Deciding to pawn jewelry can bring huge financial benefits, and fine jewelry has the ability to brighten up our lives too. It makes the wearer feel confident and special, and is a sheer joy to admire. However, if you are in need of funds and possess jewelry that tends to stay locked away in a box gathering dust as opposed to taking pride of place during social occasions, you might want to consider taking out a loan against the value of your pieces. But, the world of pawnbroking can feel like a confusing space and you may be wondering where to begin to free up some capital from those items hidden away in your home. Here at Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive, we offer a luxury pawnbroking service dealing in the highest quality jewelry and diamonds.
Choosing the right pawnbroker
Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive offers a highly confidential and secure service to those wishing to explore the income that could be gained from the jewelry hidden away in jewelry boxes in their home. Whether a single piece or a collection, we can work with you. Offering immediate loans on luxury items, Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive accept jewelry, watches, cars and other luxury items such as art, making us a specialist in the field. With loans received quickly and all information kept entirely confidential, this is a quick, easy and stress-free way to solve those financial niggles.
We offer pawnbroking and auction services for the best jewelry in the world including princess cut diamonds, Harry Winston, Cartier and Tiffany. If you chose to entrust your family heirlooms to Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive, they will be treated with the respect they deserve.
Once you have decided you are ready to pawn some of your jewelry, there are some simple steps you can take to make sure that you are truly getting the best price possible.
After all, the Pink Star Diamond which sold for over $70 million dollars in 2017 was auctioned in just the right way to get the right price!
Top tips on getting the best price when pawning your jewelry
At Pawnbrokers Rodeo Drive, we often speak to customers about taking out loans against fine jewelry. This is because it can hold a great deal of value, and enable you to access the instant capital you’re looking for.
There are a lot of considerations to make – jewelry is very much a style-driven industry and, while some pieces will remain classics throughout history, others will only hold their allure for a matter of months. If something has gone out of style, it will be tough for it to command a premium price. In many cases, where a style has gone totally out of fashion, it will only hold the value of its intrinsic worth. Therefore, how it looks makes a big difference to what you will be able to secure against it financially.
1. Establish what the piece really is
No piece is ever just a pair of earrings or a necklace. There is a huge difference in value between fine and costume jewelry. The first step in establishing the true value of an item is to work out whether it can be considered fine jewelry. Fine jewelry is crafted from precious stones and metals, so tends to have a much higher value than costume jewelry. Many pieces of fine jewelry are manufactured by designers, luxury fashion brands or well-known jewelry houses, which will add value to the item. Costume jewelry, on the other hand, is made of relatively inexpensive materials, such as crystal necklaces and earrings. Was it made by a well-known jeweler, such as Cartier? These highly sought-after pieces can gain a considerably higher price, so it’s important to establish all of the finer details about each piece of jewelry you wish to pawn.
Look for marks on the jewelry which could indicate the level of craftsmanship and the type of precious metal. If it was crafted by a specialist jeweler, it could be a one-of-a-kind piece with a high value. There are specific designers such as Cartier, Tiffany’s and Van Cleef and Arpels whose jewelry is highly sought-after, with pieces from the first half of the 20th century particularly valuable due to the high levels of demand.
A knowledge of cuts, clarity and metals will help you to assess what the piece really is. You don’t need to know all the details – the experts can help with that – but it can be good to have an idea of what the piece is so you know how much capital you can realistically expect to gain.
2. Find out the provenance
The provenance of a piece of jewelry can have a large bearing on the value. There may be marks on the item such as country hallmarks, which will be able to provide an indication of where the jewelry was manufactured. If you hold any of the original paperwork or receipts these could provide useful information about where the item was purchased and when.
For example, an eagle’s head stamp is a sign of a gold piece manufactured in France, but a dog’s head stamp is used to indicate French platinum. A French item of jewelry will often be high in value, particularly if the piece is antique, as some of the most skilled jewelry craftsmen were located in France.
3. Know your stones and pearls
If the jewelry contains a stone or pearl the value could vary significantly, so it is important to know what to look for. When it comes to pearls, there is a huge difference in value between natural and cultured pearls. A natural pearl is formed over many years, but cultured pearls are found in farmed oysters. The shape and lustre will provide an indication, however, accurate valuations can be obtained through an x-ray. A natural pearl necklace could be worth several thousand pounds.
