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Which Stones and Precious Metals Are the Most Valuable

Whether you’re buying jewelry or selling it secondhand, the value of your piece will largely be dictated by whether it includes precious metal or gemstones. Luxury accessories almost always include precious metals and stones because they elevate the price of the piece and add to its rarity. While many consider gold and diamonds to be the most desirable materials to own in a jewelry piece, they’re actually oftentimes not the most expensive. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most valuable stones and precious metals on the market, so when you stop by Watch & Wares Tustin, you’ll know exactly why your piece is valued at its listed price.

Platinum

There are four precious metals used in jewelry: platinum, gold, silver, and palladium. Of the four, platinum is often the most expensive and definitely the most exclusive. It’s 30 times rarer than gold and used in a purer form. It’s the densest, strongest, and most non-corrosive of the precious metals, which makes it an ideal choice for those who want a low-maintenance metal whose beauty will stand the test of time.

Gold 

Because of its desirability, durability, and malleability, gold is the most popular precious metal option. It’s a traditional precious metal choice that has been coveted for thousands of years as both a jewelry base and a currency. Its value fluctuates daily and is measured by the purity of the gold used, with 24 karat gold being the most valuable with 100% gold.

Silver

Silver is the most popular jewelry base option after gold. Sterling silver is often considered the standard for high-quality silver jewelry since it’s over 90% pure silver. Silver is more affordable than gold, making it a great options for those on a budget, but its price is also much more volatile than gold. If you’re selling silver jewelry, be sure to monitor the market price before you sell to ensure you’re getting the best value possible for your piece.

Palladium

The fourth and least common precious metal option is palladium. Palladium is used to create white gold alloys in jewelry. It is combined with one or more other white metals such as nickel, platinum, manganese, zinc, or silver in order to create a stronger material than silver that replicates the same desirable silver color.

When it comes to gemstones in jewelry, many consumers value colorless diamonds for their classic appearance and high desirability. However, they’re far from the most valuable gemstone available. From colored diamonds to rare gemstones, here are some of the most valuable stones on the market.

Blue Diamond

The most expensive gemstone in the world is a diamond, but it’s not just any diamond. The ultra-rare blue diamond is valued at $3.93 million per carat. Blue diamonds consistently sell for millions of dollars at auction to some of the world’s top collectors. The world’s biggest blue diamond, – a 14.62-carat emerald-cut – was sold at auction for $57.5 million in 2016. While it’s not the most expensive jewel ever sold, it does take home the prize for the most valuable price per carat.

Jadeite

Jadeite comes in at a close second for most valuable at $3 million per carat. Jadeite is the purest, rarest, and most vivid form of jade in the world. Despite being known for its vibrant green color, jadeite can actually come in a variety of colors such as red, yellow, and black. Jadeite plays a significant role in Chinese culture, symbolizing prestige and status. 

Ruby

Ruby is one of the most sought-after gemstones due to its range of stand-out fiery red hues. The ruby is often referred to as the “King of Gemstones” and it’s become a symbol of passion and life due to its blood-like color. The most expensive ruby ever sold, a 26-carat stone named the Sunrise Ruby, was sold for $30 million in 2015, making it worth $1.18 million per carat.

Emerald

Emeralds, known for their unique green tones, are some of the most popular gemstones in the world. Most emeralds are found with flaws, so those that are found to not have any often fetch enormous figures at auction. The most expensive emerald per carat ever sold was the Rockefeller Emerald, an 18-carat gemstone that was sold for $5.5 million, or $305,000 per carat.

If you’re looking to buy or sell jewelry with precious metals or stones, stop by Watch & Wares Tustin for a free appraisal. We buy gold jewelry and offer jewelry loans if you’re not ready to part with your piece permanently. Our expert appraisers have years, if not decades, in the fine jewelry industry, and we consistently offer the most competitive rates in the area. To find out what the value of your gold jewelry is, stop by Watch & Wares today.

The Jewelry Loan Process with Watch & Wares

If you need cash quickly for unexpected expenses and you have valuable jewelry that you’re able to trade, collateral loans can be a great option. With a collateral loan, you don’t need a credit check to qualify, and failing to repay doesn’t hurt your credit score. You can capitalize on the value of your valuable jewelry pieces without permanently losing them when you choose jewelry loans through Watch & Wares in Tustin

The Appraisal Process

In order to determine the value of the loan, we appraise your jewelry and estimate its approximate value on the secondhand market. Our expert gemologists will assess your pieces based on the precious metals and stones they contain as well as brand and condition.

