New York Diamond District jeweler Stephen Herdemian sells and collects antique jewelry. As a collector, he understands that it’s hard to give some things up. But he tells ConsumerMojo that scraps in our jewelry boxes, broken bits of chain and things we don’t wear can bring us cash.
It’s worth it to watch the video. But his big tips include:
Learn about what you have:
It’s always a good idea to know something about what you’re selling. Here are a few explanations and questions to ask. The list is provided by the Jeweler’s Vigilance Committee, an industry watchdog:
- Items containing 950 parts per thousand (95%) may be marked as platinum.
- Items that are 85% or 95% platinum must be marked with the platinum content. Examples: 900Pt, 850Pt.
- Items containing less than 85% platinum must detail the platinum group metal. Example: 750Pt200Irid. Total parts must equal 950 (95%).
Note: Platinum group metals are: Platinum, Palladium, Rhodium, Iridium, Ruthenium and Osmium.Gold
- 10 karat gold is the minimum fineness of gold that may be sold in the U.S. Jewelry under 10kt fineness may not be sold as gold.
- Jewelry is made of many different types of gold: solid gold, gold plate, gold filled, gold overlay, gold electroplate, gold flashed/washed or rolled gold plated.Silver
- Silver/Sterling Silver means that 925 parts per thousand (or 92.5%) of the item is made of pure silver.
- Silver plate describes a product made of base metal and layered (or plated) with silver.
Silver coins contain 900 parts per thousand (or 90%) pure silver.
- The Four C’s are the criteria used to value a diamond. Carat weight, color, clarity and cut (cut refers to the quality of cut, not the shape).
- Ask if the diamond(s) have been treated in any way (i.e. fracture-filled, laser drilled) and whether or not the treatment is permanent.
- Is the gemstone natural, lab created or an imitation?
- Has this gemstone been treated? If so, how?
- If treated, is the treatment permanent and has the treatment affected the gemstone’s value?
- What is the country of origin of the gemstone?
- Are the pearl(s) natural or cultured?
- Has the pearl been dyed to enhance or change its color?
- If the pearl is dyed, is the treatment permanent? Did this affect the value?