How to Pawn Jewelry

Four Parts:What is the jewelry made of?Assessing the weight and sizeValuing the jewelryPawning the jewelry

When pawning jewelry, do not expect anything near jewelry store prices. That said, it is important to get as much as you can. Following the suggestions here, you will have a better chance of getting decent prices.

Part 1
What is the jewelry made of?

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    Establish the material your jewelry is made of. Pawn shops mostly take gold and platinum. A reputable pawnbroker will consider pearls, branded silver items and precious stones.
    • Normally precious metals have a commodity price per gram which pawn shops pay.

Part 2
Assessing the weight and size

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    Weigh the jewelry with a small jewelry scale. You now have the weight, including the stone, so now you can calculate an approximate value.
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    Multiply the gramme weight by the going rate dealers pawnbrokers pay for scrap gold or platinum. For example your piece weighs 10 Grams then multiply 10 x $35 (check your stores for the best rate as there is normally a 9ct 18ct 24 ct rate).
    • It is very important to check what purity gold/platinum your item is made of. Normally purity is stamped on jewelry. 375 means its 9ct 750 means its 18ct. This is important because pawnbrokers can pull the wool over your eyes by telling you a 18ct item is 9ct. Not all countries use these Hallmarks.
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    Check the size of your diamond or stone. Some pawn shops pay very little for small stones under 0.5 ct as there are many on the market. For larger stones diamond values are calculated according to the Rappaport report (normally half the value of retail prices).
    • Pawnshops normally pay the Rappaport value less 40%.
    • Note that brand names like Cartier, Chopard, Gucci, etc command extra value as they are brand names with fixed resale prices. Dealers should pay 50 to 70 percent of the value on these pieces, see the web for what people sell these for then you should know.

Part 3
Valuing the jewelry

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    Get a gemological report. A gemological report can help you. Get a certified appraisal and take this along to the pawnshop, and it will be easier to get a fair price. An older, dated appraisal won't help you much, as gold and diamond values can change significantly over time. An appraisal less than two years old is your best bet, and having a recent appraisal is likely to bring you more for the jewelry item than would one with no appraisal.
    • Suppose you have a diamond ring with an appraised retail value of $2950.00. You can expect to get approximately 25% to 30% of that retail value when selling to a pawn shop. Figuring your yield this way would bring you about $885.00 for the sale to a pawn shop. This is very close to the yield you would realize using the Rappaport Report. If calculating that way, first divide the appraised retail value [$2950.00] in half, which would be: $1475.00. Now take 40% of that, and your yield from the sale to the pawn shop would be $885.00, or about the same amount as you can expect using the first method, or roughly 30% of the appraised retail value. It works out pretty much the same either way.

Part 4
Pawning the jewelry

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    Note that not all jewelry is marketable. For example, an old ring may have an old cut diamond in it, which is much harder to get value out of!
    • Moreover, some jewelry is just not in fashion, so simply don't expect any monetary value for the design factor of this jewelry.
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    Consider using an online pawn shop based out of a highly regulated state like Texas as opposed to your local brick-n-mortar.
    • Texas Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner mandates licensed pawnbrokers maximum interest rate to be 1% per month on loans over $1980.00 as of July 1st, 2013.
    • Beware of internet pawns based out of Colorado, as there are no statutes that regulate what interest rates they can charge. Some charge as much as 12% per month on large loans.
    • Unlike most brick-n-mortars, these types of operations usually focus on jewelry and have GIA certified gemologist on staff.


  • Weigh your item before going.
  • Shop around.
  • Take your time; if you don't like the offer, let the dealer know you are going to think about it.


  • Don't let the items leave your sight, as swaps are easy.
  • Take your own scale when they weigh the item. This will ensure that you're not cheated.
  • Don't let them tell you 18 carat is 9carat, know what the markings look like
  • Don't try to sell stolen goods.

Article Info

Categories: Jewelry and Watches