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Selling Estate Jewelry – the Basics

Estate sales can offer some amazing bargains…as well as some incredible pitfalls. Before you hand over your cash, consider these rules:


  1. Estate jewelry made with real stones may be difficult to spot without the aid of a jeweler. Before you try to sell any of your jewelry, carefully look for any markings that would indicate gold or silver, or the manufacturer’s insignia. Identifying fine jewelry from costume may not be as simple as a quick look. The older the estate pieces, the more difficult this could be. The first rule of selling estate jewelry is to know what you have.
  2. Considerations

  3. Fine estate jewelry should always be appraised before you attempt a sale. Even though your necklace is only worth what someone will pay for it, you should establish a value so you can know what to expect before accepting an offer. Many costume estate jewelry pieces can be found online at auction sales, allowing you to determine an approximate value for these pieces.
  4. Benefits

  5. Another rule for selling your estate jewelry is to explore alternative markets. Selling your jewelry to a local jeweler or pawn broker may seem like a good idea, but you will likely receive a higher price at an auction or a private sale. The benefits of checking your options could translate into more cash in your hands.
  6. Misconceptions

  7. Inherited costume jewelry may have more value than just sentiment. One rule you should follow before selling this type of jewelry is to do your research. Online auctions are filled with vintage costume estate jewelry and the prices for these items may surprise you. Just because the jewelry in granny’s estate isn’t real does not mean that is has no monetary value.
  8. Warning

  9. Before you soak that old bracelet in some kind of cleaning solution, make sure you will do no harm. This rule should be followed for all of your jewelry, not just estate. Properly cleaning your pieces will add value and bring you a higher price. Improperly cleaning could eliminate any chance you have of selling the piece, particularly if it is costume.
An antique bejeweled hummingbird broach