We all know where to look when shopping for jewelry, there are probably a few jewelry stores right on your doorstep in your hometown. But what about buying used jewelry? Is this something you have considered?
For many of us, perhaps the answer is ‘no’. It could be that we simply don’t trust older jewelry pieces that we find in stores, considering them to be of inferior quality to new items. Or it is possible that we think it is too much trouble to find a truly great piece of second-hand jewelry.
But this is a pity because buying used jewelry is one of the most rewarding experiences available to the modern consumer. Far from being a compromise, taking this approach could actually land you with the perfect piece of jewelry for your personal aesthetic, connecting you with a wide range of benefits in the process.
Let’s take a look at some of these benefits in more detail.
First and foremost, let’s tackle the most obvious benefit: buying used jewelry will help you to connect with far lower prices than those you would find on a new item. It is no secret that buying jewelry can be expensive. It is an investment after all. But this does not mean that we should pay over the odds whenever we seek to purchase items for our collection.
The price of new jewelry is also increasing. In 2017, the average price of gold in the United States was just over $1,257 per troy ounce. While this is significantly less than the average price of $1,669 per troy ounce achieved in 2012, it still represents a huge increase on prices at the start of the Millennium, when the same volume of gold was available for only a few hundred dollars.
Factor in the cost of diamonds and other gemstones and you have a commodity which is increasing in value, but which is becoming more and more difficult to buy new. Buying second hand instead sidesteps this predicament and gives you the chance to buy amazing jewelry at a great price.
High Value is Achievable
There are certain connotations surrounding the word ‘cheap’. We all want to find a bargain, and we all want to get the quality that we desire for less, but do we really want something which is cheap?
This question becomes particularly important when we are talking about aesthetic items, such as furniture, clothing, or jewelry. Of course, we want to secure these items at as low a price as possible. But we certainly do not want these items to appear cheap, particularly in the eyes of others.
It is this which has perhaps put consumers off buying second-hand jewelry in the past. In many instances, they may simply look at the relatively low price and immediately go in search of something else. This is the wrong way to approach things. If consumers search carefully and adopt a discerning attitude to the jewelry, they will find that there is great value to be found among second-hand pieces, and no one need know about that pleasingly low price tag.
An Evolving Story
Buying a new piece of jewelry is all well and good, but there is a certain lack of romance to the process. The craftsmanship you are investing in – while certainly of a high quality – is likely to be only a few months old, and the piece itself has been handled by no one but the artisans, the sales staff of the store, and yourself.
When you buy used jewelry, you are investing in a human story, and you are continuing that story in a new and exciting direction. It could be that the ring you purchase today was once scrimped and saved for by a lovestruck suitor eager to do something special for his future wife. Perhaps the broach which matches your blouse so nicely was once passed down to a young woman by her beloved grandmother. The possibilities are almost endless.
In some cases, the sales staff may be able to fill in a few of these details for you, telling you about the journey that this piece of jewelry has made through the ages and into your hands. However, it doesn’t really matter. You will still know that, by purchasing a piece of used jewelry, you are connected to an important human story, and you are charged with writing the next chapter.
Protecting Our Planet
The precious metals and gemstones which are used to make jewelry are finite resources which are found within the earth. This means, of course, that these resources cannot last forever. There is only a limited supply of the composite elements of jewelry, and it is this, in part, which contributes to its high cost and value.
But this also means that, by extracting these elements and using them in jewelry, we are causing incremental harm to our planet and depleting its resources. Even though fine jewelry pieces are produced in relatively low quantities when compared to other products of our natural resources, this still translates to a significant amount of damage over time.
And this is not the only way in which buying new jewelry can be harmful to the planet. These resources must also be mined and processed. This means deploying industrial machinery and processes to take them out of the ground and then using factories and other facilities to refine the metals and stones ahead of crafting the jewelry. These processes can be highly energy intensive and therefore contribute to global warming and other harmful effects.
By investing in second-hand jewelry, we are taking positive steps towards protecting our environment for future generations. Every time you buy used jewelry, you are eliminating the need for new stones and gold to be mined and processed, reducing the impact on our planet almost to zero. We are often told about the positive effects of recycling plastic or glass, but recycling jewelry can be similarly important.
Falling in Love at First Sight
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of walking into a store, spotting a piece of jewelry, and falling in love immediately. Unfortunately, modern jewelry shopping does not always provide this opportunity for instant romance. Often, these days, consumers will pick pieces out of a catalog, or even head online to make their selection.
