Selling Jewelry & Appraising Jewelry

Parent Q&A

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  • Assess Jewelry

    (3 replies)

    My teenagers and I recently inherited a bunch of rings and other jewelry that we'd like to learn more about as we decide what to sell, donate, or keep (and if we sell, how to describe the items accurately). I don't think any of it is really valuable, so we're not looking for extensive appraisals or valuations; we'd just like to know whether the tiny stones in a bracelet are diamonds or cz, for example, or whether the black center of a cocktail ring is plastic or onyx. Obviously we aren't jewelry people so we can't do much ourselves aside from looking for gold or silver hallmarks. Does anyone know of a jeweler or someone else that we could pay by the hour to take a quick look at 30 or so small pieces and just tell us what they're made of? 

    I'd give 1000 Oaks Jewelers on upper Solano [across from the Wells Fargo branch] a call. 
    (510) 526-7563

    Yarnal Jewelers in Castro Valley has been our family jeweler since the late 90s. Sherry and Ralph are the most genuinely kind and knowledgeable jewelers you’ll ever meet.

    Sherry has appraised my grandmothers antique jewelry including 5 generations of cameos, she has an hourly rate. I later found the documentation and she was dead on. Ralph and my husband designed my wedding rings and Sherry helped us pick the diamonds. You couldn’t ask for a better family jeweler.

    Pave in two locations does this work as well.

  • Any recommendations about getting some fine estate jewelry assessed and sold? 

    The pieces are of value, made about 40 years ago. We need to know the fair market value to figure out how to divide among family. We're looking to sell (though no rush), and in the meantime, aren't keen on paying for proper insurance.  Appreciate your advice and lessons learned!

    I used an appraiser when I was in a similar situation. They provide "replacement value" which is far above "market value." It is also expensive. Taking the pieces to an auction house will get you something closer to market value. Or you could go to someplace like Lang Jewels or Circa. They buy and sell fine jewelry. 

    I took some nice jewelry that my grandmother left me to a local jeweler and paid for an appraisal. He wrote up an official appraisal of the gemstones in the jewelry that I could take to the insurance company if I wanted the jewelry appraised. There was one expensive gemstone that he said I had to send away if I wanted really official paperwork on the value. A few pieces that were made of gold I took to a local goldsmith, and he basically looked at the gold content and told me what it was worth; he also bought a few from me based on the gold only, and gave me a good price. But neither of them did the "Antique Road Show" appraisal where they think about the historical implications, etc, and they didn't tell me how much I could sell it for based on whether it was set well or fashionable. So it really depends how valuable you think your jewelry is. If it's just the gems you want appraised, any jeweler will do that. If you're talking about "Antique Road Show" level jewelry, then you might have to visit one of the larger auction houses, or Lang's Antique's in SF. FYI the local jeweler I went to is Seelenbacher Jewelers and the goldsmith is the Silver Baron.

    You might consider reaching out to Clars Auction Gallery.  They have a gemologist in their jewelry department and they also hold auctions monthly.  

  • Where to sell old or custom jewelry

    (2 replies)

    I have 2 sets of wedding bands, one from my mom's first marriage in the 60s (white gold band and engagement ring with tiny diamond), and one from my first marriage in the 90s (18k gold custom made Celtic design with half carat diamond), that I would like to sell, either as is or, more likely, for materials, as my mom's set is not particularly interesting and mine is probably too unique to appeal to many people.  I don't need an appraisal, I just want some ideas of who might buy things like this.  All of the archive info is more than 10 years old.  Thanks in advance!

    I have gone to Selenbacher Jeweler's and SIlver Baron, both on Webster Street in Alameda. At Silver Baron, the owner has a friend who buys the jewelry so you need to call ahead to make sure the friend is around. Sometimes they will buy the jewelry, sometimes they will pay you only for the metal. 

    I recently sold a diamond ring with It could not be easier. You create an account and they will send you a mailer and label with free shipping or you can put it in your own box or mailer and print the label at home. You drop it at the post office and within 2 days they emailed me an offer to purchase the ring. I had no idea what the ring was worth, I wasn't trying to make a bunch of money, I just wanted the bad energy of the ring from a broken engagement out of my life. If you accept the offer they will give you your money through PayPal, bank deposit or check. If you don't accept the offer they will send you back your items for free. 

  • Jewelry Consignment

    (1 reply)

    I only have one pair of earrings to consign, but I think that they are of some value based on the jewels and quality of craftsmanship (I received them as a gift, but have never worn them). I live in the East Bay ~ can anyone recommend a good appraiser and consigner? Does one pay for an appraisal, or is it part of the consignment professional's cost of doing business? Thank you.

    Hello there, 

    we used diamonds4cashsf on Union Square in San Francisco. They offered a free appraisal and purchased the diamond earrings straight out from us. I am not sure if they do consignment, but was glad I found them. Here is their phone number 415-956-0230. I hope this helps. 

