Selling Your Antique Jewelry to Pay for Your Wedding?


Reader Question: I need some help. My grandmother has offered to give me her antique jewelry. She wants me to sell it to help fund my wedding. I have no idea how to go about doing that? Advice please.

Despite the rise in the popularity of antique jewelry and jewelry inspired by pieces from times gone by, some people do have the desire to sell their jewelry. Let’s face it, weddings are expensive. If you can cash in on some pieces and borrow less money you could start your marriage in a much healthier financial state. The resale of modern jewelry and antique jewelry are two entirely different businesses, with polar opposite prospects for selling individual pieces. In this piece we will look at points to consider if you are looking to cash in and fund part of your wedding with some of the beauties that sit in your drawers unworn for most of the year.

Typically modern jewelry is sold for parts and used to make new jewelry. These newer more modern styles do not stand the test of time in the same way antique pieces do, and are often held together with inferior materials. The styles used in modern jewelry also tend to date it, limiting its longer-term appeal to subsequent generations.

Antique Jewelry on the other hand, is typically sold as entire pieces. In fact it is worth more assembled than disassembled. There are two reasons for this. Antique styles have never gone out of fashion; their classic design and feel has led them to be ever popular in the marketplace. The second reason is the quality of antique jewelry is far superior to most modern creations, using better more expensive materials in the construction and design of the pieces. With more people collecting fine jewelry there is no sign of antique jewelry going out of fashion.

Preparing Your Jewelry For Sale

If you have decided to sell your antique jewelry it is time to prepare it for sale. There are a few things you can do to ensure you get the best value for your jewelry.

  • Clean the Pieces – First clean the jewelry so that it shows in the best possible light, and will make it as attractive as possible.
  • Is it Worth Selling – It is time to objectively ask yourself, is this piece something you wear because it speaks to you? While you may love the piece and it has inevitably served you well, you need to be objective. Will someone else actually be interested in wearing it? A great way to do this is visualize all of your different friends wearing the piece. If the visual looks odd across the board, it is probably best to toss it. If you can actually see them wearing it, then there is probably a market.
  • Have it appraised – If the piece has precious stones in it, and was crafted with precious metals it is important to have it appraised. The appraisal will tell you how much the piece is worth both whole and broken up.

Choose where to sell your Jewelry

Once you have gone through the process of cleaning the jewelry and figuring out what it is worth it is time to choose where to sell the piece. There is a whole range of options available for selling the piece. Some of these options include:

  • Self-Selling Online – List the Jewelry on Ebay or another similar site and try to get the best possible price for the piece.
  • Gold and Diamond Buyer – Sell the Jewelry to a shop where it will be broken up and sold for parts.
  • Jewelry Consignment – You can sell the piece at a shop either to the shop or on consignment. Generally more will be earned on consignment.

One thing you must ensure is that you don’t resent the sale. If you are truly upset to see the jewelry go then perhaps you should hold on to it and hand it down through the generations. You don’t want to start your wedded life with negative associations with the wedding. Only sell what you are comfortable parting with.