What do you need to know when consigning your fine jewelry?
We had no clue. But recently we had the chance to get to know more about The RealReal’s jewelry consignment process. They just opened up a valuation office in our backyard in San Francisco (they also have offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago). You can set up an appointment online to visit. So we did.
The San Francisco office is a treat. It’s a bright and airy space near the Embarcadero; you feel right at home the moment you walk in. So what do they do at a valuation office? It’s pretty simple — they provide a quick, transparent valuation of your jewelry. There’s no obligation to consign, so the valuation office is a fantastic service if you’re wondering what a piece might be worth.
In the past, when we had a few pieces we wanted to get appraised we actually struggled to find someone to do it. A lot of jewelers are not doing appraisals anymore because, frankly, it doesn’t pay well compared to selling new jewelry. Finding out the price of your jewelry can sometimes be a confusing process and jewelers who might be looking to buy your piece might have conflicting incentives.
The RealReal gives you a go-to place to get a jewelry appraisal with a process that is very transparent. They’ve built their brand and reputation on the fact that everything they sell is authentic, so you know you can trust them. Here at Gem Hunt, we love to write about companies that bring transparency to the industry. It’s very important to us.
On our visit, the experts from The RealReal gave us some helpful tips. If you are interested in consigning your jewelry or buying consigned pieces, here’s what you should keep mind:
- Shop around and compare through multiple channels: brick and mortar and online, new and resale. Also, keep in mind all diamonds are billions of years old, so age doesn’t matter as much as quality.
- Pay attention to the details. The notes section of an appraisal certificate can contain critical information that can influence the value. When something looks different, ask questions.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of people insisting they are giving you a “wholesale” price or offering you the deal of a lifetime.
- Be wary of industry speak. If someone says that a diamond is a “grade whiter face up,” that may make the diamond look nicer when you’re wearing it, but it won’t impact its value. It’s important to find a seller who adheres to GIA standards, which grades color from the side of a stone (not the face).
- Most importantly, work with people who have integrity and place trust and transparency above all else in the equation. This is a large, emotional purchase, and who you choose to buy the diamond from is a big part of whether or not you get a good value.
We hope you found these tips as helpful as we did!
We also had a chance to check out some of the fine jewelry they have for sale at TheRealReal.com. We definitely recommend looking at their assortment of engagement rings if you are in the market for one. Our favorite was a 2.35 carat pear cut that we wish we took home with us …