Appraising Estate Jewelry
Jewelry at an estate sale can vary from an old heirloom to a dated antique. There is an unspoken set of rules between appraisers and buyers, to ensure all parties participate fairly.
Everything comes down to identification. Unless you are a professional jeweler, you might not notice distinct markings that characterize the stone. Minerals, insignias, and markings can dramatically change the value of a piece, because each has a history behind it. Some fake costume jewelry looks an awful lot like vintage jewelry, but it is not authentic, which explains the cheap pricing. Ensure that you or someone with you can identify a real stone from an imposter.
Even if you identify a rare or expensive stone, there are other things to consider. Your items are only worth what a buyer will pay for them, so if your asking price is high- make sure you can back that up. The same goes if you are purchasing something, ensure that you consider every tiny aspect of the piece before you purchase.
Therefore, whether you purchase or sell, you should know what to look for in the person with whom you trade. A fraud or a quack self-proclaims all of his or her accomplishments. They have no education or established business to back up their claims. In this situation, it is very what-you-see-is-what-you-get. If your gut feeling tells you the person is untrustworthy, go with that feeling.
Final Tip for Sellers
Remember that if you have your stone appraised properly, you can justify your asking price. This gives you the freedom to turn away low offers, because you know there is a ready and willing customer out there.
Final Tip for Buyers
Just remember, that because someone sells jewelry, it does not make that person an appraiser or an expert. You want to find estate jewelry through a strong company, much like ours. Avoid shady deals on eBay or through individuals with no documentation or business.