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Real Jewelry Bargains from Thrift Stores, Yard Sales and Estate Sales


There are certainly great jewelry bargains to be had if one loves to shop at thrift stores, yard and estate sales. My late sister-in-law was one of those who loved to buy what caught her attention in various British charity shops.  

She had a good eye for great design as you can see in this past post on some of the vintage and handcrafted pieces which were passed down to us.

But there was one item which stood out from the rest.  A 3 diamond prong set ring set on a simple band.  I am no expert on fine jewelry but there were clues even I couldn't miss.  First, it had heft - it felt heavier than the other costume jewelry rings. What I suspected were diamonds were brilliant - lots of sparkles. And there was a hallmark on the inside of the band. 

The first thing I did was to clean the ring in my ultrasonic jewelry cleaner. Dirt and grease can obscure the hallmark. Then I took a good look at the hallmark with my jewelry loupe which comes with lights.  Taking a photo on a smartphone and looking at it afterwards also works, if well focused beforehand.


The gold hallmark reads 835.  This is an unusual hallmark.  




The more common gold hallmarks are shown in this chart from HooverandStrong


The ring is not of British origin as their hallmark system contains more asset symbols indicating year of manufacture.

While I haven't been able to tell where the ring came from, I calculated what the amount of gold there is based on the gold hallmark number.  Precious metal proportions are based on how many parts per 1000.  So if 1000 represents 24K or pure gold, then 835 is :

24/100 x 835 = 19.97 or near enough,  20K

I do not have a diamond tester such as this one. But my friendly neighborhood jeweler used his and confirmed the ring bore diamonds. 

How much would this ring be worth? There are four things to consider. The gold itself, the diamonds, the condition of the ring and the overall design. For example, if the ring were to be a vintage piece like Art Deco, or mid-century etc, then it might be worth more because of its collectibility. 

I wasn't about to remove the diamonds. But if I did, I would be able to calculate the amount of gold by weighing it and getting the current price.  The gold portion is probably a few hundred dollars worth.

Watch this great video by RK Treasure Center who explains in detail how to determine if you have a gold piece, not a gold plated one, and to calculate its worth especially if you want to sell it. 


This ring of mine is a few decades old. The design is modern and simple - it doesn't appear to be of a particular vintage.  The diamonds will have to be assessed on the 4C's - cut, clarity, carat and color.  I have no idea what the whole ring is worth as I am no expert on gems.  

But a professional appraiser will know.  One such person is Dr Lori Verderame (her PhD is in art history) who is an award winning tv personality and talk show host.  She developed her interest in antiques and vintage things because her father, who loved such things, used to take her to antique market places and such when she was a child.

She appraises thousands of items each year.  You can even send photos or schedule video appraisals through her site.  

But what I like about Dr Lori is her drive to educate people about how to spot bargains.  Her Youtube channel is fascinating and recommended if you want to learn more about hunting for the good stuff.  She is a fountain of information!

Here are some of her videos dedicated to jewelry items :

Real Bargains Found in Goodwill Jewelry Jar | Costume Jewelry, Pearls, Silver, Turquoise

This blog may contain affiliate links. I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links. This goes towards the support of this blog and to provide resource information to readers. The opinions expressed are solely my own. They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation. 
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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM 

3 comments:

  1. our local thrift stores seem to be "up" on values, much of their jewelry is behind glass and can't be inspected easily. I do look when I'm at yard sales, sometimes they're selling a relative's "junk". one woman's junk is another woman's treasure!
    ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here with our thrift stores. But you can always ask to see a piece up close.

      Delete
  2. Here they often fill clear glass vases with tons of costume jewelry and you buy the entire thing - no checking. But - I have found some amazing treasures over the years as you know.

    What Callyross says is so true. One woman's junk......

    ReplyDelete

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