Fine Jewelry Selling Guide | National Rarities
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Fine Jewelry

What We Buy

At National Rarities, we buy a variety of jewelry. We consider the type of metal, stones, designer, condition and quality. We begin by asking a few questions about the pieces while we look them over. We ask questions such as: Why are you selling this item? Who owned the piece?

What We Do

Our estate specialists look for hallmarks specifying the metal's type and purity and sort them accordingly. After the items are sorted, the buyer will examine the stones to determine their carat, cut, clarity and color. Then they weigh the items to calculate the value of precious metals.

How We Determine a Price

Current market trends are considered when determining the price of everything we purchase. Sometimes, this requires extra time if the buyer needs to check our records or get a second opinion. We take this extra step to ensure we offer the best possible price.

How We Make an Offer

After the buyer has collected the necessary information, they will verbally communicate their offer and write it down. They will continue to evaluate and price items until everything has been assessed. The estate specialists are happy to answer questions or explain how we determined a specific offer. Sometimes, we have a coworker take another look.

Going the Extra Mile

Recently, a vintage gold charm bracelet was brought to one of our events. The charms ranged from gold-plated to 18-Karat gold. They were soldered onto the bracelet, so removing and weighing them without damaging the piece was impossible. All of the charms were counted and tallied by their purity level. An initial price was determined, but to ensure accuracy, another estate specialist re-examined the piece. Both buyers generated the same number, so the offer was conveyed and accepted by the client. However, they wanted to keep one of the charms. Our estate specialist removed the charm, deducted the value of that piece from the offer and completed the sale.

Scrap and Broken Jewelry

All of our items are assessed for resale, but we buy scrap or broken jewelry too. One memorable purchase was a delicate 14-Karat gold hoop a pet had chewed on. The piece was beyond recognition or repair. However, it was a quick transaction to determine the current market value of the gold and make an offer. 

If you need clarification on the type of metal or stone in your pieces, bring them to us! Our estate specialists are happy to sort through items and let you know which ones we will purchase.

Colored Gemstones

Most color gemstones do not have much resale value because they are often treated. Because of this, we require a prominent lab certification such as GIA  or AGS. This certifies the authenticity of the gems and discloses if the stone has had any treatments or simulations done to enhance the color or clarity. Many think that because their item is older it is not enhanced. However, synthetic gemstones have actually been around since the 1800’s!

Sell Your Fine Jewelry

Deciphering the Distinction: Antique vs. Vintage Jewelry

Deciphering the Distinction: Antique vs. Vintage Jewelry

Unique Allure

In the realm of jewelry, terms like "antique" and "vintage" are often used interchangeably, leading to confusion among enthusiasts and collectors alike. While both categories denote pieces of a bygone era, they carry distinct characteristics that set them apart. Understanding these disparities can enrich your appreciation for the history and craftsmanship behind each piece. Let's delve into the nuances of antique versus vintage jewelry to unravel their unique allure.

Antique Jewelry

Age Requirement

Antique jewelry is typically defined as pieces that are at least 100 years old. These treasures bear the patina of time, reflecting the aesthetic sensibilities and techniques prevalent during their era of origin.

Historical Significance

Each antique piece serves as a tangible link to the past, offering insights into the cultural, social, and artistic movements of its time. From the elaborate designs of the Victorian era to the geometric motifs of the Art Deco period, antique jewelry encapsulates the essence of bygone epochs.

Craftsmanship and Materials

Antique jewelry often showcases exquisite craftsmanship and utilizes materials that were popular during its era of creation. From intricate filigree work to the use of precious gemstones and metals, these pieces exemplify the skill and artistry of master jewelers from centuries past.

Collectible Value

Due to their age, rarity, and historical significance, antique jewelry pieces are highly sought after by collectors and connoisseurs. Their scarcity contributes to their allure, making them prized possessions for those who appreciate the beauty of the past.

Vintage Jewelry

Time Period

Vintage jewelry refers to pieces that are at least 20 years old but less than 100 years old. Unlike antiques, vintage jewelry encompasses a broader range of styles, reflecting the design trends and cultural influences of the 20th century.

Style Diversity

Vintage jewelry spans an array of design movements, from the glamorous Art Nouveau pieces of the early 1900s to the bold and vibrant designs of the Retro period in the mid-20th century. This diversity allows collectors to explore a wide range of styles and aesthetics within the vintage category.

Pop Culture Influence

Vintage jewelry often reflects the zeitgeist of its era, incorporating design elements inspired by fashion trends, technological advancements, and popular culture phenomena. From the sleek lines of Art Deco pieces to the psychedelic motifs of the 1960s, vintage jewelry captures the spirit of its time.

Affordability and Accessibility

Compared to antique jewelry, vintage pieces are often more accessible and affordable, making them an appealing option for collectors and enthusiasts looking to add unique and stylish pieces to their jewelry collection.

Explore the World of Antique and Vintage Jewelry With National Rarities

In conclusion, while both antique and vintage jewelry evoke a sense of nostalgia and appreciation for the past, they differ in terms of age, historical significance, style diversity, and collectible value. Explore antique and vintage jewelry with the experts at National Rarities. 