If the item contains a colorless gem, it could be a diamond. Modern items of jewelry contain very precisely cut diamonds, however antique pieces are likelier to be less precise. In recent years, the value of colored gems such as sapphires, emeralds and rubies has increased significantly. The most valuable gems are brightly colored, strong and transparent. The older gems may be untreated and from mines which are now exhausted, so their rarity and demand is huge.
Gems can be crucial in the value of a piece of jewelry – but they can also hold zero value on some occasions. Typically it is determined by the type of gem, how rare it is, and what condition it is in. Different gemstones will hold varying values. For example, a diamond is worth more than an amethyst in most situations. A synthetic ruby won’t be worth as much as a natural ruby. If the gemstone has any chips or abrasions, this may be something that can be removed through repolishing. However, they can sometimes render a gem as being valueless and unappealing. It is therefore important to handle any jewelry with care when looking to pawn fine jewelry. Pawning against diamonds is fairly popular as they are a type of gemstone that is often seen as classic and timeless.
4. Assess the age
In general, the age of the item will position it within a specific age-related category; modern, vintage or antique. The term antique refers to the oldest category for jewelry and is typically used to describe pieces that are over 100 years old. These items are typically high in value, both monetarily and sentimentally. Antique pieces tend to be higher in value as they were skillfully crafted in an age before mass production. In many cases, they were one-of-a-kind, high-quality pieces owned by the upper class.
If an item falls into the modern age category it was manufactured in the last 50 years. For an item of jewelry to be considered vintage, it must be over 50 years old. Unlike antique jewelry, there are many vintage pieces that were mass-produced, as technology advanced rapidly from the 1940s.
5. Care for your jewelry …condition is important
Another key question to ask when looking at your diamonds or jewelry is what condition the asset is in. This will have the most substantial impact on the price it can gain. If it is damaged or broken then often it will cost more in restoration costs (unless it is of significant interest and value) and therefore will typically only hold its original, intrinsic worth. In some cases, restoration may be cheap and easy. However, if it is un-restorable then it’s often going to lose significant value and may not even be possible to sell on. Likewise, if it is in okay condition physically but looks worn out, then this can have an impact on its cost when taking out loans against fine jewelry.
It may be possible to bring it back to life with some cleaning, buffing and professional maintenance. Jewelry and diamonds always look better when they have been cleaned. It is therefore imperative that before anything is valued, it gets cleaned professionally. In many cases, a jeweller will do this for you for free. You should be careful though; something that isn’t cleaned properly can end up getting damaged or destroyed. If you aren’t sure how your item of jewelry should be cared for, it is always better to ask a professional. Ammonia-based cleaning products are often used throughout the industry, but they can be damaging to certain gemstones. A mild soap with a soft toothbrush and warm water can often be all it takes for most jewelry, with a rinse afterwards. Anything too hard or containing harsh chemicals could cause the metal or gems to become scratched. If you do it yourself, it is always good to take care.
Storing pieces in suitable boxes and cleaning gently and carefully before taking the item to be valued will give your jewelry the best chance of getting a high price. Research the best way to care for specialist items and always use a professional to clean fine jewelry.
6. Consult an expert
Assessing your jewelry collection using the steps above will provide a possible indication of its value, but the only guaranteed way to know the true value is to consult a specialist valuer; he will discover the true potential of your prized possessions. It’s best to do your research and find the specialist who’s right for you. Jewelry prices have been rising in recent years, as investors move away from the stock market in search of tangible commodities such as collectible pieces, gemstones and diamonds. Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive has over 25 years of experience and offers specialist knowledge on a wide variety of luxury items with a quick, confidential service. Aiming to bring this ancient trade into the 21st century, we are a fantastic place to turn to for expert advice and to discover the true worth of your valued possessions.