If your jewelry contains diamonds, our gemologists will value each diamond in order to calculate the item’s worth. They will evaluate the cut, clarity, color, weight, and condition. When assessing color, we’ll assign each diamond a letter on the GIA color scale, with D being the whitest in color and Z being the most color tinted. Clarity will also be assessed according to GIA standards. After we’ve determined its clarity grade, we’ll weigh the diamonds in carats. This is arguably one of the most important factors since diamond prices are largely based on the weight of the diamond in carats. Once we’ve determined the value of a diamond in your weight bracket, we’ll assess the condition of the diamond and calculate the exact market value of the diamonds in your jewelry piece. We can then use this to offer you a fair and honest loan value for your diamond jewelry.

If you have gold jewelry to pawn, we calculate the value of your gold based on the weight in troy ounces, the purity in carats, and the current gold spot price. Once we’ve determined the weight and purity of your gold, we can apply a formula that calculates the exact value of the gold present in your jewelry piece. This will help us more accurately determine the value of the piece overall. 

Our Collateral Loan Terms

Once we’ve appraised your piece and established its approximate resale value, we’ll offer you a collateral loan for that amount. Should you choose to accept the loan terms, you’ll be issued a loan ticket clearly stating all of the terms so that the process is completely transparent. All of our loans are four-month terms with a generous ten-day grace period. Our interest rates are state-regulated, and paying back the full interest rate enables you to renew your loan if needed. We’ll hold on to your jewelry until you repay the loan within the agreed-upon timeframe. If you fail to pay back or renew your loan in time, we’ll keep your jewelry as repayment. This makes collateral loans a great option for those with poor credit or those who fear damaging their credit score, as failure to repay collateral loans will never affect your credit in any way. If you do repay your loan on time, then you can come collection your jewelry from our Tustin location at your earliest convenience.

Collateral loans are a wonderful tool to have if you need cash to last you until the next pay period. They allow you to cash in on the remarkable value of your fine jewelry pieces without having to permanently part with them. If you have diamond or gold jewelry that you would like to have evaluated for a loan, stop by our Tustin location today. Our expert team members have decades of experience in the fine jewelry industry and can quickly and accurately appraise your items with no hassle. We have served the Tustin and surrounding Orange County area for more than 25 years, so you can trust us to consistently offer fair loan values in a comfortable setting with exceptional customer service.

How to Ensure You’re Receiving a Fair Value for Your Diamond Jewelry

When you’re selling something as valuable and sentimental as beautiful diamond jewelry, you want to make sure that you are receiving a fair offer for it. However, it can be difficult to approximate the value of your own diamond pieces, as it can be largely dependant on the setting, age, and condition as well as the quality of the diamond itself. Your knowledge of the value can often be reliant on the jewelry buyer you are trying to sell to; but how do you know if they’re offering you a fair amount? Here at Watch & Wares in Orange, we are always honest and transparent in our evaluations of diamond jewelry pieces. Next time you’re looking to sell diamond jewelry, consider these points to ensure that you’re receiving a fair value for your valuables.

Know what your diamond jewelry is worth

Before you speak to a diamond jewelry buyer about the piece you want to sell, you should have a clear idea of what your diamond jewelry is worth. Untrustworthy buyers may try to offer you far less than is fair in order to clear the largest profit margin possible. In order to ensure that you are receiving a fair value for your diamond jewelry, speak to a jewelry appraiser or gemologist who does not buy or sell diamond jewelry at all. Speaking to a third party with no financial interest will guarantee an objective and fair evaluation of your pieces. Knowing this value going in will help you ensure that you get the fairest value. Although all diamond jewelry buyers will offer slightly less than this value due to the costs and fees associated with re-selling your piece, you will be able to determine who is offering you the fairest and most competitive rate for your valuables.

