Jewelry at the turn of the 20th century was often marked RGP for "rolled gold plate." Fashion jewelry at the turn of the 21st century has HGE marks for "high gold electroplate" or "heavy gold electroplate." These are gold-plated jewelry marks and both have some value, although these items aren’t gold. The Federal Trade Commission regulates the use of these marks in the United States, and the gold plating must be no less than 10 karat. Reasonable durability is the standard test. Costume jewelry has a strong market and sells well in most areas of the country.
Things You'll Need
- Dry toothbrush
- Display case
- Digital camera
Check the inside of a ring or the clasp on a necklace or bracelet with a loupe or similar magnifying glass. The loupe usually magnifies 10x or 10 times the original and allows you to read the marks to be sure of what you have. Jewelry marked 14K is gold; jewelry marked 14K HGE is high-gold electroplate or plated jewelry. Jewelry sold as gold overlay is also gold plated. Vermeil jewelry is gold plated over sterling silver. Pieces marked .925 that are gold in color are sterling based with gold coating or vermeil. Sterling silver jewelry is more valuable than costume jewelry. Jewelry marked 14k gf is gold-filled jewelry and has a greater gold content than gold-plated jewelry. Identify the brand. Many costume jewelry manufacturers made gold-plated jewelry. If you see the name of a maker when looking for marks, write it down for reference later.
Research values by visiting shops that sell the kind of jewelry you have. New costume jewelry prices can give you an idea of the original cost of the items. Collectibles shops can help with a used jewelry price. Remember that this is costume jewelry, although it is marked like gold. Decide on a value for each item or group and make a tag with the price. You can reduce the price, but have an established price to start with.
Check the condition. Customers will not purchase damaged items unless they are vintage and very inexpensive. Don’t waste your time and effort on damaged jewelry or pieces that show obvious wear. Bag a few damaged items together and sell for crafts. Clean the jewelry, and especially the rhinestones and gemstones, with a dry toothbrush and prepare the jewelry for sale. Place in a display case or make an attractive display. Presentation helps sell your jewelry. Lighting is important as well.
Select a selling market. You can sell at a jewelry show, flea market, yard sale, online or in the local newspaper. Sell vintage and collectible gold-plated jewelry at an antiques or collectibles show at higher prices than yard sales or flea markets. Prepare for the sale by photographing your items. Online or newspaper sales require images as jewelry is all about appearance. Describe your items accurately and list the maker's name in your advertising or display. Sell to shops or retailers only if you want to sell at half the value.