Where to Sell Jewelry: 9 Places to Get the Most Money

Knowing where to sell jewelry can help you fetch the most cash.

You can sell your jewelry at local retailers, such as jewelry stores or pawn shops, or online. Choosing the best option will depend on several factors including how fast you need the money and what jewelry you’re trying to sell.

Where to Sell Jewelry Online

There are plenty of places to sell your jewelry online. This can be a good option if you have a unique piece or your offers from local buyers are too low.

One disadvantage of selling online is having to mail in your jewelry. The process can take several weeks to complete shipping, appraisal, and payment process.

🏆 Worthy – Our Top Pick

Worthy can be one of the best places to sell your diamond ring for the money. You can mail your diamond ring and other jewelry with free FedEx shipping.

Your jewelry is graded and Worthy prepares your item for auction. Diamonds undergo the industry-leading GIA appraisal and Central Watch in New York City appraises watches.

Worthy lets you set a minimum price and some items may qualify for a price guarantee. Your seller fees are 18% for items selling for less than $5,000. The fees decrease for more valuable items. Your payment options are direct deposit, PayPal, and paper check after your item sells.

They’ve auctioned off a $4,000,000 diamond on their platform and have experience selling fine jewelry priced in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. They are a big player in the space and one advantage they have over a big auction house like Sotheby’s is that they can move quickly (big auction houses may take at least 6 months) and have lower fees – plus you only pay a fee if the item sells.

It’s possible to sell these fine jewelry items on Worthy:

  1. Loose diamonds
  2. Rings
  3. Necklaces
  4. Bracelets
  5. Earrings
  6. Watches

You may be able to earn more than selling locally as you’re selling to a larger group of buyers. But how much you make can be somewhat unpredictable as you won’t know if your auction will attract few bids or become very competitive.

You can look at recent listings to get an idea of how much you can make at auction.

Pros

  1. Auctions can be more competitive than instant payments
  2. Professional appraisal, photographs, and cleaning to prepare for auction
  3. Flexible cash payment options
  4. Shipments have insurance up to $100,000

Cons

  1. Not every auction turns into a bidding war
  2. Can take two weeks to complete the auction process

Cash for Gold USA

One of the best places to sell gold, silver, or platinum jewelry online is Cash for Gold USA. You can even sell dental scrap when it doesn’t contain bone or porcelain. The minimum karat for gold jewelry is 8k.

You can ship your items to them for free via FedEx and the include insurance up to $5,000. Cash for Gold USA provides an appraisal within 24 hours after receiving your jewelry. You can accept the offer and receive payment by check, bank wire or PayPal.

If you decline the offer, Cash for Gold USA mails your jewelry back for free.

Pros

  1. Accepts most jewelry items containing gold
  2. Receive an appraisal within 24 hours
  3. Fast payment
  4. Free return shipping

Cons

  1. May earn more at a jewelry auction
  2. Other platforms can be better for selling diamonds

Cash for Diamonds USA

Cash for Diamonds USA is the sister site to Cash for Gold USA. CJ Environmental Inc., a self-described leader in precious metals refining, is the same parent company for both platforms.

You can get free shipping and an appraisal within 24 hours. The appraisers use the industry-leading GIA appraisal standards. How much you make depends on the carat, clarity, cut, and color of the diamond.

Cash for Diamonds USA returns your jewelry for free if you reject their offer for these diamond pieces:

  • Wedding bands
  • Loose diamonds
  • Gold jewelry

Your diamonds can be any size and broken jewelry doesn’t lower the appraisal value. This merchant can be a good alternative to visiting a local gold and diamond exchange store.

Pros

  1. Appraisal within 24 hours of receipt
  2. Cash payment
  3. Can sell broken jewelry

Cons

  1. May earn more with other platforms
  2. Only get paid for material value and not the jewelry market value

TheRealReal

Fine jewelry and watches are two items you can sell on online luxury consignment shop TheRealReal. You may prefer this option if you don’t want to sell your jewelry in an auction but want a better price than what precious metal recyclers offer.

