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How you can pawn or sell your Jewelry

Maybe you have a necklace from your great aunt that you no longer need. Or maybe you’re in a tough spot financially, and need to make rent, bills, or groceries. A fast and easy way to make money is to take your jewelry to a pawn shop.

There are two ways you can make money at a pawn shop with your jewelry. You can either pawn it or sell it. If you choose to sell, the pawn shop gives you money for your item and you walk away with money. If you choose to pawn your item, the pawn shop issues you a small, short-term loan that you repay over the course of months. When the term of the loan is complete, you get your item back. If you do not pay back your loan, the pawn shop either puts your jewelry up for resale, or sell the jewelry for scrap. However, over 90% of pawners get their item back.

Because most jewelry has sentimental value, many people with short-term financial needs prefer to pawn their jewelry instead of sell it. Most pawn shops respect that your jewelry has sentimental value, and will try to accommodate you even if you miss a payment so that you don’t lose it.

How pawn shops value your jewelry

While pawn shops will honor your jewelry’s sentimental value by helping you avoid default, that’s not how they’ll assign monetary value to it. Pawn shops look mainly at the materials that your jewelry is made of. If your jewelry is silver, it will have 3 numbers which measure its purity in parts per thousand. An engraving of “925” means your silver is 92.5% silver. If you notice a “PLAT” next to the three numbers, your jewelry is platinum, which is more expensive than gold. If you have gold, look for 2 numbers and a “K”. That number is also a measure of purity in parts per 24, where 24K is 100% gold. 18K is 75% gold.

Now take the purity and multiply it by the weight of the metal to get the total content of precious metals in your jewelry. The total content of precious metal multiplied by the price is the market rate of your raw materials. If your jewelry has any gems in it, the jewelry is worth the price of the metal in addition to the price of the gemstones. Keep in mind though, you won’t receive the same amount you paid at retail. That’s for two reasons. The first is that pawn shops have to resell items in order to stay in business. The second is that retail jewelry has a very high mark-up, compared to the value of the stone and the metal. They generally offer around 60% of what the jewelry is worth at wholesale, but unlike a true wholesaler, they will give you the money the same day you arrive in the store. No need to wait a week.

How to prepare your jewelry to sell

Don’t try this at home! Please do not clean your jewelry. Your jewelry might be gold-plated instead of solid gold and you could easily wipe off the finish. If you insist on having it cleaned before, you should take your jewelry to a professional jeweler to get it cleaned. However, unlike many other items that pawn shops trade in, most are equipped to properly clean jewelry. So you don’t have to.

If you have any papers or certifications or accessories that came with the jewelry, please bring them into the pawn shop. Your certifications help prove the worth of the jewelry, and are useful for negotiating the best possible price. Pawn shops will evaluate the metal and the gems based on their own tools and judgment, in combination with those documents.

Common types of jewelry include rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, pendants, brooches, amulets, and lockets. Pawn shops take all kinds of jewelry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you pawn or sell engraved jewelry?

Yes. You can sell your engraved jewelry to a pawn shop. Pawn shops want any jewelry you can give them. At a very minimum, each piece of jewelry is worth the metal and the gems it currently has.

If I pawn or sell multiple types of jewelry, should I bring them in all at the same time?

Sure! Just remember to keep your metals and purities separate. Keep all the types of metals separate, and keep all the pieces separated by purity. They give you money based on the lowest purity in the current batch, so if you have a 16K gold ring, a 16K gold necklace, and 24K gold ring, pawn or sell the 16K gold separate from the 24K gold.

Are there any tricks you can help me with?

Yes, please think of how much money you need before you go into the pawn shop. If you have a price point, pawn shops can help you figure out how much you have to pawn or sell to meet that amount. If you pawn or sell more than one item, pawn shops can usually get you a deal.

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