Don’t really have any good news for you. In the gem trade, the
problem is always what to do with the mediocre and poor quality
material. Guess what-- a lot of it ends up on Jewelry TV, EBAY, and
similar outlets, often (usually) misrepresented as to it’s value. As
an appraiser, I’ve seen many large lots of these types of goods-- if
you are trying to sell the items one at a time, you will probably
have a long hard battle-- you are competing with everyone else at the
bottom of the food chain.
If you are willing to pay for professional advice, you can work with
a gemologist appraiser or a really knowledgeable jeweler to try to
establish a realistic idea of the current wholesale for the gems.
For this type of consultation, I charge an hourly rate, but beware–
boxes and boxes may mean lots of hours to go thru everything.
The finished jewelry may have recycling value if it is gold-- if so,
have your appraiser weigh all the gold items, record the weights and
karatage of the metal. Many jewelers will buy such items to recycle
(we do), or you can sell directly to a refiner. Remember, the value
of the gold fluctuates daily with the metals market. Silver also has
some value, but you must have a lot of it to make it worthwhile to
Once you have a realistic idea of value, then you will be prepared
One alternative is to try to find a dealer who works with
distressed, discounted, or remaindered lots and will buy the whole
kaboodle for cash. Be prepared for a real hardnosed buyer and to
accept pennies on the dollar- cash is very hard to come by in today’s
world, especially for jewelry.
Jim Sweaney, CGA, FGA, GG