Is my old jewelry worth anything?

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If you have old jewelry at home, you could easily be sitting on a valuable cash asset worth between $1,000 – $5,000. Obviously, the term ‘old jewelry’ covers a huge variety of items, ranging from cheap costume jewelry worth less than $10 to antique collector’s items that could sell for $100,000 or more at auction. Once in a while, potential sellers do get a life-changing surprise when they have their old jewelry professionally appraised. Almost everybody can get some kind of cash price for their old jewelry. If it’s only enough to pay for a family treat or a new dress, it’s still a bonus!

$1,000 – $5,000 isn’t a randomly chosen price range. It covers the likely resale value of a diamond engagement ring, set with a 1 carat diamond with an SI clarity grading and an H color grading. This quality of diamond ring represents the approximate dividing line between a typical retail jewelry purchase and the transition towards expensive designer jewelry. If you have an inherited diamond wedding band or an old engagement ring that you haven’t worn for years, it’s more likely to fall in the $1,000 – $5,000 original price range. 

What kind of old jewelry can I sell?

There’s a steady market for every kind of second-hand jewelry. The only real question is whether your old jewelry has much value, and how much effort are you willing to put into getting the highest possible price? 

We’ll take a look at the ins and outs of the second-hand jewelry market and likely trends in 2022. We’ll also give some gemologists tips on how to quickly find out if your old jewelry is worth anything. We’ll also explain how you can quickly sell your old jewelry for cash at Gemesti

The prices for used diamond jewelry remain fairly steady, but the value of solid gold items can change dramatically. At the beginning of December, the price of gold was around $1,770 an ounce. Earlier in the year, it twice crossed the $1,900 line. If you’d sold an item of gold jewelry in May 2021, you’d have received more money than if you’d sold it in December. 

If you’ve any of the following items tucked away at home, they could be worth more money than you think. Items like gold tie clips and cufflinks are more unusual, but there is a niche market for them. Diamond engagement rings and diamond wedding rings are easy to sell and the right buyer will pay up to 70% of the original retail price. 

  • Diamond engagement rings and diamond wedding bands
  • Diamond necklaces and pendants
  • Diamond bracelets and tennis bracelets
  • Diamond earrings
  • Gold chains,charms, bangles, and crosses
  • Vintage watches, old gold cigarette lighters
  • Diamond studs, gold tie pins and clips
  • Diamond or gold cufflinks
  • Gold rings and signet or pinky rings
  • Any jewelry with gemstones like rubies, sapphires and emeralds 
  • Any jewelry with semi-precious stones
  • Fashion and costume jewelry
  • Men’s jewelry

How to sell old diamond jewelry

If you have good quality diamond jewelry, you can sell it online for cash within 48 hours. Gemesti is a professional jewelry buying service that pays high prices for used diamond jewelry from across the United States. 

They offer sellers free FedEx shipping for their jewelry and a free independent appraisal before making a final cash offer. 

Gemesti: Is my old jewelry worth anything?

  • Does my old jewelry have a diamond (or diamonds)?
  • Are they real diamonds?
  • Do I have a GIA or similar certificate for my diamond jewelry?
  • Does the precious metal setting have a hallmark?
  • Do I have a store receipt or insurance appraisal?

If you want to get an initial offer from Gemesti, you can get started anytime. All you really need to be clear about is that your jewelry is diamond jewelry and that the diamonds are real and not fakes. If you bought your diamond jewelry from a reputable independent jeweler or a retail chain, the chances of it being a fake are almost nil. If you don’t know its provenance, you should tell your client services manager. 

How to sell old costume and fashion jewelry

A box of old costume jewelry or fashion jewelry might sell online for $10 – $20. If you do sell it on eBay, you’ll face stiff competition from the cheap Chinese imports that dominate the lower end of the market. Stall holders in a local flea market might pay cash if something catches their eye. There are plenty of stores that also sell fashion jewelry to kids. If costume jewelry has a vintage look, a collector might snap it up. 

The terms ‘fashion jewelry’ and ‘costume jewelry’ can be deceptive. Most people assume that they mean cheap and garish bling, or even theatrical props. Second hand costume jewelry by designer brands like Chanel, Gucchi, Mallarino or Yves Saint Laurent routinely sells for over a thousand dollars, and often considerably more. Most costume jewelry is basically just junk, but it’s always worth taking a second look before you give it to your kids, or sell it to a flea market dealer. 


I have some family jewelry and my wedding ring and engagement ring. When I got divorced, I put my jewelry away and pretty much forgot about it. I had been planning to give it to my daughter. She isn’t interested and says it’s better to sell it. My ex-husband bought both rings when we were very young and I’ve no idea what he paid for them. Is my old jewelry worth anything?


It depends on whether your wedding ring and engagement ring have a diamond centre stone. If they do, you should immediately get a professional appraisal. Many jewelers offer this as a free service. If the rings have a pavé design (a carpet of tiny diamonds) you should also get them appraised. Apart from anything, if you do have a few thousand dollars worth of diamond jewelry at home, you should take proper security precautions.


I inherited some old jewelry from my Grandparents, including an antique diamond ring. I discovered that the ring is worth a lot of money. My Grandparents were ordinary working people who could never have afforded such an item. What’s going on?


Unless you know the history of the ring, it’s almost impossible to say. If you know something of your family history, you may be able to make a guess – but no more than a guess. If one of your ancestors was an immigrant, they may have brought the ring from the old country. This sometimes happened when people fled persecution in Europe and came to the US. Jewelry was one of the few assets they could easily bring with them.

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