People often think of pre-owned jewellery as a way to save money, as the price for such pieces is usually quite attractive. However, there are also other reasons to buy pre-owned jewellery which may influence your decision. In this guide, you will find out how to make the right choice and avoid common pitfalls.
What Is Pre-Owned Jewellery?
Pre-owned jewellery is a recent term referring to second-hand pieces that are modern in style. Other similar terms are “used jewellery” and “pre-loved jewellery”.
It is worth mentioning that the term “estate jewellery” is used to describe older collectable jewellery pieces. This category also includes vintage and antique jewellery.
Jewellery stores specializing in selling pre-owned pieces carefully inspect and, if necessary, restore each item to its original condition. Pre-owned jewellery in excellent condition is virtually indistinguishable from a new counterpart; however, its cost is much more affordable and can reach up to 50% of the price for the brand new item.
People choose to buy pre-loved jewellery rather than a brand new item to avoid paying full retail prices without compromising style and quality. The pre-owned marketplace includes contemporary designs by well-known brands such as Tiffany, Cartier and others, as well as less known jewellery manufacturers.
Reasons to Buy Pre-Owned Jewellery
As mentioned above, the better price is the main reason why people buy pre-owned jewellery. When you purchase pre-owned pieces, you get beautiful jewellery at a fraction of the cost. Brand new jewellery immediately drops in value once it leaves the store it was bought from. Regardless of the item was worn once or hundreds of times, it will experience the same dramatic price drop. So when you purchase a second-hand item, you automatically get a discounted price.
Pre-owned jewellery is environmentally friendly. There is less demand to produce new jewellery when buyers are more interested in used items. Buying pre-loved items means less gemstone and metal mining; and air pollution. It preserves valuable resources such as water, forests and fuel, meaning it also helps to save wildlife habitats.
Pre-owned jewellery in excellent condition is as good as its new counterpart as these items were created to last. Not to mention, most people cannot tell the difference between a new expensive piece and a more affordable pre-loved item.
How to Avoid Pre-Owned Jewellery Scams
Unfortunately, many fake jewellery items look exactly like the real ones. To get value for your money, it is important to establish the authenticity of your item to avoid possible disappointment.
To spot a fake product, check the hallmarks. These are unique stamps used to mark the purity of the metal used. Gold purity is measured using the karat system, marked as “k”, “K” or “Kt”, on a scale from 0 to 24, the latter being the purest form with no other metals mixed. The higher the karatage, the purer the gold.
Many authentic brands stamp their jewellery with brand hallmarks, so these marks may be helpful when identifying the real thing. Expensive pre-owned jewellery may come with a certificate of authenticity and grading reports accompanying the gemstones; however, this is not always the case.
Another way is to try the magnet test in case the item in question is made of gold; however, this method is not 100% accurate. Pure gold is not magnetic, while imitation gold and other alloys are. This means if the piece of jewellery attracts a magnet, it contains (!) some other metals. On the other hand, an item may be gold plated, but it will not attach to a magnet because its core metal is non-magnetic.
The best way to avoid pre-owned jewellery scams is to purchase from reputable second-hand jewellery sellers. In such a case, you can leave authenticity checks to the experts and enjoy a new addition to your jewellery collection.