 9, 2004

1. Get it appraised. 2. If the value is high, sell on consignment through an antique dealer who deals in jewelry or a jewelry seller who deals in antiques.
posted by Dick Paris at 2:42 PM on December 9, 2004

Response by poster: Thank you kindly.
posted by Mossy at 8:10 PM on December 10, 2004

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