How Much is My Jewelry Worth?

Jewelry appraisals, cash value, and the truth

Gold jewelry value can vary depending on the situation
Understanding the different jewelry values

The question: “how much is my jewelry worth?” is not as simple as it may seem. To answer it, we have to first decide which type of worth or value we are talking about because jewelry has different values in different contexts. The main types of value are: intrinsic value, resale value, and appraised value.

Intrinsic Value or Cash Value

The intrinsic value of jewelry is the simplest and easiest to understand. The equation for intrinsic value is:

intrinsic value = metal value + gem value

Gold jewelry value components
Intrinsic value is based on a piece’s component parts

The metal (gold, silver, platinum, etc.) and gems (diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, etc.) are valued as raw materials based on current market rates. So, gold jewelry value, in this context, is largely determined by the current spot price of gold. Intrinsic value can be viewed as the recycle value of jewelry. Imagine the jewelry as a pile of metal and gemstones, not as a whole piece of jewelry. Some other names for intrinsic value are: cash value, cash wholesale value, and scrap value.

Let’s look at an example. Assume a ring is made out of 5 grams of 14k gold and it has a 0.25 carat diamond. It has a gold value, of approximately $121 when gold is $1,300 per ounce, and a diamond value of roughly $250. That makes its intrinsic value $371.

Here is how to calculate the gold price.

  1. Find the daily gold spot price in dollars per troy ounce (a website like is good for that). In this example we’ll use $1,300. Curious about what a troy ounce is? Check out our article on gold weights.
  2. Convert that price into dollars per gram by dividing it by 31.1 which equals $41.80 per gram.
  3. Multiply that by the gold purity of the jewelry. 14 karat gold is roughly 58% gold and 42% alloy. So, that would be: $41.80 × 0.58 = $24.24 which is the price per gram of 14 karat gold.
  4. Multiply the per gram price by the number of grams in the jewelry item. So, you have: $24.24 × 5 grams = $121.

Here’s the complete math for our example ring: $121 = $1,300 / 31.1 × 0.58 × 5. This would be the full spot price for the gold.

The diamond price is more complicated. It is basically the common wholesale price modified by the cut grade of the gem. The wholesale price is a dynamic price that changes daily and is influenced by the source selected. One of the most popular diamond price guides is Rapport. The prices are arranged by shape, size, color, and clarity (the 4 C’s of diamonds). Once the initial price is determined, the last step is to adjust the price by the cut grade of the individual diamond.

Resale Value or Retail/Wholesale Price

Some used jewelry has a resale value that is higher than its intrinsic value. This price includes the intrinsic value plus the workmanship to create the jewelry. Furthermore, if the jewelry is desirable in the market place, then a design premium is added. The equation for resale value is:

resale value = intrinsic value + workmanship + style

Of course, this isn’t an exact science, and other factors can influence the resale value as well. For example, two identical diamond solitaire engagement rings can have vastly different resale values, if one is stamped “Tiffany” and the other is not.

Appraised Value or Replacement Cost

Appraised value is the most confusing value partly because, on the surface, it seems to be the simplest. Most people are aware of jewelry appraised value. But, the key to understanding appraised value is that this value is only theoretical. It is not stating what the jewelry is worth, but what it would cost to replace the item in new condition.

people come to a false understanding that their jewelry is worth what the appraisal value states

Jewelry appraisals are the documents that deal with jewelry worth. There are actually a few different kinds of appraisals, but when most people talk about jewelry appraisals they mean insurance appraisals (check out our article about jewelry appraisal types). This is the heart of the problem of what jewelry is worth. Jewelry insurance appraisals don’t have anything to do with the worth of the jewelry item, only its replacement cost.

The purpose of a jewelry insurance appraisal is to detail what it would cost to replace a jewelry item if it is lost, stolen, or damaged. It is not meant to show what the item’s market value is at the time.

Here’s an example. If I were doing a jewelry type of appraisal on a 2000 Toyota Camry, I would value it at around $25,000. Why? Because that is how much it would cost to replace the 2000 Toyota Camry with a new 2014 Toyota Camry. Now, no one is saying that the 2000 Toyota Camry is worth $25,000, but it would appraise for that amount.

When this is done in the jewelry world, people come to a false understanding that their jewelry is worth what the appraisal value states. Just like the 2000 Toyota Camry, the jewelry may be used and out of date. In many cases, the jewelry is only worth the intrinsic value. This could be as little as 5% to 20% of the appraised value.

New Value vs. Used Value

Another big point of confusion with jewelry values is that the value of a used piece of jewelry can be dramatically different from what it cost new. The cost of a new jewelry item includes the intrinsic value and (like resale value above) the cost of workmanship which could be 2 to 5 times the value of the gold and gems alone. Even before the work begins, there is the value added by the jewelry designer. This can double the cost of the finished jewelry, or it can have a negligible impact.

There are still more costs to consider with new jewelry. There is the cost of bringing it to market which can include: wholesale costs, import costs, marketing costs, transportation costs, and more. Finally ask: is the jewelry store a high end retailer that can get a two or three times mark up over wholesale cost? Are the sales people receiving a high or low commission? What are the overhead costs where the jewelry is being sold? What is the regulatory and taxation environment like?

