Since the early days of humanity, gemstones were sought after and considered a commodity, From simple rocks on a string as a kids game, to specially crafted jewels embedded into royal garments and crowns. In modern days we can inherit gemstones from older generations or buy brand new ones from anywhere in the global market. As happens with everything, we grow tired or accustomed to our old possessions, and gemstones are no different; when they no longer bring us the same joy as when we got them, it’s time to trade these old precious stones for newer ones or other commodities that will bring more value to our lives.
In order to sell your old jewelry for the highest value, you’ll need to know a few things. After years of trading in the jewelry resale market, we’ve gathered the experience to know what buyers and sellers are looking for. And we’ve gathered a lot of information that will help you get the best value for your gemstones when you decide to sell them.
ONLINE GEMSTONE TRADE
When you want to sell your gemstones online, you have many paths. You probably already know the most famous eBay or eBid websites for selling these types of items. In these major platforms, you are responsible for your gemstones from start to finish; Posting the items, accepting bids, sending them to the buyer, and making sure to receive the money for the sale. Keep in mind that your items will be displayed beside many other different types of items.
The trust between buyers and sellers is based on social proof, mainly reviews of other people who did business with the parties, but it’s important to understand that there is no official entity or institution that regulates the process, so the buyers see it as a potential scam and may offer less money for your gemstones.
Then you have the option to use specialty websites that have experts who mostly authenticate the sold jewelry after they are inspected by certified geologists. Examples of these are Vaunte, TheRealReal, Portero, and TrueFacet. These sites usually sell branded luxury items, so if you have a Cartier piece, that’s a safe bet to go with. These websites take a commission on the sale and pay the rest to the seller. If you decide to take that route and use a specialty store online, you can do a few things to mitigate the risk. First, check the customer reviews, and see if they have a physical location.
Is there a phone number you can call?
If so, you can call them and ask them to answer a few questions on how they operate. You can also use the BBB or Better Business Bureau, an official entity that rates the service and business practices of hundreds of businesses. Ask them how they transfer the money:
Do they hold the money in an escrow account until the money transfer is complete?
Do they take fees?
MEASURING THE VALUE OF YOUR GEMSTONES
If you know the retail price of your jewel, that’s a good place to start. Obviously, just like a used car or anything else, some value will be lost as it’s now used. Most of the value of old jewelry is in it’s components, the gold or gems. Many old jewelry items go for about 20-30% of their retail price. Try to find any unique marks, dates, engraves, brands, or signatures on your jewelry, then do an online search with the identifying marks; you might find out that your old jewelry is much more valuable than you thought.
While searching for marks, make a note of any wear and tear, damage, and broken or missing parts. Then you can compare your pieces to other pieces in local jewelry stores that sell used jewelry and try to find out the actual market prices. You might have more luck looking online in places like eBay or specialty stores.
Just keep in mind that the prices you’ll see in the store are not the actual resale prices, as most stores will add their commission and fees to the cost.
USING CLASSIFIED ADS TO TRADE YOUR GEMSTONES
Most local newspapers have classified ad sections or sections on their website, even in places like Craigslist. This way, even though valid, is a more risky endeavor that will require more setup and caution if you want to sell your gemstones or jewelry successfully. First remember that the buyer can be a scammer or a criminal, so use precaution; don’t advertise your personal information like your name, phone number, or address.
When you set up a meeting, do it in a public place and have a friend accompany you. When you actually meet with the buyer and do the transaction, only accept cash, As checks of any kind can be fake. Also make sure to deposit the cash immediately at the bank, as some scammers will follow you to your home in order to retrieve their cash.
IMAGES ALWAYS SPEAK VOLUMES
Capturing the true beauty of your gemstones is crucial for trading them online, so it’s important to invest in really fantastic photographs.
Here are a few tips on how to go about it:
For starters, make sure your gemstones and jewels are clean. For really valuable pieces, consider using a professional cleaning service as they will do a fantastic job using specialized tools.
If you want to do it yourself, soak the gemstones in water with a few drops of mild dish soap, then gently wipe them using a cloth behind the gemstone where it usually collects dust. Then air-dry them on a soft cloth.
Since the gem’s sparkle and it’s reflective properties and color are the most important, make sure to take the pictures in a natural light, without any color corrections. Sunlight is best for stones like rubies, but use fluorescent light for sapphires.
Make sure to light them from the front so they will shine extra for the camera and show their true brilliance. Try to take pictures from many different angles and select the most impressive ones. The last thing to consider is the background. Make sure it’s either solid black or white, as anything else may deduct from the gem’s beauty.
Moreover, if there are any damages, scratches or marks, make sure to have an image of them to avoid having to explain them to the buyer later on, and losing their trust and the sale.
CHARACTERIZE YOUR JEWEL
When posting your jewels or gemstones use as many descriptions as possible, preferably measurable and accurate values: Dimensions, size, markings, boxes, or papers like receipts or appraisals, even its history or it’s story if you have it. If you don’t already have your gemstones apprised, try to appraise it with a reputable certified gemologist and get details like carat, enhancements, origins and other things that may affect its value. Since most appraisers work for insurance companies, they would assume you want the retail value. You should actively tell them that you’d like the resale value of the gemstone to understand what you can expect to get when posting your item in the resale market.
CONSIGNMENT TRADE AT LOCAL JEWELERS
Selling your gemstones with a retailer on consignment is another path you can take. The retailer will usually take his commission and fees, and give you a percentage of the sale. You’ll gain their reputation, and customer base, and the process will be hassle-free for you, as most people don’t have experience in the resale market. This will save you the hustle to photograph, describe, appraise or list your gemstones.
With that, keep in mind that the client-base of that retailer is much more limited than the many people who would see it online, so it might take more time for the sale to happen.
AUCTIONS AS A MEANS TO TRADE GEMSTONES
Auction houses are a great way to make a large profit if your gemstone or jewel is of a very well -known brand or designer, or if it has a unique history or story behind it. If that’s the case, you can consider one of the global auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s, Bonhams, Heritage Auctions and any local auction houses in your vicinity.
SELL GEMSTONES TO DIANOCHE
With the great wealth of experience at Dianoche, we set the standard for selling gemstones. Contact us for a 100% free consultation by signing up below.