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Thinking of selling your jewelry or curious about what it may be worth?  We've gathered some pointers to help you get started. 

Look for a gold mark (12K, 14K, 18K), sterling silver mark (925) or platinum mark (950, 999).


The first thing to determine is whether you have fine jewelry (precious metal/gemstone) or costume pieces.  Examine your jewelry, and look for a mark (usually a number) that indicates its metal content.  Metal marks include a gold mark (12K, 14K, 18K), sterling silver mark (925) or--more rare-- a platinum mark (950, 999). If your piece is made from precious metal it is fine jewelry, and it has value from the metal content alone.  

Be on the lookout for a "GF", "gold-filled," "GP," or fraction next to the gold mark;  this indicates that the piece is gold-plated or gold-filled and, unfortunately, not worth much unless it is also signed by a well-known maker.

If your jewelry doesn't have a metal mark, it may be costume--especially if it has stones made of glass or plastic.  Just because jewelry is costume doesn't automatically mean it's without value.
Many vintage costume pieces are collectible, especially if they are signed (have a maker's mark) and in good condition. 

 Makers Mark

Another thing to consider when assessing the value of your jewelry is whether the piece is signed or has a "maker's mark"--a name, brand, initials or symbol.  If designed by a popular artisan, the jewelry value can increase by hundreds or even thousands of dollars.  Examples of makers & brands that have sold especially well on eBay include:

"maker's mark" example on 14k gold from Trader Chris Consignments

Tiffany & Co.

Look for a maker's mark 
(small initials, signature or symbol).

Logos Caviar
James Avery sterling silver

Condition Counts

Unless you plan to sell the jewelry for scrap, the overall condition of your piece will contribute  to its worth.  You'll need a magnifying glass or jeweler's loop to get a close look--it's easy to miss scratches or chipped stones. 

Look closely and observe whether the metal is smooth with little indication of wear or if there are dents and scratches. 
If the jewelry contains gemstones, check the condition of the stones, look for chips, cracks or scratches.  Gemstones in excellent condition will photograph and sell much better.

Does your piece have an appraisal?  Although jewelry rarely sells for the full insurance appraisal price, buyers will pay more for a piece that has appraisal paperwork.  So it's still worth tracking down those papers!

Appraisals &        History

paulette goddard costume jewelry from Trader Chris Consignments in Apex NC

Brooch & earrings worn by screen star Paulette Goddard

An interesting history can add to the value of your piece, especially if the facts are documented.  Does your ring or bracelet have cultural or historical significance?  Maybe your great-grandmother brought if from another country, or perhaps the ring belonged to a celebrity or historical figure.  Buyers love a good, fact-based story and will pay more for jewelry that includes one.

Less Valuable Jewelry

Some jewelry simply isn't as popular as it used to be, even if it was costly at one time.
The following have a history of not selling well on eBay:

most unsigned costume jewelry
unsigned gold filled jewelry
unsigned gold plated jewelry

jewelry without precious metal content and no maker's mark
pearls - unless there is gold hardware and/or maker's mark
unsigned sterling silver chains or rings
HSN jewelry

These jewelry items tend to sell in the $10-$20 range, and are best sold at small local consignment shops, yard sales, or donated to someone who will love and enjoy them.

Want  to know more? 

Visit our jewelry blogs to learn even more about selling your jewelry:

          • Selling Jewelry Online

We're here to help!

If you still have questions about selling your jewelry, or are considering consigning and would like a free no-obligation estimate, please give us a call.  We welcome questions and would be happy to assist you.  You can also ask a question or request an estimate right here.

Padora slide bead bracelet from Trader Chris Consignments, Apex NC
example of 22k Egyptian gold jewelry at Trader Chris Consignments, Apex NC

Fine Jewelry

Sell your

Tiffany&co logo on sterling silver bracelet.jpg
Avery 14k rose gold/yellow gold floral bracelet from Trader Chris Consignments, Cary NC
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