Here is an example breakdown of how some of these costs can look. This is a bit exaggerated, but it is just meant to show how much the final price can vary.

Cost Amount Total
Intrinsic cost $100 $100
Design cost $10 to $100 $110 to $200
Workmanship cost $100 to $500 $210 to $700
Wholesale cost 10% to 33% $231 to $931
Import cost 0% to 40% $231 to $1,303
Marketing cost 20% to 100% $277 to $2,606
Jewelry store mark up 35% to 300% $332 to $7,818
Commission 5% to 40% $349 to $10,945
Taxes 0% to 10% $349 to $12,040

With all of the possible variations, it is easy to see that the price paid has little correlation to the intrinsic value of an item of jewelry. The price of a new jewelry item is based primarily on the jewelry stores’ business model. If it is a high end jewelry store with a lot of overhead and added value, then the jewelry price could be 5 to 10 times more than the intrinsic value. If it is a discount jewelry store, then the price over intrinsic value could be from 1 to 3 times.

So, how much is your jewelry worth? It is definitely worth its intrinsic value. Every other price just depends on the situation. If you’re curious about how much your jewelry is worth, we recommend that you deal with a professional gemologist who can explain each of the values to you. Feel free to come in, and our gemologists will be happy to give you a free value appraisal of your jewelry.

What people are saying

  1. Camilo Villanueva Jr says:

    Interesting and informative site. I’d like to ask how much I could ask for an 8.2 gram Pt900 plain wedding band. Thank you.

    • Hello Camilo, thank you! I’m so glad you have found the site helpful. To answer your question, at the current platinum market your ring has $230 worth of platinum. Depending on the ring’s condition, you may be able to find a retail buyer for around $300-500. However, if the ring is a dated style, damaged, or worn, the scrap value is closer to $200. It’s lower than the spot platinum market value because you need to factor in the costs of the refining process when you assay platinum.

  2. Hello, can someone possible tell me what my jewelry is worth or what a realistic/reasonable offer would be. It is a 24 inch 14k gold chain infused with sterling silver also with a smaller sized 24k gold crucifix. They were purchased only 1 month ago and I’ve only worn them 3 times. I’m not sure what the weight is individually, due to me not having a proper scale to weigh them. The chain was nearly $535 and the charm was slightly over $220 (plus $100 lifetime warranty) bringing the total to around $855.

    I’ve still got the receipts for them. I’m not very knowledgeable when it comes to what jewelry is worth as this was my first big purchase and I’m only 21 years old. Was this a good deal for me or did they rip me off? Any help would be appreciated!

    • Hello Stanton, thanks for reaching out to us. Since you just bought the jewelry about a month ago, if your not happy with it try and return it to the store you bought it from. But, don’t delay as most stores have about a 30 day return policy.

      The big red flag I see in your description is the part about the chain being silver infused. That is not a normal practice and I am worried you might have a silver chain that was only gold plated. Another red flag is that most jewelry is not made out of 24k gold since it’s so soft that it doesn’t hold detail well. So, your crucifix may also be gold plated. Gold plated silver jewelry has very little resale value. That said, without seeing the piece in person, I can’t say for sure.

  3. Keith says:

    Good Day. I understand that without ‘specifics’ you can’t give or quote ‘specifics’ (and even w/ specifics you likely can’t, or wont, quote specifics without actually having had the piece in hand). So I’m happy to say ‘specifics’ are not what I’m looking for.

    Basically a colleague aims to sell some gold pieces (some w/ stones & some w/ out) to a pawn shop. I’m thinking it may be worthwhile to offer him a slight mark-up over the shop’s offer in order to acquire the pieces myself (for investment purposes), and I am wondering as to a broad approximate average % of actual/intrinsic value a pawn shop may be looking to offer (‘as a general rule’ type of %)?

    Thanks muchly in advance.

    • Hi Keith, thanks for commenting. As you are aware, we can’t give you really accurate information without more information about the specific pieces in question. However, in general, you might expect a pawn shop to offer anywhere from 30-70% of the intrinsic value. Keep in mind though, that there are definitely exceptions to that range. For example, even pawn shops make mistakes. A client yesterday brought in a ring to us that a pawn shop had just offered him $120 for to see if I would out bid them. The ring was stamped 14k but tested on my gold tester to be fake gold.

  4. Sharon says:

    I have an 18kt yellow gold 11 diamond engagement ring. The 10 side diamonds weigh 0.25 carats total. They are H color, brilliant cut and VS quality. The center diamond measures 11mm x 6.5mm and weighs approximately 1.39 carats. It is I color, marquise cut and SI1 quality. We would like to turn it into a new ring. What could we expect as to its value?

    • Hello Sharon, thanks for reaching out to us. We love redesign projects like this, so feel free to send our designers an email with any details on the new design, and we can give you more accurate information. That said, if you’re using your existing diamonds and gold in the new design the labor for the redesign could be as little as $500 or as much as $1,500 based on the complexity of the new design. If you’re trading your diamonds in for different ones, then we would need to see them in person to be able to give you an accurate trade in value.

