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Is It Time to Sell Your Jewelry?

Advice from an Expert

inspecting item to buyStyles, fashion, finances, incomes, expenses, priorities all have undergone great changes over the past decade and have truly been changed drastically, possibly even more by economic and health events of the past several month. While life is still good here compared to most of the rest of the world, it may be now that jewelry sitting in a hiding place, a safe or a bank vault needs to come out into the market and to be sold. Every buyer tells you they are the biggest and the best, but consumers do not have much of a clue about selling their jewelry properly. Help is available if you want to do the best job possible when it is time to sell.


When the general public wants to sell jewelry, either owned for years or inherited some time ago, most people will hardly know where or how to start. You probably do not know the true market value of your items. Market value or liquidation is far from retail replacement value for insurance. It seems that few understand insurance appraisals are not good indicators of what a consumer can sell their jewelry for. So many consumers falsely believe that whatever the item was appraised for insurance coverage that a dealer would be willing to pay that same retail price. Sorry, but it just isn't so. When you want to sell jewelry and be paid upon delivery, a dealer will pay a fraction of the retail value even for fantastic and fine items. Items that are obsolete, damaged or out of fashion generally bring scrap value with very little for small diamonds and nearly zero for most common colored gems. You can't sell a home for cash on any given day and get the full market value from a buyer. You can't do it with jewelry, either.

Consignment of jewelry to a retail store is not the way to get paid with any speed or security. Do you know the jeweler well enough to leave the items with nothing but a receipt? How long will it take? Will the items ever sell? How and when might you be paid? Consignment to a well-known auction gallery is safer, but often is not a way to getting more money than in an outright, fair sale. Examine closely the long time it takes, along with all the associated costs charged to you and to their buyer. You'll find an auction house takes a large share of the value as commission. That's money you will never see. Yes, the world's finest and largest jewels sell at fabulous auctions, but jewelry belonging to members of the general public rarely rise to those world class levels of interest.

Get Independent Advice

Consultation with an Appraiser
Maybe a consultation with a good Appraiser will realise the best option, even after their fee has been paid.

Many appraisers are not buyers of jewelry but have experience in valuing items potentially for sale. Ask an appraiser about their ability and many will be able to help you. Experienced valuers know how to help people understand how much they might obtain, how much to ask, how to hear what a buyer is saying, how to understand what the buyer is not saying, and to understand a question about your idea of value versus an authentic cash offer for purchase.

Don't put off selling items because you don't have the knowledge to do the job correctly. Find an expert appraiser. Get the facts to understand what you have, how to sell it and to protect your assets.

Dave Atlas - Diamond Appraiser


  • David Atlas GG(GIA), CSM
  • Jewelry Appraiser
  • Newark DE, USA
  • D. Atlas & Co., Inc.


  • Appraisal (primary)
  • Jewelry

Intended Audience

  • Consumers (primary)
  • Appraisal Academics


  • June 2020
  • 3 mins reading time
  • Dale-Chall readability level:
    Easily understood by an average 10th Grade student (US)
  • 4 mins speaking time

About the Author

David Atlas - Jewelry and diamond appraiser

David Atlas GG(GIA), CSM

David is a Jewelry Appraiser and Gemologist with a lifetime of experience in the jewelry and diamond trades. He is an Associate Director of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers and is the Chair of Ethical Issues for the NAJA. Mr Atlas is an active Adviser to the trade and consumers on PriceScope and a past instructor and Chair for the gem & jewelry committee of the American Society of Appraisers.


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Consumer advice can be found in the Consumer Resources section, this contains information to assist the jewellery-buying public, for example: Types of Jewelry Appraisals and Jewelry Trade Asociations etc.