7. Prioritize your pieces
Before agreeing to a loan, consider prioritizing your collection. Which pieces would you like to pawn first? Try to be strategic about this: holding on to some higher value pieces or only pawning one more valuable piece may be the best way to manage your finances. Once you have the knowledge of an expert, you can consider which pieces to pawn and which to keep back for later. Jewelry often has very strong emotional attachments, so consider which pieces you don’t want to be parted from, even temporarily. For example, a piece from an ex-partner could be easier to pawn than an inherited family heirloom. Taking time to consider your collection before pawning will mean you make the right decision for you.
8. Only pawn with a trusted pawnbrokers
Unfortunately, there are some pawnbroker businesses that don’t respect the client and can offer unfair prices or even tamper with jewelry. Make sure you choose a trusted, professional pawnbrokers to take your fine jewelry. Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive is a truly professional service with a strong knowledge of fine jewelry and offers a friendly and confidential service to all of its clients.
When speaking with them about a valuation, it is always best to clarify their level of expertise, whether they hold any certifications or accreditations, what other types of jewelry they have valued, what training they have, and how they conduct their valuations. You should also ascertain where these valuations take place, whether there is a cost for them, and whether they will need to hold on to the jewelry for the duration of this time. If your jewelry appears to come from a specific era or seems to be antique, it is always best to seek out someone who specializes in this type of design. They will have a better understanding of the market and what type of price can be commanded. They may also be able to give you some historical information that will help your understanding.
9. Don’t be afraid to negotiate
Professional pawnbrokers care about their customers and will be willing to discuss the item’s worth and come up with a price that you are both happy with. Although it’s good to be open-minded, you can discuss and negotiate the worth of the item as part of the pawning process.
10. Is it antique?
If the jewelry is antique, this is often highly collectible. There is a crucial difference between something being old and out of style compared with being a specialty piece of antique jewelry. It could be the difference of hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars. A fine jewelry expert will be able to help you identify the difference so you can ensure you are getting the right amount of money when taking out loans against fine jewelry.
11. The metal
When looking to pawn fine jewelry, other considerations include the metal price. This is formulated by the price of the metal at the daily spot price, multiplied by how pure it is. This is known as the true noble metal content – 24 carat is considered pure. Multiply this by the weight, which can either be in grams, ounces or pennyweights. A good dealer or jewelry expert will be able to help you calculate this.
12. Conduct your own research
If you are given the name of the jewelry manufacturer, some information about the time period it comes from, or any other useful pieces of advice, you may be able to use this to do some research of your own. By looking online you’ll be able to get a sense of what price other similar pieces are commanding, where they are being sold, how popular they are and whether there are any bidding wars. Often if something is deemed ‘rare’, it will be seen as more desirable and therefore will have a higher value.
Top tips on valuing a diamond
Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but the key to their value is their rarity. Because no two stones are alike, figuring out how to value a diamond is based on a number of factors and the most important of those are the 4 Cs: Carat, Color, Clarity and Cut.
Everyone knows that diamonds are weighed in carats, but how many of us know that the word ‘carat’ is derived from the word for a carob tree seed, which was once used as a measure of weight? A modern carat equals 200 milligrams or just 0.007055 ounces. Each carat is then divided into 100 points, much like a dollar is divided into pennies. Thus a 50 point diamond weighs half a carat or 0.5 of a carat.
The heavier a diamond weighs, the more expensive it will be. However, color, clarity and cut can be just as important when it comes to working out the quality and value of a stone – so biggest isn’t always the most valuable.
The more colorless a white diamond is, the more valuable it is. White or colorless diamonds are graded on the America (GIA) Color Scale from D (completely colorless) to Z (noticeable color). Completely colorless diamonds allow more light to pass through providing extra sparkle, but this grade are extremely rare. Colored diamonds, which can be blue, pink, yellow and black, are more valuable the more deeply colored they are.
The color grading of a diamond is based on the body color, not the face color, and can impact the price differential between two seemingly identical diamonds.
The fewer flaws a diamond has, the better. The GIA Clarity Scale is a way of determining a diamond’s purity and includes eleven grades of clarity from IF or Internally Flawless to I3 (Included level 3) the poorest grade. Grading takes place under 10x magnification using five key factors: the nature, size, position, number and colour of blemishes and inclusions.
It’s the clarity of a diamond that makes it unique. Clarity grading also helps to separate real diamonds from imitations. The greater the clarity the rarer, more flawless and expensive your diamond will be.
