What You Need to Know Before Selling Your Jewelry

JewerySelling estate jewelry is a smart way to earn some extra money. After all, fashion trends have shifted in recent years. You may have plenty of old jewelry, but no genuine reason to wear it anymore.

 

That said, these pieces may also hold sentimental value. You want to make sure you’re getting the best price you can when parting with something this special.

 

If you’re thinking about selling diamonds, or any other estate jewelry, keep these tips in mind.

 

Gather Information

 

It’s easier to determine the correct value of a piece of jewelry when you have information about its origins. Before trying to sell a piece, gather any documentation and information you may have, including receipts, the original box, laboratory descriptions, and even family anecdotes about where the piece came from.

 

Clean It

 

The cleaner and more polished your jewelry is, the more valuable it will look. Although there are several methods you can use to clean it on your own, you may want to seek professional help if you’re worried about possibly damaging it.

 

Take Pictures

 

You may not be able to meet in person when first contacting professionals to get a basic assessment of your jewelry’s value. By taking several digital pictures, you can maintain a simple inventory, while also sending the pictures to experts via the Internet.

 

Get a Grading Report

 

Many different factors contribute to a diamond or gemstone’s value, but the four most important include cut, clarity, color, and carat. That’s why it’s important to get a grading report from a qualified professional. This helps you establish your jewelry’s value when meeting with potential buyers.

 

Research Trends

 

Certain types of jewelry may be considered more valuable than others due to current trends. For instance, a report from Bain & Company indicates that diamonds are currently in high demand. This trend is expected to continue through 2030. Familiarizing yourself with these trends is simply another way to confirm your jewelry’s true value.

 

Get Multiple Opinions

 

Don’t accept one appraiser’s opinion when learning how much your jewelry is worth. Having opinions from multiple experts helps you more confidently determine its value. A potential buyer may try to convince you the opinion of one appraiser is wrong. If multiple appraisers generally agree, they’ll have a harder time making that case.

 

Ask About Insurance

 

You may choose to leave your jewelry in the hands of a jeweler while trying to sell it. If you choose to do so, confirm they will insure the pieces first. This is simply their responsibility.

 

Be Honest With Yourself

 

Again, estate jewelry tends to have sentimental value. Don’t make the mistake of selling a piece without taking the time to honestly ask yourself if you’re willing to part with it. Earning money for old jewelry is only beneficial if you feel comfortable with your decision.

 

Most importantly, remember to coordinate with experts. You need proper qualifications and experience to accurately determine estate jewelry’s value. By working with professionals and keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be much more likely to get the best possible offers from buyers.

Being Wise with Your Windfall: Tips for Using Your Tax Refund

coins-currency-investment-insuranceIf you’re expecting a hefty tax refund this year, you may, like many people, intend to have some fun with your windfall. After all, it’s your money and you worked hard for it. There’s nothing wrong with heading out for some much-needed vacation time or buying a big gas grill for those summer cookouts. As tempting as that may sound, before you buy anything, consider the benefits of using a tax refund to better your financial situation.

Savings

If you’re among the many Americans who lack a rainy-day fund, think about setting all or part of your refund aside in an interest-bearing savings account. You never know when the transmission in your car may give out or an aging roof might start to leak. These are costly repairs, and the average American is unprepared for them; in fact, just 39 percent of Americans are capable of covering an emergency costing $1,000 or more. If you lack at least three months worth of emergency savings, that tax refund may serve you better as an emergency financial reserve.

If your roof could use some work, repairing it is an excellent use for a tax refund. You’ll head off more serious problems resulting from neglect somewhere down the line. But be diligent in looking for a qualified roofing contractor, and ask yourself several questions to determine what, exactly, you need. Check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure your contractor is accredited, and check out the BBB website for complaints or any disputes or scams a company may have been involved in, as well as tips regarding what to look out for.

Pay Down Debt

Debt is a fact of life for most Americans. If you struggle with credit card debt or are behind on the mortgage, your refund can help you out. Paying off debt is a smart move because the high-interest merry-go-round can be very hard to get off when you’re just managing it by paying the minimum every month. That can take you years to pay off even a moderate amount.

College Savings

According to CNN Money, most Americans can expect to pay about $57,000 for a degree at a public college, and more than $100,000 at a private institution. That’s a lot of money for anyone. Why not use your refund to open a 529 or Coverdell education savings account? And investing in your state’s 529 plan may result in a nice state income tax deduction. However, beware of using the money for unqualified purposes, which can earn you a 10 percent penalty.

Roth IRA

A Roth IRA lets you stash money away that becomes tax-free after age 59.5 as long as it’s been open for at least five years. You can contribute to it as you wish and withdraw the sum of your contributions without being hit with a tax or penalty. Your Roth earnings can be used tax-free for education expenses or for a first-time home purchase.

Invest in Yourself

You are your own most valuable resource, your best hope for earning and growing your assets. Improve your ability to do that by investing in training, additional education, or by joining a professional association. It’s a good way to sharpen your skill set, pick up new knowledge, and make valuable new professional connections. The more you can improve yourself, the more valuable you’ll be to an employer or to clients.

Travel

Speaking of self-improvement, are you aware that travel broadens perspective and helps you keep problems, challenges, failures, and successes in their proper context? Think about spending a portion of your refund to go someplace new, a destination that’s always interested you.

Think of a tax refund as an opportunity, an annual chance to improve your financial situation and personal prospects. Think carefully before heading off to the Jacuzzi store or ordering a season football ticket package. By being strategic with your financial prospects, you can put yourself in a much better position to acquire those “toys” you really want and achieve financial security.