May 20, 2021

Best Places to Sell Jewelry

Read more about Diamonds

Looking to earn some extra cash? Sell your unwanted jewelry. Learn which sites offer the best prices and how to get top dollar.

Even if your jewelry is damaged, precious metals and gems hold their value.

With record-high prices for precious metals, a broken gold chain can bring an unexpected windfall.

Not sure where to begin? Read our roundup for some of your best, most reliable options for selling jewelry, plus 3 things to do before selling.

Where can I Sell Jewelry for the Most Money?

  1. If you have antique or vintage jewelry, your best bet is a local retailer. These shops often specialize in estate jewelry, plus you avoid markups associated with shipping/handling.

  2. When selling luxury pieces, selling online gives you the most options. They give you access to buyers worldwide who are willing to pay top dollar.

  3. If you have broken or damaged jewelry, the best place to sell it is online. By eliminating middlemen, you'll get the best offer for scrap metals.

Best Places to Sell Jewelry Online

Cash for Gold USA - Best for Precious Metals

Cash for Gold doesn't just buy gold. They also purchase silver, platinum, palladium, and diamonds. You can submit diamonds set in metal and they will be appraised individually.

Unlike most competitors, Cash for Gold also buys precious metal dental fillings.

If you have large quantities of fine or sterling silver to sell, visit their sister site, Cash for Silver. They accept various silver categories and list non-collectible coins you may be able to sell for scrap.

If you've done some comparison shopping and want to be certain you're getting the best price for your jewelry, Cash for Gold USA offers to match their competitors' prices.

How it Works

  • Shipping: Cash for Gold will send you a pre-paid shipping package with insurance coverage up to $5,000.
  • Fees: Cash for Gold USA does not charge a fee to assess your jewelry or to process your order.
  • Minimums: There is no minimum amount required to sell your jewelry and metals.

The RealReal - Best for Fine Jewelry and Luxury Pieces

The RealReal is a luxury consignment platform that offers authenticated, pre-owned items at discounted prices. They have a strong online following and over a dozen brick-and-mortar locations throughout the U.S.

The RealReal accepts jewelry on consignment from over a thousand luxury brands. Their team of gemologists and fine jewelry experts authenticates each item with a rigorous set of standards.

If you sell your fine jewelry with The RealReal, you can expect a commission of as much as 85%[1] of the sale price. Learn more about the process here.

Pro Tip: If you live in a major metropolitan area, check to see if The RealReal has a store near you. You can earn a $100 bonus for selling at one of these in-person shops.

How it Works

  • Shipping: You can ship your jewelry directly to The RealReal or make arrangements to have it picked up. You may also drop it off at any of The RealReal's 15 store locations throughout the U.S.
  • Fees: There are no fees to sell your jewelry through The RealReal.
  • Minimums: There is no minimum dollar value required to sell your jewelry at The RealReal. However, they do require that your items are crafted by one of the designer brands that they accept. An exception may be made for exceptional quality, unbranded jewelry.

Worthy - Best for High-Value Diamond Jewelry

Worthy is a little different than most online jewelry brokers because they only buy diamond jewelry.

When they receive your jewelry, they have the diamonds GIA certified. They take HD photos of every angle of the diamond and place it in an auction on your behalf.

They also suggest an "opening bid" for your item, which is a reflection of current market trends. Ultimately, the end buyer determines how much your jewelry is worth.

Worthy takes a percentage of the final sale price, and you can choose your payment method from several fast and secure options.

How it Works

  • Shipping: A FedEx courier will pick up your jewelry at no cost to you.
  • Fees: Worthy takes a percentage of the final sale price, based on a sliding scale. If you sell a "jewelry box" of 3 or more items, you receive a higher percentage of the auction price.
  • Minimums: Worthy does not list any minimum value requirements. However, if they determine that your item is "low-value," they reserve the right to return it to you at no cost to you.

WP Diamonds - Best for Loose Diamonds

With offices in several global markets, WP Diamonds buys and resells loose diamonds, fine diamond jewelry, and luxury estate jewelry. They specialize in selling pre-owned, high-end brand names.

WP Diamonds estimates that you will receive 20-60% of the original sale price of your jewelry or diamonds. They'll also offer you a 10% bonus if you accept payment in the form of store credit.

Keep in mind that WP Diamonds only buys natural white diamonds over half a carat and natural fancy-colored diamonds over one-third of a carat.

If you're near Midtown Manhattan, you may schedule an appointment to visit the WP Diamonds New York office.

