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Cash for Gold NY | Jewelry Appraisal Tool Kit | Lombard Mutual Pawnbrokers & Jewelers | Since 1948

Cash for Gold NY | Jewelry Appraisal Tool Kit

With the Cash for Gold boom of today, many ask, how does a Pawnshop or Gold Buyer set the value on the gold or jewelry you sell them? Isn’t it as simple as checking for todays gold prices and working your way back from there?

The simple answer is …. NO.

This article builds on how the Jewelry Appraisers in NY assess your valuables. In our experience, individuals who sell gold, jewelry, silver coins or even diamonds, don’t particularly understand the value of the items they own. Too often clients may be misguided about their jewelry, and here are a few common mistakes:

1) “I paid a lot of money for this so it must be worth a lot…”
2) “This pocket watch is almost 100 years old!! Its got to be worth thousands of dollars…”
3) “I saw the same type of diamond ring for selling online for $10,000. I’ll take $9,000…”

As mentioned in our previous article [link], the appraising the gold you sell is the most vital part of our job. At Lombard we are responsible for making sure we give an honest and fair appraisal, both for ourselves and our customers. When a jewelry loan is taken on your diamond engagement ring, we at Lombard are taking the highest risk. Therefore, we spend a lot of time educating ourselves and the consumer on what to expect when inquiring about selling your gold.

So how do we check the value of ¬†your jewelry? Before we can estimate any items worth we must first test to see if it is genuine. The Appraisers tool kit is quite standard in the industry. Most, if not all, jewelry stores and pawnshops in NY own the standard appraisal kit. Below you’ll find a few of our primary tools and their usage.


The Jewelry Loupe or magnifying glass. This time-tested tool is what usually begins the evaluation.

pawnshop ny - selling gold - appraisal

The Jewelry Loupe

The Acid Kit

Test Kit - Jewelry Appraisal - Cash for Gold NY

Jewelry Acid Testing Kit

Files & Black Plate

selling gold - testing gold for loans and sell

Jewelry File Testing Gold

appraising gold with jewelry test kit

Black Plate – Gold Filings Test


jewelry scale - weighing your gold

The Jewelers Scale

From above you can see the process is pretty straightforward:

1) Visual Inspection with our Loupe

2) File and scrape the gold to test with acid which determines how many karats or what percentage of the item is made out of gold versus other materials.

Finally the overall value is created based on the gold price of the day and the weight of the gold or jewelry for sale.



Although we go through the rigors of inspecting your items, even our pros have had instances of being fooled. The worst-case scenario is when a customer comes in with what they believe is a high valued item and we have to be the bearers of bad news. Typically this happens when a client is coming in to pawn a gift given by a loved one. Rarely, but occasionally, we see people who have purchased items they thought to be genuine but were in fact not.

So what are the lessons of this article:

1) Know from who and where you’ve gotten your jewelry.
2) When buying for yourself, always use a reputable retailer who can back up their claims.
3) Get multiple appraisals, but from jewelry retailers and wholesalers.



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