Dear Wanda, You bring up a problem which we jewelers have to deal
with on a daily basis. For starters, I am suspicious of your statement
that it was appraised at fourteen hundred dollars four years ago. !.
Who did the appraisal ? If it was the seller there is an inherent
conflict of interest and the valuation may have been inflated to
rationalize the selling price. 2. Appraisals wear many hats. The most
common would be that of “replacement” value, ergo, what would it cost
to replace the goods in the event of loss assuming that you surveyed
your local market and had a precise description of what you wanted and
got bids from several or many sources. On the other hand, an appraisal
might also be effected to reflect the current market retail value of
the object, making allowances for the fact that it is used and may
have bruised stones , worn prongs or a thin shank. If you try to sell
it to a private party, he or she is going to expect to pay
substantially less than he might for like goods in a store. If you
sell it to a store, the owner is probably going to have to do some
work on it before he can sell it and he has to anticipate the
possibility that he might have to “stand good” on it if anything
becomes a problem in the future. He also has to buy it at a price
which will enable him to resell it at a profit which will be
consistent with his cost of doing business. He may then also have to
deal with the problem of the possibility of his being in the position
of dealing with stolen goods. He could easily be put out of business
if he were to be caught with “hot goods”. In reality, many jewelers
will buy gold and stone jewelry only when the value of the stones is
relatively great, the stones are in good condition and the price is a
small fraction of what he might have to pay at retail. Many jewelers
will then pop out the stones and melt the gold…for fairly obvious
reasons. As for the jewelers’ pitch about people not relating to
Tsavorite that is a reasonable statement considering the fact that too
many jewelers don’t have a good background in gemology and considering
that the public knows even less… I would recommend that you call
around and see whether there are any jewelers in your area who take on
consignments. If there are , I would then make inquiries about his
reputation. Thereafter, I would see what he might be able to sell it
for and whether his cut was reasonable. You should never make this
arrangement with someone who has not been in the area for a
substantial period of time. We do a considerable amount of consignment
trade, but we never take in mechandise that is in questionable
condition because we stand behind what we sell. Our cut is one
third…others may want half. The ad in the paper routine is risky.
You don’t know who you may be dealing with and the people who respond
to your kind of ad can be real opportunists (putting it mildly).
Ulimately, the best way for you to sell the ring is through friends.
Putting an ad on a bulletin board at work or in a club newsletter or
telling your hairdresser about it are good ways to go.
Good luck ! Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.