How to sell Boucheron Jewelry
Make sure you get the best price when you resell your Boucheron Jewelry
In 1893, Frédéric Boucheron was the first jeweler to open a boutique on the legendary Place Vendôme, in the heart of Paris.
From the start, Boucheron earned the loyalty of free-spirited, independent, society woman with his promise to “liberate both the jewelry and the women”.
But tastes and circumstances change, and we don’t need to hold on to our Boucheron jewelry forever.
If you are looking to sell Boucheron jewelry and want to make sure that you get the fairest price for your piece, this blog will show you how.
Why Boucheron jewelry is so prized
Before we understand why Boucheron jewelry is so prized, it’s instructive to learn about the history of the brand, beginning with the man himself.
It’s hard to believe that the legendary house of Boucheron may never have existed at all. Long before opening the doors of his own business in 1858, Frédéric Boucheron apprenticed with Parisian jeweler Deschamps, who told Boucheron that he was “not cut out to be the proprietor of a business.” Despite these critical words, Boucheron persevered, and his “misguided” business would soon become a preeminent jewelery house.
A portrait of Frederic Boucheron
Boucheron chose to work with only the most carefully selected gems, meeting rigorous standards for color and quality. Even his most accomplished competitors, would praise the firm’s pieces for their immaculate craftsmanship. Fellow jeweler and Henri Vever praised Boucheron for his bold choices to use more unusual gemstones: “very few of his colleagues would have dared to make at the time.” Boucheron thus developed a devoted and growing clientele, including the likes of Tiffany & Co.
Continually pushing the avant-garde scene, in 1879 the jeweler invented the Question Mark necklace which, for the first time ever, introduced a piece that would be worn asymmetrically and would not have a clasp. This was a revolutionary moment for the jewelry industry and would influence countless designers to come.
A Boucheron diamond Question Mark necklace
In 1902 Frédéric Boucheron passed away, leaving the thriving business to his son Louis. By the turn of the century, Boucheron had enough name recognition, and capital, to open branch stores in London and New York.
The brand then expanded its presence to the Middle East and South America in the 1930s, spearheaded by Fred and Gérard Boucheron, Louis’s sons. The two brothers carried Boucheron jewelery throughout the world, offering private showings to VIP clients.
A Boucheron Art Nouveau capelet
Throughout the years Boucheron remained at the cutting edge of fashion trends. They produced stunning Art Nouveau, Edwardian, and Art Deco pieces in turn.
Today, Boucheron continues to create avant-garde pieces inspired by the given age, architecture, and the natural world, and remains an innovator in the industry.
Boucheron’s creative use of various metals at varying price points allows jewelry lovers of all kinds to be able to experience a taste of the brand, from high jewelry pieces such as the Vendome Chromatique bracelet below, to the more attainable ones such as the Serpent Boheme ring, that still bear that impeccable Boucheron craftsmanship.
Boucheron Vendome Chromatique Bracelet
Boucheron Joy De Lumiere Watch
Boucheron Serpent Boheme Ring
What type of Boucheron jewelry can be sold?
Over its long prestigious history, Boucheron has produced a variety of types and styles of jewelry, and if you’re looking to sell your Boucheron jewelry, then that’s good news for you. No matter what piece you may own, you will be able to find an interested buyer, somewhere.
One thing to know though, is that the price you receive for your Boucheron jewelry when selling can be dependent on a couple of factors:
All jewelry bears a history; no matter how it is cared for, if it’s worn at all, it will necessarily pick up some nicks and scratches.
Some commonly used terms to describe pre-owned jewelry are as follows:
- mint condition
- excellent condition
- good condition
- fair condition
- poor condition
When selling to a jewelry professional, it is likely that they will be intending to sell the piece on after improving its condition. That said, the better the condition of the piece, the less work will be required of the buyer; therefore, pieces in better condition should command a higher price.
Provenance can be defined as the history of ownership of a valued object or work of art or literature.
There are multiple reasons why it is important to be able to demonstrate the provenance of your Boucheron jewelry:
- It proves ownership over the piece, and that it is therefore legally yours to sell.
- It proves that the piece is genuine.
Possessing items such as your receipt, the box, jewelry bag, and other appropriate accoutrements that were included with your Boucheron jewelry purchase will raise your buyer’s confidence in the provenance of the piece:
Your options when selling your Boucheron jewelry
Once you’ve made the decision to sell, it’s understandable that you would want to get the best price possible for your Boucheron jewelry.
But it can be hard to know where to start.
In this section, we’ll look at the different options for where you can sell, and a few things to take into consideration when deciding which is the best fit for you.
When selling your Boucheron jewelry, there are a few things to consider:
- What you are selling
- What is more important for you – price or speed of sale
- How much you value certainty
Understanding what your Boucheron jewelry is worth
One of the first things to understand is how much your jewelry is likely to be worth when selling it.
You may have a jewelry appraisal stored away with a value attached to it, which you have used for insurance purposes. While there are a few types of appraisals, it’s likely that yours will list the price that it would cost to replace the item with a new, or equivalent, piece.
Unfortunately, the value on your appraisal isn’t the same as the amount that someone would actually be willing to buy the jewelry from you for. The reason being, that anyone who would buy it from you now, would then be looking to sell it as ‘used’ for lower than the price of a ‘new’ replacement item and still make a profit.
The amount that someone is actually willing to pay for an item is known as the ‘fair market value’.
Determining the fair market value of something can be tricky, and many people look online to try and understand how much their Boucheron jewelry might now be going for.
One of the most famous sites for high quality vintage jewelry is 1stDibs.com, which specializes in selling from professional jewelry dealers to the public.