Compare your jewelry buyer options

Don’t just speak to one seller and accept the first offer given. With any reputable diamond jewelry buyer, there is never pressure to sell and your offer will stand if you decide to leave the store and return. Make sure that you take the time to compare offers and investigate multiple options before committing to selling. Much like receiving estimates for construction work, you should collect offers and choose the fairest option. With something as important as selling diamond jewelry, you should take your time and choose an offer that you feel is fair from a company that is trustworthy. Here at Watch & Wares, we consistently offer the most competitive rates in the Orange County area. We believe in the value of your diamond jewelry; not just the stones and materials, but the value of the piece as a whole. Our expert appraisers will thoroughly assess your item and offer the best price possible based on the current market value.

Research your diamond buyer

When it comes to something as sentimental and valuable as diamond jewelry, you need to know that you’re working with someone who is trustworthy and reputable. Before selling to anyone, do your research on the diamond buyer and their reputation. Search for reviews on Yelp, check their rating with the Better Business Bureau, and ensure that they are licensed and insured. Another good way to gauge trustworthiness and expertise is to see how long the company has been in business and whether they have certified jewelers and gemologists on staff. Here at Watch & Wares, we have curated a team of expert jewelry appraisers and gemologists with decades of experience working with some of the biggest names in the diamond jewelry industry. With almost 30 years of business under our belts, Watch & Wares is a name you can trust.

Here at Watch & Wares, we treat all of our residents of Orange with respect and courtesy. We would never try to offer unfairly low prices or pressure you into selling before you’re ready. Customer satisfaction is our top priority, so we always strive to create an in-store experience that makes you comfortable and confident in your decision to sell diamond jewelry. We consistently offer the most competitive prices in the area, and our customer service speaks for itself. To schedule a diamond jewelry appraisal or for any inquiries regarding sales, give us a call at (714) 633-2030 or stop by our store in Orange.

How to Buy, Sell, and Loan Your Jewelry & Watches

If you’re looking to sell or loan your valuable accessories for cash, or if you’d like to buy fine jewelry and watches for a reasonable price, stop by Watch & Wares Tustin. We’re Orange County’s premium destination for all things luxury, including diamond and gold jewelry and watches. Whether you want to buy a secondhand Rolex, sell your family’s estate jewelry, or arrange a collateral loan, we will assist you while making the experience as convenient and stress-free as possible. We strive to create a warm and welcoming environment that will make you comfortable and confident in your experience with us.

The Buying Process

Established in 1991, Watch & Wares Tustin is a full-service jewelry store. We boast an extensive and varied inventory of fine jewelry and designer watches for competitive prices. We specialize in jewelry from the Victoria, Edwardian, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Mid-Century Modern, and Contemporary periods. No matter what time period or style you’re seeking, we can match you with a piece that you love. We also repair and restore all jewelry and watches before selling them, so you can rest assured that you are buying jewelry or any luxury piece in the best condition possible. 

The Selling Process

We have purchased jewelry and watches from Orange County residents for over 25 years, and all of our appraisers have decades of experience in fine jewelry sales and appraisal. We don’t just offer you the value of the gold or stones in your jewelry like many other buyers; we appreciate beautiful jewelry pieces and want to find them a new, loving home completely intact. We offer top dollar for your jewelry, gold, and watches and give you your money same-day in cash. When you bring in your piece, one of our expert team members will take time to evaluate it and determine its market value. For gold items, this includes determining the value of the gold based on weight and purity. All of our scales are certified by Orange County Field of Weight & Measure to ensure that all measurements are accurate to the industry standard and you are receiving the fairest offer possible. Once we’ve appraised the item, we’ll quote you the best possible price with no obligation to sell. If you do choose to sell the piece, we’ll give you your money right away. We are a fully licensed and certified buyer with extensive experience and the trust of Southern California.

The Loan Process

If you have valuable jewelry or watches that you don’t want to part with permanently, collateral loans are an excellent option for those who need quick cash. All of our collateral loans are four-month loans with a generous ten-day grace period. Our interest rates are all state regulated and based on the value of the loan. Once we’ve appraised your item, we’ll offer you a fair and non-negotiable value. If you choose to accept the loan terms, we’ll issue you a loan ticket with all of your loan term information so that the process is fully transparent. Once you’ve repaid the loan in full, we will return your items to you right away. If you fail to repay the loan within the four-month timeframe, we will keep your item as repayment for the loan. We also offer the option to renew your loan, which can be done by paying the interest owed on it. 

