Jewelry Articles

How Much Is My Antique Jewelry Worth?

April 28, 2017 - Jewelry Articles
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If you have inherited, bought or even found antique jewelry, you may be wondering: how much is my antique jewelry worth? We are here to help. As leading jewelry buyers, we understand the value of your precious pieces. Let’s review some of the factors that affect the value of your antique jewelry and how best to sell:

 

What is Antique Jewelry?

Jewelry over 100 years of age is considered ‘antique’. Within this large period of time  there are of course subsections of time that make up different categories and eras of antique jewelry. Broadly speaking these are:

  • Georgian: 1714-1837
  • Victorian: 1840-1890
  • Art Nouveau: 1890-1910
  • Edwardian: 1901-1910

 

What is my antique jewelry worth?

The value of your antique jewelry is largely dependent on 3 factors:

antique jewelry price

1. Condition

Antique jewelry is over a century old. While its age may increase its value, due to scarcity and demand, the reality is that its condition may have deteriorated. Of course this is dependent on how the jewelry has been looked after. The better the condition of your antique jewelry, the higher resale price it will fetch.

So how can you improve the condition of your jewelry pieces? You can easily clean your own jewelry, if you have ascertained what materials it is made of.

Our step by step guide to cleaning antique jewelry:

  1. Complete any necessary repairs before cleaning the jewelry.
  2. If in doubt, consult a professional. Jewelers can usually clean your jewelry for a charge and help with any necessary maintenance.
  3. Use a soft toothbrush and use light strokes on the metal with a diluted detergent mix. Go around any precious stones carefully and be sure to not scrub your item.
  4. Discoloration or dull patches on silver can be removed using a silver polish and a soft cloth. Then simply remove the polish with a mild soap.

2. Time Period

Popular time periods include:

  • Georgian: 1714-1837
  • Victorian: 1840-1890
  • Art Nouveau: 1890-1910
  • Edwardian: 1901-1910

Antique jewelry spans hundreds of years, right up into the early 20th century. Establishing the age and time period of your jewelry requires expert knowledge. At WP Diamonds, our experts are on hand to pin point when your piece was manufactured and the provide you with a bespoke price quote based on the current second-hand jewelry market.

3. Type of Jewelry

It is important to consider the type of jewelry you have:

  • Is it a ring, necklace, bracelet, earrings or brooch?
  • Is it representative of a particular time in history?
  • What precious metals is the jewelry made of? Popular precious metals include gold and silver and platinum.
  • What is the metal content?

If you have a jewelry appraisal, this information will likely feature here.

 

how much is my antique jewelry worth

 

Does resale value differ from retail value and insurance value?

  • The insurance value is typically the retail value of the item plus inflation.
  • The retail value is how much the piece would sell for if you were to buy it in today’s market.
  • The resale value is its value on the current second-hand jewelry market.

It is important to understand the difference between the resale value and the insurance value. The reality is that the resale value will be lower than the insurance value of your jewelry because:

Insurance companies inflate the value so as to charge a premium, which is in addition to the already inflated retail value.

Antique jewelry valuation is a highly specialized and complex area. It requires an extensive amount of historical knowledge as an up to date understanding of the current antique jewelry market. Every piece is different, with a different story, significance and value. This means that it is impossible to generalize about antique jewelry worth as a whole.

 

Where can I sell my antique jewelry?

Pawnshop A good option if you are looking to exchange your jewelry for a temporary loan as opposed to making a final sale. One of the drawbacks of pawning antique jewelry is the potential lack of expertise: pawnbrokers will not necessarily be specialists in the exact era of the jewelry you are looking to pawn which could result in a low offer. Be aware that there will be a significant amount of interest on the loan should you opt to retrieve your jewelry.
Online Auction Sites While listing your antique jewelry online to sell may seem like an easy option, it will require you to assess and value your jewelry without expert help. This could result in underselling. Additionally, this can be a long and drawn out process as you await a member of the public to bid on the piece. And finally, be clear on what the auction site charges for using their service.
Auction House A good way to reach specialists in the field, however auction houses do take a large cut of the final price. Specialized auctions can also be difficult to find, making it a more lengthy selling process.
Jeweler Most jewelers have broad but general knowledge of the jewelry industry and may not specialize in antique jewelry.
Specialist Antique Jewelry Buyer Selling to specialist antique jewelry buyers is the best way to ensure a safe transaction and the best possible price. At WP Diamonds we buy your vintage and antique jewelry, fine jewelry and designer jewelry directly, the entire process can take as little as 24 hours. To get an offer on your item, simply fill out the online form or schedule an appointment at one of our offices in the US, Hong Kong or the UK. We can provide free shipping and insurance of your piece to our headquarters, where one of our experts will value your item.

Author
Bio: Written by one of our diamond, designer jewelry or luxury watch experts. With over 150 years of combined experience, our experts are able to comment on trends, share industry knowledge and provide diamond, designer jewelry and luxury watch education.

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