Sell Jewelry vs. Pawn: Is Pawning Jewelry Worth It? (2024)

Pawning your jewelry may seem like a good idea in theory, but it can be a risky practice that is not usually worth it.

How Does Pawning Jewelry Work?

Pawn shops are small businesses that loan money to people who leave their valuables at the shop in exchange for a long. Known as “collateral,” the valuable items serve as security for the cash provided by the pawnbroker. You can get your possessions back once you repay the borrowed money within the agreed time. If you cannot do that, the pawnbroker can sell your valuables.

In the following, we outline some of the top reasons why you should avoid pawning your jewelry:

Pawn Shops Loan Small Amounts

Pawn shops typically give away small loans, regardless of how pricey your jewelry is. So if you’re pawning a necklace worth $900, securing the same amount of loan is highly unlikely. Chances are that you’ll only get a fraction of your jewelry item’s market value. This is how they profit. When you default.

According to the National Pawnbrokers Association, $150 is the average loan one can receive from a pawn shop. As such, pawning valuable jewelry for a small amount isn’t wise, especially if you’re unsure whether you can return the money on time.

Pawn Shops Charge Interest

Experts recommend against pawning expensive gold and diamond jewelry because the unpromising cost-to-benefit ratio doesn’t make financial sense. To get your jewelry back from the pawn shop, you must return the borrowed money and interest fee before the deadline. Although pawnshop interest fees vary from state to state, they are usually pretty steep in comparison to traditional loans.

Furthermore, the interest fee increases with the time you take to return the borrowed money- that is, if the agreed-upon time has passed. Additionally, the interest fee increases depending on the loan term. The longer it is, the more you have to pay. In many cases, borrowers end up paying more than the value of the pawned jewelry item.

You Could Lose Your Jewelry

According to estimates by the National Pawnbrokers Association, only 20% of pawn loans aren’t returned. So, most people eventually get back their jewelry and other belongings. However, taking such a risk with expensive jewelry items isn’t a good idea.

In addition, the pickup rate for pawned items is extremely low in many places around the US. So, many people pawning this jewelry for fast cash end up losing it. While pawning other items may be fine, jewelry isn’t something you’d want to risk unless you have no other way to get a loan. It’s a bad idea if you’re considering pawning family heirlooms for a small amount of money.

You Might Not Get the Cash You’d Expect

Unfortunately, pawning your jewelry will give you the lowest amount of money you could get for your valuable items. While the pawn shop business model definitely helps in tough times, it has more benefits for the pawnbroker than the borrower. Typically, you shouldn’t expect more than 50% of your jewelry item’s market value.

While pawn shops offers some benefits, it can be risky, so it is not always a good idea to pawn your jewelry for a small amount of cash. Cash for Gold USA offers a risk-free and convenient way to sell gold and jewelry for a good price.

Best Pawn Shop Alternative: Selling Jewelry Online to Cash for Gold USA

With Cash for Gold USA, you can avoid settling for a risky action like pawning your jewelry and instead work with our trusted and experienced team. Here are just a few reasons why we are the best alternative:


With thousands of customers, Cash for Gold USA is convenient for sellers like you. We have one of the biggest customer networks, with many people trusting and relying on the services. We provide special attention to each customer, guiding them to make the right decision regardless of what they are selling. Additionally, we deal in all kinds of jewelry, including rings, necklaces, bracelets, diamonds and more, even broken jewelry. (Pawn shops may not be interested in broken gold jewelry that can not be resold.)


Cash for Gold USA has GIA-certified appraisers, so we provide accurate assessments and fair payments for your valuable gold, diamond, or silver jewelry. Our assays promise the most value for your possessions after examination and appraisal. As a customer, you can compare our process with other gold and jewelry buyers before making a final decision.


When you feel the need to pawn your valuable and sentimental possessions, eliminating the haggling and stress of pawn shops is often the wisest option. You can rest assured that you’re getting the best price and the most benefit from your valuable gold, silver, and diamond jewelry. The best part about selling your jewelry to Gold for Cash USA is that it’s risk-free. If you’re dissatisfied with our offer, you can get your valuables back — no questions asked.

About Cash For Gold USA

Cash for Gold USA is a prominent online buyer ofgold,silver,diamonds, platinum, and palladium in the United States. Since 2005, we have paid millions to thousands of customers for their unwanted or broken precious metal jewelry. We offer a quick and straightforward selling process, ensuring customers receive prompt and competitive offers for their items. Learn moreabout usandwhat our customers sayabout Cash for Gold USA, or request yourfree Appraisal Kit now:

Sell Jewelry vs. Pawn: Is Pawning Jewelry Worth It? (2024)


Sell Jewelry vs. Pawn: Is Pawning Jewelry Worth It? ›

Typically, you shouldn't expect more than 50% of your jewelry item's market value. While pawn shops offers some benefits, it can be risky, so it is not always a good idea to pawn your jewelry for a small amount of cash. Cash for Gold USA offers a risk-free and convenient way to sell gold and jewelry for a good price.

Is it better to pawn or sell jewelry at a pawn shop? ›

Pawning or selling is a personal choice. It boils down to two options: wanting to get items back or not wanting them back. If customers want their items back, then pawning is the best option. But if they want to get rid of their items, selling is the better choice.