This is undoubtedly convenient and will be welcome to those of us with busy schedules, but there is something missing. In most cases, you may make a selection from a catalog, and then the piece must be ordered for you, either delivered to the store for collection or sent directly to your home.
When buying used jewelry, the process is rather different. You come into the store, you browse the different pieces available and, maybe – just maybe – one piece, in particular, jumps out at you. You have fallen in love with this piece of jewelry at first sight. You pick it up, you hold it in your hands, you run your fingers over its surface, you try it on. This is a tactile, physical experience, far more rewarding than simply picking a piece of jewelry from the pages of a glossy brochure or from a computer screen.
Sure, there is a little bit more investment required in terms of time and effort, but the thrill you will experience when you find that perfect piece of jewelry is second to none.
A Rich and Diverse Tradition
We have already explored the delights of shopping for used jewelry, and you are probably already beginning to understand the wonderful possibilities which are afforded to consumers who select this option. However, this is still only part of the story.
Those who look to second-hand and used jewelry dealers for inspiration and for beguiling items to add to their collection are part of a rich and diverse tradition. Just like vintage clothing aficionados, or those who prefer digging through crates of vinyl to downloading tunes directly to their smartphones, fans of used jewelry are interesting characters with great stories to tell. You are likely to find kindred spirits – people who share your passion for high-quality jewelry – when you embark on your adventure.
And this diversity is reflected in the range that you will find. While retailers who deal exclusively in new pieces are governed by the tastes and styles popular in the present day, second-hand dealers are not bound by such restrictions.
Of course, it is great to connect with the latest styles and design concepts, but there is so much more to fashion and to jewelry than this. When you browse a second-hand collection, you will be dazzled by the sheer amount of choice which is on offer.
Styles from ten years ago, styles from last year, styles from several decades ago, styles from a century ago, or even more; all of these pieces still have their own intrinsic value and can make a great addition to your collection. Don’t limit yourself. Enjoy an amazing adventure when you explore second-hand jewelry pieces.
Just as Good as a New Piece of Jewelry
It is time to put to bed a myth which has dogged the reputation of second-hand jewelry for many years: the myth of quality. When we think of the terms ‘used’, ‘new’, and ‘second hand’, it is the ‘new’ which sticks out, screaming ‘quality’.
But is this fair? Why is it that a new piece of jewelry can be high quality, while a second-hand piece cannot?
There is, of course, no truth to this myth. There is no reason why you cannot connect with pieces of superlative quality jewelry when you shop second hand. It simply takes a bit of effort.
Take your time, shop around, consult with the experts. Examine each piece of jewelry you are interested in and make sure that you find a piece of high quality. By adopting this approach, you can make sure that the piece of jewelry you find is just as good as a new item, and even better in many cases if it has been kept in good condition.
Unique Pieces Which Can’t Be Found Elsewhere
You don’t buy jewelry just so you can look like everyone else. You buy jewelry because you want to make a statement – because you want to reflect the idiosyncrasies of your style and personality.
When you shop for new pieces of jewelry, this can be difficult. Even if you select a prestigious, high cost, jewelry investment, the chances that someone else is walking around with exactly the same piece as you are high. Even if the piece itself is expertly crafted, with an exquisite aesthetic, it is unlikely to be unique. If the piece does happen to be exclusive, this is likely to come with an astronomical price tag.
Exclusivity is something of a given when it comes to buying used jewelry. Second-hand pieces come from such a wide variety of sources – both in terms of where and when they were initially produced – that it is highly unlikely you are going to bump into anyone else with the same piece.
For a unique twist on jewelry fashion, and an exclusive addition to your collection, buying used is the way to go.
Connecting Past and Future
Just imagine a world in which no one purchased second-hand jewelry. All those gorgeous pieces, all those vibrant, enriching stories, would be lost forever. There would be no way to bring those artifacts of the past into the present, and no connection to the future.
By choosing to buy used jewelry, you are keeping this rich history alive. You are helping to keep the flame burning for fine, well-crafted jewelry, for now, and forever. This is a great feeling to experience, so don’t let it pass you buy.
Want to get started and find a charming, unique piece of used jewelry today? Get in touch with the team here at Monte De Piedad, or visit us at one of our locations. We have a wide range of different items, any of which could be your next signature jewelry piece.