People often visit pawn shops in Northern Virginia with a piece of estate jewelry and want to know what it’s worth. It sounds like a simple question, but it really isn’t.
If you’re trying to sell a piece of jewelry, you’re talking about its liquidation value, the amount of cash you can get for the piece on the spot. If the piece is broken or of low quality and is good only as scrap metal, that price will not only be low but depend on how much gold is in the piece. Small diamonds will not recoup their value unless they’re of excellent quality; even larger ones may only garner 50 percent of wholesale, less if they’re not round (because they’re harder to resell).
If you pawn an item, the price will be even less—maybe 10 percent of retail—because the “sale” is, in effect, a loan. Pawn shops like Vienna Jewelry on Maple Avenue can’t resell the item until the pawn period has expired. If the item is free for immediate resale, it might earn up to 20 percent of current retail. Brand names and high quality items that will sell easily may command a higher price.
Next week, we’ll talk about the other values that might be assigned to a piece of estate jewelry when you bring it to a pawn shop in Northern VA.