While carat, color and clarity are naturally occurring features, the way a skilled craftsman cuts a diamond can also have a huge impact on its value. It’s the cut that reveals the diamond’s true beauty and gives it the aesthetic appeal that can also impact on its price.
A perfectly cut diamond will have Brightness (the internal and external reflection of white light), Fire (the prism effect that cause white light to scatter in rainbows), and Scintillation (the amount of sparkle caused by the reflections within the diamond itself). A diamond with all three characteristics that balances proportion, symmetry and polish will be far more appealing and expensive than a poorly cut diamond.
Balancing the 4 Cs to value a diamond
Each of the 4 Cs is extremely important and will positively or negatively impact the valuation of a diamond. A one carat diamond that’s graded D for colour and IF for clarity, and is flawlessly cut, will be worth way in excess of the same diamond that doesn’t reach such perfection.
Taking out a pawn loan is quite simple:
• Bring your jewelry to the Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive
• Allow our team of experts to assess the value of your piece
• Receive a same-day loan based on the market value of your piece
• Reclaim your jewelry after all loan repayments have been completed
Upon repayment of your loan, you can redeem your jewelry – it’s a great way to access funds when you need them the most. Of course, it helps to have an understanding of just how valuable your necklaces, rings, bracelets, and cufflinks are before pawning – but what should you be looking out for?
Jewelry making is a craft which requires incredible skill and a keen eye for detail – both in the design and manufacturing processes. Creators require great patience when working with precious metals, fancy color diamonds, 13th-century emeralds and other gemstones. Renowned jewelers are held in high regard in much the same way that the work and prestige of an artist informs the value of fine art. Rare or sought-after collections are highly sought-after and will typically command higher price tags in comparison to mass-produced items.
Some of the biggest names in jewelry include Cartier, Graff, Tiffany and Van Cleef & Arpels. These companies are well-respected and produce intricate jewelry that can sell for thousands. That’s not to say small-name pieces can’t command a large price tag too – historic pieces are often highly desired, particularly if there is an interesting backstory behind them.
If you have jewelry, old or new, that you believe to be of significant value, it’s important to check the piece and its case/box for logos or branding. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the brand, a cursory internet search should help provide you with an idea of the collection or its designer before you come to visit the Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive for a complimentary appraisal.
Material quality is important
The term jewelry is derived from an old term for precious gemstones. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that the value of most pieces of fine jewelry is dictated largely by materials they are constructed from. However, it’s important to understand that second-tier jewelry is often manufactured from materials that emulate the appearance of precious stones and metals. Cubic zirconia, gold flake, and plated silver can be misleading as although they might appear to be as attractive as gold, diamonds and silver, they are only worth a fraction of the cost of the real thing.
The weight and texture of a piece should give you an initial idea as to whether your jewelry is genuine. Plated pieces will generally feel lighter than precious metals, and fake pearls will feel unnaturally smooth. However, if you are certain that your jewelry is constructed from authentic platinum, silver or gold, it’s crucial to verify its authenticity. Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to find out – the piece itself should hold some all-important visual cues.
Items manufactured from genuine gold will generally be hallmarked. Look for a small symbol that has been stamped into the metal during the construction process. This hallmark will provide you with all manner of information. Hallmarks feature different text and icons that will help you to uncover the manufacturer, the date it was made and how many carats the item is – again, internet research is a huge help here.
Most precious stones and metals will bear some sort of mark of authenticity. You don’t necessarily have to understand what each hallmark means, as it’s something the experts at Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive can do for you – although a quick check will help you to estimate whether your piece is valuable or not.
Proof of authenticity
Proof of authenticity, or provenance, can help your piece command a higher price tag. Information on where the piece was made, where it was purchased and whether it has ever been altered can all affect price. If an item is rare or part of a limited collection, possessing the relevant certificates or documentation could help to increase the amount of money you could borrow against it.
If you are in possession of documentation, such as a certificate of authenticity, you are advised to bring it to your pawnbroker as this will 1) speed up the loan process, and 2) provide you with a more accurate valuation.
How much does fine jewelry sell for at auction?
