Need a little extra cash? Check out your jewelry box. Fox 5 Consumer Reporter Laura Evans reports more people are trading in their jewels to pad their bank accounts.
Lee Siegal at CIRCA in Bethesda buys jewelry on the spot.
Siegal says: "We buy everything from gold chains to multimillion dollar estates."
Like an art dealer, he's trained to see the value 'and' the history in a piece of jewelry. "Every piece of jewelry tells a story... we listen to the stories."
And every person has a reason for wanting to get rid of theirs.
Valerie Brown was looking to buy new camera equipment and realized she just wasn't wearing much of her jewelry anymore.
"It made more sense to take the money and put it into something I'd use... I kept reading articles on gold and silver was at an all-time high."
"I came in with a watch one day... then I came back with more."
Among women, it's usually about getting rid of something that's no longer fashionable. While Siegal says, in the DC market, he commonly sees men trading in their watches. "Kind of like cars... driving the older model Mercedes… you want the newer model."
He says people used to sell off their jewelry at times of divorce, death or when in debt. But today he says it's become fashionable to depart with your diamonds: "Why hang onto something doing you no good, when you could have $ for vacation or holiday."
Valerie Brown calls it liberating: "Once you let go, that feels great! What else can I bring in!?"
And then... there's getting the check right there on the spot!
A couple tips if you want to sell your jewelry: Don't polish your jewelry. The patina usually adds to the price. Keep any papers and boxes that your jewelry in, it will usually make it more valuable. CIRCA buys jewelry from the public, but does not sell jewelry. CIRCA sells to a network of jewelry specialists around the world.