How to Sell Estate Jewelry for a Fair Price

Gold Jewelry - February 17, 2021

The Difference Between Estate, Antique, & Vintage Jewelry

The world of fine jewelry can get quite complicated. 

With terms like estate, vintage, antique being thrown around haphazardly, you may feel like you don’t quite have a grasp on all that you need to know. So, before we delve into selling your jewelry, let’s make sure we understand the distinction between these three types of jewelry.

First off, estate jewelry is a blanket term that is used to describe what is essentially previously owned jewelry. This formal term comes from the fact that more often than not, these are jewelry that have been part of the ‘estate’ of a deceased person. More specifically, the term refers to second-hand or pre-owned jewelry, with the ‘estate’ part signifying that the item is antique, vintage or otherwise considered a significant or important piece.

If estate jewelry is all previously owned jewelry, what are antique and vintage jewelry? Simple. Antique jewelry is all jewelry that is 100 years old or older — as of 2021, any and all jewelry crafted prior to 1921 would be considered antique — and vintage jewelry generally refers to jewelry that has been manufactured between about 50 to 100 years ago. The term “vintage” is also often used to indicate jewelry that belong to different eras, such as the Georgian Era, Victorian Era, Edwardian Era, Art Nouveau Era, or the Art Deco Era.

There is another term similar to estate jewelry that may have interchangeable meaning, depending on the situation, and that is ‘heirloom jewelry’, which are all fine jewelry items that have been passed on through generations.

sell gold from an estate
Gold purchased from an estate

Why Sell Estate Jewelry?

Considering what estate jewelry is, you might ask yourself, why would I want to sell my estate jewelry? After all, if it’s old jewelry that has been passed down to me from someone who has passed away, it probably has a significance.

The truth is that while jewelry does hold special meaning to a lot of people, most of the pieces people pass down hold little significance, while other people don’t really associate jewelry with family members at all. As is the case whenever items are passed down – from furniture and clothing to gold jewelry – people will usually keep a few items of significance and then sell or donate the rest.

Since gold and jewelry have substantial value, it can be a good idea to sell what isn’t special. On top of that, there are a few good reasons to sell old gold jewelry.

1. You Don’t Wear Them

Let’s be honest, some people are just not the jewelry type. You may have a lot of antique or vintage jewelry, but what use are they to you if you don’t wear jewelry at all? Or if you simply prefer wearing something subtle, when all the estate jewelry you have are lovely, but loud, pieces? In such a case, selling them means that you can get yourself a nice bit of money, which you can then reinvest into something else (maybe even other jewelry).

2. They Are Out Of Style

Estate jewelry, as we mentioned earlier, usually refers to jewelry that comes from a deceased person’s estate. More often than not, these are antique or vintage pieces. The problem with antique or vintage pieces is that they are often out of style. Modern jewelry is a wholly different thing compared to pieces from as little as 10 years ago, so jewelry that is even older may not be something you want to wear.

3. You Don’t Have A Use For Them

What if it’s men’s jewelry (or watches or cufflinks or whatever) and you’re a woman? What if it’s women’s jewelry and you are a man? By keeping pieces that you have no use for locked in your jewelry box, you’re allowing them to take up space and potentially lose value. While gold prices have historically grown, there’s probably something more you can do with the money. Sell them instead and use the money for something else. Buy jewelry you’ll actually have a use for, maybe!

4. They Have Bad Memories Associated With Them

Not all ‘significance’ is good. Meaning that sometimes, the jewelry that you have may just be a memento of something that you would rather not remember. Whether it’s a bad breakup or a divorce or a terrible death in the family, you are now left with this jewelry that is a constant reminder of whatever happened. Why hold onto it? Sell them instead, put the money to good use elsewhere and move on with your life.

5. Just To Make Some Money

While all the above reasons are valid, you can also simply want to sell your estate jewelry for no other reason than to make some money. Undeniably, money has a lot more use than jewelry does and by selling your jewelry, you can get a nice lump sum of cash that you can use for a variety of different things, such as:

  • Down payment on a new house
  • College funds
  • Paying off debts
  • Going on a vacation
  • Home remodeling
  • Buying new jewelry

6. The Price Of Gold

Whatever reason you have to sell your estate jewelry, you must keep in mind that before you enter any transaction, you consider a very important factor.

The price of gold.

Gold prices fluctuate. They fluctuate a lot. In fact, the highest price of gold in history was achieved late in 2020, on the 7th of August ($2,032.16 USD per troy ounce). Since then, the price has had some ups and some downs, but overall is not far from these highs. This fluctuation in gold prices is why you need to make sure that you are selling at a point where the price of gold is strong, because you stand to lose a good amount of money if you sell when it’s low.

The good news is that most market analysts are predicting that the gold price will rise in 2021 and if you are planning on selling your gold jewelry sometime soon, you’re likely to get a good price for it.

Do note however that gold is and likely will always be volatile. While the positive predictions are nice to know and may in fact play out the way the market analysts predict, the price of gold may just take a nose dive in the next few hours. It’s just how gold works. Because of this — the fact that waiting for prices to increase may not always work out in your favor — you need to make sure that you are checking the current prices of gold and selling at a point where you are happy with the money you’ll make in return. 

Selling Estate Jewelry

Because estate jewelry is usually something precious, most people who want to sell their estate jewelry tend to seek out a physical jewelry store. This is understandable, of course, and is not a bad way to sell your jewelry — especially if the jewelers in question have a fair reputation — but the truth is that it might not be the best way to sell your jewelry.

Sure, local sellers may be easier to deal with, and they might even be someone you know and have interacted with. However, the unfortunate truth is that some local jewelers, pawn shops, and other establishments may not pay you the best price for your jewelry. Plenty of them are not trustworthy, so the results from selling can be very inconsistent.

If you’re lucky enough to live near an established business with a great reputation and years of stellar reviews, then selling locally can work out well for you. Whether you sell to a local buy or sell online, it’s important to find out how much your gold is worth first. While you probably won’t recoup all its value, it’s good to know going in so you can align your expectations and make sure you aren’t getting pennies on the dollar.

At Express Gold Cash, we pay 90% of the value of gold bullion and up to 85% of the refined value of gold jewelry whereas other gold exchanges may pay significantly less (sometimes only about 25% of the value of your gold). We’re open and upfront about what we pay so you can estimate the payout you’ll receive for your gold before even sending us the gold. You can take a look at the current price of gold and how much we pay for it here at all times.

We’ve also made our process extremely simple for your convenience. In fact, you can even sell all of your estate jewelry without ever leaving the comfort of your home. We’ll mail an insured package, schedule a FedEx pickup, and handle both offers and payments online. The whole process can even take less than 24 hours!

By selling the estate jewelry you have no use for now and taking advantage of the current high in gold prices, you can put your unwanted gold to good use. Having money in hand is better than keeping your jewelry locked up tight in a place where it serves no one.

Reach out to us now and request a kit to get started!