Will I get more if I pawn or sell? ›

It depends on your situation. If you want your item back, and can afford to pay back the interest, pawning may be a good option for you. But if you need cash in a hurry, and want the highest offer, selling is the way to go. If you're considering selling to a pawn shop, we caution you.

How much will a pawn shop give you for a $1000 item? ›

According to the search results, pawn shops generally offer loans ranging from 25% to 60% of an item's resale value [1]. So, if you were to pawn a $1000 item, you might receive a loan amount between $250 and $600.

What to expect when selling jewelry to a pawn shop? ›

When you take your jewelry to a pawn shop, the pawnbroker will likely make you an offer. Don't be afraid to negotiate. If you have done your research and know the value of your jewelry, you should negotiate a fair price.

Does Zales buy old jewelry? ›

Colored gemstone jewelry items and Previously Owned Treasures are not eligible for trade-in. We guarantee that the item you trade will be valued for trade in at Zales at 100% of its original net purchase price. Trade-ins of in-store and online purchases are accepted at most Zales locations.

What pawn shops want the most? ›

  • Jewelry. Necklaces, Bracelets, Rings, Watches, Earrings, Pins, Gold Jewelry, Silver Jewelry. ...
  • Precious Metals. Gold, Silver, Platinum, Copper. ...
  • Gemstones. Gemstones are also a great way to get quick cash. ...
  • Electronics. ...
  • Firearms (registered to you) ...
  • Power Tools + Equipment. ...
  • Antiques / Collectibles. ...
  • Musical Instruments.

Why do people pawn instead of sell? ›

Advantage of pawning

If you have a short-term cash demand, you do not have to check your credit or face repercussions for not paying back the money. Pawn loans do not lead to overextension of credit or bankruptcy. A significant advantage of pawning is that it does not affect your credit score.

What percentage of value will a pawn shop give you? ›

How Pawn Shops Work. At a pawn shop, you leave your property and, in return, the pawnbroker typically lends you approximately 25% to 60% of the item's resale value. The most commonly pawned items are jewelry, electronic and photography equipment, musical instruments, and firearms.

How do pawnshops appraise jewelry? ›

An experienced appraiser visually inspects the jewelry when it enters the pawnshop. They check for indications that indicate the purity of the metal, such as stamps that say "14K" for gold or "925" for silver. In addition to this, they consider the gemstone's color, clarity, and carat weight.

What sells for $100 at a pawn shop? ›

What Can You Pawn for $100?
  • Snowboard.
  • Flat-screen TV.
  • Tablet.
  • Bose speakers.
  • Apple watch.
  • Refrigerator.
  • GoPro.
  • Power tools.
Mar 26, 2024

What tools do pawn shops pay the most for? ›

Shops know they can sell tools faster (and for more money) when they are trusted brands. Bosch, DeWalt, Milwaukee, Stihl, and Snap-On will earn you the most. Usually, pawn shops will pay anywhere from $30-$200 for working tools, but you can expect that price to increase if you have any of these top performing brands.

What's the most a pawn shop will loan? ›

Most pawn shops offer loan amounts of 25% to 60% of your collateral's value. Be aware that pawn shops have high APRs that can make them one of the most expensive options to borrow money. Pawn shops do not require credit checks.

Who pays the best price for gold? ›

You can trust Ramsdens to give you the best price for your gold. Unlike some of the other gold buyers, you can trust Ramsdens to tell you how much your gold is worth.

Can I sell a diamond ring I found? ›

It's possible to sell a diamond you found. But, there are a few key points to think about. You need proof of ownership and authenticity. This could mean getting an appraisal from a reliable appraiser or having the diamond certified.

Where is the best place to sell jewelry? ›

Best Places To Sell Jewelry Online and In Person
  • eBay. ...
  • Consignment shops. ...
  • Yard sales. ...
  • 8. Facebook Marketplace. ...
  • Local craft fairs or markets. ...
  • TheRealReal. ...
  • Sotheby's. ...
  • Cash for Gold USA. Cash for Gold USA is a company that buys gold jewelry, such as gold necklaces.
Mar 19, 2024

What gives more money, pawning or selling? ›

Another benefit of selling something to a pawn shop instead of getting a pawn loan is that you typically receive more money for the item. The pawn shop will determine the value and make you a slightly lower offer. After all, it still needs to sell it to make a profit.

What type of jewelry sells best at pawn shops? ›

Pawn shops are so very versatile it's hard to give you a straight forward answer. . But the most common items are of course Diamond Rings, pendants , necklaces, and all items that have Diamonds set in them . They love to collateral loan on all Gold items as Gold is Gold is Gold , no matter what the karat.

Is it safe to pawn jewelry? ›

But do not fear, particularly if they guarantee that your item is insured, normally, legitimate pawnshops are fully insured for the loan value of the collateral they keep. Likewise, the U.S. follows strict rules when it comes to operating a pawn business.

Should I sell my engagement ring to a pawn shop? ›

"My advice would be not to go to a pawn shop or a local jewelry store as you will not receive value close to what you paid for. The only advantage of going to a pawnbroker or someone in the jewelry industry is that your ring may sell quickly."

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