Watches & Wares Tustin is proud to offer a variety of services for those looking to buy, sell, or loan their valuable jewelry and watches. We are always honest and fully transparent, with unparalleled customer service standards. If you are looking to buy or sell one of your items, stop by our store to receive a free appraisal and browse our extensive selection of designer pieces. Our 25 years of success in Orange County is proof that you can trust us to provide you with a premium experience, no matter what you need.

Buy & Sell Luxury Handbags with Watch & Wares

If you live in or near the city of Orange and you’re looking for a trustworthy place to buy or sell luxury handbags, look no further than Watch & Wares. We have been a reliable reseller of authentic designer handbags and other luxury goods since 1991. From Chanel classic flaps to Hermes Birkins, we boast an impressive collection of pre-loved designer handbags listed for sale at a reasonable price. We are always looking to buy your designer bags, and our thorough appraisal process results in some of the most competitive offer prices in the area. Here’s what to expect if you come into Watch & Wares for an appraisal on your luxury handbag.

Brand Value

The first thing we’ll consider is the designer brand name. Certain luxury brands are worth more than others, so bags by designers such as Chanel and Hermes are going to be worth more than those by brands such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton. Legacy, demand, and retail value are all considerations when assessing brand value and resale market price. Although we only purchase luxury brands, we’ll still consider the brand’s value within the luxury market hierarchy to gauge value.

Classic & Permanent Styles

Each designer brand has certain bags within its line that are considered classics and are part of their permanent collections. These classic styles never go on sale and, in fact, consistently increase in value over time. For example, the Chanel classic flap used to cost just $2,700 in 2009, and it now retails for more than $6,200 – that’s a 230% increase in value in the last ten years alone. Other classic styles include the Hermes Birkin, Hermes Kelly, and Louis Vuitton Speedy. Bags in classic styles can be resold for much more than trend pieces, and they are often even sold for more than their purchase price. If the luxury handbag you’d like to sell is a classic style, we will be able to offer you more for your item.

Color, Material, & Packaging

Details such as the color, material, and accompanying packaging are also factors in a bag’s resale value. Neutral colors such as black and nude tend to be worth more due to their wide appeal and versatility. Colored bags require a more specific customer and will have a lower demand; therefore they will be worthless on the resale market. The material is also a factor, with rare leathers such as alligator and ostrich skin being worth far more than lambskin or calfskin. Non-leather materials such as canvas and velvet are often worth the least and have the lowest resale value. The inclusion of original packaging and proof of authenticity can also increase the purchase value. If you have the accompanying box, dust bag, purchase receipt, and authenticity card, we can offer you more for your luxury bag than if you have the bag alone to provide.

Although many buyers know that a bag’s condition and level of wear & tear will be a factor in its secondhand value, many may not realize that several other factors must be taken into consideration. It all depends on a variety of factors that our expert appraisers will carefully assess. The combination of these will result in the offer price that we can provide following your appraisal. Bags can be worth virtually nothing, slightly less than their purchase price, or even double their purchase price. Our offers are always highly competitive and often unrivaled. We consistently offer more for your luxury items than other pawn shops and consignment stores in the city of Orange and the surrounding area. To schedule an appraisal or find out more about the inventory we have available, call Watch & Wares – Handbags & Couture at (714) 633-2030 today.

Collateral Loans on Diamonds

If you have loose diamonds or diamond jewelry that you don’t want to permanently part with, but you need money quickly for unexpected expenses, consider taking out a collateral loan on your diamonds. Our Tustin location performs diamond appraisals and can provide same-day diamond-backed loans for you. Watch & Wares is fully licensed and bonded, and we offer some of the most competitive prices in the area.

The Diamond Appraisal Process

In order to establish the value of the loan, we appraise your diamonds to see what their value on the secondhand market is. Our expert gemologists will assess your stones based on several factors: cut, clarity, color, weight, and condition.

The shape or cut of the diamond is important when assessing value. For example, round diamonds tend to hold the most value in comparison to other, more specialized shapes. The diamond’s color is also assessed, and we assign it a letter on the GIA color scale, with D being the whitest in color and Z being the most color tinted. Clarity will also be assessed according to GIA standards. Our gemologist will evaluate the diamond through as many facets as possible to ensure that they can see all of the present inclusions and identify any blemishes. After we have determined its clarity grade, we take the weight of the diamond into consideration. Diamond prices are based on the weight of the diamond in carats. If your diamond is set in jewelry, we will estimate the weight of it by measuring the diameter and depth down to the millimeter. Once we have determined the value of a diamond in your weight bracket, we will assess the condition of the diamond. Although diamonds are generally in good condition due to their extreme durability, they can sometimes break in areas over time. It is relatively rare for a diamond to be in poor condition, however.

