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Estate Jewelry and Jewelry Shopping in the DC Area

Buying Jewelry in Vienna, VA? Read On!


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.

Vintage Yellow Gold Childs Bangle Bracelet

Vintage Yellow Gold Childs Bangle Bracelet

Vintage Enameled Snake Ring

Vintage Enameled Snake Ring

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).

Vintage 18K Yellow Gold And Jadeite Buddha Pendant On Chain

Vintage 18K Yellow Gold And Jadeite Buddha Pendant On Chain

Vintage Platinum Top Yellow Gold Diamond Sapphire Bar Pin By Diana

Vintage Platinum Top Yellow Gold Diamond Sapphire Bar Pin By Diana

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.

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