How do you value vintage costume jewelry?


Quick Answer

To find a value for your vintage costume jewelry, hire a professional appraiser or research similar items on auction or specialty websites. If the jewelry comes from an actual brand, check books or magazines that list specific collector's items from those brands. Vintage costume jewelry contains various metals and gems or stones that are easy to value individually.

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Full Answer

Hiring an appraiser is the most reliable way to get an accurate valuation for jewelry. Appraisers regularly identify pieces and know how to get a value assignment through professionals in their networks. Some appraisers offer to purchase items or can direct you to other purchasers.

One drawback to price matching with an auction site is that the final sale price is likely to be under the actual valuation of the item you are researching. However, it provides a ballpark figure of what to expect your piece is worth to buyers. Other sites for collectors help you identify any unmarked items you have. They have databases full of jewelry pieces and search criteria that allow you to narrow down specific characteristics, such as metals, coloring, stones or types of jewelry.

Many items of costume jewelry created in the 1920s or later were designed with base metals and low-value stones or gems. Ask a regular jeweler to determine the materials your jewelry contains and their value. Many brand name pieces contain gold, silver and some valuable stones.

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