Jewelry Articles

How Much Is My Antique Jewelry Worth?

April 28, 2017 - Jewelry Articles
antique rings
So you have an item of antique jewelry but are wondering how much it is worth. Let’s review some of the factors that affect the value of your antique jewelry and how best to sell:



Jewelry that is of at least one hundred years of age is considered ‘antique jewelry’. There are within this period of one hundred years, subsections of time that make up different categories and eras of antique jewelry.



The value of your antique jewelry is largely dependent on 3 things:

antique jewelry price

1. Condition

Antique jewelry consists of jewelry that is over a century old or over. This means that although its age may increase its value as it is more likely to be one of very few identical pieces, there is the chance that the condition could have deteriorated. This is of course dependent on how the piece has been looked after. The better condition your antique jewelry is in, the higher resale price it will fetch when it comes to reselling it.

You can easily clean your own jewelry, if you have established what materials it is made from. To do so, here is a step by step guide to cleaning your antique jewelry:

  • Make sure any repairs that need to be done are done before cleaning your piece.
  • If you are unsure of what your antique jewelry is made up of, consult a jewelers, as they can usually clean your piece for you and help with any necessary maintenance.
  • Use a soft toothbrush and use light strokes on the metal with a diluted detergent mix. Go around any stones and make sure to not scrub your item.
  • Discoloration or dull patches on silver can be removed using a silver polish and a soft cloth. Then remove the polish with a mild soap.

2. Time Period

Is your piece Georgian? Edwardian? Art Nouveau? Establishing the age and time period of your jewelry requires expert knowledge. At WP Diamonds, our experts are on hand to pin point when your piece was manufactured and the provide you with a price based on the current secondhand market.

3. Type of Jewelry

Is it a ring? Necklace? Bracelet? Is it typical of a particular time in history? Once again, antique jewelry experts will be able to assess your piece and provide you with information on this.


how much is my antique jewelry worth



It is important to differentiate the resale value of your antique jewelry from the insurance value. If you are looking to sell your antique jewelry, please note that the resale value of your jewelry will be lower than the insurance value of your jewelry because:

Insurance companies inflate the value in order to charge a premium, which is in addition to the retail value that is already inflated.

  • The insurance value is typically the retail value of the item plus inflation to cover fees.
  • The retail value is how much the item would sell for if you were to buy it in today’s market.
  • The resale value is it’s value on the current secondhand market which is dependent on demand.

Note: Valuing antique jewelry is a highly specialized area, as it can prove to be rather complex. It requires an extensive amount of knowledge about different periods of jewelry, as well as the current antique jewelry market. Each piece is different and in varying conditions, so it is impossible to generalize about antique jewelry worth as a whole.



Pawnshop This is a good option if you are interested in exchanging your antique jewelry for a loan as opposed to making an absolute sale. One of the reservations about pawning your antique jewelry is that pawnbrokers will not be specialists in the particular era of the jewelry you are looking to pawn so you may not obtain the best possible price. Another factor to consider is that you will need to pay a significant amount of interest on the loan if you choose to eventually retrieve your item.
Online Auction Sites Although selling your antique jewelry online may seem like the easiest option, it requires you to value your own jewelry without any expert involvement. You may therefore undersell your item.
Auction House Selling at auction can be a great way to reach specialists in the field, however auction houses do take a large cut of the selling price. Specialized auctions can also be rather difficult to come across, making it a more lengthy selling process.
Jeweler Although jewelers have general knowledge about the jewelry industry, they may not be knowledgeable about antique jewelry. They will also take a considerable cut of the selling price, as well as potentially underpaying for your item.
Specialist Antique Jewelry Buyer Selling to specialist antique jewelry buyers is the best option to ensure a safe transaction and to obtain the best possible price for your jewelry. WP Diamonds can ensure a fast transaction and you will receive a competitive price from one of our antique jewelry specialists. To get an offer on your item, simply fill out the online form or schedule an appointment at one of our locations in the US or the UK. We can provide free shipping and insurance of your piece to our headquarters, where one of our experts will value your item.

Bio: Written by one of our diamond, designer jewelry or luxury watch experts. With over 150 years of combined experience, our experts are able to comment on trends, share industry knowledge and provide diamond, designer jewelry and luxury watch education.

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