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How Much Is My Jewelry Worth?

Posted on July 31 2020

gold bullion bar

Unlike other expensive belongings, jewelry’s value doesn’t necessarily depreciate over time. When you buy that brand-new whip from the dealership and pull off the lot, your car instantly loses value. Homes depreciate by a certain percentage each year (even if you make money off of selling your home), and cell phones or other electronics can rapidly lose value as new technologies emerge.

But, jewelry doesn’t quite operate in the same way. Yes, some normal wear and tear can impact the jewelry’s worth; however, for the most part, jewelry holds its value very well. If you’re wondering “How much is my jewelry worth,” you can get an exact value by having your gold jewelry collection looked at by a professional appraiser, but there are some other factors that might give you an idea of how much your pieces are worth.

How to Determine Your Jewelry’s Worth

  • Type of Metal

The material that your gold chains are made from is extremely important in determining its overall valuable. Although most people tend to think of gold as being the most valuable metal in the world, platinum has it beat. The value of different precious metals is determined by two things: their weight and their rarity. Platinum is more rare than gold AND more dense, which means the same size piece of platinum jewelry will weigh more than gold—therefore, costing more.

However, gold is still an extremely valuable material, and jewelry made from it will likely have some worth. Silver is slightly less valuable than gold because it is more common. When it comes to determining the value of gold jewelry, you need to consider its weight—10K, 14K, 18K or 24K. The Karat system describes how much of your piece is made from pure metals because pure metal needs to be mixed with alloys because it is too malleable on its own.

For example, 10K gold means that it’s 10 parts alloy, 14 parts gold. On the other end of the spectrum, 24K would mean that it’s 100 percent pure gold, but, again, this is very rare because pure gold can become easily damaged. The more gold that is present in your jewelry, the more expensive it will be.

gemstones isolated on white

  • Value of Gemstones

Not all gold jewelry has bling on it. But, if it does, it might mean you have a more expensive piece on your hands than you think. Of course, real diamonds are the most valuable type of gemstone when it comes to jewelry, but there are dozens of other precious and semi-precious stones (like sapphire, ruby, or emerald) that can add a whole lotta value to a nice piece of jewelry. The quality, the clarity, and the inclusion of impurities will determine how valuable the gemstones themselves are, but you’ll have to consult with a professional on this one.

  • Gold Plated, Gold Filled, or Solid Gold?

Before a specific value can be determined for your jewelry, you need to know if your piece is gold plated, gold filled, or solid gold. Solid gold is the most valuable of the three because it includes the most gold, while gold plated chains are less expensive because they have a thinner layer of gold wrapped around metal alloys. They still be lookin’ fly, though.

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  • Taking Your Jewelry to an Appraiser

The only way to truly answer the question “How much is my jewelry worth?” is by consulting with a jewelry appraiser. These people are professionals who can identify small details on your jewelry that may raise or lower its value. If you are going to get your gold chains appraised, be sure to go through an appraiser that has been properly certified. For anyone interested in jewelry insurance, getting an appraiser beforehand is necessary.

Consider Purchasing Insurance

If you just dropped a bunch of dough on a pricey new gold chain, you’re probably thinking of ways to make sure you never lose that investment. We can think of one really good way—jewelry insurance. Even if you have homeowners’ or renters’ insurance, these policies don’t always cover everything in your home. And, with expensive jewelry in the house, you want to feel protected. Get your pieces appraised, and then find a jewelry insurance policy that ensures your jewelry will be replaced (at least monetarily) if it becomes lost, damaged, or stolen.

jeweler inspecting ring

Know Your (Jewelry’s) Worth

Even if you’re not planning to sell your jewelry anytime soon, it’s important to have an idea of how much your jewelry is worth. This information can help you get an insurance policy, give you peace of mind in case you ever need quick cash, or provide a sense of value for an item that might become a family heirloom. As long as you’re properly caring for and maintaining the integrity of your best gold chains and other jewelry pieces, they should hold their value for years to come.

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