  • I inherited a ring that isn't my style. It might not be anyone's style but the gemstones and materials are very valuable. Its just sitting in a safety deposit box but I was thinking I could sell it and get something I would actually wear. Can anyone recommend a fair and reputable jeweler who occasionally buys rings?

    I recommend Givin Gold on Piedmont Avenue. They've always been fair/reasonable with use - we've had various rings resized and a ring custom made.

    Hi- I have recently repurposed jewelry that I was given by a dear deceased friend.  You might consider doing what I did: find a jewelry designer whose work you like.  Bring them your jewelry and you can collaborate with them on a new piece incorporating the materials from your inherited piece.  Unused gold, for instance, can be resold by the jeweler and the proceeds allocated to the cost of your new custom piece. It's a really nice way to retain the emotional value and the material essence of your inheritance.

     We just sold a big lot of jewelry to Jahan Diamond Imports in San Francisco, which we inherited from my mom. We are 3 siblings and agreed that since none of us would use the pieces to consolidate them. My brother the trustee had the pieces appraised and evaluated and also got a few quotes from other jewelers. The best offer was from this company. They were transparent in the whole transaction. Payment was not a problem for them either. Here their phone number 415-956-6391. 

    I also inherited some jewelry and sold them for a good price at Selenbacher Jewelers and Silver Baron in Alameda. Both very honest. Call ahead first. 

  • Jewelry appraisal help

    (1 reply)

    My mom has asked me to have her jewelry appraised, including an antique watch, and then to sell it for her. I have absolutely no idea where to start! I am hoping someone might be able to tell me how to find a reputable person or business to help me this process. How do I know if a person or business is trustworthy - is there some sort of credential or certification I should be looking for? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 

    [Moderator Note] See past advice here:

    I suggest Clars in Oakland. I haven't sold anything there. But I have had them look at a few things I was considering selling and their insight was helpful. I have purchased several things. It seems to be a very well-run business. 

  • jewelry appraisal

    (2 replies)

    Any recommendations for a place that will appraise jewelry for insurance purposes?  Preferably where you don't need to leave it for several days?  Thank you.

    I made an appointment at 14 carats on College for a time when their appraiser could meet.  I didn't have to leave my ring; she took several photos and mailed me the appraisal.  The cost was reasonable.

    I had some jewelry appraised at Fisher's Custom Jewelry on Solano Avenue in Berkeley. I did have to leave it for a couple of days, but they were very nice and professional. I would use them again. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Need A Fair, Honest Jewelry Appraiser

Dec 2008

I need a fair, honest jewelry appraiser. I am willing to travel within the Bay Area for the right person. Grateful

If you can get free on Thursday morning. Clars Auction Gallery has a free appraisal clinic from 9:00 ~ 12:00. They have no stake in it so you can believe them. The folks there have a lot of training and experience. Of course, they just tell you what you can expect to get at their auction. But, also will recommend other ways to sell things. They can test for metal type, actually can just see & feel what it is... They are good!

Oak Jewelers on upper Solano Ave in Berkeley are very honest, and reliable. I've had pieces appraised there before. It's a family run business and they've been around for a while. anon

I'd recommend Maury Woulf. He has his own shop in El Cerrito, but he does appraisals by appointment at your home, if you want. He is reliable and professional. He is an accredited member of the International Society of Appraisers and an associate member of the American Society of Appraisers and a certified gemologist. Call the store, Woulf & Ury Jewelers, 510-524-3600. Chloe

I can't speak highly enough about Jan of CHRISTEN HELLER JEWELERS on College Ave in Oakland (655-5952). When I inherited jewelery from my mother in law, I brought it all in to her and she went through every piece, telling me what it was, how much it was worth and any repairs that were needed. When I was robbed and a great deal of my wonderful jewelry was stolen, she helped me with the police report. You can totally trust her and she is a delight to work [email protected] A VERY SATISFIED CUSTOMER

Inherited Jewelry - Trading Up?

Aug 2008

I inherited a few pieces of jewelry that are sort of valuable (precious stones, precious metals, not too fancy) and really not my style. They've been sitting here unworn for years. Is there any way or any place where I can trade them in for something that I would wear and enjoy? I have asked a a few boutique jewelry stores in Berkeley, but none have said that they would make such a trade. curious

I used CIRCA in SF about a year ago to sell a ring. They are very professional and once you sell you are on their list to purchase items that others have sold to them (which I wasn't interested in). I felt I got a good price and the service was amazing. Also, I felt no pressure at all to either sell or buy. Another option, but I did not want to go this route, is to go to an auction house. satisfied

Looking for reputable appraisers

March 2008

I'm looking for reputable appraisers in the Berkeley/Albany/El Cerrito or Walnut Creek/Lafayette area. Please let me know if you had direct experience of the appraiser, the level of detail in their reports, and any other info you think would be useful. I have not needed this service before, so any tips or insights would helpful. ppk