  5. Forrest Douglas says:

    Hi, I have two rings that I’d like to sell. I have appraisals on both. The first is a 14kt yellow gold opal and diamond ring. The opal is 12.50× and weighs approx. 1.5 carats. The base is green with reds and blues. The opal is surrounded by 16 matching crown set round, brilliant cut diamonds weighing approx. .06 ct each, .96 carat total weight. The diamonds are G-H in color and “VS” in clarity. The ring weighs 5.7 grs. The appraised value is $4,675.00.

    The second ring is an 18k white gold sapphire and diamond ring. The sapphire is 10.71×8.22×3.76mm and weighs approx. 2.65 carats. The sapphire has some blemishes and bruises at the facet junctions. The sapphire is surrounded by a halo of 16 matching shared prong set round brilliant cut diamonds that weigh approx. .04 ct each, .64 carat total weight. The shanks of the ring contain six matching round, brilliant cut diamonds, three on each side of the center stone, that weigh approx. .06 ct each, .36 carat total weight. The diamonds grade as “G-H” in color, “VS” in clarity. The ring weighs 5.9 grs.

  6. Stephanie Replogle says:

    I have a ring that was from 1975 14k with a really small diamond I’m not sure on the size of the diamond but how much would it be worth and can you make another one like it

  7. Katie says:

    I’m trying to figure out what the cash value of my engagement would be but am having a hard time because the store it was bought at isn’t around and I don’t have possession of the ring at the moment. I do have appraisal paperwork from 2011 stating “A lady’s 14k white gold engagement ring mounting measuring about 3.73mm wide and tapering to the back. Set in the center is a round, brilliant-cut diamond weighing, as estimated by its 6.7 x 4.13mm measurement to be about 1.17 carats. In its setting we judge the GIA color and clarity grades to be H/SI-2. As its sides are set two full cut diamonds weighing .10 carats each. In their settings we judge the GIA color and clarity to be G/VS-1.”

    Any estimate on the cash value would be greatly appreciated

    • Hello Katie, thanks for reaching out to us. Unfortunately, I would have to see the ring in person to give you an accurate ballpark. But, with the info you have, most likely the ring will fall in the $800-4,000 range (cash wholesale value). There is a lot of variability due to the workmanship, style, and condition variables discussed in the post.

  8. Heather Rena says:

    Hi! I have a 14k white gold engagement ring 1/2 Ct TW center stone 1/4 with one on each side and 20 around those. It’s from Helzberg, was originally $1,600. How much do you think I can get for it?

    • Hello Heather, thanks for commenting. Helzberg is a good company, but most of them are located in the mall, so their rent is rather high. I would have to see the ring in person to say for sure, but the cash wholesale value is most likely between $160-400. You may be able to get more than that by selling it through Craigslist or eBay depending on the style, workmanship, and condition of the ring. Hopefully that helps a little, and we wish you the best with your ring.

  9. April lovella Rinehart says:

    I have a bracelet I would like to value for resale. It has 24 modified heart cut pink tourmalines, weighing approx 0.75 carat each totaling approx 18 carats. I had an estimate on this done and was told it was pink tourmaline but when I bought it i was told it was rubellite tourmaline. I don’t know the difference can you tell from this?

    • Hi April, thanks for commenting. That sounds like a nice bracelet. It will probably be easier to discuss over email, so we’ll email you in a little bit so we can talk more.

  10. Maurkita Brown says:

    Hi, I have a question I have a antique piece of jewelry that was given to my 2 year old daughter I recently fell on hard times and needed some cash so I borrowed from a pawn shop the bracelet is 18 karat gold with a strip of platinum hold a diamond on top and 2 smaller ones on the side its engraving is mark 1909. When I went to the pawn shop they tried to get me to sell they were trying to give me 500 dollars, but I wouldn’t sell it if they were offering that much. How much do you think it is really worth?

    • Hi Maurkita, that sounds like an interesting bracelet, thank you for sharing, and I’m sorry to hear about your recent hard times. I would have to see the bracelet in person, but usually when you pawn a piece of jewelry you do get less than when you sell it outright to a jewelry store. Feel free to bring it by my store anytime we are open for a free value appraisal. If you’re not in the area, you can always email us some pictures and details about the piece and I can give you a ballpark estimate of its value from that.

  11. Megan says:

    Hi there, I have been trying to do some research in order to privately sell a ring of mine. The ring is a tanzanite and diamond gold ring, which I just had appraised. My question is, the appraisal came back at $775, what is the selling price in comparison to the appraisal price? I appreciate any feedback.


    • Hi Megan, thanks for reaching out. Since you have just read this article, I don’t need to go into detail on why the appraised value has little or no relationship to the market value of a piece of jewelry. That said, in practice we have found that the selling price of a piece usually ranges from 10-50% of the appraised value assuming a standard insurance appraisal.

      Hopefully that helps, and if you would like a more accurate estimate, please feel free to bring the ring by our shop anytime for a free evaluation from one of our gemologists.

