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How to Sell Your Jewelry

We all know gold, silver and diamonds are valuable, but just how much is that piece in your jewelry box worth? Is what you're looking at in the store really worth its asking price? The answers to these questions depend on a lot of things, such as the piece's quality, purchase date and original price. Here are a few do's and don'ts for entering the world of buying and selling jewelry:
Buying and selling jewelry is tricky if you don't know what you're doing.Buying and selling jewelry is tricky if you don't know what you're doing.

Do...

Buy Jewelry During the Right Time
Jewelers offer more sales and are more open to bargaining during July, August and September. There are no major gift-giving holidays during this time, and most consumers are focused on snagging last-minute vacation packages, not buying jewelry.

Know What You Have
Many people don't know the difference between a real diamond and a quartz, making a trip to the jeweler an informative moment. Others know they have the real thing but have no estimate of its true value. Whether your jewelry is a new purchase or was passed through the generations of your family, it's beneficial to find a jewelry appraisal service. Avoid seeing appraisers who sell jewelry themselves - they might have a hidden agenda. Your best bet is to find someone certified by the American Gem Society.

Know What You're Buying
Some jewelers don't disclose when they sell a gem or diamond that's been clarity enhanced, meaning it was treated to look better. Most clarity enhanced diamonds were originally of low quality and, after treatment, they're no longer considered natural, are more fragile than actual diamonds, and usually run half the cost.

Keep Track of Any and All Documents
Your certification report and insurance documents help you prove your jewelry's worth. Use them to back up your claims when dealing with a thrifty jeweler or individual buyer.

One carat equals 200 milligrams.

Learn the Terminology
Karat refers to the purity of a piece of gold, with 24 karats being 100 percent pure. A carat, on the other hand, measures the mass of a diamond. One carat equals 200 milligrams. 

Look for a Stamp
Metal rings, necklaces and bracelets should have a karat stamp to tell you the purity of the piece. If you don't see a stamp, your item isn't made of gold, silver or platinum. Alternatively, the stamp was removed during cleaning or resizing.

Consider Your Selling Timeframe
If you want to sell your jewelry quickly, go with a jeweler or pawnbroker. On the other hand, if you don't mind spending time searching for the best deal, try selling jewelry directly to an individual through marketplaces like Craigslist or eBay.

Don't...

Buy From a Dealer Without an Agreeable Return Policy
After purchasing the jewelry in question, bring it and a list of its details to a certified appraiser for verification. If the appraiser tells you something different, return the item.

Have Wild Expectations
How you feel about a piece of jewelry doesn't always match its worth. You might have a strong emotional attachment to a cheap gold bangle, but bringing this piece to a jeweler and expecting a high price will have you leaving disappointed. 

Anticipate More Than You Originally Paid
Jewelry, like cars, depreciates in value the moment you buy it, and the market shifts from day to day. Unless you stumble upon an incredibly rare vintage piece, you're unlikely to get the price you paid.

Go With the First Offer
Always ask around and collect offers from various buyers in your area before making the decision to sell. Working with a local jeweler is likely to net you the best deal among the for-profit set - the business will see you as a potential customer and do everything it can to keep you happy. Selling to a business also removes a lot of the headache and time involved, but you probably won't get as much money as you would selling to an individual. 

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