Once we have taken all of these factors into consideration, our expert team will be able to determine the exact market value of your diamond and offer your a fair and honest loan value based on its value. If your diamonds are set in a jewelry piece, the value of the overall jewelry piece will also be evaluated and added to the loan total. For example, vintage estate jewelry tends to have a higher value.

Collateral Loan Terms

After one of our highly-trained gemologists assesses your piece and determines its market value, we’ll offer you a loan amount. There is no obligation to accept it, but we offer our best price right away. All of our collateral loans are four-month loans with a ten-day grace period. Our interest rates are based on the value of the loan, and they’re always state regulated. Should you choose to accept the loan plan offered, we’ll issue you a loan ticket that contains all of the relevant information about your loan terms. We’ll then hold on to your diamonds until you repay the full loan within the agreed-upon four-month timeframe. You also have the option to renew your loan by paying the entire interest owed. If you fail to pay back or renew your loan on time, then we will keep your diamonds as repayment. This makes collateral loans a good option for those with poor credit or those who fear damaging their credit score, as failure to repay collateral loans never affect your credit. If you do repay your loan in full, you can then come in and collect your diamonds at any time.

You can get a substantial amount of money quickly by borrowing against your diamonds with a collateral loan from Watch & Wares. If you have loose diamonds or diamond jewelry that you would like to have evaluated for a loan, stop by our Tustin location and allow one of our experienced appraisers to determine the value of your piece. We have been serving the Orange County area for more than 25 years, so you can trust us to consistently offer competitive prices with transparent processes and premium customer service.

Why Do Rolex Watches Increase in Value?

When people think of investments, they typically think of property, stocks, or bonds. These are certainly the most traditional and safe forms of monetary investment. However, some luxury items can also be investment pieces that increase in value over time. One such example is Rolex watches. Rolex watches have consistently increased in value since the brand was established, and many of their classic timepieces are now considered safe luxury investments since they are virtually guaranteed to hold their value. If you own a Rolex watch and need cash quickly, a collateral loan against your watch could earn you a lot more than you think while still allowing you to keep your investment piece for years to come.

Why Are Rolex Watches Valuable?

The short answer is that Rolex is the biggest watch brand in the world. A widely-recognized brand name adds inherent value to any item. Beyond this, several factors have caused Rolex to become a brand whose products hold their value: they’re made of high-quality materials, they’re highly in demand, they have a good brand heritage, they have an impressive list of famous customers and spokespeople, they’re easily recognized, and they’re widely available. The combination of these factors has made Rolex watches not only hold their value over time but actually increase in value. In fact, a Rolex traditionally increases in value by 5-15 percent each year.

As with all luxury goods, you have to choose the right model in order to guarantee your investment. With Rolex, sports watches such as the Submarine and the Cosmograph Daytona are desirable and classic models that can be consistently sold for the purchase price or higher. More contemporary, colorful, or customized Rolex watches, on the other hand, are more likely to depreciate in value as trends change. While some of them may end up being rare and collectible, there’s no way to guarantee this, making a classic model a much more reliable investment.

Collateral Rolex Loans with Watch & Wares

The cost of purchasing a new Rolex watch from retail stores has increased exponentially over the past three decades, even accounting for monetary inflation, and this trend is likely to continue. A classic Rolex previously purchased for $4,000 may now cost $6,000, for example, and would, therefore, be worth more than was paid for it at the time. Collateral loans are an excellent way to take advantage of this trend if you’re in need of quick cash. You can receive more money for the loan than you spent on the watch if you’ve had it for several years, which is advantageous in itself. It also means that you don’t have to sell the watch and lose your investment permanently. Following the repayment of the loan, you’ll have your item returned to your possession, and you can hold onto it for longer allowing its value to appreciate even more.

We have an expert team at our Tustin location that is qualified to appraise your Rolex and offer you a valuable collateral loan if you’re in need of quick cash. We’ll evaluate your Rolex based on the model’s value on the secondary market and overall desirability. We also take into account condition, materials, and rarity. The process is thorough but quick, and we can give you the Rolex loan value within a matter of minutes. All of our collateral loans are issued with a four-month loan term plus a ten-day grace period, and all interest is state-regulated.