      • Megan says:

        Thank you so much for you response. I should have included that in my question. The appraisal was an appraisal for resale, not for insurance. The appraiser specifically asked me the purpose. I had two done that day and the reports were vastly different. One was for selling and one was for insurance purposes. My ring (for resale) came back at $775. There in lies my question. In proposing an asking price, how close to this figure is appropriate. Because I have now learned the difference of an appraisal for insurance purposes.

        I am learning a great deal!


        • Hi Megan, no problem, and thanks for clarifying. Unfortunately, most of the people who buy estate jewelry don’t know that there are several different types of appraisals and so they assume that the appraisal you have is for insurance purposes (since that is the most common type). So, you need to educate the buyer that the appraisal you have is what the item should sell for and try and get 50% to the full value of $775.

          Depending on the marketplace you choose you might use different strategies for your asking price (e.g. starting high and expecting to haggle, starting low to generate interest in an auction, etc.). We put together some helpful tips you may want to checkout on how to sell jewelry on Craigslist and eBay.

          We wish you the best in selling your jewelry.

  12. JJ M says:

    I have a gold chain, but I don’t know what it’s really worth. Can you help me out?

  13. Vera says:

    I have a 30 point solitaire engagement ring, white gold, SI. I want to sell it. Jewelry stores won’t give me the value for it. How much can I ask for it? Thanks.

  14. Olivia says:

    Hi, I have a 10k diamond and sapphire ring. What would be the approx. cost of this please? A 10K yellow gold sapphire and diamond ring.

    Metal Type: 10K Yellow Gold
    Ring Size: 6.50
    Hallmarks: 10K
    Total Weight: 2.60 dwt

    Type: Natural Sapphire, Marquise
    Dimensions: 5.00 mm x 2.50 mm

    Count: 10
    Shape: Round Single Cut
    Grade: HI, VS
    Dimensions: 1.00 mm, 0.05 ctw

    Count: 20
    Type: Natural Sapphire, Marquise
    Dimensions: 3.00 mm x 1.50 mm

    • Hi Olivia, thanks for commenting. Depending on the quality of the gemstones the cash wholesale value of that ring could be anywhere from $30 to $180. You may be able to get more by selling it retail through Craigslist or eBay. Feel free to bring it by the store and I can give you an accurate appraisal.

  15. Kaustubh says:

    Hi, I have these 3 diamond items. Can you please tell me there current price and who can buy these back to give us this value. 1) 14K WG diamond earning, D10- 0.08 D14- 0.27 (buying price – approx $1,000), 2) Diamond Pendant, D1-0.03, D1-0.02 D11-0.04 (buying price approx – $400), 3) diamond pendant, D17 – 0.09.

  16. Dan says:

    Hello, my girlfriend received a solid .925 sterling silver banded, 4.00 ct emerald & white sapphire ring from her aunt who passed away, we were wondering if there is any value to it?

    • Hi Dan, thanks for thinking of us. As a general rule if a stone is set into sterling silver, it is probably not very expensive since silver is quite a bit less expensive than other precious metals like gold and platinum. Also, there are a lot of synthetic and imitation gemstones that are set into sterling silver. That said, there are exceptions to every rule, so I can’t say for sure without seeing the piece. But, hopefully that rule of thumb helps a little bit.

  17. Jennifer Fuja says:

    Hi. I have a 1.35 carat marquise diamond ring with pretty white clarity (center stone) with 10 (1/2 karat TW) diamonds accenting the setting. It is a 14kt gold setting. The wedding band and engagement are soldered together. It was purchased in 1985 from a Schubach’s jewelers. I can’t find my actual bill of sale and appraisal, but original price was around $5,500. Any idea what an approximate resale value might be?

    • Hi Jennifer, thanks for commenting. Your biggest hurdle in finding a new home for that ring is probably going to be the style of it. Right now, marquise cut diamonds are selling rather slowly. Also, style trends are always changing, and the look that most people are looking for has changed since 1985.

      I would have to see the ring in person to say for sure, but I suspect the wholesale value could be under $1,000. That said, you only have to find one buyer who likes the style, so you can usually get more by selling the ring retail on eBay or Craigslist. If you’re interested, you can read more about cash wholesale vs retail value on our article here.

      Hopefully that helps, and let us know if you have any other questions.

  18. Pat says:

    I have my Grandmother’s engagement ring. It was given to her in 1903 and is a Garnet and two small diamonds on each side. Where would you suggest I get the value from? The local jeweler wants $200 to look at it. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Pat, thanks for reaching out to us. Charging someone $200 just to look at their jewelry seems ridiculous to me unless they are also writing up an insurance appraisal. Anyway, if you would like to email me some pictures and details on the ring (metal, gram weight, etc.) I can try to help you get an accurate value.

  19. Denetria says:

    I have a 14K gold tennis bracelet with 2 carats of diamonds in it. I have no idea of what it might be worth. I bought it about maybe 15 years ago. It’s in excellent condition because I very rarely wear it. I want to sell it. Could you please give me an idea of a price to sell it for?

