shape
carat
color
clarity

so I went to a pawn shop to look at rings...

Discussion in 'Antique and Vintage Jewelry' started by imagardener2, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. imagardener2
    Rough_Rock

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    by imagardener2 » Jan 7, 2013
    Today was the first time I ever visited a pawn shop but I thought I'd see what older rings they might have since where I live has boocoo older folks.
    Have to say it was not a wonderful experience but glad I did it so I know I'm not missing anything.

    First shop I walked into I got ignored by person behind the jewelry case. She finally asked if I was looking for anything in particular and I said older diamond rings. She said "Old Mine?" and I said maybe not quite that old, maybe Art Deco. She then continued to ignore me until I left (no older rings in case at all). The jewelry showcase had nothing much of interest. Depressing shop overall.

    Second shop a little better with friendlier customer service. The jewelry case had two rings with fishtail prong settings but they were uninteresting designs from the 1940's. And I was intimidated by knowing very little about what sort of diamonds were in them, modern brilliant I'm sure but I am a non-expert about diamonds.

    Seeing rings enlarged on the internet sure makes them look more impressive and being able to see details.
    Prices:$1999 for one of the fishtail prong '40's rings that was under a carat, guessing .60 to .75. The other ring was more $$ and similar ct.
    Again I have no idea about what diamond quality was, the lighting in both stores once a ring was taken out of the lighted case was dreadful and dark. It is an overcast day so no window light for help.

    Anyway, that's my day at the pawnshops. Not to be repeated.
     
    


    


  2. GemFever
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

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    by GemFever » Jan 7, 2013
    Sorry to hear about the negative experience. I also kind of dread going into pawn shops, and actually have never been inside one in the US. Perhaps you have to pick the nicer ones, in nice neighborhoods? I imagine finding a great ring or stone in a pawnshop is like finding a needle in a haystack. I still plan to visit some pawnshops one day. But considering your experience, I'll try not to go alone, and not on an overcast day. I think sunshine and a friend by your side would make the experience a lot more cheerful, even if you don't find a great deal on your first, second, or third try.
     
  3. LibbyLA
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by LibbyLA » Jan 7, 2013
    imagardener2,

    "Old mine" would refer to a diamond cut. "Old European" would be an older cut that's not as old as "old mine". "Art deco" refers to a period, as does "Edwardian" (older than "Art Deco"). And that's about all I know <wry grin>. Some art demo pieces have modern brilliant diamonds in them. I have a couple of those.

    liz
     
  4. NacreLover
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by NacreLover » Jan 8, 2013
    You may also want to look at independent jewelers with consignment cases. Most buy old gold and these rings come in frequently. Much nicer to deal with and can give you some guidence if the jeweler is a GIA graduate. Many look for these places to buy old rings to harvest parts for new items. Some keep the settings, some sell them to the jeweler for the gold they posess.
     
    


    


  5. imagardener2
    Rough_Rock

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    by imagardener2 » Jan 8, 2013
    Thanks for all your replies. Truth told, I am not a good "shopper" for clothes either and the lack of good lighting and dreary atmosphere in the 2 pawnshops did not help me. I love online shopping on my sofa, ebay was made for me (and millions more).

    Thanks for the suggestion about independent jewelry stores. I stopped in 3 mall jewelry stores in December and that also was a non-thrilling experience except the lighting was waaay better and better customer service. I will try this week, have a local place recommended by a friend. I need someone to tell me what I'm looking at.

    Am I the only one who fears walking into small stores? I hate being waited on (except when I want to see something hah), I just want to look-look-look at stuff quietly and leave without guilt if I don't see anything interesting enough to buy. I remember a traumatic store situation when I was in grade school where they told me to stop trying on a hat if I wasn't going to buy it.

    My DH won't even walk into a store if he thinks he's not dressed well enough. Pretty funny in Florida where everyone wears flip flops and shorts everywhere. Gym, church.....
     
  6. NacreLover
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by NacreLover » Jan 9, 2013
    If you have spare time on your hand and want to do something fun, go diamond shopping. Buy your own loupe if you wish and go shopping. Walk into a store that sells loose diamonds and ask to look at some. Many stores have microscopes they can set up so you can look into the gems. If they have a selection on hand it's interesting to see the difference between the clairity and colors. Once you have this under your belt, looking at used diamonds at a consignment counter will be easier. Think how many cash for gold places are in your town. Everyone of they are getting in gold jewelry with diamonds in place. These are just waiting for you. The gold is sent in for cash but the diamonds are a dime a dozen. Where are they going to find buyers for the huge amount of old diamonds in various grades, colors and sizes? The customer with cash has more power than you think. There are more of them than customers who want used diamonds.
     
  7. imagardener2
    Rough_Rock

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    by imagardener2 » Jan 9, 2013
    You make it sound very exciting. I will gird my loins and go diamond looking. Once I get over my timidity where would I find a price guide to "used" diamonds? Guess I should disregard what the dealer says is color and clarity and base prices on low quality (and hope they aren't).
    Would my goal=50% what new retail diamonds in similar carat sell for? Or less?

    I'm really not looking to collect a lot of smallish diamonds and no intention of becoming a seller. I wish I would run across a nice 1 carat diamond in an Art Deco setting I like. Haven't seen many on ebay in my price range (cheap). Maybe I would have better luck with fewer people looking on a local level.
     
  8. NacreLover
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by NacreLover » Jan 9, 2013
    http://www.amazon.com/Master-Set-Pro-Comparison-equivalent/dp/B00A3DEAEQ
    I was looking for a used set of Master stones, but can only find new ones. These are what your jeweler uses to grade the color of loose ungraded diamonds , or for comarisons for written insurance appraisals of their customers diamonds. You just lay the loose diamond next to the test stones and decide which it most closely matches in color.

    If you were to take a diamond ring to a consignment jeweler, he can't put them in the same case as the new diamonds. Many times he looks at the diamonds /gold/design and will shoot you a price he thinks a used ring will sell for. This price could be aprox 40 % a new ring of similar style and tdw. Then he may ask for 15% comission after he sells your item. Some people who buy consignment want the whole ring, some just harvest the setting or the diamonds , discarding/selling the remainder back to the jeweler. If you then buy the new ring or new diamond from him he even makes more profit. The old gold from the ring if you don't want it, is also purchased by the jeweler so he makes a profit.

    I am not being hard on the jeweler since he set up a safe environment for the transaction and held your item safely for your sale. Just telling you how it works so you are informed.

    I wouldn't pay more than 50% of what a new diamond would cost for a used diamond. The diamond could be old and had numerous knocks. Diamonds do break and yours is used. Now, buying from a GIA gemologist is important unless you have looked at enough diamonds to get a feel for grading and color. He or she can tell you a estimate of what the color/clarity the diamond would fall into. A pawn shop may or may not give you any help even if they did have someone there who can decide this information.

    As for pricing. Let say you find a used diamond from a GIA with an evaluation. Go shopping either by phone or in person to a jeweler who sells new diamonds. Ask for the price of what ever you are looking to buy and they should be able to look though their diamond pricing guides their suppliers have given them for a exact or close diamond to the one you are thinking of buying used. Their new diamond may have been marked up 2 to 3 times their wholesale cost or just a few hundred dollars. I would call more than one for your apples to apples check on price points.
     

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