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Unveiling Hidden Treasures: How to Determine If Your Precious Metals Are Valuable

Unveiling Hidden Treasures: How to Determine If Your Precious Metals Are Valuable

Uncover Your Hidden Worth 

Whether inherited, unearthed in forgotten corners of the attic, or stumbled upon at a flea market, precious metals hold the potential for hidden treasures. Determining the value of these metals requires more than a casual glance; it demands knowledge, scrutiny, and perhaps a touch of detective work. In this guide, we'll unravel the mysteries of precious metal valuation and empower you to uncover the true worth of your finds.

Understand the Basics

Before diving into the valuation process, it's essential to grasp the fundamentals of precious metals. The most common precious metals include gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. These metals are prized for their rarity, beauty, and enduring value, making them sought after commodities in the world of finance, jewelry, and industry.

Assessing Purity

The purity of a precious metal is a crucial factor in determining its value. Precious metals are typically measured in fineness or karats, representing the percentage of pure metal in the alloy. For example:

Gold jewelry is often stamped with a karat mark, indicating its purity. Pure gold is 24 karats, but most jewelry is made from 18k, 14k, or 10k gold, which contain varying proportions of gold and other metals. Silver jewelry may bear a hallmark indicating its purity, such as "925" for sterling silver, which contains 92.5% pure silver. Platinum and palladium jewelry are usually marked with a "Pt" or "Pd" stamp, signifying their purity.

Conducting Tests

Several methods can be used to test the purity of precious metals:

Visual Inspection: Examine the metal for stamps or hallmarks indicating its purity. However, keep in mind that markings can be forged or worn down over time.

Magnet Test: Precious metals such as gold and silver are non-magnetic. If a magnet is attracted to the metal, it likely contains ferrous materials and is not pure.

Acid Test: A jeweler's acid test kit can determine the purity of gold and silver by applying acid to a small scratch on the metal. The reaction will indicate the metal's purity based on the color change.

Density Test: Precious metals have distinct densities that can be measured using a density testing kit. By comparing the metal's density to known standards, you can estimate its purity.

Consultation with National Rarities Experts

When in doubt, seeking the expertise of a professional appraiser or jeweler is advisable. The professionals at National Rarities have the knowledge, experience, and specialized equipment needed to accurately assess the value of precious metals. They can provide you with detailed appraisals and guidance on the best course of action for selling or preserving your valuable assets.

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A Brilliant Guide to Diamond Color: Evaluating Your Precious Gem

A Brilliant Guide to Diamond Color: Evaluating Your Precious Gem

Understanding Your Diamonds

Diamonds are renowned for their timeless beauty and captivating sparkle, but did you know that their color plays a crucial role in their overall allure? Understanding diamond color grading is essential for assessing the quality and value of these precious gems. In this guide, we'll explore the intricacies of diamond color and provide you with the knowledge you need to evaluate your diamonds with confidence.

The Importance of Diamond Color

Diamond color refers to the presence or absence of color in a diamond, with the most desirable diamonds being those that are colorless or near-colorless. Colorless diamonds allow light to pass through them effortlessly, resulting in a dazzling display of brilliance and fire. As a result, diamonds with higher color grades are generally more valuable and sought after in the jewelry market.

The Diamond Color Grading Scale

Diamond color is graded on a scale ranging from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown). The Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the leading authority on diamond grading, developed this internationally recognized scale to provide a standardized system for assessing diamond color. Let's delve into the various color grades and what they signify:

D-F: Colorless: Diamonds in this range are exceptionally rare and prized for their pure, icy-white appearance. They exhibit no discernible color to the naked eye, making them the epitome of elegance and sophistication.

G-J: Near Colorless: Diamonds in this range may display subtle hints of color when viewed under magnification, but they still appear white to the naked eye. These diamonds offer excellent value without compromising on beauty.

K-M: Faint Yellow: Diamonds in this range exhibit a faint yellow hue that becomes more noticeable as the color grade descends. While they may not possess the pristine whiteness of higher-grade diamonds, they can still exhibit impressive sparkle and brilliance.

N-Z: Light Yellow to Light Brown: Diamonds in this range display increasingly noticeable yellow or brown tones, which can detract from their overall beauty and sparkle. However, some individuals may prefer the warmth and character of these diamonds.

How to Evaluate Diamond Color

When evaluating diamond color, there are several factors to consider:

Use a Neutral Background: Examine the diamond against a white background to accurately assess its color. Avoid colored backgrounds, as they can influence your perception of the diamond's hue.

Natural Lighting: Inspect the diamond in natural daylight or under daylight-equivalent lighting conditions. Artificial lighting can distort the diamond's color, making it appear either more or less saturated than it actually is.

Compare Diamonds: If possible, compare the diamond you're evaluating with diamonds of known color grades. This side-by-side comparison can help you discern subtle differences in color more effectively.

Consult a Professional: When in doubt, seek the expertise of a certified gemologist or jeweler. They can provide you with accurate assessments of diamond color and guide you in selecting the perfect diamond for your needs and budget.

Bring Your Diamond to National Rarities 

By familiarizing yourself with the nuances of diamond color grading and employing these evaluation techniques, you can confidently assess the quality and beauty of your diamonds. Whether you're shopping for an engagement ring, a pair of earrings, or a stunning pendant, understanding diamond color will empower you to make informed decisions and choose diamonds that truly shine. The experts at National Rarities are here to help you better understand your diamonds and their beauty. 

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