Where the local auction house has traditionally been the place to buy antique furniture, ceramics and glass, it has been to a jeweller that you will go to sell a diamond ring or gold necklace.
However, everything is changing and the auction house is diversifying. Instead of parcelling up pieces of gold and sending them off to who knows where based on a TV advert for a rather random valuation based on decisions over current market prices, purity and weight, your local auctioneer is now able to produce the same weighing scales and up to date knowledge of the precious metals market. He also provides you with the broader choice of being able to sell your item as a piece of jewellery or intrinsically for scrap and protect your item with a reserve, so if your piece of jewellery doesn’t reach the agreed limit, it won’t sell and you can find another form of outlet to realise some cash.
So where selling a piece of jewellery to a jeweller always means a substantial reduction for the seller who has to support someone else’s profit margin, the auction provides the possibility of rival bidding which can push prices higher.
For the buyer, the auction value of jewellery tends to be substantially lower than retail so provides the ideal situation for someone looking for a bargain. According to Emily Barber of Bonhams, the price of diamonds has gone down 20% over the past year but the demand for them hasn’t diminished and sales at their jewellery auctions are exceeding estimates and they are selling 80% of their stock.
So whilst selling at auctions is brisk, it seems sensible to take the plunge and take your jewellery to auction to realise a healthy return on your investment.
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