Jewelry can be deceiving when determining its value. That ornate piece full of gems may be worth nothing. While the simple ring with one stone may be worth thousands.
Combine that with the value of precious metals fluctuating daily. There are some basic features that you can look for before you seek out an appraiser.
Get started by looking for these three features to see if you have jewelry worth money.
The first and easiest thing to do is look for any hallmarks or a jewelry identifier. Usually, there is one hallmark that will state the metal content. Sometimes there is a second hallmark that states the country of origin or the designer.
For rings, look on the inside of the band. Earrings will have the hallmark located on the post.
Necklaces and bracelets will have the hallmark located on the clasp. Sometimes there is a small tag located next to the clasp.
Gold jewelry should have a hallmark that looks like one of these: 18K, 14K, 10K, 750, 585, 375. Platinum hallmarks look like one of these: 950, PLATINUM, PLAT.
Silver jewelry should have one of these hallmarks: 925, Silver, 800, Sterling. Each of these metal hallmarks indicates the amount of precious metal in the piece.
Some fine jewelry makers that hallmark their jewelry are Tiffany & Co and Cartier. If you see a fine jewelry hallmark on your piece, don't get excited yet.
Have the jewelry authenticated to be sure it is genuine. Once you verify the hallmarks, you can be confident you have a high-quality piece of jewelry.
If your jewelry has a hallmark such as AVON, Trifari, or Sarah Coventry then you have costume jewelry. These pieces will not be worth much money.
Have you picked up a gold chain necklace and it felt lighter than it should? Fake necklaces, chains, and bracelets will feel fake when handled.
Gold and Silver are heavier than brass and pewter. Cheap gold and silver will either be fake or hollow. Sometimes a cheaper metal will only have gold plating.
Real gold won't wear away in places of friction. If you see silver or dark colors coming through in these areas, your jewelry isn't worth much.
As a general rule, the longer and heavier your chain is, the more valuable it will be. Be careful, this is not the case for white gold jewelry.
Fine jewelry has prongs that hold the stone in place. Sometimes higher end costume jewelry will also have prongs.
Low-quality jewelry is recognizable by the glued in stones. Pearls are the only exception to this rule.
You may not find a hallmark on your valuable antique jewelry. Don't fret! If your jewelry is old it may be from before hallmarks became standard or may have worn off.
When deciding if your jewelry is worth money, first look for any hallmarks. This will show the metal content and designer.
Feel how heavy the jewelry is. This will hint at the amount of precious metal in the piece. Finally look for prongs that may be holding precious stones in place.
It is best to take your jewelry to a professional if you think you have jewelry worth money. A jeweler will tell you if your jewelry is genuine. They will also give you a dollar value for your piece.
Reach out and ask us anything about finding a value for your jewelry.