How To Get The Best Price For Jewelry At A Pawn Shop
Pawning or selling jewelry at a pawn shop can provide much-needed extra cash when a sudden financial problem arises. Unfortunately, the process of pawning or selling jewelry is not always as simple as one would expect, leaving many sellers unsatisfied with the amount they receive for their piece. Here are three tips that can help you get the best price for your jewelry at a pawn shop.
Clean Your Jewelry
Like any other item, jewelry will fetch a higher price if you present it well. There are many methods you can use to clean jewelry at home and remove stains and grime that could decrease the value of the item in the eyes of a pawnbroker.
Gently scrubbing your jewelry with a toothbrush and soapy water is a good first step to remove visible dirt. Take extra care to clean karat markings on your jewelry so that they are visible to the pawnbroker. You should also thoroughly scrub the setting of the stone, as dirt can become lodged in the prongs and build up over time.
Diluted ammonia can be used to clean stains and grime that cannot be scrubbed away. Mix one part ammonia with six parts water and submerge your jewelry in the solution. Remove the jewelry every 10 minutes, dry it, and inspect it for grime. Repeat the process until your jewelry appears clean, and then give the piece a final run through an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner. While this process is safe for gold, silver, platinum, diamonds, and many colored stones, pearls should not be cleaned with ammonia, as it can cause them to become dull.
Have Your Jewelry Appraised First
A professional appraisal will provide a wealth of information that will help you get the best possible price for your jewelry at a pawn shop. An appraisal should include a color grading of any stones in your jewelry based on a master set of gems, details about the type of setting that is used in your jewelry, and, most importantly, a statement of total value. While a pawn shop will never buy your jewelry for the total price, an appraisal will help you determine whether the shop is buying or pawning for a fair percentage and give you a good starting point for negotiation.
Unfortunately, not everyone who presents themself as an appraiser has the education and experience to properly value your jewelry. You should check that your appraiser has certain qualifications to make sure you are truly getting a professional opinion. Qualifications to look for include Graduate Gemologist of the Gemological Institute of America, Accredited Senior Appraiser of the American Society of Appraisers, and Certified Gemologist Appraiser of the American Gem Society.
Engage in Level-Headed Negotiation
As with any item, you are more likely to get a higher price when pawning your jewelry if you are willing to negotiate. However, negotiating over jewelry is often trickier than negotiating over other items because of the sentimental value that is attached to the item.
Even if a piece of jewelry has been in your family for generations, in most cases it will not be one-of-a-kind. Remember that the pawnbroker will not share your sentimentality for the item and may have dealt with several identical pieces of jewelry over the years. Keeping your frustration in check and negotiating calmly is the best way to settle on a price that you are both happy with.
You will have a much better experience when pawning or selling jewelry if you are prepared and set reasonable expectations before you enter the shop. Use these tips so that you can get the best possible price for any piece of jewelry. For more information, contact local pawn shops like Chauncey's Pawn & Gun.