Determining the value of your jewelry can feel like a daunting task. Do you have an engagement ring that you want to part with? Have you inherited your mother’s jewelry and want to know the value for your home insurance? Our jewelry expert has shared her tips for determining the value of your jewelry.
This is the most important factor to determining the value – what is it made of? Is your ring sterling silver, white gold or platinum? The answer to this question can be the difference of thousands of dollars. Most fine metals are marked with a purity stamp. For example, a sterling silver ring might be marked with a .925 stamp. Platinum often is marked “PLAT”. Gold can be marked “18K”, but depending on the country of origin, these marks might simply be symbols.
After determining the base metal, turn your attention to the stones. A diamond tester, which can be ordered online, is a good way for newbies to determine if they have a diamond on their hands, or a cubic zirconia. After determining if the stone is a diamond or not, there are many variable that contribute to the overall value of the stone. The four C’s of diamonds – cut, clarity, color and carat – make up the bulk of a diamond’s value. A professional appraiser can ascertain the four C’s of your diamond.
Size Does Matter!
Well, maybe we should say “weight” does matter. The overall weight of precious metals (think: gold, platinum, silver) is a significant indicator of the monetary value of jewelry. Grab a kitchen scale and weigh your sterling silver charm bracelet or your 14K gold wedding band. This is important information if you are seeking an appraisal. The appraiser will certainly want to know the overall weight of a primarily metal piece of jewelry.
Luxury makers command higher prices – this isn’t news, but it’s true for the resale market as well. Tiffany & Co., Cartier, DeBeers, and Harry Winston are but a few of the famous makers sought after by collectors. Most well-known jewelry designers mark their jewelry. Original velvety pouches and boxes are always an added bonus to collector’s, and might result in more money for your item.