    • Hi Denetria, thanks for commenting. Depending on the style and condition of the tennis bracelet as well as the quality and size of the diamonds I would expect that to sell for around $400-$1,500. If you would like, you can always email us some pictures and details on the piece and I can give you a more accurate ballpark estimate.

  20. Bradley says:

    Hi I have sterling NEZ earrings and the gem stone is pink opal and I’ve never found anything online to help me figure out the value. I also have another set of sterling NEZ earrings and the gem stone is lake torquoise which I have found before online going for $1,000. If someone can help me out that’d be great. Thanks!

    • Hi Bradley, thanks for thinking of us. Most of the value of a designer piece like that is going to come from the “other factors” we talk about in the article. So, it would be very difficult to give you an accurate estimate. My guess is that the intrinsic value will be quite low, but that’s a really minor factor in this case.

      Your best bet would be to test the market at different price points. You need to find a buyer who understands and appreciates the extra, intangible value of the jewelry in order to sell it for the best price. If you know of a marketplace where similar jewelry is selling for $1,000, I would start there.

      I’m sorry I couldn’t be more helpful, but hopefully that gives you something to go on. Feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions.

  21. Diego says:

    Hello. I have a heirloom gold ring with a topaz, that I know is 14k gold, but I have no idea of what it would be worth. Would you be able to say an estimate from a picture? Thank you!

    • Hi Diego, thanks for asking. If you know the gram weight of the jewelry that will be a big help. The size of the main gem is also important. If you know the carat weight or millimeter size of the gem that would also be helpful.

      A photo can give us a lot of information about the style and condition of a piece and sometimes the color. But, the problem with photos is that it is very difficult to get an accurate photo of the tiny details we need to see to grade gems. There is also the problem that all computer monitors show colors differently.

      All of that to say, if you can email us photos and whatever information you have on the piece, we should be able to give you a ballpark estimate of its value. But, we would need to see it in person to say for sure.

  22. JACLYN says:

    My Aunt passed away a few years back and she gave me her engagement ring. It’s a Size 7 green CZ engagement ring.

    Material: 925 sterling silver filled (stamp S925)
    Size: US size 6/7/8/9/10
    Stone: Diamonique CZ
    Stone weight: 3ct
    Stone size: 3mm*3mm
    Quality: High quality
    Condition: Brand New

    That’s what was on the cad when she got it. I wanted to know if it’s worth anything.

    • Hi Jaclyn, I’m sorry about your aunt passing. Unfortunately, this type of jewelry that is made with sterling silver and CZs does not hold its value very well. The intrinsic silver value is generally under $10, and used CZs do not have any monetary value. I wish I had better news for you, but the ring can still be very beautiful and a wonderful memento.

  23. lynnx says:

    Hi, I have a 20k channel gold with diamonds earring (stud). I bought it last 2011 for the price of $350. If I want to sell it, how much that would be by this time?

    • Hi Lynnx, thanks for commenting. That sounds like a unique piece. Most standard gold alloys are either 21k or 22k, so if you earrings are 20k, they are probably a custom gold alloy. I would need to know the exact gram weight, and the diamond stats (color, carat, clarity, cut etc.) to be able to figure out a ballpark price. If you can stop by the shop, that would be the easiest way. If not, you can email me a picture and any details on the piece, and we can go from there.

  24. Marie pitkin says:

    My partner of 21 years passed away two years. As I was cleaning I found a ring a man’s ring. It’s maybe gold and has a stone that looks like a diamond on top with two blue stripes on the side of the ring. It has a symbol on the inside of the ring. I have no idea what the ring is. Please help me find out what it is, and how much it’s worth.

    • Hi Marie, thanks for reaching out to us and I’m sorry to hear about your loss. We can probably help give you a rough idea of how much that ring is worth. Please email us some pictures of it along with any details you have on the ring (any stamps or inscriptions on it, gram weight, etc.), and we’ll see what we can find out for you.

  25. terry crane says:

    I have large very heavy 2 1/2 carats vintage Rolex men’s ring. As for knowing what people are selling it for I have found it many times when I look it up it’s always around 10,000.00 but don’t know where to sell it for much less.

  26. Danielle Benjamin says:

    I have 5 rings and I have no idea what they are worth can you help me out please?

    • Hi Danielle, thanks for commenting. We would love to help. If you are in the Sacramento area, you can bring the rings to our shop anytime for a free evaluation. If not, you can email us some pictures and any details you have and we will do our best to give you an idea of how much they are worth.

  27. Alice says:

    People, apparently you need to send in pictures of the items you are trying to get priced. I’ve seen them write to send pictures and any relevant information to almost every person. Maybe read the other comments then do that before making them type it over and over again.

    • Ha ha, thanks for pointing that out, Alice. 🙂 It’s true that in most cases we will need to see a picture at the very least to give you much information about a piece of jewelry. Of course, it’s always best to see it in person if that’s an option as well. But, if someone doesn’t read through the other comments, it’s ok, we don’t mind the typing practice.

  28. Faith says:

    Hello my name is Faith.

