You may be surprised when you find out that your great grandmother’s prized brooch is worth a fraction of what the family imagined… The reasons are examined in a New York Times article: “Selling Jewelry Is Mostly Pitfalls, Not Much Glamour.” Here are a few highlights …
“While buying jewelry is quick and easy, selling it is slow, difficult and confusing …”
“The market price for a piece of jewelry is what a willing buyer is going to pay; there is no Blue Book for selling a piece of jewelry…”
“Many factors affect an object’s current market value, from fashion trends to provenance …”
According to Gary Shuler, the director of the jewelry department at Sotheby’s in New York: ‘We might get half to one-third to even one-quarter of what you’ve had the item appraised for,” he said. “Everyone has an inflated idea of the value of their possessions.”
” ‘ It is difficult to sell your jewlery,’ says Christopher Del Gatto, a founder and chief executive of Circa, a concern that sells only preowned, or estate jewelry … “You don’t think about selling your jewelry until you have to do it, and it’s tough to find a liquid market for a high-end item” … “This business is fraught with misnomers,” Mr. Del Gatto said. The appraised value, he adds, is “the retail value for insurance purposes.”
Additional factors affect the amount your piece is worth and what it sells for from the fashion of the moment to the current price of gold. If the piece was owned by a historical figure, it may be worth more. And depending on current market demands and geographical location, jewelry that is objectively valuable may not have a market at the time and place you wish to sell it.
The article* goes on to give specific examples, provide options, enlighten, and disappoint … Check it out.
The New York Times, “Selling Jewelry Is Mostly Pitfalls, Not Much Glamour,” by Caitlin Kelly in Personal Business, Your Money, pg C6, November 24, 2007.