Share this with family and friends

A Guide To Buying Pre-Loved Jewellery

When you purchase brand new items from a standard jeweller, usually the main factors to take into consideration are price and aesthetic.

However, when it comes to buying pre-loved jewellery, there can be more to consider in comparison – whilst personal preference and cost will still be addressed, the authenticity of pre-owned jewellery as well ensuring you’re getting good value for money are essential factors to explore.

At Gatsby Jewellery, we consider ourselves experts in the field of pre-loved and antique jewellery, and we have created a guide to help you make the right decision for you, from reasons to buy pre-loved jewellery to how to check authenticity from a private seller.

Why buy pre-loved jewellery?

Although the price is usually the deciding factor overall, there are many reasons to consider buying pre-loved jewellery.

For starters, it’s excellent value for money. People often sell virtually brand-new pieces, sometimes barely worn.

Pre-loved jewellery is also more environmentally conscious, playing a small part in helping towards a more sustainable future. Buying second-hand means that there’s less of a demand for new jewellery derived from heavily mined areas.

Choosing to buy pre-loved jewellery also creates a wealth of new jewellery designs and options. Many vintage and antique jewellery pieces are unique, meaning you can find pieces that aren’t available to buy new. This allows you to find jewellery from your favourite era, complementing your style with something one-of-a-kind.

Pre-loved jewellery and sentimentality

Many see purchasing new or custom pieces as an investment, often with a view to the item being passed down from generation to generation, or given as a generous gift to mark a special occasion. Pre-loved jewellery shouldn’t be overlooked in this instance – if you adore the look of antique jewellery, you should consider pre-owned jewellery for something out of the ordinary to add to your collection – such as 1900s jewellery or 1940s jewellery.

Equally, if you love items that tell a story, opting for pre-loved pieces will trigger interest and intrigue as to its previous origins and meanings. Family heirlooms often begin life this way; engagement rings passed down through generations are a particularly sentimental touch.

How to check the authenticity of pre-loved jewellery

Purchasing pre-loved jewellery either online or in a retail store should be approached both with curiosity and caution. To get value for your money it’s crucial that you establish the authenticity of the item before you buy, to avoid disappointment further down the line. If you choose to deal with a private seller, you might have to ensure the authenticity of the piece yourself.

Here are three ways to ensure authenticity in pre-loved jewellery.

Stamps and hallmarks

Check for stamps stating the carat of a metal: on yellow and white gold, these will be as follows:

  • 9ct (375)
  • 14ct (585)
  • 18ct (750)
  • 22ct (916)

For pre-loved platinum jewellery, the hallmark will typically read 950 but can also be 900.

Many brands (such as in this ring from Tiffany & Co, where the brand can be seen stamped inside the ring) will stamp their jewellery with a hallmark, so look for this when buying a second-hand branded item.

However, items created pre-1973 may not feature a hallmark as this process was not standardised until then. Here at Gatsby, we use a Niton metal analyser to ensure that our pieces are made exactly from the materials they are supposed to be.

Certifications and documentations

Often pre-loved jewellery will come with a certificate of authenticity from the GIA, EGO or IGI, though this isn’t always the case. Be sure to check the documentation very carefully, to check if this has been forged. Look for spelling errors, blurry text/printing or bad grammar.

Leave it to the experts

Jewellery purchases are usually a considered purchase, meaning they are pondered over for at least a few days. Use this time to research the jeweller to ensure they are reputable and trustworthy, then leave authenticity checks to them. Purchasing from a reputable seller will essentially guarantee that your item is genuine.

Are pre-loved diamond rings a good investment?

Diamonds are precious stones that attract almost everyone, due to their eye-catching beauty. They are usually cut by hand, making them entirely unique and a great investment – the quality will remain the same, but the price drastically decreased. Take this Art Deco diamond engagement ring, for example – it isn’t new, but the diamond glistens as though it was cut and polished yesterday.

Is it safe to buy pre-loved earrings?

It’s understandable that one might be hesitant to purchase pre-loved earrings, as this can seem to be unhygienic.

However, a reputable jeweller like Gatsby Jewellery will ensure that your earrings have been fully cleaned and sanitised before they even advertise them, meaning buying pre-loved earrings is as safe as buying new ones.

If you still feel uneasy, you can sanitise your earrings when you purchase them, with some rubbing alcohol or a specialised saline solution.

Explore our collection of pre-loved antique jewellery today to find the perfect gift or addition to your collection.