Jewelry auctions are an excellent way to buy or sell valuable, unique jewelry. However, knowing a few things is vital to ensure a smooth and successful transaction before entering the jewelry auction world. This article will discuss what to know before buying or selling jewelry at a jewelry auction.

Research and Due Diligence

Before participating in jewellery auctions, it’s important to do your research and due diligence. Research the auction house and the auction itself to ensure it is reputable and reliable. Read reviews and check their track record to see if they have experience selling jewelry similar to the pieces you want to sell or buy.

Additionally, research the pieces of jewelry you are interested in buying or selling to understand their history, provenance, and estimated value.

Understand Valuation

Understanding the valuation of jewelry is crucial when buying or selling at an auction. Antique jewelry, in particular, requires specialized knowledge of the piece’s history, materials, and craftsmanship. It’s important to have an expert evaluate your antique jewelry to determine its actual value.

Antique jewellery valuations are complex as they must consider the piece’s age, rarity, and condition, as well as any historical or cultural significance. An appraiser or jewelry expert can help you determine the fair market value of your antique jewelry, which is the price it would sell for in an open market.

Consignment or Reserve Price

If you are selling jewelry at a jewelry auction, you can consign the piece or set a reserve price. Consignment means giving the auction house the right to sell your jewelry at their discretion, and they take a percentage of the final sale price as a commission. Setting a reserve price means you set a minimum price that the jewelry must sell for, and if it doesn’t meet that price, it will not be sold. It’s important to consider your options carefully and work with the auction house to determine the best course of action for your piece of jewelry.

Fees and Commissions:

Before entering into an auction, it’s important to understand the fees and commissions involved. Auction houses typically charge a commission on the final sale price, ranging from 10-25% or more. Other costs, such as photography or marketing, may be applied. It’s important to understand and factor these fees into your budget when buying or selling jewelry at an auction.

Bidding and Strategy

If you are planning to bid on jewelry at an auction, it’s important to have a strategy in place. Set a budget and stick to it, and consider the estimated value of the piece when deciding how much to bid. Additionally, consider bidding early or in-person to show interest in the piece and establish your presence as a serious bidder. Remember to remain calm and composed during the bidding process and avoid getting caught up in the excitement.


Buying or selling jewelry at a jewelry auction requires careful research, understanding antique jewellery valuation, and strategic planning. If you are buying or selling antique jewelry, working with an appraiser or jewelry expert is imperative to determine the piece’s actual value.

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