Finding Better Jewelry

Three Things You Need To Know About Selling Your Vintage Jewelry Collection

by Cody Day

If you've been bequeathed jewelry from a relative or friend, you probably already know that pieces crafted with fine gemstones and precious metals can be worth significant sums on the resale market. However, you may not be aware that vintage costume jewelry sometimes commands a pretty price tag as well. Although you can't expect to make as much from a strand of crystals from the 1950s as you would from a strand of freshwater pearls from that area, you still stand to profit at least a little from selling vintage costume jewelry. Following are three essentials of successfully selling old jewelry for cash. 

Cultivate an Eye for Value

With the help of a basic 10x jewelers' loupe, you can determine the condition of your pieces. Inspect them individually for obvious signs of wear-and-tear and other damage; determine the clarity of the stones and how well the clasps work; and determine the amount of damage and discoloration on the finish, whether settings are intact or loose, and whether the pieces have designer marks. If you were left with a substantial costume jewelry collection or are interested in exploring costume jewelry collection and resale as a paying hobby, you should invest in a book such as 'Collecting Costume Jewelry 101: the basics of starting, building & upgrading: identification and value guide'' by Julia C. Carrol. 

Do Your Homework

Looking on resale sites such as eBay provides aspiring sellers with price points for various types of costume jewelry. You'll also get a good idea of what consumers are seeking during any given season or year -- just like with newly manufactured jewelry items, trends in vintage jewelry rise and fall. Certain manufacturers are more sought after by collectors than others, which is why it's important to learn to identify designer and makers' makes -- they're usually located on the back of a setting or clasp. 

Care for it Carefully

If you have inherited vintage jewelry, it may have been awhile before it was properly cleaned. Handle it carefully until you determine its overall condition -- if you suspect you may have a valuable item on your hands because of a makers' mark of other visual indication, consider taking it to a professional jeweler for cleaning to avoid damaging the piece. If you decide to clean it yourself, there are products available specifically for cleaning costume jewelry. Choose one that does not contain alcohol, ammonia, or any type of acids. 

Please feel free to contact a professional jewelry store, such as Rhonda's Jewelry, if you'd like more information about selling your vintage costume jewelry for cash.