You may have some jewelry about
which you would like more information. There are generally two areas of
interest, the market value
and jewelry history. Whether you are researching or selling, these
ideas may be of use to you.
Since I receive lots of questions about selling to a dealer,
let me offer a few tips.
Even though I buy jewelry almost every day, I don’t buy everything
we are offered… no one could! I buy based on what is popular,
desirable and what we think will our customers will like. And we do pay well for what
we buy. Also, what we buy changes all the time as fashions and trends
1. Be thorough. I am sure you would like the best possible
price, so take care to clearly state what it is you have for
sale. The name, size, color (since computer monitors can differ), and
condition are useful.
2. Do your homework. Most dealers not keen on guessing games and
"what will you offer" is only a thinly veiled request for a free appraisal.
Have some idea how much you would like for what you are selling. There are
rich sources of information on the internet, so there’s little excuse these
days NOT to know how much you want. If you are
reluctant to do your own homework then the price you realize if you DO happen to
sell something will often be too low. Check the information below
for ideas on how to do research. It is fun and you can learn a lot!
I might add here that if you ask too little for a piece of jewelry, I will
let you know and pay more. I always want a seller to leave the transaction
happy and feeling fairly treated. My goal is to be the one you come to the
next time you find something wonderful. That is exactly how I get all of
these lovely things.
3. Be reasonable. For most antiques businesses, expenses eat up
at least 30-40% of the retail price, on top of what was paid for the item. That means if we sell a $100.00 piece,
$30.00-45.00 of that will cover charge card fees, rent, supplies, web site costs,
insurance, payroll, etc. If a dealer pays 40-50% for the item itself, then
the amount left for profit is only about 20%. These are just example figures, but
hopefully it helps you get the
What a dealer will pay can vary widely. It will depend on
what they specialize in, how knowledgeable they are, what they are expert in
and sell best. It can also depend on how fair and honest a dealer is.
Sell to someone with an excellent reputation, and someone who specializes in
what you have for sale. There is no set formula of how much a dealer will
pay for items, but in general do not expect to get more than 1/3 to 1/2
of a reasonable
retail price. There will always be exceptions, and rare or special things
can bring more (especially from ME!). But a dealer isn’t going to pay
$20.00 for a pair of earrings they can sell at $25.00…. there is just too
little profit to be worth the work and expense.
4. Please understand that unless they know you, not many
dealers are willing to send money before seeing the goods in person. Unlike
individual sellers, dealers have a presence on line to show their
credentials. As experts, dealers may find repairs or damage that would not
be obvious to a seller. That means you must feel very safe with the person
to whom you are sending your jewelry. You should also have a clear advance
agreement of what the payment policy will be. When I buy on
approval, I guarantee a seller that they will hear from me via email the day
their package arrives and that I will either send my payment the next day or
politely decline the jewelry if there is a problem, state what that problem
is, and mail it back the next day. Asking for that kind of agreement from a
Hope this is useful!
Below are thoughts and links as to how to
determine what you have and how much it’s value may be.
Like any antique or collectible, the value
of costume jewelry is determined by several factors: materials,
condition, rarity, artistic merit, selling venue and current trends. Costume
jewelry has little inherent value because it is not usually made of precious
metals or gems. It’s value is not measured in a standardized way, by stone
size or metal karat, but rather by
comparison to other sales in the market.
It is possible to comparison shop at
antique malls, shows and on the internet. Using the search engines, eBay or
links pages to find jewelry web sites and browse the on-line auctions for
what has SOLD (NOT how much they ASK) can add to
your understanding of what is selling well and at what price. EBay is
especially good for this, and if you are on that site, the link to auctions
that have SOLD items is on the left side of the page, and scroll down a bit
to see it.
amazing how much great information is on line now! It is
not definitive because there can be a wide variance between asking and
selling prices, but can give you general ideas about value. In addition, these
articles about QUALITY and
DECADES will help you
assess your jewelry and it’s age.
In the world of costume jewelry, remember that condition counts heavily.
Damaged finish, missing or dull stones and broken parts drastically affect
value. We rarely purchase pieces needing major restoration as we want
to give our customers the very best most original pieces possible, and
generally, that’s all they will buy.
