You may have inherited the family jewelry box, or simply bought odd pieces at auctions and estate clearances, and now want to get your collection appraised to see if you have a secret fortune tucked away. Let us have a look at some of the negatives of having jewelry appraised, in order to better management your expectations.
For some diamond dealers, your old jewelry, which may be beautiful, carefully crafted and of tremendous familial sentimental value might not be the treasure you think it is. Diamond dealers deal in diamonds, at the risk of sounding obvious, and often settings and mounts can be used to disguise the flaws in a stone or issues with the cutting. This means that a piece of jewelry is instantly devalued in the eyes of that dealer – unless you are willing to have the mount destroyed so that he or she can inspect the stone properly. Your metal ring or brooch – whatever the setting is – has very little resale value, and you will often only be offered the market price for the weight of the piece.
If your diamond has been cut into a shape that has fallen out of favor with the diamond-buying public, you are unlikely to get a fair market price for your stone, even if it is a good carat-weight, is superbly clear, and of a good color. Exceptions may be made for exceptionally fine stones, but in general, an unusual stone will be a hard sell for a jeweler who is just looking to turn your piece around for a quick profit. Unfashionably shaped stones may need to be recut, which results in a smaller – and therefore less valuable – stone, and the jeweler will need to take into account the cost of the cutting when they are determining how much they can afford to pay you.
Lack of Accreditation
A stone that has been in the family for many years often acquires the luster of romance in the telling of how it came into the family, how much it cost and how much it is likely worth today. Unfortunately, these cozy family tales often disappear like the mirages they are under the cold hard stare of a jeweler’s loupe! While the original stone might have been a good one – if not quite as good as great-grandpa believed – someone might have swapped the stones out for fakes or for paste replicas in order to settle a pressing bill or for other reasons. Modern gemstones that are over a certain size are all in receipt of accreditation from either the American Gem Society or Gemological Institute of America. This provenance comes in the form of a detailed certificate giving all the weights and measurements of the stone. This cannot easily be faked as every certificate can be checked against that institution’s online database for instant verification. If your stone does not have this accreditation, the jeweler may well be suspicious and want to run some tests on your piece of jewelry before offering you a fair – if rather too low for comfort – offer for your stone.
Selling off the family jewels is never done lightly, but once you have decided on that course of action, try to remove every ounce of sentimentality from your head in order to drive as hard a bargain as the purchaser will let you! Make sure you have a good idea of the price of stones, by checking out this handy diamond price calculator before you commit to anything!