    I just moved into our new home and have been trying to get a hold of the last owner but they cannot be contacted. I’m assuming the ring is not worth much as they left it behind? However I AM curious to know because it looks dashing to me. I’m wearing it right now and it looks beautiful. I’m not sure about the grams and weight but it has a CID14k in the band, a white stone in the middle – not sure if pearl and two lavender color gemstones on the side. Not sure if that helps but I can send you photos ? Let me know – thank you much Faith.

    • Hi Faith, thanks for commenting. It sounds like you have a 14k gold ring there, but without seeing it we can’t say for sure. If you are in the Sacramento area, feel free to bring the ring by the shop. Otherwise, you can email us some pictures, and we can do our best from that.

  29. Charles Edward says:

    I have a ruby necklace/earring set that my grandfather brought back from Japan circa WWII for my grandmother. To my knowledge, it’s never been appraised.

    • Hi Charles, thanks for commenting. Feel free to bring the set in to our shop some time and our gemologists can take a look at it for you. If you are not in the area, you can always send us some pictures and whatever details you have about the piece. We wouldn’t be able to give you a very accurate evaluation over email, but we can normally get in the right ballpark for you.

  30. Katie piper says:

    Hello, I was wondering if you could answer some questions I have about a ring that has been passed down to me…I believe it was my great grandmothers I can send pictures and give you as much information as I can…. I have an opal flower cluster ring, total of 9 stones. The inside band says Romany 10K. I’m not sure what kind of opal, I was wondering if you could help me out?

  31. Tania Perez says:

    Hi I have a couple of rings I am trying to sell but quite frankly I don’t know much about jewelry so I was wondering if you could give me an estimate of what they are worth.

    • Hi Tania, thanks for commenting. We would be happy to give you an estimate of how much your jewelry is worth. If you are in the Sacramento area, it’s always best if you can stop by the shop so we can see it in person. If not, feel free to take some photos of the jewelry and email them to us along with any details you have like gram weights, metal type (14k, Silver, Platinum, etc), diamond or gemstone weights and qualities, etc.

  32. Cherie Rohn says:

    I have a vintage stamped “Tiffany & Co.14k” gold link 20″ chain, which was bought at the NY flag store and given to my brother in the 1960s. It also has a locking gold clasp marked “14k.” The 43 links are heavy, open oblongs, ca. 1.2 cm x .5 cm. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet had it weighed or even taken it to a jeweler. I’m interested in selling the chain. I can email you photos. Kind thanks for any info you can offer.

    BTW, your diplomacy is admirable in your answers to the above.

    P.S. The Tiffany & Co. gold chain I requested info on below is YELLOW gold.

    Thanks again.

  33. michelle says:

    I have some things my aunt left behind, and I was wondering about the value. It all says 14 kt but I don’t know about the jewels.

    • Hi Michelle, that is a good question. Generally, with 14k there is a good chance the gems are genuine. Please feel free to bring all the jewelry by anytime we are open. We can give you a free value appraisal so you know exactly what you have.

  34. Michelle Herrera says:

    I need a pendant to be appraised. Where can I do that?

    • Hi Michelle, we appraise pendants. Feel free to bring it by anytime we are open. If your not local, you can look for an appraiser that is a GIA Graduate Gemologist. They should be able to accurately evaluate your pendant.

  35. Jane Barker says:

    Great articles. Can you tell me what you would pay for a pair of 1/2 carat total weight round diamond earrings bought from Zales 20 years ago for $500.00?

    • Hi Jane, thanks for commenting. That really depends on the style of the earrings. If they are simple studs, they could be worth anywhere from $50-$300 today depending on the quality and the buyer. If they are swirly from the 70’s, then they are probably just worth their intrinsic value which I can easily figure out in person.

  36. Carrie says:

    Hello!! I’ve been reading your articles and they are very informative! Thank you for sharing your knowledge. My friend and I are looking into “flipping” estate jewelry. She recently purchased a sapphire/diamond ring that has an appraisal value of $42,000. What do you think a normal return on a resale would be? I have to confess, all of this is very new and the math sort of boggles my mind. LOL Thank you for your time!! Carrie

    • Hi Carrie, thanks for the kind words. Buying and selling estate jewelry can definitely be a mind boggling experience. It’s hard to say what the resale value on a piece like that might be without seeing it. If you would like to email us some pictures and any other details (copy of the appraisal, etc.) you have we can try to point you in the right direction.

  37. kimlywatson says:

    I have a diamond watch that was handmade in a little jewelry/watch boutique. The watch retailed on sale at the time for $6,000 and an appraisal of $10,000 was given with the watch, which I am sure is an insurance appraisal. Where am I best serviced in trying to sell this watch: jeweler? watch seller? pawn shop? I am really lost since the few jeweler I’ve called aren’t interested at all. Would you be interested?
    Thanks, K Watson

    • Hello, thanks for thinking of us. That sounds like a lovely watch. We would be happy to take a look at it if you want to email us some pictures. Another good place to sell it might be eBay, but be careful. A high-end piece like that is sure to attract a lot of scammers. Checkout our article on how to sell on eBay if you want to go that route.

  38. Colleen says:

    Hello, my Fiance bought my ring for $8,800 not including taxes. The band is 18k rose gold with diamonds and that was $2,200. The center diamond is a 1.23 carat cushion cut that he paid $6,600.