Rolex’s global recognition and established history in the luxury market makes it a classic choice that people will continually desire. Rolex watches won’t go out of style like more contemporary brands might. With that risk eliminated, an investment can be made more confidently, and the value is likely to hold, if not increase. If you need cash fast but don’t want to lose your investment piece permanently, consider a collateral Rolex loan from Watch & Wares. We’ve provided luxury loans for almost 30 years, and we’re fully licensed and bonded. Visit our Tustin location near the intersection of the 55 Fwy and East 17th Street or give us a call at (714) 731-9600.

What Is A Handbag Spa?

When you invest in a designer handbag, you want to be sure that it can last a lifetime. With daily use, the delicate leather of your handbag can crease, stain, dull, and even begin to smell, so taking the proper steps to maintain your bag’s original beauty is a worthwhile endeavor. With Watch & Wares handbag spa services, we can professionally clean your handbag to the highest standard, so your bag will look as good as the day you first brought it home. Whether you need cleaning for your Chanel or a color touch-up for your Hermes, Watch & Wares will provide the premium quality service your luxury goods deserve.

Professional Cleaning

Here at Watch & Wares, we’ll provide your designer handbag with a thorough cleaning and remove all dust, grime, and buildup from the bag. When we’re finished, it will look just as pristine as the day you bought it.

Handbag Moisturization

Many luxury handbags are handcrafted using delicate materials such as soft, authentic leather. These materials require care over time to avoid drying and cracking. At our luxury handbag spa, we’ll moisturize your handbag to prevent these damages from occurring to the bag’s surfaces.

Stain Treatment and Protection

Designer handbags are meant to be worn, used, and loved, but with daily use comes the wear and tear and accidents. With our stain treatment and protection services, you can be sure that getting caught in the rain (or a coffee spill) won’t ruin your Chanel forever. Keep your designer handbag in perfect condition through anything.

Edgewear Restoration

Your handbag goes through a lot; it gets picked up, set down, thrown around, and rifled through. Daily use of your luxury handbag naturally causes wear to its edges over time, especially in softer materials such as lambskin leather or fabric. If you notice the edges of your bag fraying, bring it into Watch & Wares. Our specialized techniques, performed by trained experts, allow us to restore each edge to look as good as new again.

Color Touch-up

You may have first been attracted to that bright red designer handbag for its vibrant hue, but over time a handbag’s vibrancy can fade with use and exposure to sunlight. Watch & Wares handbag spa provides unparalleled color touch-up services that will reverse your bag’s dulling color and bring back its original beauty.

Odor & Mold Removal

Whether it was left in a closet or caught in a flood and wasn’t dried properly, odors and mold in your designer handbag are never good! At Watch & Wares, we can remove any unwanted smells and even remove mold if necessary to restore to your bag to its original glory.

A designer handbag is an investment that requires care and upkeep to ensure that it retains its value for years to come. Handbag spa services can restore any designer bag, from vintage Chanel to contemporary Gucci, and keep it looking pristine. Here at Watch & Wares, our team of trained professionals have been restoring designer handbags for decades, and we’re confident you won’t find anyone better. We understand luxury, and we always strive to provide the best service in Southern California. Call us or stop by one of our Orange County locations today for a free estimate.

 

How to Avoid a Collateral Loan Scam

Cash and jewelry loans can be a great option if you need cash fast and have valuables to trade. They don’t require a credit check, failing to repay doesn’t hurt your credit score, and you get your cash instantly. Whether you want to collateralize Rolex, estate jewelry, designer handbags, or other valuable items, a short-term collateral loan can be a good option for getting cash quickly without hurting your credit or permanently losing your valuables. However, before entering into an agreement with any lender, it’s crucial that you do your research to ensure that you don’t fall victim to a personal loan scam.

Some pawnbrokers operate illegally and fail to follow loan regulation laws. They charge more than the annual percentage rate (APR), have customers sign illegal contracts, and deceive customers about the interest rates and fees on their loans. Make sure you know the signs of a personal loan scam so that you can avoid falling victim and losing both your valuables and your money. Here are a few warning signs to look out for:

  • The lender doesn’t have a license to operate in your state

States require that any lender or pawnbroker register for a license to legally trade. Make sure that you request your lender’s license number and verify their legality before entering into an agreement with them.