TheRealReal sets the sales prices using data points from recent sales of similar items.

You keep up to 70% of the sales price for jewelry that sells for $995 or more. Watches selling for at least $2,495 let you pocket 85% of the final value price.

Pros

  1. May earn more than an auction or instant payment vendors
  2. Can sell at the highest price for the first 30 days
  3. Can sell fine jewelry or watches

Cons

  1. Seller fees can be high
  2. Not guaranteed to sell
  3. Selling price gradually drops to attract potential buyers

Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s is where to sell jewelry that’s rare or highly valuable. You can sell your gold and diamond pieces at auction or with a private sale. The best option depends on the estimated value of your jewelry.

Sotheby’s has you send pictures of your items to get a preliminary estimate. If it meets their standard, Sotheby’s has a specialist worth with you to appraise and sell your jewelry.

Pros

  1. The best option for the most valuable jewelry
  2. Can sell at auction or private sale
  3. Work with a dedicated specialist

Cons

  1. Not all jewelry qualifies

Where to Sell Jewelry Locally

Selling your jewelry to a local buyer is likely your quickest option. You can visit your local jewelry buyer and walk out with payment. If you don’t like one local offer, you can easily compare rates with another local store or try selling your jewelry online.

Jewelry Stores

Local jewelry stores will often buy used jewelry. This should be one of the first places to consider (locally) because they may be able to give you the best price. You’ll also want to stick with locally owned jewelry stores as they are more likely to give you cash, rather than store credit.

They don’t always have the best price though. Much like how you can get more of items on eBay than at a garage sale, sometimes local supply and demand can affect how much you get for your jewelry. It’s convenient but you may not necessarily get the best price. Most local places are looking to sell that jewelry so they take that into account.

Check out the American Gem Society for a list of local stores that buy jewelry.

National jewelry stores like Zales, Kay Jewelers, and Helzberg Diamonds offer in-store appraisals buy you will need to mail in your jewelry. You can get store credit but not cash. That’s fine if you are looking to buy more jewelry, as your trade-in value will likely be higher than the cash value. But you should avoid selling to the national jewelry stores if you need cash.

These national jewelry stores offer trade-in programs:

  1. Jared
  2. Kay Jewelers
  3. Zales

Pay attention to the buyback program terms and conditions before you agree to anything.

Local and national jewelry stores will appraise your items for free to give you a quote. Most diamond appraisers work with the Gem Institute of America (GIA) which is the “gold standard” in valuing diamonds.

Pros

  1. Independent stores may pay cash
  2. Can sell gold, diamond and platinum jewelry
  3. Maybe the highest-paying local option for valuable jewelry

Cons

  1. National brands only offer trade-in credit
  2. Jewelry stores don’t accept every type of jewelry

Pawn Shops

Even if your town doesn’t have a fine jewelry store, it likely has a pawn shop.

Jewelry stores will only buy items in high demand, such as necklaces, gold rings, and diamonds. But pawn shops will buy pretty much anything, including specialty pieces like watches, costume jewelry, and trendy collections such as Pandora.

You will not get as much for your jewelry at a pawn shop as you would at a local jewelry store. Shoppers of pawn shops expect ultra-low prices and the buyers need to account for some profit margin for themselves.

However, both jewelry stores and pawn shops should use the current London Fix prices to appraise your gold jewelry.

Pros

  1. Pawn shops more likely to buy all types of jewelry
  2. Can get cash instead of store credit
  3. May offer more than the scrap value for gold jewelry

Cons

  1. Offers may be smaller than jewelry stores
  2. May make more money by selling it yourself

Gold Exchange Stores

You’ve probably seen store signs stating, “We buy gold” during your daily commute. These signs are usually for gold and silver exchange stores.

The good news about exchange stores is they accept almost anything with precious metals and diamonds. You can even sell gold bullion and collectible coins for cash. This option can also be an excellent alternative to pawn shops so it’s worth the effort to compare offers.

