This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.
About ten years ago I went through a financial slump. I needed to make some changes longer term, but I also needed some money quickly. I began to look around my home to see if I could find things to sell. As someone who also doesn’t like clutter or accumulating a lot of things, selling items I owned but didn’t care about or use seemed like a great solution. I could make money and declutter at the same time!
I began by selling excess furniture that wasn’t being used except to pile clutter on that I didn’t want to put away! This was definitely a win to get rid of as I then had more space in my small home and didn’t have a too-easy landing pad for my clutter. I sold kitchen appliances and books. I made money and my space felt lighter and freer. Then I brainstormed for other things to sell.
As I wasn’t in the best place financially but also wasn’t in a dire place, I did have the luxury of selling things that I wasn’t attached to.
I began thinking about selling jewelry. I didn’t have a large collection by any means but as someone who very rarely wears any jewelry at all, it was an area I could do some pruning and put some money back into my bank account. Selling jewelry seemed a little more complicated to me than selling CDs or clothing or books. I wanted to devote a whole post on what I learned in case this is an area you are interested in decluttering and making extra money.
Reasons you might want to sell your jewelry:
- Help you get out of debt
- Invest the money
- Use the money on a trip
- To help if you are having trouble paying basic bills
- To let something go that might have a memory attached
While researching the best place to sell gold jewelry, I found out that some gold buyers don’t just buy jewelry or coins or bullion, they even buy dental gold! This includes gold fillings, gold crowns, gold bridges, gold caps, and gold veneers. While I personally only have one dental filling and there is definitely no bling in it, so I was out of luck in this area. Onto jewelry for me…
Step 1: Sort your jewelry into two piles
For the first step I would suggest you find all the jewelry you own that might be tucked into different places. Go through each piece and put it into one of two piles. One is the “real grown-up jewelry” pile and one is the “play jewelry pile”. Any piece that is worth something or you are not certain but it could be worth something, put that into the grown-up jewelry pile. Anything you bought or were gifted from Claire’s for example, well you know what pile that should go in. I’m not knocking the fun, play jewelry because there is a place for that, but it is likely not going to make enough money to be worth the trouble to sell.
Step 2: Be clear on what jewelry you are ready to sell
Be very honest with yourself with what jewelry you are comfortable parting with for money. If there is a family ring passed down from generation to generation, maybe put that in the no sell pile. If you own a beautiful necklace that you almost never wear, but you absolutely love it, maybe don’t sell that one either. But if you are like me, you might own several pieces that you had completely forgotten about, really never wear, and feel neutral about. You might like the pieces but there is no real attachment there.
Use whatever method you want to go through each piece of jewelry you own and determine for yourself if it is a keeper or a tosser. KonMari the *ish out of your jewelry collection. Now you have a smaller pile of jewelry that is worth something to sell, you are willing to part with, and you are ready to go out and make some money.
Step 3: Have a rough idea of your jewelry’s worth
Look up the current price of gold or silver or platinum. Similar to equities this price will fluctuate all the time and you want to sell your jewelry at the current fair value. To do this you have to know what it’s worth so that you don’t jump at the first offer you are given in a store. A good website to show you today’s price for different metals is this.
You can even do a simple calculation at home if you have a small kitchen scale like this one. I have one and use it for baking and cooking mainly, but it’s helpful in this case for jewelry weighing! If you know the weight of your gold earrings or ring you can use this website to determine its current value.
Step 4: Choose a respected accredited gold buyer
If you are concerned about getting scammed and not getting a fair price for your jewelry, your best bet would be to choose a gold buyer that is in good standing with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). BBB sets standards for ethical business behavior and monitors compliance. They help identify trustworthy businesses, and those that aren’t. A lot of businesses will not be accredited with the BBB and I personally would avoid selling to these. The local business I chose to sell to had an A+ rating with the BBB. To find out about what jewelry buyers are accredited with the Better Business Bureau close to where you live, go to the main BBB site and type in Gold, Silver & Platinum Dealers in the Find box and type in your city in the Near box and click on Search. In my city there are currently five BBB Accredited Gold, Silver & Platinum Dealers.
Step 5: Shop around
Once you have determined that you are going to sell locally, and determined which gold buyers in your city had the best reputation and were accredited, visit each shop with your goods. One of the most surprising things I discovered when selling jewelry is just how dramatic a price difference you can be offered for the exact same piece of jewelry.
Some buyers I took my jewelry to spent hardly any time looking at my pieces and offered me a very low amount. Others took much more care and time and weighed each piece in front of me. They offered a much better rate as they were actually appraising each piece carefully as opposed to offering a rough amount that wasn’t tied at all to the true value of the pieces. The differences in offers can be as much as hundreds of dollars or even more. It is worth the time to shop around to get the highest amount for your goods. This is also why it can be useful to have an idea of your jewelry’s worth (Step 3) before going out to stores.
Step 6: Consider selling metals and stones separately
Selling stones such as diamonds or rubies can be a little trickier than selling gold or silver or platinum. Metals such as gold and silver have specific melt values, so there is an objective measure when you are looking to sell. Diamonds and other stones have no such measure so there can be a bit more variability in the price you are offered by different buyers.
But again by going around to several respected places you will quickly learn what the market is generally offering. There was a business locally that buys both diamond and gold. I had a small gold chain with tiny diamonds in it. When meeting with a manager of the store, he straight out told me that I could sell the whole necklace to them but I would get a better price by parting it out. This was an excellent tip and I ended up selling the little stones to this store and the gold chain to another jewelry buyer for a higher price than I was quoted for the whole necklace.
Step 7: Consider selling your jewelry online versus locally
This step very much depends on your own comfort level with sending your jewelry in the mail. You might find a higher rate if you sell your jewelry to a gold buyer that is not local.
If you are worried about shipping expensive items such as jewelry, keep in mind that you are not shipping in a flimsy paper envelope. Shipping is often fully insured by the gold buyer company through FedEx or UPS. Some online gold-buying businesses will provide you a special envelope for your jewelry at your request. You then use that envelope to mail in your jewelry which they will appraise and send you a check. If you don’t like the offer you simply send the check back to them and they will mail you back your jewelry.
There are websites such as “I Do…Now I Don’t” which specializes in buying and selling pre-owned diamonds, jewelry, and watches. Listing an item for sale on their website is free. If your piece sells they take a 15% commission. You can also request an immediate offer from them if you would rather not figure out a selling price and list your item and wait for a buyer.
This website lists the online businesses that have been approved by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) that buy gold, silver, platinum or diamonds.
How I chose to sell jewelry
For myself, my comfort level was in staying local. I preferred to meet with people face-to-face and I wasn’t into the idea of mailing my jewelry. This was my inclination but there are reputable websites and happy sellers who choose to mail their gold and diamonds so choose what method feels right to you after doing your research. If I was to sell online I would definitely choose a business that had passed the requirements to be accredited by the BBB.
Ultimately I chose to go with two different local businesses. I separated the gold and silver from any stones and sold the metals to one business and the stones to another. This yielded me the highest payout rather than going with a single business as one offered higher amounts for gold and the other offered better amounts for jewels.
If for whatever reason you are in need of money quickly, selling your jewelry might be a great way to go. There are other financial goals that might take longer that you can start as well such as spending less, saving more, and investing in index funds, but sometimes you might need extra money now, not in weeks or months. There might just be something in your jewelry box (or ziplock bag in my case – I told you I’m not a jewelry person) that you would be happy to part with in exchange for some cash.
—–> Pin this post to save it for later!
Have you ever sold jewelry? What was your experience? I’d love to hear!