Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

What type of items do you purchase online?

Vintage & antique fine jewelry, watches, coins, sterling silver, diamonds, scrap gold/silver/platinum, war memorabilia, collectible pens, daggers, knives, small rarities.

Are there items you do not accept online?

Items that are bulky and costly to ship are better to bring in person to one of our events or our office in St. Louis. Examples would be oil and watercolor paintings, toys, and firearms. If you’d like to get an idea of value before making a trip you can always send us a picture with information about the item and we will reply with an estimate.

What options do I have when selling my items to National Rarities?

  • Find an event near you and speak to our estate specialist for a free appraisal and cash offer.
  • Submit information online and speak with one of our estate specialists for a free appraisal and cash offer.
  • In the St. Louis area? Call us and make an appointment to come in and speak to a specialist in person. 888-787-1112
  • Not sure? Call our office 888-787-1112 and one of our estate specialists will be happy to help you with which option is best for you. 

How do you determine the prices you offer for my items?

We use historical auction data , dealer price sheets, industry trends, and decades of industry expertise.

Is my appraisal the same as a third-party lab certification?

No.  Appraisals are subjective and done strictly for insurance and replacement value.  You can expect a cash value on your item to be 10%-40% of the total insurance value. The exception to this rule is jewelry with larger stones or older appraisals. Our specialist will walk you through the appraisal.

I don’t have an appraisal or third-party certification.  Can you still make me an offer?

Yes, we can give you a price range.   Fill out the form on the website and speak with Estate Specialist.

Do certifications or appraisals increase the value of my item?

Yes.  A GIA certification or a well-known certification company (for diamonds, fine art,or autographs) can increase its value.

Why is my offer lower than I expected?

Often customers come to us with expectations closer to what they paid retail for a piece, or a number in mind from an insurance appraisal. The number from an appraisal represents an insurance coverage value for replacement costs if the valuable was lost, stolen, or broken beyond repair. Appraisals are good for indentification purposes, but do not translate to the current value of an item. Our offer ranges take into account current market values and recent sale comps on the open resale market. 

 

For example, a 1970's gold nugget ring with a .25ct diamond would appraise for $3000.

But who would purchase this item to wear in today's fashion?

 

The appraisal only takes into account how to recreate this item to be sold in a retail setting. A ring like this is no longer in fashion and would not sell in today's market, but would be recycled for parts at approximately $300 for the gold and diamond value.

 

All gold is not the same, there are different purities that hold unique characteristics and values:

24k = 100% pure

18k = 75% pure

14k = 58.5% pure

10k = 41% pure

 

If I sell you a diamond ring, will I get paid for the diamond as well as the metal value of the mounting?

Yes, our offer will include the price for the diamond and any additional value included in the mounting.

Can you take out the center stone and send me back the mounting?

Yes. Fees may apply, talk to your estate specialist and they can walk you through this process.

Do you buy broken items?

Yes. We will make you an offer based on the value of the precious metal/stones.

Can I send you my item if I’m located outside the US?

Yes.  We partner with FedEx to provide our international customers with fast, secure, fully insured and trackable shipping. Any fees associated with customs, duties or taxes will be taken into consideration when making you an offer.  Please feel free to contact our customer support team if you have questions about a specific location.

How much is shipping?

We will send a prepaid label to ship your items to us at no charge. For return  and international shipments fees may apply.

How should I pack my valuables?

To guarantee insurance coverage, we request that you pack and ship your valuable as follows:

The fastest way to get your valuables shipped is by packing them on your own. If you don't have supplies at home, you can purchase boxes and packing materials at any staffed USPS location or contact us to have a National Rarities shipping kit delivered to you in 3 to 5 business days.

Step 1. Print two copies of your shipping label: inner and outer box labels.

  • If you do not have a printer, contact us and we can mail you a shipping label, which would arrive in 3 to 5 business days.

Step 2. Securley wrap your valuable in bubble wrap or paper and place in a small box or container.

  • You can use any box, pouch or padded envelope that will fit inside a larger box.

Step 3. Put the small box or container and inner label in a box and seal securely with tape (a sturdy, used box will do).

  • You can use any box you have at home that is smaller than 13" x 11" x 3". If you are reusing a box, please make sure it is not torn or damaged, and remove any old shipping labels.
  • Don't have a box and packing materials? Contact us and we will send you a free shipping kit.

Step 4. Seal the outer box and attach the shipping label to the outside.

Step 5. Drop off your package at any USPS staffed location and obtain a receipt for your records.

What happens if my valuables get lost or stolen?

In the unlikely event your item is lost or stolen, we will work with the insurance company to ensure that you are reimbursed as quickly as possible.

Will my valuable be insured?

Yes.  We partner with FedEx and Parcel Pro to ensure your items are shipped safely and insured for loss. All shipments are fully trackable and will be insured at the top of the estimated value. Once we receive your item, it is covered under our Jewelers Mutual insurance policy.

How do I know my item is secure?

Your item will be under 24/7 video surveillance and kept in a safe in an UL alarm-secured environment. We will send you a video of your item as it is being received, inspected and appraised by our specialists. You will receive video updates any time your item is handled by a specialist.

How do I get paid and how quickly will I receive my payment?

