We have a lot of people come into our store, put their ring on the counter and say, “What’s this worth??”
It’s not always a clear cut answer. There are different types of value that can be applied to any type of jewelry. Are you trying to sell it, figure out what it would cost to replace, or get an appraised value for insurance purposes? What it’s worth will depend on what you want to do with it!
So, what’s it worth…
…if I want to sell it?
This is the secondary market value, and it can vary depending on the condition and who you are selling it to. Are you selling it for the scrap gold value? In that case, the person buying it will only make money when they send the gold to a refiner and have it melted down. Both the refiner and the gold buyer will take a percentage. There are a few things to remember when selling your gold jewelry.
If the piece is sell-able, and in new condition you may be able to sell it for more than the scrap gold value. The amount you are able to sell it for to a jewelry store/pawn shop will depend on how likely it is they will be able to sell it and make a profit.
If the jewelry is very sell-able and you are willing to sell it at a reasonable price, you might be able to get the most mo
ney by sellin
g it on your own. You can always try the newspaper, swap sheet, social media, Craigslist, or eBay. Be careful of scams (especially on Craigslist) and meet in a public place. Your local jewelry store may be willing to play the third party and confirm the quality of the stone with a written appraisal.
…if I had to buy it new?
This is the retail value, or current replacement value. It includes the metal, stones, labor, mark-up and the “premium” that comes with big brand names. A well-trained jeweler should be able to give you an accurate estimate on the replacement value of most jewelry.
…if I want to insure it?
This is the appraised value. The value written on your insurance appraisal is usually going to be higher than the current replacement value. Some stores will double what you paid for it. I usually mark it up 150-175% so you aren’t paying too much for insurance. The appraised value is usually higher to account for inflation as well as rising prices in gold and diamonds.