7th Feb 2014

Tips for Auction House Buying


This year we continue our foray with auction houses. What to buy you might wonder?

Here are a few tips:

1. Gold necklaces are a good buy. Auction houses price gold at 25% below gold prices in order to allow for the premium, so even if you end up at the top of the estimated range you are still probably buying at market rate for gold.

2. Beautiful diamond ladies watches. The market here is very soft which translates to: BUY. Why? Well it seems that today’s consumer isn’t so wild about the mechanical wind up watch because so many watches are now battery operated. It’s also a great way to get a diamond bracelet look for a fourth (that’s right) of the price.

3. Victorian jewelry. Fringe pieces and gold pieces can be had for a reasonable price, just make sure the design itself is interesting and not too fussy as was some times the case for the period.

4. Pearls. There are a variety of choices, sizes and colors and they can be bought for less than new ones.

And if you are selling:

1. Meet with several houses. The range of pricing estimates is worth shopping the piece a bit. Auction houses have their own specialties. Study their online catalogues to get an idea of what that specialty might be.

2. Sellers commissions are negotiable especially if you have a nice piece that anchors the lot being consigned. Generally speaking auction houses do not take just one item.

3. If you have a gold piece, consider having it re-made into something new as you will most likely not get what was paid for it (see tip #1 above)

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