Estate jewelry – How to determine fair market value

Article | Published on 25 October 2018 Original issue in  - Boom! Magazine des Quincados , AUTOMNE 2016

Jocelyne Rouleau
Jocelyne Rouleau
Gemmologiste Diamantaire

Second Hand Jewelry – How to Determine Fair Market Value

A second-hand jewel is a jewel that has already had an owner. Knowledge of the used jewelry market requires state-of-the-art training and expertise. Several criteria are to be analyzed.

Here are a few :

Metal and manufacturing

What type of metal was used for manufacturing? Platinum ages very well but it is expensive. Money is very accessible but it is soft and easy to use. Your jewel is in 10, 14 or 18 carat gold? Pure gold (99.99%) is 24 carat gold. So 10-carat gold is made up of 10 parts of gold and 14 parts of alloys (copper, silver, etc.) 14-carat gold makes 14 parts of gold and 10 parts of alloys. For the 18 carats, 18 parts of gold for 6 parts of alloys. A jewel made by hand can be a work of art or a disaster! It depends on the jeweler’s talent and experience. Mechanical manufacture, even in series, can also be a wise choice. The quality of manufacture influences the life of a jewel. The price of gold varies, it is well known but remember that if the value of pure gold increases by 20%, only a small part of your jewel increases by 20%!

The stones

What stones decorate the jewel? The quality of diamonds, rubies, emeralds or others, often represents most of the overall value. The stones are natural (extracted from the ground) or synthetic (manufactured in the laboratory)? The term “real stones” is misleading; because at 99%, the so-called “real” stones are actually stones made in the laboratory. The stones are often treated (heating, irradiation, filling of fractures, etc.), only an expert – equipped with instruments of gemology can confirm it. An opinion provided “to the eye” it costs nothing and … it happens that it is worth little more! A tip: bet on the quality of the stone and not on the size and for a significant stone for you, get the advice of a qualified gemologist.

The time of the jewel

Victorian jewels (1837 to 1901), art nouveau (1880 to 1914) and art deco (1920 to 1940) are very popular among connoisseurs because they are rarer. The jewels after the war reserve beautiful surprises. When they are of quality, the jewels of the sixties, seventies and eighties offer an interesting choice at very competitive prices. Attention: as for the usual objects offered on the market today, jewelry made in Asia and sold at “bargain prices” do not withstand time. They are often light because made of little metal, stones fall easily, they are often difficult to repair. These jewels are unlikely to be a long-term asset. Beware of the hype: buying a trip is a risk that often turns into disappointment and few customers return to complain.

The authenticity of the jewel

Many jewels have been and are still being reproduced. A Victorian jewel may have been painstakingly reproduced in the 1960s. It is old but remains a mere reproduction. ROLEX, CARTIER and other watches are reproduced in millions! Reproductions exist in the low end as in the high end. Only the eye of an expert can recognize it. Buying a quality unsigned copy (so less fraudulent?) Is an “acceptable choice” if you know from the start that you are buying a copy!

Supply and demand

This is a crucial criterion that requires knowledge of the current market. At La Boîte à Bijoux, each gem is analyzed on site by two gemmologists and qualified and experienced evaluators. Whether it’s a timeless jewel or a particular style jewel, whether you’re a buyer or a seller, this specialized service will help you understand the true value of your jewelry!

State of conservation

It is normal to notice a wear of metal and stones. It is also normal that some repairs have been made over the years. The closer the jewel is to its original state, the better its value. The most common mistake: modern claws on an old ring. Today, trained, well-equipped and experienced specialists respectfully restore both stones and metal to offer a second life to quality jewelery. In conclusion: the jewels of quality are made to make happy long, “a woman without jewel, it is like a sky without star”.

In conclusion : the jewels of quality are made to make happy long, “a woman without jewel, it is like a sky without star”.