Jewelry comes in all shapes, sizes, and, most importantly, value. Owning a collection of valuable jewelry is often considered a symbol of wealth and power, but they’ve become more than those representations today.
For many jewelry collectors, holding valuable jewelry means keeping its emotional and sentimental worth. However, not everyone is aware of the actual financial value of their possessions.
If you’re keeping a piece of jewelry in your collection but unaware of its current value, you’re in the right place! With these five tips, you can determine the value of your jewelry:
1. Is Your Jewelry Genuine Or Fake?
First things first: does your jewelry even hold any value? Before determining your stone’s potential equivalent, it’s crucial to confirm if it’s the real thing and go further down to classify what type of jewelry it is.
Be wary of costume jewelry as these pieces tend to hold little to no value. As the name implies, costume jewelry is usually meant for decorative purposes. They’re made of inexpensive materials and stone imitations, which are the complete opposites of fine, valuable jewelry.
If your jewelry is considered valuable, it can be vintage or antique, depending on its age. Vintage means a jewelry piece is between 50 to 100 years of age. As vintage jewelry still looks new and on-trend, it’s easy to incorporate them into today’s fashion.
Meanwhile, a jewelry piece is considered antique if it has already reached more than 100 years. Compared to modern jewelry pieces, they possess an unbeatable level of craftsmanship and quality, hence possess a higher value. Since antique jewelry has become scarce today, it’s mostly kept hidden if not displayed.
Lastly, if your jewelry is neither of these two, then it can simply be a valuable one that has been recently crafted with expensive gemstones, like diamond, ruby, emerald, and sapphire.
2. Appraise It To A Trusted Jewelry Store
To be more accurate with your jewelry’s value, approaching a jewelry expert is an excellent option. When getting your jewelry appraised, make sure to look for certified stores only. Several stores selling fine jewelry, like Mimi’s Jewelry, have in-house gemologists and master jewelers that can appraise your jewelry to its fair, corresponding value.
A lot of jewelry owners are unaware of how the jewelry appraisal process works. Essentially, the jeweler will get a decent estimate of your jewelry’s retail value or how much you can sell it to the market and their store as well.
Additionally, your finery can also be evaluated by a jewelry laboratory, like the International Gemological Institute (IGI) and Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Aside from knowing your jewelry’s value, a jewelry valuation is also useful for insurance, estate planning, and tax planning purposes.
3. Inspect For Hallmarks, Stamps, And Markings
Unfortunately, jewelry appraisal costs are pretty expensive. Depending on the gemstone’s size and the complexity of evaluation, jewelry appraisals cost from USD$25 to USD$125 per hour.
If you don’t have the luxury for this assessment, you can rely on physical assessments that can help you know your jewelry’s worth. Case in point, inspecting it for hallmarks, stamps, and markings indicate its metal content, place of origin, designer, and manufacturer.
These physical indications are engraved on jewelry pieces as similar-looking metals, like gold and pyrite, or sterling silver and palladium. They’re usually inscribed on the following locations:
- Inside of a band, bracelet, or ring
- The clasp of a necklace
- Post of an earring
For instance, if your gold bracelet shows ’18K,’ it indicates 18-karat jewelry with 75% gold content. For silver jewelry, you’ll typically see the hallmark ‘sterling’ followed with ‘.925’ or ‘925,’ which contains 92.5% Sterling silver.
4. Weigh The Jewelry
Let’s face it, many fake pieces of jewelry out there disguise themselves as real one through adding markings discussed in the previous section. Many sellers use this strategy mostly to trick people who are shopping for jewelry online. Therefore, weighing your jewelry piece is another good method to find your jewelry’s worth.
Since a piece of jewelry’s worth also relies on its weight, longer chains and bigger bangles have a significantly higher value. Knock-off pieces are typically made of pewter and brass, which are a lot lighter than silver and gold, so you’ll have a way to know a jewelry’s value without a costly appraisal.
Moreover, some gold jewelry may be labeled as such but still turn darker in color through time. If you encounter one of your possessions in that state, it’s possible that it’s identified as gold-plated and not pure gold.
5. Examine For Damages
Regardless of your jewelry’s value, damages and imperfections can potentially cause its worth to decrease, whether they’ve been incurred before or during your possession. Dirty jewelry is the easiest to restore as they only need some cleaning, while scratches, cracks, and chips are more complex and expensive, so they may be deducted from the jewelry’s value. One way to know is by appraising the jewelry.
Owning a piece of valuable jewelry is a great deal of responsibility. If you happen to have one under your possession, it’s essential to have it valued as accurately as possible. This can be achieved with the tips discussed in this article, especially if you’re planning to sell it soon. By doing so, you get the best deal possible!