A seller will receive more money for their jewelry from a reputable jeweler with an established clientele than at auction. This is because auction houses charge a 25-35% premium of the final selling price paid, plus expenses.
We recently were interested in buying a bracelet for $30,000. The bracelet sold for $27,000 at auction. The final cost to the purchaser, including the buyer’s premium of 19.5% fee, was $32,265. The seller received $22,950 after the 15% seller’s premium was subtracted out. Had the seller sold directly to Pampillonia they would of received over $7,000 more or an additional 30%.
Always consider obtaining an immediate offer for your jewelry from a retail jeweler. An auction house will set a minimum value or a reserve for your item. That amount might be far less then the item is worth. Auction houses do this to attract potential buyers. There is however, substantial risk. Your item could sell at a final price close to the reserve and you would receive a significantly lower amount than you were expecting.
In most cases selling directly to an established jeweler is your best course of action. You will always receive substantially more for your jewelry then an action house can guarantee.