Professionally Maintain Your Jewelry Collection

Diamonds and jewelry are known for their beauty and glamour. Setting off the light in so many sparkles and flares of color, what lady doesn’t want to be dazzled in them? But with such beauty, comes a small price, or task – maintenance, for a diamond may be forever, but so will be the dirt and grime on it if you don’t clean it every now and then.

Silver jewelry is very common in parts of Asia and Europe as well as the southwestern region of North America. Well known for its soft durability, and brilliant polish, silver must be cleaned differently than gold or platinum.

With silver, a polishing cloth with a high-fiber content is best, in combination with a little elbow-grease, you’ll reveal the beauty within in no time at all, though there are times when even the tarnish has grown so thick and hard, that a solution is needed. Luckily for us, such a solution exists, and you can find it very inexpensively online or at many of your local jewelry stores. When using the solution and the polishing rag together, you’re sure to bring out the classic silver beauty you’re looking for.

Gold on the other hand is a different beast altogether! Harder than any silver, yet soft enough that one troy ounce could be hammered out to one full acre of space! Unbelievable, right? So how do you clean such a lustrous metal?

There are a number of ways to get your gold jewelry looking brand new again, depending how much time you have, how convenient it is, etc.

First and foremost, check the local jewelers in your area, particularly AGS members. Here, a professional can buff out any scratches, remove all oils and grime, and steam it to perfection. Moreover, many will be happy to fully inspect your wearable art for any required maintenance.

Most AGS jewelry stores won’t charge for these services either, in hopes you will find something new you can’t live without in the 5-20 minutes it takes, and honestly it happens more often than you would think.

Still, you may not have time for such a trip, or maybe you just don’t want to be near the temptation. Either way, there are a few easy ways to clean your jewelry in the comfort of your own home:

1. Windex! That’s right, simply get that old toothbrush out, give a couple sprays directly on your jewelry, and brush and scrub away! Afterwards, run it under some hot water to rinse: Done!

2. For the more trendy jewelry collectors out there, or maybe your collection is just a little more expansive that one or two rings – try scrubbing 10 rings and necklaces with a toothbrush and you’ll see what I mean. In these cases, it’s best to just suck it up and get yourself an ultrasonic cleaner. These tools are invaluable! You can load several pieces into it at once, let it run for just a few minutes, and Presto! Perfectly clean jewelry at home!

Now if you’re a real go-getter, check out a steam cleaner as well. These fun devices will quickly rid your jewelry of any oils or lotions with a hot jet of steam for a clean-on-the-go.

Before you go out and start cleaning all of your jewelry though, you should keep something in mind. Emeralds, among a several semi-precious gems, require some special attention. You see, emeralds, unlike diamonds and sapphires or rubies, are much softer, meaning they can be scratched much easier, but more importantly, many emeralds have been specifically treated – oil or glass has been inserted to hide the internal characteristics, improving the clarity grade, making the gem appear more beautiful. These treatments, however, affect the durability unfortunately, and an improper cleaning will seriously damage the emerald. In fact, once I watched an emerald burst because the steam cleaner heated the oil too much. So unless you’re absolutely sure about your gems, it may be best to take them to a professional for advice on cleaning and maintaining them.

Selling Your Fine Jewelry and Diamonds

There are many reasons for deciding to sell your unwanted diamonds and fine jewelry. You may be seeking emotional release from a broken relationship, needing emergency cash, purchasing or remodeling your home, or updating your jewelry for something more fashionable.

What Is It Worth?

After you decide to sell your fine jewelry, the first question is: What is it worth? Quite simply, your jewelry is worth what someone else is willing to pay for it. But there is a difference between appraised value and market value. Most appraisals are not a valid indicator of the worth of your jewelry or diamonds. You may only get between 10% and 20% of the appraised value. An appraisal can be issued for different reasons. Sometimes, a high appraisal is used as a marketing tool by a retailer who wants his customer to believe he got a great deal. Insurance companies also don’t mind inflated appraisals, because the premiums customers pay are based on the submitted value. If you want an accurate assessment of your diamond or jewelry’s value, have it appraised by an independent appraiser who has no interest in it. When it comes to diamonds, often appraisals are not accurate as to the color and clarity. There are no industry guidelines, standards or government regulations as to the accuracy required for describing jewelry or its value.

