Cashing in – Biggest Bang for Your Bling

The newest gold rush hitting Connecticut has people trying to turn their old gold into green.

Using a hidden camera, we took a yellow gold and diamond wedding band to a jeweler, a pawnshop, and we posted ads on Craigslist and eBay.  We were on a pursuit to see who would pay the most.

The ring was appraised at $2,200 at the time of purchase ten years ago.

Our first stop was Franklin Jewelers in Farmington.

The gemologist carefully examined the ring and told us upfront, he couldn't give us anywhere near what we paid for it.  But we asked for a quote anyway.

He said, "sell it today, you'd get $290 for it.. That’s what we would pay for it, yeah."

Next on the list was Tri-State sales pawnshop in Hartford.  After a bit of back and forth we were made an offer,"you're looking at about $175.”

We then posted the ring on Craigslist and asked potential buyers to make an offer.  Although many inquired, few actually made an offer, instead, asking us to name our price.  One woman did throw out a number, $300.
Finally, we headed to eBay and listed the ring in a five day auction.  We set a high reserve price and let the bids begin.  The highest bid was $510.  But the very next day, we received an eBay message from a potential buyer offering $650 for the ring.  A week later, the same person upped their offer to $800.
Although, the offers were just a fraction of the appraised value, there's no question selling to private buyers online got us the highest return for our ring.  

It's something that comes as no surprise to longtime pawn man, Ralph Lane.

"Good jewelry we tell people they're better off trying to sell it privately rather than just sell it to us, we buy it for the scrap value," said Lane.

Lane owns Fast Eddy’s pawnshop in West Hartford.  He says people need to have realistic expectations when selling their jewelry.

"Rule of thumb is, they're only going to recapture, 10 to 15 percent of what was paid for it," he said.

In our search to turn gold into green, eBay shoppers forked out the most cash, offering almost 40 percent of the ring's appraised value.  The pawn shop offered us the least, less than 10 percent of its value.

But keep in mind, this was only one investigation with one piece of jewelry.  Offers will likely vary depending on what you're selling...and when you try selling it.

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