Back when I was young(er) and (more) beautiful, I was invited to a "gold buying party."
The party was such:
- bring your broken gold and silver jewerly
- Get it weighed
- Receive Cash!
I attended, loved it and decided to have a jewelry party of my own, and invited all my aunties and of course, my very smart, very business savvy sister (well, she was always invited as we lived together).
She soon realized that the gold buyer "only" gave you 60% of the value of the gold. The other 40% went ... elsewhere. She cancelled my party, sent the jeweler home, and promised my people a better deal.
In case you are wondering, we still drank mimosas, ate sweets, and talked shit about the men who had gifted us the jewelry. And, in case you are wondering, after a break up, I suggest women keep ALL the jewelry they were gifted, it was after all, a gift.
The next day my sissie went in search of a better deal, and she sure found one. She found a buyer who would pay 95% of the price of gold.
We went wild and sold a bunch of jewelry, and paid rent for a few months that way. We would sell the gold at 95% and give 85% to the person who sold us the gold. It was a win win situation, since most stores were not paying more than 75% of the value.
Now, years later, I work at a Court Reporting Firm who just so happens to share an office space with a coin and jewelry buyer. I realize that 95% was extremely generous, and I also realize that some jewelry is a great investment. Esp, if you HODL it for a loooooong time, as the price of gold has been climbing through the years.
Here are some things I have learned.
Weight and amount of karats matter
A gold buyer doesn't really care that your piece is a "Tiffany" (or whatever) piece. They care about the weight and about the karats.
NEW Jewelry loses more when it leaves a jewelry store than a new car does when it leaves the lot
"But I paid $900 dollars for that!" An angry youngin yelled when he was offered $120 for his gold necklace.
"You should have bought it used" Replied the gold buyer.
If you buy your jewelry at a department store, even if you get it "on sale" that piece is going to lose some value as soon as it leaves the store. Expect for it to lose about 90% of its value.
If you have a designer piece, don't sell it at a "gold buying place"
You are better off finding a fan who cares that your grandma bought it at a sears gallery in 1968. Collector pieces are awesome, but gold buyers will look at the awesome piece, and weigh it. That is all that matters to them.
They also don't care that it's "heirloom", "antique", or "in the family for many years."
Jewerly does NOT lose gold value if broken
Just like the gold buyer doesn't care that it is designer, they also don't care that it is broken, gold is gold.
Diamonds are not such a great investment
Especially small ones. It is a pain for jewelers to rework "small" diamonds. Depending on the size some even call it an "impossible" job. Many times, they won't even buy them unless they are sure they can remount them. If the dismounting and re-mounting costs more than the diamond dust, forget about it.
When a diamond is purchased, it must me taken off its mound, and checked for "chips and imperfections" your awesome ring might have a giant chip on it, which the jeweler hid with the mound. Many individual diamond sellers get upset about having to take the piece apart to get it appraised.
So, buy your diamond, and remember that its re-sale value will be lower because of the price of dismounting, and re-mounting the piece. Also, diamonds are really really hard to crack, chip, and break apart, but wearing it on your hand on a daily basis while you go about your day is a really really good way to crack and chip them.
Also, remember that cuts of diamond matter. The beautiful "Princess Cut" diamond is a great diamond to hide imperfections in.
There is a GIANT REGISTRY filled with diamonds
Supposedly "all" the diamonds are listed on it. I have never myself seen it, but it is referred to often.
Rolex Watches have a high resale value
AND there are lots and lots and lots of frauds. Even experienced Rolex purchasers have been fooled. "Real" watch faces, "fake" bands, repairs with non-genuine pieces. Its a headache to get them appraised (I had to do the paperwork one time and considered it a BIG waste of time). Don't buy a used Rolex unless you KNOW or get help from a person who does. Even a "fake" clasp makes the investment worth less (but still not worthless).
Specialty Jewerly Pieces need their original packaging
Specialty Jewelry that has value because of who made it and when (like the above mentioned rolex - not so much tiffany unless it came from certain years and stores) loses much of its value if you damage the box, take it out of its original packaging (its ok to wear it, just put it back in its original box), or lose the certificate. Boxes matter when it comes to these types of purchases.
Know your investment
Weigh your jewelry before you take it to a shop, know the price of gold for the day, and work with people who have a good reputation.
Make sure that the scale that the gold buyer uses has been certified by the City or State, in San Diego, they come through every once in a while to check on the scales, they also do surprise visits. They put stickers on the "good" scales and fine you if you have a "bad" scale.
Many gold buyers are related
Or at least know each other and work together. In San Diego Specifically, there is a particular family who owns over 20 stores. By "family" I mean that there are a pair of 80+ year old self proclaimed cousins, who have kids and grandkids and great grandkids who own shops. Don't fool yourself into thinking that you are shopping around. Often, they know you are coming before you walk into the store.
"Hey man, there's a guy out selling a rolex, the band is fake, watch out." Is a mass text often sent out by my boss. How do I know what he's texting? Well, he talks to his phone in a low voice and lets the phone type the messages for him.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, I have "mom" ears, and the lower someones voice goes, the more my ears perk up. Which is why someone can yell at me and I won't hear them, but they will whisper something in the next room and I can hear. My mom calls it selective hearing. I call it loads of fun.
So those are some things I have learned while working at an office which houses a jewelry store. I love buying my jewelry there, I often pay less for "real" silver trinkets than I would for "fashion" jewelry, and I know that if my kids keep it, than one day, they may have a "gold party" of their own, where they sell all the stuff their mama gifted them.
Thank you for reading.