7 On Your Side

People selling old jewelry for scrap could miss out on extra cash

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Looking for some extra holiday money? Many people have jewelry they never wear. A lot of them sell it for the price of the gold or silver it contains, but they could be cheating themselves out of extra cash.

Rheta Cole is arriving at the San Francisco office of Circa, an international jewelry firm. She is there to sell some of her jewelry.

"I've had them in my drawer for quite some time and it is time for an update I think," she said.

Circa's Shannon Beck goes over each piece. The metal is identified, the diamonds and other stones examined, but it is different from selling gold.

"We look at every item as a piece of jewelry, so we don't look at it as just gold, but as a stylish gold necklace," Beck said.

What one bracelet lacks in gold and stones it makes up for in pedigree.

"This is a Van Cleef & Arpels bracelet, so this is one of their well-known lines, the Alhambra," Beck said.

It is worth more than the Rolex and diamond tennis bracelet combined. It wouldn't have been like that if this was a straight up gold buy. The total take for the trip? $10,350.

You could also sell your jewelry at the Home Consignment Center in Danville. Inside, there is a jewelry consignment desk run by Al Trepper.

"Sixty percent goes to the customer, 40 percent goes to us and that's how we work," Trepper said. "We figure the price and come up a price that I know a customer will buy it."

The gold and stones matter, but again that is not the end all be all.

"We take it as a piece of jewelry that they can put on their fingers and on their hand and manufacturing, the style, everything is important," Trepper said.

Christy McBain sold a Rolex watch there.

"It was very, very easy; you just walk in, show them what you have, they look at it, they put a value on it, you leave it with them and within a short period of time it is sold," she said.

Cole left happy as well.

"Why keep something I am not going to wear when I can take the money and put it into something newer? And then I will enjoy wearing that," she asked.

Of course, you can always sell on eBay, and the website is a great way to value your items before selling or consigning the pieces. The take away is that sometimes jewelry is worth more than the sum of its parts.

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