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Sell Your Gemstones For More

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Gemstones have been treasured for millennia: from the pretty pebbles picked up and strung on a cord by hunters and gatherers to the crown jewels of kings and queens. Today we enjoy gemstone jewelry that has been passed down to us and also can buy our own gems from all over the world.

But sometimes the gemstones and jewelry we own no longer delights us or suits our style. When this happens, it’s time to sell gemstones and turn those unwanted luxury items into new experiences.

What do you need to know to get the most for your gemstones and gemstone jewelry? At Worthy, our experience in the resale jewelry market has given us deep experience in what buyers look for in gemstone jewelry in the resale market.  Although we don’t currently sell gemstones on the Worthy service, we’ve learned many things from marketing jewelry that will help you get the highest fair market value when you sell gemstones.

Selling Gemstones Online


Today you have many options for selling gemstones online. Probably the most well-known website marketplaces for selling used items are eBay and eBid. With these websites, you are responsible for listing the item, accepting bids, and shipping the item after sale. Your gemstones will be next to a wide variety of items.  Trust between buyers and sellers is based on reviews: there isn’t anyone confirming that items are what you say they are and so buyers may consider the purchase risky and will pay less.

Unlike the large online marketplaces, specialty websites offer a more curated experience, some with authenticated pieces that are inspected by experts. Sites like Vaunte, TheRealReal, Portero, and TrueFacet sell mostly branded luxury items so they may be a good choice for you if you are selling a David Yurman gemstone ring or a Cartier gemstone necklace. These websites all take a commission based on the final sale price.

When deciding to sell a gemstone online through a specialty website, check customer reviews. Does the company have a physical address? Is there a customer service phone number and do the customer service people know about jewelry?  Can they answer your questions about selling your gemstones? Does the company have a Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating? Do they use an escrow service (such as PayPal) to guarantee the transaction of money?

Pricing Your Gemstone for Sale


When deciding on a price for your gemstone, start with the retail price if you know it. A used piece will be worth much less than a new item, of course. Like a car, it loses value once you buy it.  The value of most used jewelry is in the components parts: the gold and gems. Many gemstone jewelry pieces will sell for about 20-30% of the retail price.
For older pieces, examine your jewelry for markings, dates, engravings, brands and/or signatures. Do online research on any of these identifying marks for details that might make your item more valuable.

Make note of any signs of wear, damage, missing or broken parts. If possible, visit local retail stores that sell used jewelry and compare their asking prices. You can also research similar items on eBay. Remember, the listing price is not usually the actual gemstone resale price.

Selling Gemstones Through Classified Ads


You can also advertise your gemstone for sale on a local classified ad site like a newspaper or Craigslist. Although this may be a good way to sell gemstones and jewelry, it requires some extra caution. Never list personal information such as an address or phone number. When you have agreed to a sale, don’t invite the potential buyer to your home. Meet them in a public location with someone else.

Do not accept checks or money orders, even certified checks: these can be faked. Only accept cash and take it immediately to the bank and deposit it.

Take Pictures Worth a Thousand Words


The most important part of selling gemstones online is taking excellent photographs that capture the beauty of your gemstone. 

First, make sure you carefully clean the gemstone: soak it in water with a few drops of mild dish soap and brush gently behind the stone where dust often collects. Air dry on a soft cloth. Consider professional cleaning for more valuable items.

Because color is the most important gemstone value factor, it’s important that the color in your photograph is as accurate as possible. Try taking pictures in different light: sunlight is best for gems like rubies and fluorescent light is best for sapphires. Take photos from different angles. Put an extra light shining into the gem from the front to capture its brilliance. 

Photograph the items on different backgrounds. Simple solid black or white is always good. Be sure there is no background clutter. If there is excessive wear or damage, include a photograph of the damaged area. This avoids later conflicts regarding disclosure.

Describe Your Gemstone


Provide as many details as you can about the gemstone: dimensions, jewelry size, markings, boxes or papers you have like receipts or appraisals, even family history or stories about the item.  Consider commissioning a gemstone appraisal to get more details about the carat weight, enhancement, origin and other aspects that affect value.  Make sure to tell the appraiser that you are looking for resale value not retail replacement value so you get a better sense of what your gemstone will sell for in the resale market.

Sell Gemstones on Consignment


Another option for selling gemstones is to offer them to a retailer on consignment.  The retailer will pay you a percentage of the sales price when your gemstones sell.
The advantage of this method for selling gemstones is that you don’t have to photograph, describe, price, list, and ship the item yourself. However, the market is more limited: only the retailer’s customers will see the item rather than the large audience online.

Sell Gemstones at Auction


If the gemstone you are selling is large of fine quality, especially is it is in a signed piece by a well-known brand, selling your gemstone at auction may be the best way to get the highest price for your item.  In addition to global auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s consider Bonhams, Heritage Auctions and local auction houses.

Selling With Worthy

At Worthy, our expert appraisals, descriptions, and photography set the standard for reselling diamonds and jewelry. On our innovative live online auction platform, our network of thousands of professional buyers around the world compete to buy your diamonds and jewelry at the highest price. Because we receive a small percentage of the sales price, we are on your side: we profit only when you do too, unlike jewelry buyers who try to acquire your item for the lowest possible price so they can profit more. Although Worthy is not currently selling gemstones, you can subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to know when we begin selling gemstones online.