What To Know About Buying/Selling Estate Jewelry January 22, 2020 12:24
Selling Your Estate Jewelry
The first thing we tell anyone who inherits jewelry - be it a little or a lot - DO NOT TOSS ANYTHING OUT! We have seen too many instances where people mistake the real thing for costume jewelry and vice versa. Take all the items to a trusted professional with experience, test equipment and a solid reputation. Let them tell you what you have.
The second most important thing to know is that generally speaking, Estate jewelry is like any other used item - it is not going to sell for the replacement cost or any where near the cost of a new piece. There ARE exceptions, but a general rule of thumb for a sales price if the item is in good, very good or excellent condition is 50% of the cost of a similar new item.
Exceptions might include Rolex watches, designer pieces, collectible items - signed pieces, etc.
A popular misconception is that diamonds and diamond jewelry appreciate in value. Some of this is because of misunderstanding appraisal value. For example, say I do an appraisal on a 1.00 ct G color SI1 clarity round diamond mounted in a 14kt white gold solitaire for someone today. I might advise them to insure the ring for $6,700.00 as a replacement value. Should Ms X pass away tomorrow, will her family be able to sell the diamond ring for $6,700? NO, not even close. I am advising them with the appraisal that in my professional opinion based on 23 years in the business that if they lost the ring, $6,700 would be enough to replace it with a similar ring. Who in their right mind would buy something used for the price of the same item new?
Think about it - pick any item you own that might be covered by insurance. A musical instrument, your car, electronic equipment, smart phone, etc. If your house burned most insurance policies will cover replacement cost (the good policies anyway), but would you use that as a tool to sell your used car, TV, phone, or guitar? No, because no one is going to pay you the same amount for a used whatever as they would for a NEW one. They would be silly. The same principle applies to Aunt Susie's diamond tennis bracelet that she had insured for $7,000. It is used, so expecting it to sell for the price of a new one is not realistic. (Exception, it was a Tiffany piece made in the 1920s in mint condition.....then MAYBE.)
People like to think that this process somehow means jewelry prices are super inflated or fake or what ever. Simply not true. The replacement or new value of ANY ITEM is generally considerably more than what you can sell the used item for. People want to hold used jewelry to a different standard some how and I do not understand it.
We have 20 years experience in the jewelry business and we also have test equipment that helps us find the gold and diamonds in the midst of costume jewelry.
So - what does this help cost? Well, if you will allow us to buy the silver and gold, we don't charge you to look for it. If you just need a general evaluation and to separate out the fine jewelry from the rest, we work on an hourly basis (Cliff is pretty darn fast at this, too) We charge $40 an hour.
If we find some really nice pieces, we can sell them for you on consignment here in our store OR we have a network of people we work with in NYC, Chicago, Dallas, and LA who buy big, estate pieces. We have been able to help people realize more money in their pockets by this networking.
A Sample Of New Jewelry Made Here At Chimera Design June 28, 2019 13:34
90 second video of some of the latest handmade jewelry at Chimera Design from the bench of Julie Claire DeVoe.
Just What She Had In Mind - New Jewelry From Old June 27, 2019 17:51
Sue had three rings containing nine diamonds that she was not wearing any longer. She had an idea in her head for all the gold and diamonds to be combined into a single ring.
She wanted it to be 10-11mm wide at the top and taper down. She wanted the diamonds to be set as low as possible. We can do that! We sent a quick sketch to Jere (at first she had 7 diamonds, then found a pair of earrings so the sketch shows 7).
Jere took my lovely (!) sketch and sent me back several CAD images for Sue to look at.
Sue approved the CAD image, so we cut the wax. Sue took at look at it and said, "That is exactly what I had in mind." Next step was melting down her old gold, casting the ring, setting all the diamonds and polishing everything up. The result was this:
Well, Sue was beside herself when she picked up the ring. One of the things we love about our "job" is helping people bring a piece of jewelry from thought to reality. Sue let me get my phone and capture some of her happiness:
We Now Offer Fingerprint Jewelry & Photoengraved Jewelry June 20, 2019 11:33We have partnered with some experts in photo engraving and fingerprint jewelry: Photograve. Made in the US. Lifetime warranty on the photo engraving process.
Chimera Design Crafts Custom Jewelry Using Elk Ivory April 12, 2019 13:05
Chimera Design has crafted many pieces of custom jewelry featuring elk ivory over the years.
In Which Cliff Changes His Mind About Moissanite March 16, 2019 17:52
Cliff was never a big fan of Moissanite. That all changed in 2015 and he explains why in this blog post.
Chimera Design In Lowell Michigan is EV Friendly - Two Chargepoint Stations February 23, 2019 12:36
We are very proud of the fact that Lowell - our favorite town in Michigan is EV Friendly. We have two Chargepoint charging stations in Lowell - one of them is right behind our store at 204 E Main Street Lowell, MI 49331
Here is a picture of Cliff's Zero - a fully electric motorcycle made in California. A full charge at home takes 8 hours, but the Chargepoint drops that down to 2.5 hours if the bike is below 10%.
The addresses for the Chargepoint stations in Lowell.
204 E Main Street Lowell MI 49331
302 W Main Street Lowell MI 49331
The 204 E Main location is close to Main Street BBQ and about 1 block from Sweet Seasons Coffee & Bakery.
The 302 W Main location is 1/2 block from the immensely popular New Union Brewery.
We Can Help You With Inherited Jewelry February 20, 2019 15:44Inherit some jewelry and not sure what is or is not valuable? Chimera Design can help you.
Chimera Design Now Offers Pocket Watch Repair & Service August 8, 2018 10:50 1 Comment
We now offer service, repair, and restoration of pocket watches.
Learn To Be A Bench Jeweler - Get a Job Anywhere in The Country July 10, 2018 13:27The jewelry industry has a need for skilled workers. There is a demand for trained bench jewelers all over the country.
Cliff Explains Karats, Carats, and Carrots June 29, 2018 15:53Ever wonder about karat, carat, and carrot? Three words that sound the same but have nothing to do with each other.
Why Is My Ring Turning My Finger Black? May 1, 2018 13:25
We get this question from time to time. Mostly from women, but also from men once in a while. The answer can be quite complicated (sorry). It can be as simple as taking the ring off at night, but it can be very complex and involve medications or hand lotions.
The answer below was copied from one of our favorite trade magazines, InStore. This was in the April 2018 edition. It is an excellent summary of areas to investigate if your ring is causing a reaction:
"Here is some helpful information: What do you do with a customer who claims their rings are turning their finger black?
Ask her if she’s recently changed her choice of hand lotion or make-up. This is the most common cause of such smudging, as cosmetics often contain chemical compounds, which — astonishingly — are harder than the jewelry itself. When these hard compounds come in contact with jewelry metals, abrasion occurs, causing tiny particles of metal to break off as a black dust. When mixed with perspiration or other liquids, it results in the alarming black stain.
It’s also possible that a change in diet or even a new course of medication is resulting in a chemical reaction where perspiration and metal meet. If she is going swimming with her jewelry on, chlorine is another possible suspect. To prevent the smudging, suggest she avoid cosmetics that contain zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, ferric oxide and calamine.
Also, tell her to try removing the rings while applying cosmetics and cleaning her fingers with soap and water in areas that will be in contact with her jewelry. Finally, if the problem persists, suggest she consider having the inside of the bands coated with rhodium to prevent such a reaction."
InStore Magazine "Ask InStore" April 2018 edition