Pawning Jewelry in San Diego │ Your Ultimate guide to Pawning Jewelry

Pawning jewelry in San Diego can be intimidating, especially the first time out. You will need to think about which pawn shop to go to, which jewelry to pawn, and whether pawning or selling is your best option. All of these decisions matter if you want to get the most money for your jewelry. If you are like most people, money is your reason for pawning your jewelry in the first place.

Guide to Pawning Jewelry

You’ve probably noticed all the signs directing people to pawn shops throughout the city. If you have never shopped at a pawn shop, you may be surprised to learn that they carry a broad range of valuable items. The great thing about shopping at pawn shops is that people often get better products at a lower cost. It’s a great way to find unusual items or even those that are highly in demand. It’s also a great place to buy all styles and types of jewelry.

Which Jewelry Should You Pawn?

Pawn shops do not accept costume jewelry, no matter what the quality. They do accept gold jewelry but not gold plated. Most will pawn silver as well. Jewelry may also include stones, but pawn shops are only interested in diamonds. In fact, some will only accept diamonds of a certain size.

From the pawn shop’s perspective, their interest is that if you fail to come in and pay your loan off, they want something of value to cover their expenses. There is little or no value in synthetic or semi-precious stones. On the other side, precious metals and diamonds are always valuable and can be easily sold for a profit. It just makes good business sense to take in jewelry that has the potential to make them money.

Pawning Vs. Selling

Pawning works much like a secured loan at a bank. You put up something of value in exchange for the loan of money. If you repay the money, you get your property back. If you don’t, the bank retains ownership of the property.

The same is true when pawning jewelry. The jewelry is your collateral for the money the pawn shop loans you. You will be given a certain amount of time to pay back your loan. If you don’t, then you forego ownership of your collateral.

Another option in addition to pawning is to sell the jewelry outright. You will usually get more for it by selling than you will if you pawn it. The big difference is that if you sell it, you won’t have the option to come in and pay off your loan to get it back. If you change your mind and go back to buy it from the pawn shop, you will have to pay a higher price than you would have for your loan. To make sure you take the best option for your needs, make your mind up before you go to the pawn shop.

The choice that is right for you will depend on whether your jewelry has sentimental value. If you want or need to get it back, pawning is the right choice. If you want the most cash from the transaction and you don’t really want the jewelry, selling is the way to go.

The Issue of Sentimental Attachment

Even if your initial plan is pawning jewelry in San Diego and then paying off the loan, you should be prepared to lose the jewelry if your plan doesn’t work out. You never know when something could prevent you from getting the money. Another financial emergency may take priority over paying off your loan.

You may think that you don’t have any sentimental attachment to the jewelry. Or it may simply be your only option to get the money that you need. Make sure that the piece doesn’t mean more to you than you realize. If it is your only option, make sure you choose a pawn shop that won’t push you to pay before it’s convenient for you.

How Pawn Shops Appraise Jewelry

Appraise Jewelry

Now you know what types of materials pawn shops want. But how do they decide on the actual value?

If you plan on pawning jewelry in San Diego, make sure the pawn shop you work with has in-depth knowledge about jewelry materials, workmanship, and brands.

Pawn shops use several factors to appraise jewelry. Pawn shops use the “4Cs” to evaluate the value of a diamond just like a jeweler does. The color, cut, clarity, and carat weight determine the value according to a standard scale. Many people suggest using do-it-yourself tests to determine if your diamond is real. Thanks to the improvements in quality of fake stones, these are not foolproof. If you don’t want to leave it to the pawn shop to determine the value of your diamond, take it to a jeweler for an appraisal first. You will have to pay for the appraisal regardless of the findings.

Jewelry that is made by a top designer will be more valuable. Although semi-precious gemstones are not valuable, a piece of jewelry that is more decorative may have a higher value than one that is plain.

The type of metal used will also make a difference in the value. While gold is considered the standard for jewelry, anything made of platinum will be worth even more.

The value of jewelry that is made of gold will depend on the type of gold used. The pawn shop will use a chemical to measure whether the gold is 12K, 14K, 24K, etc. They will then weigh the piece. This information is entered into a formula that includes the current price of gold to get the final price.

If you were the one who purchased your jewelry from a retailer, don’t be disappointed when you don’t get the same price offered to you now. First of all, the retailer probably had a significant markup on top of the actual value of the piece. Also, like many of the finer things in life, the value will have depreciated to some degree because it is secondhand.