How it Works

  • Shipping: WP Diamonds issues a pre-paid label that allows you to drop off your items at any FedEx location. They use Priority Overnight shipping and try to make you a telephone offer the same day they receive your diamonds.
  • Fees: There are no listed fees associated with selling your jewelry to WP Diamonds.
  • Minimums: The minimum size requirement for most diamonds is half a carat or larger. WP Diamonds doesn't purchase stones that are black, very dark brown, or lab-grown.

JTV Gold Exchange - Best for Broken Jewelry

Jewelry Television, or JTV, is a shopping network that specializes in jewelry.

Their Gold Exchange program that allows you to sell broken and unwanted gold or platinum jewelry. They do not buy gems, so you should have any stones removed before submitting items for sale.

JTV Gold Exchange will mail you a pre-paid shipping packet. Once they have received and evaluated your items, they will send you a quote that you can accept or reject. If you choose not to accept their offer, your items are returned to you.

How it Works

  • Shipping: JTV Gold will send you a pre-paid, pre-addressed UPS shipping package for your platinum or gold. You may drop it off at any UPS location or request a free pickup at your home or office.
  • Fees: JTV Gold doesn't list any fees to sell your precious metals.
  • Minimums: JTV Gold will purchase "any amount" of gold or platinum, regardless of its condition. This excludes investment metals such as bars or coins.

Ross-Simons - Best for Estate/Antique Jewelry

Ross-Simons is a retailer with both online and physical stores. They've been in business for more than 65 years and have a diverse selection of estate jewelry for sale.

Ross-Simons buys pre-owned gold or platinum jewelry from any era. Keep in mind, the pieces must be in excellent condition to be re-sold on their platform.

Ross-Simons will send you a pre-paid, insured package in which to ship your jewelry.

Their appraisers then inspect the items and send you a video of this process so you can be confident they take care of your items. They send you an offer within a few days.

If you don't have antique jewelry, Ross-Simons also buys scrap gold, silver, and platinum.[2]

How it Works

  • Shipping: After you contact them, Ross-Simons will send you a pre-paid shipping kit for your damaged precious metals (via USPS) or estate jewelry (using UPS).
  • Fees: There are no fees listed for selling your jewelry to Ross-Simons.
  • Minimums: Ross-Simons doesn't list any value requirements for selling your jewelry to them. They do stipulate that estate jewelry should be in good condition with only minor wear or repairs.

Etsy - Best for Handmade and Vintage Jewelry

Well-known for selling handmade items, Etsy also offers a great selection of vintage jewelry. They offer tools to help you sell your vintage items, even placing off-site ads on your behalf.

For jewelry to be considered "vintage," it must be at least 20 years old. If your jewelry is handmade and you wish to resell it, this age requirement doesn't apply.

You can reach a global market by listing your items on Etsy, and funds from your sale are deposited directly into your bank account.

How it works

  • Shipping: Since Etsy is an online marketplace, you are responsible for shipping your jewelry item to the buyer.
  • Fees: Etsy charges a $0.20 listing fee for each item. Once the sale is complete, they collect fees based on the sale price. A 5% transaction fee is deducted from the sale price, along with a 3% plus $0.25 payment processing fee.
  • Minimums: There is no minimum dollar value for selling on Etsy. They do require that vintage items be 20 years or older.

Best Places to Sell Jewelry Locally

Don't want to fuss with shipping? These options are your best bet for getting a good deal in your area.

Pawn Shops - Best if You Need Quick Cash

Most pawnbrokers buy jewelry outright in addition to lending money against the value of the items.

If you need money right away but don't want to permanently part with your jewelry, you can pawn it. A pawn is a loan against the value of your jewelry. You usually have 90 days to pay back the loan and retrieve your pawned item.

  • Pros: If you need money quickly, this is a good option, as you will be paid on the spot for your jewelry.

  • Cons: Be aware that pawn stores are going to offer you the low end of the range for the value of your jewelry since they are planning to resell it at a deeply discounted price.

Jewelry Stores - Best for Professional Appraisal

A jewelry store might offer to buy your items outright, or place them for consignment. This means that when the item sells, you will each get a percentage of the sale. When an item is consigned, you don't get paid until it sells.

Your jeweler may also buy gold jewelry and scrap metal.

Chances are, they will resell the gold to a broker who will melt it down to be recycled. Since the jeweler is a middleman in this transaction, they may not offer you top dollar for your gold.

  • Pros: As experts in jewelry and gems, your local jeweler will have knowledge of nearly everything you might wish to sell them. They will also have all of the equipment needed to test or analyze various gems and precious metals.

  • Cons: Many jewelry stores don't carry estate or pre-owned jewelry. If they buy broken gold, they are probably a middleman in the recycling process, so they can't offer top dollar for your metals.

