WHEN YOU CONSIDER SELLING YOUR JEWELLERY your first thought is probably selling at auction – they get so much publicity – and such amazing prices – and offer impartial advice – why would n’t you? Well, several reasons. Firstly, Christies & Sothebys won’t take anything that they don’t think will fetch at least £3,000 which cuts out a lot of perfectly decent pieces. Secondly, they and smaller salerooms take around 15% commission from the hammer/selling price, and add 25% plus VAT to the hammer/selling price, which the buyer has to pay. The buyer therefore deducts 30% from the price he/she would have been prepared to pay to take this into account, so effectively you lose up to 40%, or two-fifths, of the value of your item, reducing what you get, for example, from an item costing the buyer in total £1000 down to £600 which is what you get. You may also be charged for catalogue entries, photography, and insurance, further depleting your return. And the amazing prices usually relate to outstandingly rare items which are n’t what most of us possess. More commercial items get ‘cat’s-meat’ estimates.

From my life-long contacts in the jewellery trade, and with private customers, I am able to place your items for you advantageously. You will receive a firm offer, if accepted, prompt payment, again unlike the salerooms, where your item may or may not sell after several months waiting for the sale, and, if sold, another month or six weeks to payment. Smaller salerooms may improve on these timings, but generally get lower prices.

Dealers would often be happy with a 40% margin, after taking the risk and capital investment of buying and stocking an item. The salerooms take no risk at all, don’t involve their capital, yet get up to 40% for producing a catalogue and organising a sale. Is this outrageous? Estate agents get 2% for doing the same.

For a fee or commission and expenses, I am happy to advise on forming a collection of jewellery or silver, or to advise on something you may be thinking of buying either retail or at auction. My advise is unbiased and could save you a lot of money.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me on 020 7629 5060 or email Email photos using a digital camera set on ‘macro’ would be very helpful.

Ian Harris – N.Bloom & Son                    Www. Antiques .Co.Uk