Frequently Asked Questions

Selling Your Jewelry & Consignments

Selling jewelry
There may be many reasons you might bring in your jewelry to us. It might be an inheritance, a style you no long wear or any number of other reasons. Sometimes this can be an emotional process we understand. Our decades of experience have presented us with nearly every circumstance possible, so we can help you through any situation, whatever that might be.

How do you obtain your estate jewelry?
Most of our estate jewelry is obtained from private individuals who either sell or consign their jewelry to us. We also work with a large network of dealers who specialize in estate and period pieces.

What are the pros and cons of selling outright vs. consigning?
Selling jewelry outright to someone in the trade is the quickest way to realize cash for your pieces, but often results in the lowest return. When we take something on consignment, we are taking less risk; we pay you for it once it's sold. This is why you can realize considerably more when consigning, as much as 25%-30% or more.

There is no formula to predict how long it might take to sell something on consignment. We are happy to continue working with your jewelry for as long as you wish, unless we feel that we don’t have a market for it.

What about auctions?
Auctions are another avenue you can use to sell your jewelry. An auction house will normally let you know what you should expect the item to sell for, though there are no guarantees. They will deduct their percentage from the selling price for both buyer and seller; there will also typically be a charge for the photography for the catalogue, for insurance, and for marketing. An auction house will normally want to have the jewelry delivered to them quite some time before the auction.

What percentage do you take from a consignment sale?
We like to give you a net figure that you will realize upon sale. Our services will include cleaning, polishing, photographing etc. We will make sure the item is priced competitively so we can sell it; our goal, is to sell your jewelry, delivering on the net figure.

What is the consignment process?
You can bring your jewelry into our store to meet with any of our experts. We will examine it, grade and estimate weights for any gemstones, and let you know what you will realize upon sale. There is no charge for this service. If you have any previous appraisals or diamond grading documents, it is a good idea to bring those along. On occasion, you may have second thoughts after agreeing to have us sell your jewelry. As long as we don’t have a deposit on the item, or a serious buyer, you can pick your jewelry up. We do ask that you give us three days notice.

Will you take consignments from out of the area?
Yes, please send us a good picture of your jewelry, along with any accompanying documentation that you may have. From the information provided we should be able to have an idea about whether we think we could sell your jewelry; if so, we can instruct you on how to safely ship it to us for visual examination. We must inspect the jewelry itself before coming to an agreement.

Is my jewelry insured while it is with you?

Why consign with Gleim the Jeweler?
Having decades of experience in the Estate jewelry business gives us an edge. Estate jewelry has become much more popular over the past several years, and more jewelers have entered the market. However, not only have we have been in this part of the business for well over fifty years, it is the biggest part of our business. We don’t attain that kind of success without bringing our clients the best prices.

We have the education and credentials.

Gleim the Jeweler is a member of the American Gem Society, (AGS) an organization dedicated to proven ethics, knowledge and consumer protection. We must re-earn membership in the AGS every year. We have gemologists on staff, each with years of experience.

We market your jewelry through a variety of channels.

We will use some of the estate jewelry for advertising in local media, both in print and online. We maintain an active web presence which pictures a large selection of our jewelry. And we picture our jewelry on
Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, to gain the widest reach.

We love what we do.

We can bring the enthusiasm of a group of professionals who love jewelry and love finding the right home for it. This excitement comes through to our retail customers, who are always checking back to see what new piece we have added to our collection!


Do you take trade-ins?
We allow trade-in values for most items, even if they were not originally purchased from us. The amount allowed will vary depending upon the item. We will determine if the item is something we can re-sell, or if it fits into our inventory, or whether we consider it a scrap item.

What do I do with jewelry I have that I no longer wear?
Bring it in to us and we will let you know what your options are. From redesigning to refining, we can offer you lots of options.

Do you do repairs?
We repair both jewelry and watches, whether or not they were originally purchased from our store. We have a jeweler on premises at our Stanford Shopping Center and can do most repairs on the premises. We will let you know ahead of time if we think we need to send an item to an outside trade shop or back to the original manufacturer. We replace most watch batteries on the premises, and if needed we may send to an authorized service center.

When I leave my diamond ring for repair, how do I know I am getting my diamond back?
We have been part of the Palo Alto community for over 80 years we have achieved this by being honest, trustworthy, and a partner to the community. We are happy to help you to examine your diamond under magnification, using our gem microscope, when you leave it with us; we will draw or “plot” your diamond mapping the location of any identifying inclusions found inside your diamond, thus having a reference point to compare your diamond to when you pick it up. We can assure you that any ethical jewelry store values its reputation too greatly to do anything that would endanger a client’s confidence. As the Peninsula’s premier jeweler we look forward to helping you and your family for many years to come.

Do you restring pearls?
We work with several different expert re-stringers who can restring your pearls, or any other type of beads.

Do you replace watch batteries?
We are able to replace the batteries on most watches. If it is a battery we do not carry, we can normally refer you to the appropriate source.

Do you do engraving?
We offer hand and machine engraving services. The turn around time for this service is 7-10 business days.

How long will my jewelry repair take?
Our normal time frame is seven business days. If there is a particular date by which you need to have your jewelry completed, we will always try and accommodate you.

How often should I have my rings/jewelry checked?
You should have your rings checked at least once a year. We will look at it under our gem microscope checking the condition of the setting and prongs, making sure that no gemstones are loose and let you know if the setting needs to be re-pronged or rebuilt. We will also clean your jewelry for you. This service is performed at no charge, even if the piece of jewelry was not bought from us.

Do you do appraisals?
Yes, we do jewelry appraisals.  Please refer to our Jewelry Appraisals Page for additional details.

Do you offer financing?
Yes, we have our own 90-day in–house accounts. For longer terms, we work with Wells Fargo; there are always several options available to you.

Do you offer a public speaking service?
We have experts on staff who can speak to any size group.


I just inherited a group of jewelry and I don’t even know if it is worth appraising?
This is a very common question having inherited jewelry and not 
knowing if it’s worth appraising. Part of our service is to evaluate your jewelry and sort out fine from fashion jewelry help you determine if an appraisal is needed. If you are in doubt about the value of an item, we recommend you bring it in.

What are the different types of appraisals?
Replacement Value: Value of approximate cost to replace or recreate the piece of jewelry. This type of appraisal is usually needed to properly insure jewelry against damage or loss these types of appraisals are generally higher in value than an estate evaluation. Estate Evaluation: Valued at cash value (normally lower than an insurance valuation). This value is based on what a willing buyer and a willing seller would agree to.

What are American Gem Society Standards (AGS)?
Arthur Gleim 
authored the American Gem Society’s first manual on jewelry appraising. Gleim continues to lead the industry in providing the most complete up–to–date appraisal services. Our appraisals are prepared by Certified Gemologist Appraisers (CGA’s) and Certified Gemologists (CG’s). The American Gem Society (AGS) awards these coveted titles only to members who have availed themselves of the exacting studies and successfully passed examinations administered by the Society. CGA’s and CG’s must also keep their titles current by continuing their studies and successfully completing a yearly re-examination.