Selling pearl jewelry at a good price is slightly more complicated than selling common gold, silver or platinum jewelry. Pearls can't be sold for scrap, so the buyers are limited relative to other types of jewelry. Pawn shops, jewelers and online auction sites like Ebay are the best options for selling secondhand pearl jewelry.
Go to a jeweler to have your pearl jewelry appraised. Visit multiple jewelers and certify the appraisal with the jeweler. Use this appraisal as a guideline for how much to sell your pearl jewelry. Bring documentation supporting the provenance of the pearls in the jewelry to assist the appraiser in determining an accurate value if possible. Some high-end antique vendors will provide provenance documentation at the time of sale. Such documentation includes receipts from the original time of sale, old appraisal documents, previous appraisals, guarantees and warranties. After the appraisal is complete, request detailed documentation that explains both the appraised value of the pearl jewelry and the factors that made up the valuation.
Visit retail jewelers that purchase secondhand jewelry with your certified appraisal and ask how much they are willing to pay for your pearls. Pawn shops will usually purchase jewelry faster than retail jewelers, but they typically offer very little money relative to its appraised value.
Take a close-up digital photograph of the pearls on a white or off-white background with white light shining directly onto the jewelry to showcase your jewelry. Darker colored pearls appear more vibrant on white backgrounds, while pure white pearls will show up better with the contrast of off-white. Drape jewelry on a mannequin or include prop for a more complex background. Photograph pearls from multiple angles to accurately show the shape of the pearls.
List the pearl jewelry on an auction site. Write a description that includes the provenance of the pearls, the jeweler who designed it and how old the item is. Include a scan of the certified appraisal. Set a starting price between 60 to 100 percent of the appraised value. If the auction attracts no bids, lower the starting bid by at least 10 percent and improve the description.
Consider listing the jewelry on a peer-to-peer sales site such as Craigslist. Use secure transaction methods such as Paypal or cash, since checks or money orders can be made fraudulently. Money order fraud works by issuing a fraudulent certified check to the victim which initially clears, but is later discovered by the bank to be a forgery.
John Hewitt began freelancing in 2008, writing about subjects ranging from music to stock trading, the energy industry and business. His ghostwritten work has appeared all over the Web. He attended New York University, pursuing a bachelor's degree in history.