  • The business has no physical address listed

If the lender has no easily searchable physical address or phone number, be wary. Scammers try to make it difficult to contact them to avoid any confrontation or legal action you may pursue if you do get scammed.

  • The loan requires up-front payment

If you’re being asked to put up a payment up front, such as a processing fee, it’s likely that you’re being scammed. Scammers want to make money quickly, so running off with your up-front “fee” is a likely scenario. Legitimate pawnbrokers will never ask you for payment when processing a collateral loan, just your valuable item which they will return once you pay off your loan.

  • They have vague loan terms or are hesitant to provide them at all

Illegal loan schemes will likely charge you more interest than the state’s legal maximum rate. They add hidden fees and high rates disguised in complex wording to make as much money off of you as possible. Make sure that your lender is transparent about their fees and interest rates to avoid paying out more than you were planning on (or is legal).

  • There are no online reviews available

Legitimate pawnbrokers will have testimonials or online reviews available for your viewing. Using third-party websites such as Yelp to verify that other customers receive satisfactory service is an excellent way to ensure that you won’t be scammed later down the line. If a business has no reviews online, it’s likely because they’ve deleted or hidden bad reviews to avoid alerting potential customers to their deceptive business practices.

Pawn shop loans are a wonderful tool to have if you need cash to last you until the next pay period, or if you’re looking to build your credit score. However, it’s imperative that you perform thorough research and stay vigilant so that you avoid falling victim to a collateral loan scam. If you need a safe and reliable cash loan for jewelry or other valuables, call Watch & Wares today or stop by our location in Old Town Orange. One of our highly-experienced professionals will be happy to walk you through the process and provide you with a fair value cash loan.

How is Gold Tested?

Before approaching your local reseller or gold buyer with gold and jewelry wares, it’s important to know exactly how the value of your items will be calculated. Becoming a more informed buyer will prevent you from being ripped off by untrustworthy businesses and ensure that you get the best price for your items. While it’s hard to attain the same knowledge as an experienced gemologist or appraiser, this article will give you some insight into how gold is tested and valued on the resale market so that you can get the maximum cash for your gold.

Figures to Know

There are three figures you need to know in order to calculate the value of your gold accurately: the weight of the gold in troy ounces, the purity of the gold in karats, and the current gold spot price. The gold spot price is the price for one troy ounce of pure, 24-karat gold at that time. The spot price can vary day to day, and minute to minute.

Troy Ounces

Precious metals like gold are weighed in ounces. However, they are not weighed by the standard ounce (28.3 grams). Instead, they are weighed in a unit of mass used in the precious metals industry called the troy ounce. The troy ounce is equal to 31.1 grams, 9% more than a standard ounce. When weighing gold, it is essential that it is weighed as accurately as possible in order to get the best estimate of value. Our scales at Watch & Wares are certified by Orange County Field of Weight & Measure to ensure that all measurements are accurate to the industry standard.

Purity

Everyone’s heard the phrase 24-karat gold. But what exactly does that mean? 24-karat gold is the purest form of gold available on the market. Gold, especially in jewelry, is rarely 100% pure gold because it would be too soft to shape. Instead, it is often mixed with other metals such as zinc that result in a lower karat alloy more suitable for making jewelry. To calculate the purity of your gold for market value, first find out how many karats your piece is and divide that number by 24. If your item is 14-karat gold, for example, you would divide that number by 24 to get the figure 0.583. That means that your jewelry piece is 58.3% pure gold. The higher the percentage of gold in your item, the higher the value of your piece will be.

The Formula

Although gold jewelry and accessories will vary in price based on style, brand, condition, and a number of other factors, a formula can generally be used to calculate the price of the raw gold itself. This formula is (spot price / 31.1) x purity in decimals x weight of the item in grams. So, for example, if you had 1 gram of 14-karat gold, and the current spot price was $1300, you could calculate the value of that gold by doing the following calculation: (1300 / 31.1) x 0.583 x 1 = $24.37.

However, as stated, this value only applies to the gold itself, not the overall item or piece of jewelry. For full appraisals, visit a reputable jeweler or pawnbroker and have your item evaluated. Here at Watch & Wares, we always offer a fair and honest price to customers. Call us at (714) 633-2030 or come into one of our stores to get cash for your gold today!