If it is your first time diving into the world of jewelry, you find that there is a lot to know about jewelry and you would be right. However, there are certain basics that will put you miles ahead of those who are uneducated. In our last blog, we discussed the difference between estate jewelry, vintage jewelry, and antique jewelry. To get a full understanding of these terms, read our last post, but we will quickly summarize here:

  • Estate jewelry – refers to any second-hand jewelry that is less than 30 years old
  • Vintage jewelry – any piece that is 20-30 years old
  • Antique jewelry – any piece of jewelry that is over 100 years old

Be wary of jewelry pieces that are vintage or antique “styled.” The seller may mislead you to believe the piece of jewelry is older than it really is: these pieces are usually just made in the styling of older piece of jewelry, but aren’t really that old.

How Much is My Jewelry Worth?

Knowing how the age of your jewelry affects its worth is important, but there are many ways to acquire the value of a certain piece of jewelry.

Look For Hallmarks

Hallmarks can tell you a lot about a piece of jewelry. Most jewelry that is under 100 years old have hallmarks. Pieces of jewelry that don’t have hallmarks may be very old or are inexpensive. Two hallmarks to look for include:  


One hallmark that is easy to find that will indicate the worth of your jewelry is the metal hallmark. Many pieces will have the type of metal printed on the metal. For example gold jewelry will have a marking such as 18K, 14K, 750, 585, and 375.

Brand Name

Your jewelry may have a brand name hallmark which can help you ascertain it’s value. Brand hallmarks include Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Tacori, Sarah Coventry, AVON, & Trifari.

Check the Weight

A good rule of thumb is the heavier the piece of jewelry, the more valuable the piece is. This is always true for gold and silver items: they will always be heavier than less valuable pewter and brass gold-plated items. Also if you think a gold piece should be heavier than it is, it is most likely hollow. Additionally, if there are dark or silver spots on your jewelry then it is very likely that your piece is gold-plated.

Inspect the Prongs

Fine jewelry will always have prongs. However, those costume pieces that have bright stones set with prongs can be worth a lot. Most costume jewelry’s adorning stones are glued into their settings.

Ready to Sell Your Jewelry?

Are you ready to talk to our jewelry buyers in La Jolla? We would love to help you sell jewelry for cash or trade your piece in for something new that you will love. Visit H. Moradi Jewelers’ website to learn more about working with our jewelry buyers!