A guest post from Ali and Anna from Gray & Davis.
We had a great time talking about antique jewels at the Brainery last week, thanks for having us!
Since our shop is located in the Diamond District, we found that a lot of people in the class were curious about navigating that notorious stretch of 47th between 5th and 6thAvenues. With that in mind, we put together a couple of tips to help pavé your way and avoid any unfortunate cases of buyer’s (or seller’s) remorse.
If you are selling something:
- Don’t feel like you have to accept the first offer you get. Show your jewelry to a lot of different dealers, and get as many different price quotes as you can. If somebody is trying to low ball you, their offer will quickly reveal itself as the outlier. Honest dealers won’t have an issue with you taking a few hours or a few days to consider things.
- If you aren’t sure of the value of your piece, don’t suggest a price. You may accidentally undervalue your jewelry! If a dealer asks you how much money you’re hoping to get, it’s ok to tell them you’re just trying to see what people will offer.
If you are buying something:
- Again, don’t let anyone pressure you into making a quick decision.
- Do some research online and make sure the business you are dealing with doesn’t have a lot of unhappy customers.
- Ask what the store’s return policy is, make sure that you are comfortable with it, and make sure that it is in writing (either on your receipt or on their website).
- On your receipt, ask the dealer write out all the details of your piece, i.e. type of metal, variety, quality and size of gemstones and the approximate age of the piece if you are purchasing an antique. Make sure they guarantee the information on the receipt, so that if you ever find they were incorrect you can get your money back. This is a normal request, and legitimate businesses will be happy to oblige.
- If you are buying an expensive gemstone, ask if the stone is natural, has been treated or is a synthetic stone. Ask the dealer to put this information in writing as well.
- Avoid purchasing “fracture filled” or “clarity enhanced” diamonds. These terms refer to diamonds that have been partially filled with glass to make large cracks less apparent. This treatment is not stable, and over time the filling can get cloudy or fall out. Fracture filled diamonds have no real resale value, so don’t get stuck with one!
If you want more information about finding your way around the Diamond District, check out our BLOG.
If you really don’t want to trek to midtown, we’ll have a selection of pieces at the Brooklyn Flea in Williamsburg on September 7th!