DeGwyn Gems, Private Jewelers since 1975

Brokerage Service

Buying and Selling your Estate Jewelry

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As part of our Estate Services offering, we are often asked to evaluate an older, out of style, or unwanted piece of jewelry and determine the best course of action for its future.

In most cases, the client is interested in selling or otherwise disposing of this item.

There are a number of options available, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

1. Private Sale

The most effective and most likely to bring a reasonable return on investment is for the client to locate an individual interested in purchasing this piece of jewelry from the client directly.

With better quality goods, this option offers the most desirable outcome. However, locating an interested buyer can be time consuming and may require considerable effort on the part of the seller.

2. Brokerage

For a fee of 10% of the final selling price, we offer a two level brokerage service.

  • Level 1 - Offer the item to the public either by auction or private sale.
  • Level 2 - Offer the item to the trade for best cash value

Level 1, Securing a qualified, interested, individual buyer is the best option for high return on investment. There is, however, no guarantee as to when or if the item will be sold.

Level 2, selling directly back to the jewelry industry is the most time effective method with offers usually made within 48 hours. Although a guaranteed sale, this method offers the lowest return on investment.

3. Restoration/Redesign

In many cases, the value of a given piece of jewelry is better maintained by not selling it but rather restoring it to it's original beauty or redesigning it to be a usable piece of jewelry.

This method is based on the concept that the primary value of any piece of jewelry is in it's ability to enhance your appearance and image. With usually comparatively little additional investment in re-mounting and/or accent gemstones, the resulting piece of jewelry will have more value to you than the, usually less than you originally paid, cash value for the item.


As private jewelers, dedicated to assisting our clients in their lifelong jewelry needs, our recommendation is to first consider the restoration/redesign method before pursuing the sale of your jewelry.

  • If a client decides that the best course of action is to find a buyer for the unwanted item, we usually provide a consultative process to determine which avenue of sale is most suitable.
  • We start with a standard appraisal of the item, confirming metal fineness and stone identities.
  • We compare the item with known market values for pieces similar in style or, for antique jewelry, the period, to determine a fair market value for the item.
  • We determine the actual condition of the item, noting whether the item is hand wrought, from a name designer, or from a known guild level establishment.
  • If the client decides on an industry resale, the transaction is usually finalized within forty eight hours. For other methods, it is important to determine the length of time to keep the item listed for resale. Generally speaking, the longer the item is listed, the better chance of finding an interested and motivated buyer.
  • Finally, we decide on the best method for resale; individual buyer, auction, or resale to the industry.

Please contact us for assistance in determining the best outcome for your estate jewelry planning.