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What Should I Consider When Buying Used Jewelry?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 July 2014
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Many people enjoy purchasing older pieces of jewelry from a variety of venues. Used jewelry can often be obtained from pawnshops, estate sales, and even from yard sales. When considering a piece of used jewelry, there are a few specifics to consider before making the purchase.

Determine your budget for purchasing used jewelry. Setting a limit on what you will spend does more than preventing you from getting into a financial bind. Your self-imposed limit also keeps you from considering pieces that are likely to be overpriced.

Take a long hard look at the design of the used jewelry. Unless you are purchasing the piece for resale, you want to make sure the design is in keeping with your taste. Even if the jewelry is available at a bargain price, it is of no worth to you if the piece is not appealing and is likely to be consigned to the depths of a jewelry box.

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Consider the condition of the piece. This means examining the jewelry for broken or bent clasps as well as the condition of any stones in the setting. Look for evidence of any rough edges that would indicate solders or other repairs that could mean a weakened condition for the body of the piece. Make note of the sturdiness of any prongs that hold the stones in the setting. If any of these do not appear to be in acceptable condition, you may want to pass on the piece, unless the price is very low.

Evaluate the type of stones used in the piece. The value of the gems or stones used will play a major role in determining whether or not the price is within reason. Learn how to tell the difference between real stones and paste copies, as this will go a long way in helping you properly ascertain the worth of the jewelry. If in doubt, take along a friend who knows how to tell the difference.

Always look around before making a purchase of any used jewelry. This is especially true if you are in a shop. Exhibiting a great deal of interest in a particular piece without looking at several different pieces of jewelry is a clear signal you want that piece very badly. This will hurt your chances of being able to negotiate a lower price.

Don’t be afraid to offer the owner a price that is lower than the current retail price. In many situations, there is a good chance that the owner will take a lower price for the used jewelry. This is especially true with estate sales and yard sales. In any event, it never hurts to make a counter offer and attempt to dicker over the price a little.

Used jewelry is a great way to add appealing pieces to your collection. By knowing what to look for, you can also acquire pieces that are in excellent condition as well as attractive. And with a little effort, you should be able to purchase the used jewelry for a great price.

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