How to Research Pawn Shops


It isn’t realistic to expect the first pawn shop you come across to be the one that will give you the best deal. When pawning jewelry in San Diego, there are lots of pawn shops to choose from. There are always going to be those that deal on the crooked side. They may even deliberately fool you into thinking your jewelry is worth less. To get the best value and a fair deal, you need to do your research to find the right pawn shop for your needs.

  • Licensing – Pawn shops can’t just do whatever they want. They must abide by strict laws and regulations to ensure they give their customers a fair deal. The best pawn shops will have a pawnbroker’s license and others such as a second-hand dealer license. Only do business with a pawn shop that has, at minimal, a pawnbroker’s license.
  • Great Testimonials – People love to share their experiences with others. This is especially true when they feel a business has failed to give them good service. Look beyond the pawn shop’s website to find testimonials by others who have used their services and have had a positive experience. Search for local recommendations and see what pops up. You can also put the names of several pawn shops into the search to find any comments related to them.
  • How They Work – Although the basics of how pawn shops work are similar, it is the subtle differences that could get you the best deal. Find out how much time they give you on your loan and if there offer any backup plans in case something unexpected comes up. You want to make sure that when you pawn jewelry that you want to get back that you don’t end up losing it because of a deadline.
  • Types of Items They Deal In – One of the worst things you can do is take your jewelry to a pawn shop that handles electronics and guns! Jewelry is a very specialized area that requires expertise and integrity on the part of the pawn shop owner. Makes sure you look for a pawn shop that deals primarily in jewelry and has the reputation for giving a fair deal that you can feel good about.
  • Interest Rates – Like any lender, a pawn shop charges interest rates on their loans. The rate they offer could make a big difference in how much you have to pay back to have your jewelry returned to you. This is especially true when you pawn jewelry with a high value.

Reasons for Pawning Jewelry in San Diego

If you are considering going to a pawn shop for the first time, you might think your reasons seem silly or unusual. The fact is that there are two basic reasons that cause people to pawn their jewelry: either they no longer want their jewelry, or they need the money worse!

There are many situations that fall under either or both of these categories including:

  • To get rid of jewelry that was a gift once a relationship or marriage has ended
  • They simply don’t like the jewelry and no longer want to hang onto it
  • They want to replace it with more modern fashionable pieces
  • To pay pressing bills such as medical expenses or dental procedures
  • Car repairs to restore their work vehicle
  • To get something else that they like better than jewelry

What to Do with Old or Broken Jewelry

If you have jewelry that is old or broken, you might wonder what kind of value a pawn shop would place on it. Sometimes gold chains will break due to the softness of the metal. It may be possible to get them repaired, but it can cost you a lot of money.

Sometimes the repairs made to gold jewelry look uneven or obvious. They never have the same appearance and feel that they did before the damage occurred. The good news is that you can sell your broken jewelry and get a good profit. When pawning jewelry in San Diego, take along any broken pieces that you have to potentially sell. Broken jewelry is not something that you can wear, anyway. The pawn shop can determine the value of the metal and provide you with a good price if it is gold or silver.

The reason that pawn shops will pay for broken jewelry is that they don’t sell all of the pieces they take in. Instead, those made of precious metals are bought by the gram or ounce and melted down to make other things. That means that any amount of damage won’t impact the value of the metal or the price they will pay.

Should You Include Your Vintage Jewelry?

Pawning Vintage Jewelry

You may have jewelry that has been passed down through your family for many years. Or you may have just found some old pieces of jewelry at a yard sale. It’s true that some pieces of vintage jewelry are very valuable. But most are only worth the value of the metals and stones used to make them if you take them to a pawn shop.

Before you sell your vintage jewelry as scrap, take it to a professional jeweler or antique dealer who can tell you its value. You should also weigh the sentimental value of an heirloom against the potential financial value you may receive. Vintage jewelry is only valuable in the right hands. In most cases, that isn’t going to be the pawn shop.

Pawning jewelry in San Diego is something that a lot of people have done many times. Once you have done your research and you know where to go, all you have to do is tell them why you’re there.

If you want to find out more about the jewelry pawning process or to get the best terms from a San Diego pawn shop, contact us today and ask us about the MPD advantage!