1000 Oaks Jewelers the top of Solano does Jewelry appraisal. Don't know about coins. I brought diamond bracelet to them several years ago that my mother had given me. I got it with a document stating approx. age, carats of diamond and value. I never got around to selling it so would probably have to have it appraised again. They're really nice there and the price was reasonable. anon

Selling Fine Jewelry

March 2008

I am looking for a reliable, trustworthy jeweler who buys fine jewelry. Some of the jewelry is heirloom, others pieces are more modern. All have gemstones. Any recommendations for where to reliably sell such items would be appreciated. East Bay Mom

Hi there ~ I'm just responding to the East Bay mom who is looking for someone to appraise and possibly purchase her fine jewelry. A very nice woman I know, Julie Stine (mom of my son's classmate) does exactly that...she lives in Walnut Creek and said she would be interested in taking a look at what you have. My sister has worked with her before and she was very helpful. Here's her contact information: Email ~ adreamcometrue[at] & cell# 925 683-4010 Shannon

I used Circa in SF this past summer to sell a fairly expensive ring. The service was very good, discrete, and non-pressured. The environment is also very relaxing, which I appreciated. It is definitely upscale. I used their 30-day consignment approach (you can also sell out right) and got more money for the ring. I had gone to only one other seller (also in SF) and walked out after a few minutes because of the pressured tactics. satisfied

Where to sell pearl necklace & earrings

Oct 2006

I have a pearl necklace and a pair of pearl earrings that I would like to sell. I am looking for an honest appraiser and also any suggestions on finding a place to sell the pieces. Thanks! anon.

Responding to the person looking for a jewelry appraiser and intending to sell a pearl necklace.

I am a jewelry appraiser and would be happy to offer you some advice on selling your pearls. Depending on the qualifications of the appraiser, a formal appraisal of your pearl necklace could run as much as you're likely to get for a previously owned pearl necklace. I suggest a half hour consultation, wherein I will grade your pearls and give you my considered opinion of the marketable cash value of your pearls in the market where items of this nature are most commonly sold. I am also a retail jeweler and will consider purchasing or consigning your pearls for resale. My qualifications include being a graduate gemologist and a certified appraiser of personal property member of the International Society of Appraisers. I also have 38 years of experience in the jewelry business. Maury Woulf, ISA CAPP, GG, Appraiser of Gems, Jewelry, Watches, Clocks and Silver. Woulf & Ury Jewelers, 10572 San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito, CA 94530. 510-524-3600 Maury Woulf

Where to sell jewelry that I never wear

Nov 2003

I have jewelry that I never wear - including an engagement ring. As a single mom I think I can make better use of it. Is there a place that buys ''used'' jewelry? I have never done this before so I am pretty lost and would appreciate a recommendation. Thanks.

The furniture consignments stores in Walnut Creek and San Rafael have jewelry counters. Try Consignments Plus in Walnut Creek and Home Consignment Center in San Rafael. You might also look into Ebay. cynthia

Try Bill's Trading Post/the Gem Gallery on College Ave in Berkeley (the Elmwood neighborhood). Monique

If the jewelry is spectacular, try Sotheby's or Christie's auction houses. We have sold some family jewelry through Lang's in SF. Ask for Suzanne. She is very nice and will give you the option of consigning the jewelry or getting a check outright. If you want to sell diamonds for the stones, Al Wallace on Railroad Ave in Livermore will give you a good deal and a quick check. Hope this helps! trumbore

Want to sell fine jewelry that was given to me

Dec 2003

I have some fine jewelry that was given to me years ago that I've never really liked. I'm finally thinking it's time to sell it. I have no idea how to find an appraiser or how to go about selling jewelry. Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks. itw

I recommend Cresalia Jewelers in San Francisco. 6 years ago, after looking all over for an honest jeweler with a large selection of new and used rings (we went everywhere from Shane Co. to the SF Market...), we happened upon Cresalia, and bought my engagement ring and both of our wedding bands there. They are family-owned & operated, decently priced, not pushy, and they know their stuff. They have a lot of new items, but also a large collection of antique and older things, so they must do appraisals and purchases too. I was just there last week having my ring checked and cleaned, 2 toddlers in tow, and they were as nice as ever. Heidi

I have used Fisher's on Solano (cross street Santa Fe) in Berkeley and have been very pleased. You can take the jewelry in to get advice on it's worth and they can do an official appraisal if you want to. I think I paid $85 for the appraisal.

Getting jewelry appraised

May 2003

Can anyone recommend a jewelry appraiser or jewelry store that does appraisals? I need to have some items appraised for insurance purposes. Thank you! Molly

Live Oak Jewelers on the upper part of Solano Avenue in Berkeley does appraisals. They're really nice and very reasonable. June

The only appraiser we could find in the east bay was Montclair Jewelers. Make sure you call first, because they are closed one day a week (can't remember which day). They will take your jewelery for a week or so, so be prepared to leave it. LK

Try Pave Jewelers on College Avenue in Rockridge--they've done a great job appraising a few antique pieces for me for insurance purposes. It takes a week or two, so won't work if you're in a rush. Julie