  • You may choose between receiving a physical check by mail or a same day money transfer directly to your bank account for a $30 fee. Please check with your bank regarding any additional fees associated with receiving wire transfers. 
  • If you accept our offer before 3:00 pm (CST), we can have payment sent within 2 hours.

Why do you need a copy of my ID?

This is required by law to document the identity of seller of second hand purchases to prevent the resale of stolen merchandise.

If I reject the offer, will I get my items back?

Yes, your items will be returned promptly.

How many jewelers do you partner  with?

We partner with over 70 jewelers and host over 120 events annually across the country. We are continuously building our network of jewelry store partners.

Do you have a storefront to visit?

Yes, our office located at 2190 S. Mason Rd, Ste 209, St. Louis, MO 63131. Our office hours are from 10:00-4:00 Mon-Fri. Please contact us to make an appointment at 888-787-1112.

Salable Fine Jewelry

We pride ourselves with buying fine jewelry with the intent to resell the piece intact as it is.  Collectors will pay much for collectable items.  Many companies melt down everything and move onto the next deal.  National Rarities will evaluate each piece individually to determine if it’s saleable or not.  This is based off market demand and auction values.  

What this means is that we provide more value than the competition.  We can sell your item in many of our markets for premiums over the gold and silver prices.  This will net you more money in the end.

Gold Scrap

There are many types of gold in the world of jewelry.  The most common gold you’ll see is 10k, 14k, 18k in the United States.  However, we see many other karats of gold that come from different parts of the world.  For instance 8k, 9k, 16k dental gold, 21k, 22k, and 24k are all gold content that we buy.  Each karat number represents the amount of gold that particular item contains. The higher the number, the more gold content in the item. Many people ask us about stone value, and if we buy the stones. We can purchase stones, but generally its limited to precious stones. 

 

The two other types of gold we see but are typically not as valuable are gold filled and gold plated.  When it comes to these two types of gold, we do buy them on occasion depending on the quality, condition, and saleability of that item.  However, these types of jewelry pieces are harder to sell as they have been mass produced and not sought after as much as solid gold items.

Salable Silver

Salable silver, like anything else, depends on manufacturer, quality and demand. There is a multitude of different types of silver around the world. Sterling silver for instance is 92.5 percent, Coin silver (90% pure), Japanese Silver 950 (95% pure), German Silver 835 (83.5% pure), and finally the British hallmark of a lion will typically mean sterling silver 925 (92.5 pure).  Unfortunately 95% of silver gets melted, there are very few designers/patterns that are still collected today. The era of solid flatware and hollowware commonly being given as wedding gifts is sadly over. These are basic guidelines that can help you.  As always, these items are not purchased to melt down, they are purchased to resell intact to someone looking to use or collect that particular item.

Silver Scrap

We buy any type of scrap silver.  It doesn't matter what the purity is.  As long as it’s silver, we will determine the value on the current market price that day and get you paid. It is important to mention that 95 percent of silver is melted for its silver value today. 

 

**Please note we do not buy silver plated items...Most of these items look, feel, and tarnish like sterling silver but only have a thin outer coating of silver on a base metal.  These items are usually mass produced and have very little value.  Our recommendation for these items are garage sale, church rummage sale, or donation.

Diamonds

We buy any and all types of diamonds.  Loose or mounted.  Certified or uncertified.  With so many questions and lots of confusion around the resale of diamonds we make it easy.  We’ll inspect your diamond and give you the best option for the highest return. We offer 24 hour payment or consignment options.  We’ll use multiple avenues to get the most for that diamond.  Whether it takes one day or one month, we’ll work for you to get the most value for you.

Watches

We buy many types of watches.  There are so many brands, models, and styles that it’s hard to define exactly what we buy. A general rule of thumb is the higher values are in the mechanical hand winding and automatic winding watches. Brand, condition, running/non-running, and original paperwork all have effects on the value of the watch.  Please don’t hesitate to call us and ask more questions.  We are here to help.

Coins

We primarily purchase United States coins from 1964 and older.  Graded or ungraded.  Dollars, half dollars, quarters, and dimes minted before 1964 are made with 90%.  Because of silver prices, you’ll receive more than the face value of that coin.  As the silver market fluctuates, so will the coins value.  There is also a major coin collecting community that will pay extremely high prices for certain coins.  These coins we will endlessly look for incase you end up having the rare coin that brings high dollars.  The number #1 factor for coins is condition.  Condition alone can make a coin worth $25 or $2,500. 

We also buy foreign coins as they are sometimes silver or gold.  Most of the time they are old obsolete coins that bring very little value.  We purchase these by the pound.

Firearms

National Rarities has a Federal Firearms License (FFL) and can purchase firearms in accordance with local and State laws. We can help evaluate your items, but can only purchase at a local event where our estate specialists can help with the process. Not all local events are able to purchase firearms due to local / state laws. Please contact us with any questions. 

War Memorabilia

Whether its daggers, badges, uniforms or anything related to war memorabilia we would be interested in making an offer. Send us a photo and description of what you have for an estimate of value.

Colored stones

Values in color can vary greatly from retail to wholesale. We generally only offer on colored stones that have lab certifications. If you are unsure just send us a photo and description and we can give you an estimate of value. 


Please feel free to contact us.

We have jewelry professionals ready to help.

Contact Us