If you’re the owner of a lot of jewelry, both expensive pieces that you’ve purchased and those vintage rings or antique pieces that you’ve been given because they’ve been passed down through your family for generations, you may be wondering what it’s all worth. After all, with all the talk of gold as being the ideal investment opportunity over paper money, many people are looking towards selling their jewelry or even investing in more of it in order to have money for the future.
So how much is your jewelry really worth, and how do you know the value of your jewelry even if you don’t have it appraised by a professional? Continue reading to learn more.
Work with the Right Appraiser
Even though you can try to calculate the worth of your jewelry on your own by following the tips and guidelines below, the very best and most accurate way to truly determine the value of your pieces, from your rings, to your necklaces, and everything in between, is to have them properly appraised by an unbiased professional. After all, you may have been handed a beautiful ring by your grandmother and been told that it’s a precious diamond, but, in reality, it may not be a diamond after all.
Choosing the right appraiser is key, however, so make sure that you choose someone who’s qualified but who doesn’t sell or buy diamonds or jewelry. Again, you want the appraisal to be totally unbiased, and this is the best way to go about getting an honest answer about your jewelry. The appraiser can tell you about the condition of the jewelry, such as a diamond, as well as its characteristics, and its negative and positive attributes that will play a role in how valuable it really is.
If you don’t have the money to spend on a formal appraisal, you can instead have your jewelry and stones evaluated by a professional pawnbroker or buyer for free. Just make sure that you get a range of price points and opinions by going to several shops rather than just going to one.
Search for the Hallmarks of Valuable Jewelry
Without getting an appraiser involved, you can look for certain hallmarks that define whether or not a particular piece of jewelry is actually valuable or not. You can look for markings that indicate the metal content, the country of origin, the manufacturer, and the designer, as a few examples. You can usually find markings on the clasp of a necklace, the post of earrings, or the inside of a bracelet or ring. You may run into trouble if the jewelry is over 100 years old or if the hallmark has somehow worn off over time or from wear.
When it comes to gold, look for hallmarks like 10K, 14K, and 18K. For silver, you can look for STERLING, 800, and 925, as a few examples. And if you have platinum pieces, you can look for PLAT, 950, and PLATINUM as some common hallmarks. These will prove that you aren’t holding costume or fake jewelry and that the metals are real and valuable.
Weigh Your Jewelry
Yet another way to assess the value of any of your jewelry is to weigh it. If you have any platinum or gold chains, the heavier and longer they are, the more valuable these pieces will be. Also, generally, you can expect that heavier metals like silver and gold will weigh more than jewelry that’s made from less valuable materials like pewter and brass. And if you’re comparing a couple of gold chains that are similar but one is a lot lighter than the other, the lighter one is probably hollow or perhaps even fake.
Check the Appearance of Your Jewelry
Appearance can also tell you a lot. If you’re dealing with jewelry that’s real gold, it should be heavy, consistent in color throughout, and smooth. On the other hand, if you have a piece of gold, such as a gold necklace, that’s silvery in color or darker in certain areas, it may not be as valuable as you thought because it’s probably just plated. If there’s any wear on a real gold or platinum piece of jewelry, the worn areas will look the same as the rest.
By following the simple tips above, you can determine how much your jewelry is truly worth, and this can help you determine whether you should sell it for cash or if you should hold onto it, knowing that its value will only continue to grow as more time passes.