There are many jewelry books with
price guides, and they are fun to read and learn from. Be wary of using book values only,
though, as books can be misleading, and many of them are now old with
older values. Some book values are set by the
owner/collector of the jewelry rather than by actual sales and therefore can
be inaccurate. Also, note the year in which the book was published as
desirability can change rapidly with the fluctuations of supply and demand, and with what’s hot and
what’s not at any given time. Also many of them are quite old now, and the
prices there out of date. They can help you with identification and
jewelry history, and that is certainly handy.
Beware also of looking at the ASKING price on web sites and auctions as a
value guide. Anyone can price things too high, and the tale is really told
by CLOSED auctions where a buyer has actually made the purchase, rather than the asking prices. This has been especially true lately
when, for reasons obscure to me, asking unrealistically high prices seems to
be a growing fad.
In the end, however, your jewelry is worth
only what someone is willing to pay you for it, regardless of what "the
book" says, what an insurance appraisal says, or what was on "The Antiques Road Show".
After doing the research to price your jewelry you may choose to sell it
yourself. If you wish to sell at retail prices you must usually establish a
clientele, a website, rent a mall space, or sell in an on-line auction. All
of these have costs and work associated with them. Some people will enjoy
the challenge and learning experience of doing that. I do! But it IS
If you would like to sell to a dealer, select one who specializes in the jewelry
you are selling
and who has a good reputation for fair dealing. Most dealers do not like to
play a guessing game, so have an idea how much you want for your jewelry.
A dealer must buy at a percentage of the price for which he/she expects to
sell the jewelry. Every dealer’s percentage and the items they want to buy will vary depending on what they sell best,
what they are known for, and what they have buyers for at any given time.
As a dealer, I am often asked how I get so many wonderful pieces of jewelry.
The answer is that I pay a fair price for worthwhile pieces, and I deal
honestly with sellers. Jewelry comes and goes, but a good reputation is
irreplaceable. If you would like to see the kind of jewelry, purses and
accessories I have bought in the past, you can browse
Glory Collects. But do know that what we are buying changes all the time
according to what is selling well.
If you would like to sell, I am always delighted to see photos and a price
list, and you can
E-mail me HERE.
I am always interested in great jewelry, and am capable of buying anything from an individual
piece to an entire estate.
JEWELRY HISTORY & RESEARCH
If you want to know more about the history
of jewelry there are literally hundreds of resources on the
subject. JEWEL CHAT
is our wonderful reference site where there are photos and information available
about many makers and styles of jewelry. I offer JEWEL CHAT
free of charge because I love to share information about vintage jewelry,
and in that way I can share with many people all at once. I do this rather
than trying to answer individual queries. We also share
Morning Glory Collects.
our gallery of jewelry.
Dates, marks and
manufacturers can also be found on this
REFERENCE PAGE, jewelry dating information can be found on
JEWELRY BY THE DECADES. These
will help you access the multitude of resources on this web site. Many
books about jewelry are also available, and browsing an on-line book store like
will give you an idea of what has been published in your area of interest.
There is no short-cut to learning about
antiques, jewelry or otherwise. It took me years to learn about what I do for a
living. It takes time and effort to learn about any area of collecting, but
it is joyously rewarding.
It is no longer possible for me to respond to
individual questions regarding your own jewelry history, identification or value, or
to offer written or verbal appraisals or opinions. The demand for this kind
of information is absolutely too overwhelming for one dealer to fill.
I love jewelry, but appraising and selling are two entirely
different businesses, and I choose selling as my business.
So take advantage of the information above, do a bit of homework and be enriched
by the experience for yourself.
And if do you become ready to sell, please let me know. I am interested in buying wonderful
vintage and antique jewelry.
WE ARE INTERESTED IN BUYING JEWELRY & ANTIQUES
To see what we have purchased in the past you can check out
Glory Collects, but what we buy changes often with the current trends.
If you would like to sell, whether a single piece or an entire estate, I am delighted to see pictures and a price
list, and you can
E-mail me HERE.
BUT PLEASE, we cannot accept or be responsible for unsolicited boxes of
jewelry, so please get our permission before sending anything.
Thank you for visiting Morning Glory Antiques!