How to sell Harry Winston Jewelry
Make sure you get the best price when you resell your Harry Winston Jewelry
From hard-working beginnings, to becoming a jeweller to the stars, Harry Winston certainly earned his nickname “The King of Diamonds.” A pioneer in red carpet jewelry, the house of Harry Winston has become the go-to source for Hollywood legends, as well as iconic personalities.
ut tastes and circumstances change, and we don’t need to hold on to our Harry Winston jewelry forever.
If you are looking to sell Harry Winston jewelry and want to make sure that you get the fairest price for your piece, this blog will show you how.
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A brief history of Harry Winston jewelry
To understand why Harry Winston is so prized, it’s important to understand the history and the heritage of the brand.
A younger jewelry company compared to many more established brands, founder Harry Winston grew and shaped his now-famed jewelry house into one of the most respected in the world. After opening up shop in 1932, Winston began his simultaneous career as a collector of impressive gemstones in 1935. His first important purchase was a diamond called, the Jonker, weighing 726 carats, uncut.
The 726ct uncut Jonker Diamond, which Harry Winston cut into 12 individual stones
Before this though, Winston was already well-established as a buyer with an eye for sourcing brilliant diamonds. In the 1920s, he discovered an alternative source than the traditional diamond supply chain: estate jewelry auctions. His eye for quality meant Winston could source exceptional stones, remove them from their outdated settings and re-cut them into more contemporary styles that enhanced their natural beauty and brilliance.
Famous gems from the Harry Winston Collection
Harry Winston also established himself as a trader of the most significant diamonds in the world. In fact, it’s estimated that over the course of his illustrious career Harry Winston owned more than one-third of the world’s most famous diamonds. Of those, perhaps the most famous is the Hope Diamond, Winston procured in one of the most significant estate jewellery sales in history. The magnificent blue diamond had belonged to famed American socialite Evalyn Walsh McLean.
The famous Hope Diamond
Every standout jeweler has their own innovative gem setting technique, and Harry Winston was no different. His unprecedented diamond cluster technique allowed the diamonds to dictate the setting, rather than the other way around:
Harry Winston started another jewelry trend in 1944 when he became the first jeweler to lend diamonds to a celebrity for a red carpet appearance. Actress Jennifer Jones dazzled in diamonds when she stepped up to accept her Best Actress award at the Academy Awards:
Then, of course, there’s the famous name-drop in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, when Marilyn Monroe mentions Harry Winston by name in the iconic song, Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.
Today, the Harry Winston brand continues to remain synonymous with elegance, glamour, and quality. Acknowledging their iconic legacy, Harry Winston crafts pieces to ensure that jewelry lovers of all kinds are able to experience a taste of the brand, from high jewelry pieces such as the Art Deco Diamond Bracelet below, to the more attainable ones such as the Lily Cluster earrings, that still bear that impeccable Harry Winston craftsmanship.
Harry Winston Art Deco Diamond Bracelet
Harry Winston Central Park Ring
Harry Winston Lily Cluster Diamond Earrings
What type of Harry Winston jewelry can be sold?
Over its history, Harry Winston has produced a variety of types and styles of jewelry, and if you’re looking to sell your Harry Winston 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 Harry Winston jewelry when selling is that can be dependant 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 Harry Winston 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 Harry Winston jewelry purchase will raise your buyer’s confidence in the provenance of the piece:
- The Diamond Oak
- Designer jewelry specialist means high prices can be offered
- Highest prices paid in mystery shops
- Direct communication with the founder results in a smooth process
- Doesn't have the reach of an online marketplace
- Smaller company so may not be able to make as many offers as a large marketplace
- Reach can result in higher prices paid
- Easy to see previous purchase prices
- Great reviews and smooth process
- Need to allow for Worthy's fees when understanding how much you will
- Don't always accept low value items
- Some reports that Worthy encourages buyers to set a low reserve price
- Have You Seen the Ring
- Links sellers directly with end buyers, rather than a jewelry trade buyers means cutting out a middle man
- Good reviews and smooth user experience
- Smaller platform means that rings seem to take longer to sell
- Steep commissions for smaller transactions
- I Do Now I Don't
- Appears to have good reach with reasonably quick sell-through
- Dealing directly with end customers cuts out one layer
- Commissions are reasonable
- Currently scores an F on the Better Business Bureau website
- Signifcant number of unhappy reviews on Trustpilot, although some of these are older
The Diamond Oak is a business founded by a third generation dealer and operating out of the heart of New York's Diamond District.
Specializing in buying and selling pre-owned and vintage designer jewelry allows them to offer more as they always know they will be able to find an interested buyer.
In mystery shopping tests, we have consistently found that The Diamond Oak offers more for designer jewelry, plus the personalized experience of dealing directly with Alon, the business's founder, is second to none.
Worthy.com is a marketplace which connects jewelry seller directly to a network of nearly 1,000 professional jewelry buyers across the US who bid on their items.
The huge benefit of this is that the competition that is created can result in higher prices paid. What does need to be considered though is that Worthy's commission needs to be taken into account. This varies depending on the value of your item.
It's definitely worth clicking through to see recent purchases to understand how much the final sale price is likely to be.
Have You Seen The Ring is another marketplace which matches jewelry sellers with potential customers.
Commission varies from a very steep 30% for items up to $1,500 to 10% for sales over $10,000.
While the concept is a good one, auctions aren't a defined limit, unlike some competitors, which means that sellers need to hope that a buyer looking for their exact ring sees the auction, which could take a while.
I do now I don’t is a marketplace that allows people to list their diamond rings for sale.
Sellers are charged a commission, depending on the value of the item they’re selling - this varies from 20% for items under $5,000 to 10% for items over $50,000.
Unlike Worthy, where the people buying the rings are jewelry professionals, buyers on idonowidont.com are regular consumers.
While the idea is a good one and they do appear to have happy customers, there is an extremely high % of people who have graded I do now I don’t as 1 star – nearly a third of all people who have left reviews on TrustPilot, while the BBB rating is currently 'F'. While it’s always a good idea to take online reviews with a pinch of salt, this is higher than I would be comfortable with for such a significant transaction as selling high value jewelry.
While there are also a number of good reviews, common complaints are of poor communication from the team there, and delays in sending payment.
Understanding how much you Harry Winston 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 Harry Winston jewelry might now be going for.
Resale price if you are selling Harry Winston Diamond Ring
First we’ll look at the price that can be recouped if you are selling a Harry Winston ring. This 1 carat oval diamond ring with a halo setting is currently available through Harry Winston boutiques:
Harry Winston doesn’t list prices for its jewelry online, but a qick enquiry showed that it is likely to cost between $14,000 – $15,000:
We can find a very similar ring which was recently sold on Worthy.com for $6,053:
Of course, the exact amount that you receive will depend on what you are selling and the market at the time, but looking at what people have been willing to pay in the past can provide a useful guidelines.
The best way to understand how much you are likely to receive is to find an item similar to yours:
If you have an extremely high end or one-off piece, consider an auction house.
Harry Winston has produced a wide range of jewelry over the company’s history, 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 Harry Winston direct to a jewelry dealer
The best way to get the most money for your Harry Winston 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. We’ve seen hundreds of people successfully sell their jewelry to The Diamond Oak and feel that they currently offer the best balance of best price and service quality.
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.