Store Location Hours 800.215.1510
31 W Del Mar Blvd. By Appointment Only 626.793.8686
Pasadena, CA 91105 Monday thru Friday
Directions Closed Saturday & Sunday

Frequently Asked Questions

I have an appraisal, is that what I can expect to receive? Answer.

Although the descriptions of the design and quality and composition of an item often are helpful, the evaluation usually is not.

Insurance appraisals estimate the retail replacement price of the item. This is the cost of making an exact duplicate of the item described, including the profit for both the wholesaler and retailer. Appraisals generally do not account for age, condition or marketability on an item.

Estate appraisals performed for probate are often much closer to the actual cash value, but depending on the experience and knowledge of the appraiser, and when the appraisal was done, the prices may be too high or too low.

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Do you take consignments? Answer.

We rarely take consignments.

We advise against selling jewelry, rare coins, and collectibles by consignment because it is usually not successful. Some of the reasons are as follows.

  • The dealer has no incentive to sell your items when he has similar items in his own inventory that he has already paid for.
  • A jeweler or dealer will take items on consignment for which he does not have a clientele.
  • Many jewelers and dealers are in financial trouble. It is possible that the items are sold and the consignor is not paid.
  • It can be difficult to determine if the item you consigned is the same one that is returned to you.
  • The price that the item is consigned at is not what it may ultimately sell for. It may not even sell at all.

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How do you evaluate diamonds? Answer.

There are four factors which determine the value of a diamond, often referred to as the “Four C’s”. They are:

  • CUT:  The shape and proportions of a diamonds cut effect the brilliance and fire. Old style and poorly cut diamonds often need to be re-cut in order to make them saleable. Re-cutting a stone although reducing the carat weight can improve the clarity and color.
  • CLARITY:  Clarity of a stone is the natural inclusions, fractures and other structural features inside a diamond. With the aid of lasers and acids diamonds can be treated to make them more attractive but those treatments do not improve the value of a diamond. Fewer inclusions make for a more valuable diamond.
  • COLOR:  Most diamonds have some color, usually a shade of yellow. Colorless diamonds are more valuable than lightly colored ones. Fancy colors like pink and blue, if rich enough in color can be valuable. Diamonds can be treated to have artificial color which again does not increase their value.
  • CARAT:  This is the weight of the diamond. Large diamonds are rare and that adds to their value. Small stones are quite common and have little value. 10 stones that together weigh one carat are worth a fraction of what a single one carat diamond is worth.
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How can I tell if my items are gold? Answer.

In the United States the purity is designated by Karat. Pure gold is 24k. A lower karat number means there is other metals mixed with the gold to strengthen it and sometimes change the color. In Europe gold is stamped according to its fineness. Items from Asia and the Middle East are very often high grade gold, 22 Karat and better.

US/Karats European Mark % of gold
24 0.999 Pure
22 0.917 91.7%
18 0.75 75.0%
14 0.585 58.5%
10 0.417 41.7%
9 0.375 37.5%

Some marks can be deceptive, look for other letters stamped next to the karat mark. Some examples of marks on items that are not gold include 14k GF (Gold filled), 14k HGE (Hard Gold Electroplate or Heavy Gold Electroplate), 14K RGP (Rolled Gold Plate) watch cases marked “14k Guaranteed 25 years” are gold filled and guaranteed not to wear through for 25 years.

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How do I know if my items are silver? Answer.

Look for marks on the back of flatware or the bottom of hollowware (bowls, platters, tea sets, trays, etc.)

Items with the following marks are usually silver:

  • Sterling
  • Coin
  • A lion with one paw in the air is the English mark for Silver.
    Silver Markings
  • Look for a 3-number fineness designation:


Items with these marks are silver plated:

  • EPNS (Electro Plated Nickel Silver)
  • EPC (Electro Plated Copper
  • EP (Electro Plate)
  • Silverplate
  • Silver on Copper
  • Triple plate
  • Double plate
  • XXX
  • A1

Items by Rogers, Oneida, Community, Reed & Barton, and International Silver Co. without a silver mark (sterling, 925, etc.) are silver plated.

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What if I don’t know if my items have value or if you buy them? Answer.

We are always happy to look at your items and evaluate them free of charge, and explain how we reach our determinations.

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