Diamond Grading Certificates

If your diamond came with a certificate from the GIA, the Gemological Institute of America, you will be able to get a valid offer over the phone or emailed to you. There are other diamond grading labs, but GIA is consistently the most accurate. If you are selling a diamond that is probably worth more than $5000 and you have two weeks time, you might consider having your diamond certified by the GIA.

Sell Jewelry Quickly

So where do you go if you want to sell your jewelry or diamonds quickly?

Friends

You might first talk to your friends or relatives, and see if anyone is interested in purchasing your jewelry. However, it is not likely you will find a buyer this way, and you may create tension in your friendship by disputing the jewelry’s value.

Ad in the Local Paper

You might also think of placing an advertisement in your local newspaper. Because of the limited number of potential buyers, it may be difficult to find a qualified purchaser willing to give you full market value.

Pawnshops

The absolute worst place to sell jewelry is a pawnshop. They are in the money loaning business, and they buy all kinds of junk. You will be offered ten cents on the dollar if you are lucky. Pawnshops are usually located in less than desirable neighborhoods, so you may need to be concerned for your safety.

Retail Jewelry Stores

In most areas companies that purchase or take jewelry on consignment from the public are required to be licensed and regulated by the state and often local law enforcement agencies.

However, retail jewelry stores have diamonds given to them on consignment from large diamond dealers. If they purchase your diamond, they will have to lay out their own cash, so they will offer considerably less to purchase it out right.

On Line Diamond and Fine Jewelry Buyers

If you look on the Internet, you will find a number of companies offering to buy your gold, fine jewelry, quality watches, and diamonds online. You can contact these companies by telephone or email. They can provide you with a tentative offer based on the information you provide. Once the company receives and evaluates your jewelry you are contacted with a firm offer. WARNING some of these firms will offer you a unrealistic high price to get you to send them your jewelry and they contact you with a significantly lower price.

There is always a potential for loss when sending expensive items. If you choose one of these companies, find out which carrier they use and if the item will be fully insured. The US Postal Service is probably your best choice as they are self insured and your jewelry is not insured by a third party.

Usually sellers choose an online jewelry buying company for convenience. It means you don’t have to go anywhere. But often customers are disappointed when they hear how little money they will receive. By then they have already sent the item, and may figure it is not worth the trouble to pay to have it returned to them.

Questions to ask on line buyers

o How long have you been in business?

o Do you have a showroom or office that i can bring my items to?

o Are you Better Business complaint free?

o Are you licensed?

o Are you in compliance with state and federal laws and guidelines?

On Line Auctions

In addition to online gold and jewelry buying companies, there are also the Internet auction sites, such as eBay and craigslist.org. On these sites, you can post the jewelry items you have for sale, and potential buyers will respond with offers. On Internet auction sites you will encounter a lot of people looking for a bargain, and possibly even scammers and criminals. Because you are dealing with individual buyers, not a reputable company, you are at risk for loss. If you do decide to sell through one of these sites, make sure to protect yourself as much as possible by meeting your buyer in a safe public such as your bank or Starbucks.

Auction Houses

In addition to online auction sites, there are a number of highly reputable, well-established auction houses that have auctions for fine jewelry, such as Bonhams & Butterfields, Christie’s, and Sotheby’s. Generally these auction houses are only interested in high value items. Bonham & Butterfields will also give you a good idea of your item’s value, before you decide where to sell it. There are not auctions everyday, so you will have to wait awhile for your proceeds. In addition, as the seller you are responsible for the costs associated with selling your jewelry, such as marketing photographs and a commission, and these will reduce your profit. Bonhams & Butterfields will take lower value items to list in their auction catalogues. This does entail a considerable delay in selling your jewelry, however, because they only publish catalogues a few times a year. The advantage to being willing to wait to sell is that you may receive more money.

Your Best Option

There are advantages to selling your jewelry quickly: cash in your pocket immediately and removing emotional attachments rapidly. But how do you ensure confidentiality, no scam artists, and no security risks? Your best option may be a reputable diamond and jewelry buyers with an established place of business, such as The San Francisco Diamond Exchange. When you deal with us, you may rest assured that you are dealing with a fully licensed diamond and jewelry professional. This provides you with the ultimate security. When choosing a diamond purchaser, you may want to find out if you can walk in with your jewelry, or if your have to send it by mail. Obviously, it is more secure if you do not have to use a delivery service.