    The appraisal value is $9,400. I’ve seen many people with outrageous appraisal values. Mine is only $600 more than the purchase price. Is that normal? I just want to make sure he didn’t get ripped off. It is also a made to order ring from a reputable designer and jeweler. Thank you

    • Hi Colleen, thanks for commenting. As you have read in the article, appraised value can have little correlation to the actual market value of a piece of jewelry. I would have to see the ring and the paperwork in person to verify if it was done correctly. But, it sounds like it is within the range of what is reasonable. Feel free to come by the shop if you are ever in the area, and I can give you some more concrete guidance.

  39. Letitia Sims says:

    Hi my name is Letitia Sims, and I bought this bracelet. And know I’m having second thoughts on if I paid too much for it. If you could reach me back that will be great.

    • Hi Letitia, thanks for reaching out to us. Without seeing the piece in person, it’s hard to say how valuable it might be. But, feel free to send us an email with some pictures of it and any details you have (gram weight, gemstone weight/quality, etc.), and we’ll help as much as we can.

  40. Nancy kelley says:

    I would like to know if I have something of value other than the gold content I have 5 Tiffany buttons weighing an ounce of 14 Kt. Gold. Are they worth holding on to or are they just scrap gold?

  41. MARTHA says:

    Hi found your site very insightful. I have a couple of old diamond rings which I wanted to know the value (at least approx).

    The first is my engagement ring: E color, VVS1, 1.53cts (princess cut). And one I got from my mother in-law when she passed away (approx: 7.8ct oval, J color SI3). Also, one from my great aunt (10.05cts cushion cut, yellow (I think its enhanced, SI2).


    • Hi Martha, thanks for reaching out to us. We would be happy to help. The best way would be if you can bring the pieces into the shop. If that’s not possible, you can email us some pictures so we can get a better idea of what they look like and how much they might be worth.

  42. mary langus says:

    I have a 1/2 carat diamond ring in 14k karat gold, it is a size three. How much is it worth?

    • Hi Mary, thanks for commenting. We would need a lot more information about your ring to give you a good approximation of how much it is worth. Of course, the best way would be if we can look at it in person. If you’re not in the Sacramento, CA area, you can always email us a picture and some more details about the piece (diamond color, shape, clarity, and the total weight in grams), and then we can give you a ballpark value.

  43. Melanie says:

    Hi! I got a 14 karat gold tricolor necklace 20″ long with a fortune fan design pendant in HK last week. There are 7 small diamonds 0.04 ct/7 in the pendant. I don’t know if the 4,070 HK$ is already a good buy. I hope it was not a case of tourist trap. 🙂

    • Hi Melanie, thanks for commenting. It sounds like you found an interesting piece there. Without seeing it in person, we can’t accurately evaluate the intrinsic value for you. That said, if my currency conversion is correct and the piece is indeed 14k and it weighs around 23 grams, then you paid the spot metal price for it. If it weighs any more than that, then you paid less than the scrap value of the metal. If it weighs less than 23 grams, then however much less represents how much you paid for the workmanship, style, and delivery of the piece. Hopefully that makes sense, and feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions.

  44. Mike says:

    Are Canadian mined diamonds (Polar Ice) worth more than other diamonds? Is a diamond’s value affected if it has numbers/letters etched on the girdle of the stone (certified #’s)?

    • Hi Mike, that is a great question. I may even write a blog later to answer it fully. In the meantime though, let’s cover the basics. Where a diamond is mined doesn’t affect its beauty. Some people will pay more for a Canadian mined diamond, but generally they trade very closely to every other natural diamond at the wholesale level. The numbers on the girdle (normally the certificate number) can make it easier to identify that a diamond is your diamond. But, so can the natural inclusions that are in most diamonds. Having the certificate number on the girdle makes it clear that the diamond is certified, but simply being certified doesn’t have a very significant impact on the value of the stone. The information that is actually on the certificate (color, cut, clarity, etc.) is what really impacts the value. So, the short answer is: yes, but only a little bit.

  45. Mike says:

    How do I assess the value of a 14kt gold and diamond watch that was produced as private label product for Litwin Jewelers in Cincinnati? Here is the watch description “vintage Litwin watch in 14k white gold and diamonds equaling about .86 carats total. The center round brilliant cut diamond weighs .28 ct., measures 4.4 × 2.41mm with clarity and color VS1-H. The next two round brilliant cut diamonds equal .42 ct. with clarity and color at VVS2-H, and the smallest two, also brilliant cut come to .16 ct and clarity and color VS2/SI1-H. This watch has a Swiss 17 jewel movement number 1677, Litwin Watch Co. #055. Serial number on the case is 2794232. Total weight without movement is 21.7 dwt. This watch is tested and running. Fits a seven inch wrist.”

    Key missing information is the gold weight of the watch… sorry. Any guidance on how to project a fair retail cost is appreciated.

    • Mike says:

      Sorry I did have the total gold weight in dwt. The Washington Diamond online calculator suggest wholesale price for diamonds might be $1400 based on the info above and assessing the proportions from Fair to good. indicates at 18 dwt. (I discounted a little for the diamonds) the scrap metal value is about $650. So total in intrinsic value about $2000 (sound right?).

