When a jewelry buyer purchases a used diamond ring, the metal will most likely be melted down and either sold or reused to create a new ring, bracelet or necklace.
As for the stone, it will be sold separately as a loose diamond or remounted onto a new jewelry piece.
Sometimes, however, the jeweler will leave the ring intact, clean it to make it look good, and sell it. And sometimes you may end up being the one buying it.
The Good Part About Used Jewelry
So what’s so good about buying used jewelry in the first place? Simply, it’s usually much cheaper than if you were to buy it new.
The jewelers selling used jewelry offer discounts that can sometimes reach 30-50%, which is pretty good considering how much some of these pieces can cost brand new.
Finding Used Jewelry
As a common practice, jewelers selling used merchandise will label it as such. “Estate Jewelry” is one term used to designate used jewelry.
Another such term is “Pre-Owned Jewelry” (or “Previously Owned”).
Sometimes, the used jewelry will be labeled “Refurbished”.
If you see any of these signs or labels, along with the telltale huge discounts, you can be certain that you are dealing with used jewelry.
Used Jewelry Scams: How to Avoid Them
Although second-hand jewelry will usually be labeled as used, there are jewelers who will try to sell you a used piece as new.
Of course, you don’t want to pay full price for something that has been used. That’s why you need to be very careful when shopping.
What are the signs that certain jewelry has been used?
In general, any sign of wear suggests that you may be dealing with a used piece. Any scratches in the metal or small chips in the gemstones are giveaway signs.
Check out the prongs, and see if they are worn down. If the piece doesn’t look new on closer inspection, stay away – you shouldn’t be paying full price for it.
Should You Buy Used Jewelry?
The biggest problem with used jewelry is that it is, well, used.
This means that its parts have been more or less worn out, so you should keep in mind that clasps, prongs, chain links, ring walls, etc. are not in their best shape.
Depending on the degree of wear, you might need to get some of these components strengthened or even fixed soon.
Otherwise, you may run the risk of losing your gemstones due to loose prongs or have your jewelry piece come apart while you’re wearing it.
To make an informed purchase decision, you should always take a close look at the jewelry you are about to buy used, preferably using a jewelry loupe.
Look for signs of excessive wear, especially thinned-out or even broken prongs.
Ask the jeweler what it would cost to have the excessively worn-out elements rebuilt or replaced, and factor this amount into the cost of purchase, along with the discounted price.
Make a buying decision only as long as you are satisfied with the condition of the jewelry and the total cost you will need to pay.
Buying used is a great way to save some money on jewelry. As long as you are aware that a piece is used, and you are comfortable with its level of wear, go ahead.
Just make sure you are not paying as much as you would if you were to buy the jewelry brand new.