Pro Tip: Use the American Gem Society website to locate a jewlery store in your area that can appraise and/or sell your items.

Consignment Stores - Best for High-Value Items

Some metropolitan areas have retailers that specialize in high-end, pre-owned clothing. The owners of these shops are probably looking for luxury accessories to sell with their clothing.

Clothing resale venues are likely looking for pieces other than bridal jewelry. They may offer bracelets, earrings, and necklaces to coordinate with their clothing inventory.

These stores usually offer jewelry on consignment, so you will be paid after the items sell.

  • Pros: This is a great resource for selling items besides bridal jewelry. Pieces like bracelets and necklaces appeal to a broad range of buyers, increasing the likelihood of a quick sale.

  • Cons: If you need to sell quickly, this may not be the best option. If you offer your jewelry for consignment, you won't be paid until after it sells.

Antique Shops - Best for Art Deco Era + More

If you live in a medium-to-large city, chances are there are some high-end antique stores nearby. These stores may be interested in buying your antique jewelry, which is defined as 100 years or older.

Examples of jewelry that an antique store may purchase are Art Deco, Edwardian, and Victorian styles. Edwardian and Art Deco styles have several similarities.

Like a jewelry store, antique stores may buy your pieces outright or offer to sell them on consignment.

  • Pros: This is a great venue for selling jewelry that you know is very old. The experts at the store should be able to identify its age and materials if you're uncertain.

  • Cons: Many antique stores have a limited collection of jewelry, so it may take a while for your pieces to sell.

If your jewelry is indeed 100 years old, there probably isn't a metal hallmark on it. The hallmark is a stamp on the underside of a piece of jewelry that identifies the type of metal that the piece is made of, along with the metal's purity.

If your jewelry does not have a hallmark, the jeweler may have to test the metal directly to determine its content. This is a simple test that doesn't damage the metal when done correctly.

Gold Exchange Stores - Best for Precious Metals

As the price of gold has risen to record highs, gold exchanges have become more prominent. By eliminating several levels of middlemen, the gold exchange can offer you a higher price per gram of gold than most jewelers can.

As the name suggests, these stores mostly specialize in buying gold. However, some may also purchase other precious metals, such as platinum and palladium.

Some gold exchange stores also purchase gold coins. Because of their inherent value, coins are not melted down. If you have paperwork to accompany your graded coins, be sure to include it when you sell them.

  • Pros: By cutting out middlemen, gold exchange stores can usually offer you a higher price for your precious metals.

  • Cons: Some gold exchange stores may have minimum and maximum sale amounts or limitations on what they're able to purchase from customers.

Tips Before You Sell Gold or Jewelry

  1. Do your homework.
    If you have vintage, antique, or luxury jewelry, try to determine its purity, age, and manufacturer. A magnifying glass will come in handy here. This article provides helpful guidelines for interpreting the various stamps or hallmarks you may see in the metal.

    If you know the history of your jewelry, buyers may be willing to pay more for it. If you have a diamond certification or a manufacturer's certificate of authenticity, be sure to include it. These documents can help you fetch the most money for your jewelry.

  2. Check for damage.
    When you're preparing to sell your jewelry, check to see if it's broken or damaged in any way. Look for broken links and make sure the clasp is working properly on bracelets and necklaces. If you're selling a ring, check to see if the prongs around the center stone are intact.

    If you find that your jewelry is damaged, you can still sell it. Broken gold or platinum jewelry can be sold for scrap, meaning it will be melted down and recycled. You may also be able to sell a diamond separately from the gold to get the best price for each.

  3. Keep it clean.
    Before you sell your jewelry, make sure that it's as clean as possible. In order to get the most money for your jewelry, it's important that it's looking its best for potential buyers.

    Warm, soapy water is the safest cleanser for delicate jewelry. If your jewelry has stubborn dirty spots, try gently brushing the area with an old, soft toothbrush.

    Never use harsh chemicals on your fine jewelry. They can damage both the metal and the stones, lowering the value.

    A steam cleaner is another safe way to clean your jewelry. You don't need to invest in a professional steam cleaner. A mid-priced model will do a good job, much like the one your jeweler uses.

    Most professional jewelers recommend against using sonic cleaners. The mechanism can sometimes loosen the prongs that hold gems in place, causing the stones to fall out.

Bottom Line

Whether you're hoping for a quick sale or aren't in any hurry, there are plenty of options for turning your jewelry into cash. By taking the time to inspect and evaluate your unwanted jewelry, you can determine the best method for selling it.

The next time you're cleaning out your closet, be sure to look for potential money in your jewelry box too!

References

Write to Magarette McConnell at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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