Gold exchange stores are likely to pay you the scrap value for your gold, diamonds, silver, and platinum.

Scrap value is less than the market value for the jewelry piece as they are likely looking to melt your jewelry down to make a new piece. But upfront payment can be better than trying to find a buyer wanting to expand their Black Hills Gold collection.

Call and compare the purchase prices if there are several exchange stores in your town.

Pros

  1. Accepts most jewelry and diamonds
  2. Cash payments
  3. Many towns have multiple stores to compare prices

Cons

  1. Offers may only be for the scrap value
  2. May need to schedule an appointment for specialty items

Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace

You can always try selling your jewelry yourself to make more money. Jewelry stores and pawn shops must pay you a low amount so they can profit. It’s free to list your items on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or selling apps and you can charge less than your local stores.

Getting an official appraisal for your jewelry can help you earn more money as you can verify the authenticity. The appraiser should also tell you the fair market value for your jewelry.

Pros

  1. Can make more money as you sell directly to the buyer
  2. Can sell jewelry that stores won’t buy from you
  3. It’s free to list on most apps

Cons

  1. Requires more effort than going to a store
  2. May need furnish official appraisal to prove authenticity

Tips for Selling Your Jewelry

Whether you sell your jewelry locally or online, here are some suggestions to follow to get the most money for your gold and diamonds.

Get an Independent Appraisal

Any legit jewelry vendor will appraise your jewelry to make an offer. While many vendors are trustworthy, you should get an independent appraisal first to compare appraisal values.

Many jewelers provide free appraisals. However, you may need to pay several hundred dollars to receive an official report to keep for your records.

Knowing how much your jewelry is worth gives you a better idea of where to sell your jewelry. For example, you may try selling valuable pieces at an auction. But it may be better to save time and sell lower-quality jewelry for scrap value to make money quickly.

Know the Jewelry Details

You should know as much about the jewelry you’re trying to sell as possible. The more details you know, the better idea you’ll have of the material and market value of your jewelry.

Pay attention to these appraisal details:

  1. Diamond carat size, cut, color and clarity
  2. Gold karat rating and weight
  3. Jewelry manufacturer
  4. Know if the material is natural or artificial (i.e., cubic zirconium)

Summary

There are plenty of places to sell jewelry locally and online. How much you make depends on the quality of your piece and where you try to sell it. Getting multiple quotes from online and local merchants can help you find the best price so make sure to do your homework.

If you need help selling other stuff, this post explains the best places to sell your non-jewelry items.

Having official papers from the manufacturer or the original proof of purchase prove the piece is legit and will help you fetch a higher sales price.

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Josh Patoka

About Josh Patoka

After graduating in $50k with student loans in May 2008 from Virginia Military Institute with a B.A. International Studies and Political Science with a minor in Spanish (I studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain for 3 months), Josh decided to sell his soul for seven years by working in the transportation industry to get out of debt ASAP and focus on doing something else with a better work-life balance.

He is a father of three and has been writing about (almost) everything personal finance since 2015. You can also find him at his own blog Money Buffalo where he shares his personal experience of becoming debt-free (twice) and taking a 50%+ pay cut when he changed careers.

Today, Josh relishes the flexibility of being self-employed and debt-free and encourages others to pursue their dreams. Josh enjoys spending his free time reading books and spending time with his wife and three children.

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  1. Caroline at Costa Rica FIRE says

    Wow, this is fascinating! I buy a lot of costume and vintage jewelry, so I don’t have anything of significant monetary value to sell. But it does get me thinking about how many avenues there are to make money — and that’s just one category of item! Thank you for the exhaustive list!

  2. Shirley king says

    I have a charm bracelet that’s from the early 1900s. The charms are dimes that were stamped with initials and exchanged amount girls. I have a pin as well. It’s more of an art piece I think so how would I go about finding the value

    • Jim Wang says

      I’m afraid that’s going to be trickier – that seems more like something you might see on Antiques Roadshow in the hopes it’s a surprising antique?

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