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The 3 Important Steps To Figuring Out Jewelry Value

The 3 Important Steps To Figuring Out Jewelry Value

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The 3 Important Steps To Figuring Out Jewelry Value

Selling your jewelry can be a complicated decision, and knowing the value of your jewelry is a key part of the decision making process. While the best way to determine jewelry value is to visit a professional who can appraise the piece, these 3 steps will help you figure out if it's worth your time to go to an appraiser: 

Look For Hallmarks On The Jewelry

One of the best and easiest ways to determine jewelry value is by looking for hallmarks. This includes any signatures, numbers, or letters on the jewelry. These will be able to tell you what material the jewelry is made from, how many karats it is, who made the piece, or even its origin. While some older jewelry does not feature any hallmarks, you may see hallmarks on newer pieces like: 

  • 18K, which indicates the jewelry is made from gold.
  • 585, a number which indicates 14-karat gold.
  • Tiffany and Co, which identifies who designed or made the jewelry. However, keep in mind that a Tiffany and Co piece may have different markings depending on the date it was designed or made.

Additional online research can help you find out what these hallmarks identify, and what they might mean for your jewelry value. 

Learn What Material It's Made From

Identifying what metal your jewelry is made from and what gems it features (if any) can tell you a lot about its value. If your piece is hollow inside, plastic, or made of a fake material, it won't be worth much. But precious metals or real gems can increase the jewelry value.

Check The Weight

Weighing a piece is another key way to determine jewelry value. Sometimes, jewelry can fool you: a piece may look expensive, but weighing it reveals that it is hollow inside or fake. Generally speaking, gold and silver are heavier than metals like brass or pewter. 

Identify Prongs or Glue

High-end jewelry, especially rings and earrings, will use prongs to secure stones within the piece. In a piece of well-made fine jewelry, each stone should have an intricate bezel or a prong setting.  Pearls are the only exception in this case.

In comparison, low end, fake, or costume jewelry usually won't use prongs because they are trying to save money. Instead, they will use plain old glue to set the gemstones into place. However, vintage costume jewelry can be an exception to this. These pieces will feature brilliant stones set with prongs, and could have a high jewelry value. 

If you're at a standstill and still can't figure out if your jewelry is authentic or valuable, contact an appraiser or jeweler to help you determine its value! If you are interested in selling your used jewelry or have questions about jewelry value, visit Ralph Mueller & Associates or call 480.949.9229.