Many jewelry lovers enjoy browsing the wares on 1stDibs and it’s not uncommon to assume that if you see a comparable piece of jewelry being sold on there, then you may be able to receive a similar price for your own piece.
Unfortunately, however, the prices on 1stDibs are not a good guide on how much you are likely to get when you sell your jewelry, as the prices advertised are the prices that a jewelry dealer is selling them for, including making a profit once 1stDibs’ fees and all their other costs have been taken out.
However, it can be useful to get a ballpark figure of how much a jeweller may be willing to pay for your item.
For example, this 18 Karat Gold 5.00 Carat Diamond & Pearl Winged Woman Pendant Necklace may be listed for $22,000:
However, as with buying many vintage pieces, prices aren’t fixed and dealers are usually open to negotiation.
Underneath the ‘Purchase’ button, you can see there is a ‘make an offer’ button, which says that sellers are most likely to accept offers of 5% – 20% off the $22,000 price:
This reduces the amount that the jeweller is likely to receive for the earrings to between $17,600 and $20,900
Then 1stDibs’ commission fee needs to be taken into account. This is a 15% commission fee plus a 3% processing cost, which would reduce the price that the seller actually receives to between $14,432 – $17,138.
Most jewellers will look to buy jewelry for around half of what they are sure they can sell it for, so in order for this to make sense for the dealer, it’s likely that they would aim to buy earrings like this for around half of the $14,432-$17,138 figures.
This would mean that a jeweller is likely to pay around $7,216– $8,569 for this particular necklace.
If you have an extremely high end or one-off piece, consider an auction house.
Boucheron has produced a wide range of jewelry over the company’s meteoric rise, from high jewelry pieces containing one-of-a-kind gems, to more attainable rings and necklaces which can be purchased in their boutiques worldwide.
If you are selling an extremely rare or high-end piece, then it may make sense to use an auction house, as they can result in a higher price achieved due to the competitive nature of several bidders pushing the price up.
Two of the most well-known auction houses for jewelry are Sotheby’s and Christies:
When considering whether a traditional auction house is the right choice for you, it’s important to understand that the final ‘hammer price’ you see for past sales is not the amount that the sellers actually received.
- Sotheby’s commission for the seller is typically 10% of the final sale price
- Christies commission for a seller is also 10% of the final sale price, with an additional 2% ‘performance commission fee’ if it goes over the agreed ‘high estimate
These high-end auction houses also charge the sellers an additional 10-15% of the final sales price, which can mean that they are less willing to bid high amounts.
The other thing to consider with auction houses is the length of time that these organisations will take to sell your item.
As the snippet from an email below shows, it can take around a month for them to assess the value of an item, and you would then have to wait for a suitable auction to be held, which could be an additional one or two months.
The other potential wait could be if you list your item and it doesn’t reach your desired price, in which case it will be passed in and returned to you. This uncertainty can put off some buyers who are more comfortable with a fixed price.
For the reasons listed above, if you are keen to sell your item reasonably quickly, high end auction houses are unlikely to be able to help.
But, if you are willing to wait, you have an item that fits their high requirements and you are happy with the commission % that the auction houses charge then they could be the best solution to get a great price if your item is subject to a bidding war that drives the price up.
Selling Boucheron jewelery using online auction sites
There are two types of online auction websites that deal with high quality jewellery:
- Auction sites that sell to consumers e.g. 1stDibs.com
- Auction sites that buy from consumers e.g. worthy.com
Boucheron and Worthy.com
Worthy.com is a marketplace which works the opposite way to 1st Dibs.
Instead of connecting professional jewelry traders to customers, it connects ordinary people who are looking to sell jewelry with a network of nearly 1,000 jewelry traders who can bid on their items.
Worthy is much faster than selling through a traditional auction and it does put you in contact with a range of jewelry buyers who could bid the price of your item up, if they like it.
The cost to access these buyers is Worthy’s ‘success fee’ commission, which is only payable on the completion of the auction.
These fees are:
- Up to $5,000 = 18%
- 5,001 – 15,000 = 14%
- 15,001 – 30,000 = 12%
- 30,000 and above = 10%
Worthy can be a good option as it means that your jewelry can get out in front of as many people as possible, who will then bid against each other to increase the possible price you receive.
Boucheron and IdonowIdon’t.com
I do now I don’t operates on a similar business model to Worthy.com, but has a slew of bad reviews on Trustpilot with reports of them not paying sellers for the goods that have been sold.
As a result I would not recommend that you use their service.
Selling Boucheron direct to a jewelry dealer
The best way to get the most money for your Boucheron jewelry is to eliminate as many layers between you and the person buying it as possible.
In essence, to talk directly to the type of people who are buying through worthy.com, but without having to pay Worthy the commission and reduce the amount you make.
Our recommendation is The Diamond Oak.
The Diamond Oak is a family run business with multiple generations in the jewelry industry, based out of the Diamond District in New York.
Best of all, working with Alon you will get a fair price extremely quickly, instead of having to wait for an auction to run its course and then pay the fees out of the sales price. Alon’s process is:
- Complete a form on The Diamond Oak’s website
- Alon will get back to you with an estimate, usually the next business day
- If you like the estimate, Alon will provide a pre-paid and insured shipping label
- Once he’s received it, Alon will check that all looks OK, and then pay straight away.
Alon of The Diamond Oak
If you have Boucheron jewelry that you are looking to sell, Alon at The Diamond Oak will guide you through the process and ensure that you receive the very best price possible – just click through and fill out the form and he’ll get straight back to you with an offer for you to consider.
Even if you don’t end up working with him, you will receive a guide price back extremely quickly, which can then help you understand whether you are getting a better deal through other avenues.