Getting maximum cash for your old jewellery

old jewellery for cash

Now might be the ideal time to dig through your jewellery box and exchange some of your broken or old jewellery for cash. But Before you rush off and take your items to the nearest pawnshop, it is important that you do some homework first and research your options.

Where can I sell my old jewellery

Essentially, there are three ways you can sell your old jewellery. The method you choose depends on the type of jewellery you are looking to sell, its value and the number of items. The Jewellers Association of Australia highlights the following 3 ways to sell your jewellery:

  1. Through private sale – You sell your piece or pieces directly to another individual. The sale can be facilitated through a platform like eBay or Facebook Marketplace. You may obtain a higher price from a private sale than selling to a second-hand dealer, but it’s likely to take a lot longer.
  2. To a jeweller, second-hand dealer or gold buyer – a business who has a second- hand dealer license who will buy your items to resell or have them melted down for their precious metals. Typically, this is the quickest way for obtaining cash for your old jewellery.
  3. Take it to auction – bidders bid for your items at a physical or online auction organised by an auction house. This can be the best option if you have a collection to sell or a have a particularly rare or unique item.

How much is my old jewellery worth?

Diamonds may be forever. But all jewellery is not. Jewellery is driven by taste, style and fashion. Pre-owned or estate jewellery that is out of fashion may only be worth the intrinsic value of the precious metals it contains.

You need to have a realistic understanding of how much your jewellery could be worth. Consider the buyer’s point of view. If You are selling your jewellery to a 2nd hand jewellery dealer, they will want to be able to resell it for a profit or melt it down and sell the precious metal it contains.

A piece that belonged to your mother, may have great sentimental value for you, but for anyone else, it’s just a piece of jewellery. In most cases pre-owned jewellery is worth less than new jewellery. And in some situations, it’s worth a lot less.

Rare and antique jewellery, on the other hand, can be worth quite a lot. Understanding the difference between what may be out-of-fashion and pre-owned jewellery vs antique could mean a difference of thousands of dollars.

It’s most probably a good idea, particularly if you think it might be worth a bit, to have your jewellery appraised by an authorised dealer or jeweller. You can maybe check out what similar pieces are selling for on eBay or Etsy to give yourself some idea of potential valuations.

Being sold for scrap

A lot of second-hand jewellery is sold for scrap. The buyer is only interested in the gold or silver used in the manufacture of the jewellery, so they can melt it down and resell it. In most cases they have no interest in the gems. The value of the jewellery is determined by the amount of gold or silver it contains.

Uta Mihm writing for Choice, advises that you should aim to get 70 – 80% of the gold value from the dealer or gold buyer. Remember the gold buyer needs to cover the costs of melting down and refining the metal as well as adding some margin for profit. Some buyers, however, particularly gold buying kiosks, will try to get away with offering much less. So be wary.

Is it in good condition?

The condition of your jewellery will determine its resell value. If the only value of the jewellery is as scrap then its condition doesn’t really matter. Alternatively, repairing, cleaning or polishing the piece could add considerable value to its sales price. Be extra careful with any jewellery passed down from family members or deceased estates. It might be worth more intact as a re-sale than it is for the value in recycled gold.