Jewelry buyers know a lot more about the pricing and appeal of your old jewellery than you do, and a few of them aren't afraid to use it to great advantage. Harper's gets the skinny on buying tactics from an ex-jeweller.
Photo by 'Playingwithbrushes'.
The Consumerist blog carries an exclusive excerpt from June's issue of Harper's, where Clancy Martin details the tricks he's seen used by some unscrupulous store owners and roadshow buyers in his trade. Fast maths, and pretending stones that are simply dirty are permanently flawed, can throw off under-prepared sellers. In general, though, be wary of pitches that your metal is barely worth buying but, aw, shucks, here's some money anyways:
Diamonds under a tenth of a carat? "Worthless. They cost more to pull than they have value. Plus they usually break when you remove them." (Completely false-and anyway, he's probably not going to melt the piece down; he's going to clean it up and resell it to someone like Marek Nowack.) ... Sterling-silver sets? "They're so common, they all go to the smelter." (False: a nice sterling set, even if incomplete, will bring four or five times the weight of the silver from an antique silver wholesaler.)
Of course, not all jewellers take you down this road, but it's always wise to price out a sale at a few different vendors and avoid making deals under pressure. Hit the Consumerist for a longer read, or pick up Harper's for the full take.