How to Select a Buyer/Dealer or Consignee for your Jewelry & Gems


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Tips for selecting a buyer/dealer or a consignee

for your jewelry, gems and diamonds

by David Atlas, GG, Senior Member, NAJA

Selling your unwanted jewelry is full of decisions and risks. You can eliminate the worst of those by being a careful investigator ahead of time. Here are some tips to minimize risks and help you get a fair price.

  • Check out individuals or firms BEFORE attempting to do business with them. This doesnít mean you canít shop around before deciding which place is the right one for each kind of jewelry and gem you have. Just donít commit before you feel the situation is right for you.  Look for longevity of the firm, experience of the buyer/dealer, reputation online and possibly locally, as well.  

  • Donít go to places that you feel you could never trust.  Why waste their time and especially why waste your own? Limit your choices to those places which you feel can be trusted. 

  • Donít waste your time with people you canít meet face to face unless the circumstances are extraordinary and very safe.

  • Donít just send items to people or firms you have not solidly established as worthy of your trust. There are some very good dealers who will pay shipping with insurance in advance of making a bid and return the item at no cost if you say no. Investigate first. 

  • Stay away from potentially biased advice.

  • Donít trust your precious items to places like eBay unless you personally have a great deal of experience and expertise in the pitfalls of online sales

YOU HAVE ONE OPPORTUNITY TO SELL INHERITED OR UNWANTED ITEMS. Do not just roll the dice and hope for the best. Selling gems and jewelry is a wonderful opportunity to get money that can be used for education, a home, healthcare, or a major purchase.  Letting precious items that will never be worn sit in a drawer is an invitation to have them lost or stolen.  At best, if you insure such items, then every year you get an additional bill for the insurance and what is the benefit?  How to safely convert such non-performing assets into cash is an important piece of knowledge to acquire.  Hopefully, the above guidelines will be of assistance to you.


David Atlas is a respected GIA Graduate Gemologist and Senior Member of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers. He provides jewelry consulting and jewelry appraisals for clients in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. For more information about David and his services go to:


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