The condition and history of a piece will generally inform how much a piece of jewelry will sell for at auction. Renowned pieces with old cut diamonds, pink diamonds, diamond studs and/or GIA certified diamonds can sell for tens of thousands of dollars. For particularly rare pieces, the sky is the limit. Some of the highest sums commanded by jewelry pieces at auction include:
1) Oppenheimer Blue Diamond Ring
This stunning ring set a new record for jewelry sold at auction back in 2016. The piece sold for $57.7 million at Christie’s in Geneva. When the final figure was announced, the auction room erupted into applause. The ring is named after its previous owner, Sir Philip Oppenheimer. At 14.62 carats, the blue diamond adorning the ring is the largest to ever appear at auction.
2) Unique Pink Diamond
The “unique pink” is a pear-shaped diamond set onto a platinum band. Pink diamonds are incredibly rare, accounting for less than 5% of all colored diamonds, which explains why this piece commanded a price tag of $31.56 million at Sotheby’s of Geneva. The value of pink diamonds has risen by more than 350% in just ten years.
3) Sunrise Ruby Ring
Weighing in at a staggering 25.59 carats, the Sunrise Ruby ring proves that it’s not just diamonds fetching huge sums at auction. This piece sold for $30.3 million at Sotheby’s of Geneva back in 2017. The huge ruby is flanked by white diamonds on either side, and set into a Cartier ring. It takes its name from a 13th century poem.
4) Cartier La Peregrina Necklace
Sometimes, jewelry with an interesting backstory can command a high price. This piece was owned by Elizabeth Taylor, one of the most glamorous ladies of the silver screen. Her love of jewelry is well-documented, and this Cartier piece of hers sold for nearly $12 million – almost four times its pre-sale estimate.
Allow the experts to value your items and unlock funds today
When you visit the Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive with jewelry that you wish to secure a loan against, our team of experts will provide you with a complimentary valuation. We’ll appraise them item, check its provenance and estimate its current market value.
From here, we will work with you to arrange a great-value loan against the worth of your fine jewelry – the majority of people who pawn their precious pieces have every intention of redeeming them after the loan is repaid, which is why we treat all items that come into the store with complete respect, and ensure maximum security measures are put in place to protect them.
What to expect when you go to a pawnbroker
Going to the pawnbrokers for the first time can be stressful, but with the help of our trusted experts, we can help you feel at home. Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive even offer an online service where you can fill in a quick form and be contacted quickly with an offer. In store, staff are friendly, knowledgeable and offer fantastic service.
The single best way to get the price you want from pawning jewellery is to pick your pawnbrokers carefully. An expert in fine jewellery will understand the true value of your pieces and offer you a fair price and terms. Talking to a true expert in the field will not only help you to reach the best price possible, but you are bound to feel more comfortable leaving high-value items in their care.
Whether you are simply feeling the pinch or wish to invest in special experiences such as an upcoming family wedding, a trip of a lifetime or boosting your child’s college fund, pawning the items you already have lying around your home is a quick and easy way to free up some capital and live the lifestyle you want. Items sitting at home have no real value until you speak to an expert and discover just how much could be gained from pawning them. This way you make the most of the capital available with the opportunity to get back your precious items.
Ultimately, you will lose some value if you are looking to sell jewelry quickly. To get the highest price for something, this can take time and be a more difficult transaction. Therefore, you might find that your jewelry is only valued at its wholesale price or less, rather than what you might get if you were to spend a significant amount of time finding the right buyer or looking to auction it off, where prices are variable depending on the people attending, what else is on sale that day, and whether there is interest in the item. The most important thing, whether you are looking to pawn diamonds, pawn jewelry or pawn gemstones – or if you are looking to take out loans against fine jewelry or diamonds – is that style, intrinsic worth and condition all play a big part, and an expert eye can be invaluable.
For a luxurious and professional pawnbroking experience and to get the best price possible for your jewelry, contact Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive now.
If you are looking to Sell Your Diamonds or Jewelry then we will also buy your pieces! Read more about the type of diamonds and some of the few brands we buy or loan against HERE, visit our loans on fine jewelry webpage, our loans on diamonds page or our antiques and collectibles webpage.