      So, with this for a vintage piece (sorry can’t figure out how to add pics) which is a 14kt white gold bracelet with the watch face concealed by a gold hinged cover which is where all of the diamonds are displayed with the largest in the middle flanked by the progressively smaller diamonds, what is a fair price to pay?

      • Hi Mike, it sounds like you have figured out the intrinsic value of the gold correctly. The diamonds are a bit trickier. I would estimate $800 – $1,400 for them depending on the cutting and grading variances. So, if someone bought the watch for $1,400 – $2,000, they would be buying it at close to intrinsic value. Anything above that is just what 2 people agree on based on the design of the watch and its current condition. Since it’s not an especially famous brand, it can be difficult to estimate how much above intrinsic value the retail price should be.

  46. Sonya says:

    I have a 4 ct tennis bracelet, clarity is l1-12 and color is h-l. How much can I get for it?

  47. Gerrie says:

    Can you give me what the cash value of a Rolex watch would be? I have the appraised value but would like to turn it in on a new jewelry purchase. Gerrie

    • Hi Gerrie, thanks for reaching out to us. We would be happy to help you evaluate your Rolex. You can email us ( some pictures and any information you have about the watch, and we can give you a rough ballpark value. We would need to see pictures of the face, the band, and a picture holding the watch by the movement with the face perpendicular to the floor and the band free to hang down.

      Of course, if we could see it in person, that would allow us to give you a much more accurate value. Also, keep in mind that you may be able to get more value for your Rolex if you do a trade-in instead of simply cashing out and using the money to buy a piece of jewelry at another time. Every shop is different, but we are able to give more value as a trade in than a cash payment.

  48. erwin kaplan says:

    Very informative. I have some pieces I want to describe to you. Can I do that at

  49. Melissa Pack says:

    I was wondering how much a sapphire art deco inspired ring with 12 diamonds encrusted all around the sapphire is worth?

    • Hi Melissa, that’s a good question. Without being able to see the ring in person, we won’t be able to give you a very accurate value estimate. However, if you would like to email us some pictures, we can usually give you a ballpark value. Of course, you can always bring the ring in to the shop for a free value appraisal if you are in the Sacramento, CA area.

  50. Jacquie says:

    I have a custom designed 14K yellow gold tennis bracelet (12 diamonds) appraised for $3,850 in 1989. I recently lost it and would like to know what it is worth in 2015.

  51. Heather says:

    Hi, I have recently had a diamond ring stolen. It’s a 60 year old diamond in a much older plain gold setting. The sentimental value is irreplaceable and my insurance company (USAA) is offering me $1,700. I am offended and don’t see how my appraised antique diamond of $6,000 can be replaced. I’ve heard that old diamonds are better then new. At whole sell value they want me to use their gem company to replace it. How can you replace a diamond like that? I’ve seen new diamonds, They look like finely cut glass. Do you have any advice? Thank you.

    • Hi Heather, I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. As far as monetary value is concerned, the difference between an old diamond and a modern cut diamond is nominal. Neither one is really “better” than the other, gemologically speaking. It’s mostly a mater of personal preference and which style you like the look of better.

      I would inquire about having them cash you out vs. replacing the diamond for you. It seems very strange that they would offer such a small amount given the appraised value. The whole point of having an appraisal is so that the insurance company will be able to either replace the item with one of comparable quality or pay you a fair amount for it. If they have an appraisal on file for $6,000 I can’t understand why they would be offering $1,700.

      Also, we do have a pretty good selection of Old European cut and Old Mine cut diamonds. So, if they do give you a check, we can recreate a ring as close to the original as possible for you. Hopefully that helps, and please let us know if there’s anything else we can do for you.

  52. Jackie says:

    I have a ruby necklace/earring set that my grandfather brought back from Japan circa WWII for my grandmother. To my knowledge, it’s never been appraised. Heck, we don’t even know if the rubies are real. We assume they are. Not set in gold though. It’s some sort of silver maybe? Is it worth it to bring it in for an appraisal and how much will an appraisal run us?

    • Hi Jackie, thanks for reaching out to us. It sounds like you have some interesting pieces there. It is difficult to say if they are worth appraising without seeing them. We would be happy to take a look at them for you at no charge. That way we can give you an idea of what they are worth and if it makes sense to get a full written insurance appraisal. Feel free to stop by the shop anytime we’re open.

  53. dawn says:

    I have a ring that is only 3 months old to me, and I accidentally dropped it in the garbage disposal, and it is pretty damaged. It is a 1/2 carat diamond anniversary band. Is it repairable? And, I wonder how expensive it would be. Thanks, Dawn.

    • Hi Dawn, what a bummer! We have been able to fix some severly damaged rings in the past, but we would really need to see it in person to know for sure if it’s fixable. Your diamonds are most likely ok though, and if it turns out that the ring is too far gone, we could always melt the gold and remake the ring with your same diamonds. Hopefully that helps, and we wish you the best with your ring.

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