How and where to sell pearls for cash in 2022

We get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Here's more on how we make money.

Pearl jewelry is considered by many to be something of a classic—so much so that at one time, a strand of pearls was the quintessential everyday piece of jewelry for many middle class American women. Pearl is also a traditional gift for 30th anniversaries. Pearls have made a recent comeback thanks to progressive politicians including Kamala Harris, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Katie Porter.

While you may be able to sell your pearl necklace to an antique or estate jewelry buyer, most jewelry buyers are not interested in pearls since there is not much market demand for them.

However, if your pearl necklace, earrings, bracelet or rings' setting or other materials may be valuable. If your pearl jewelry has a clasp, chain, setting or accents that are gold, silver, platinum, diamond or gemstone, CashforGoldUSA will buy those metals or gemstones.

CashforGoldUSA has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, pays within 24 hours of sending in your item, free FedEx shipping and insurance up to $100,000, highest-price guarantee, and found by a news investigation to pay three-times its competitors:

Below is a look at the most common questions people have about selling pearls:

How can I sell my pearls?

Follow the steps below to ensure you’re getting the best possible price for your pearl jewelry.

1. Find out if your pearls are worth anything.

The value of pearls can vary significantly depending whether they are natural or cultured, how lustrous they are, the size, the shape, the color, and the origin. Generally speaking, larger, rounder, and more lustrous pearls of natural origin will be worth more than smaller, misshapen, and duller pearls, as well as those that were cultivated. The rarer the color of pearl, the more it will also likely be worth. 

That’s why, before you sell your pearls, it’s important to have at least a sense of what it might be worth. If you purchased the pearl yourself or have a certificate of authenticity that came with the pearl, you may already have this information. If not, however, you might consider having an appraisal done. A jewelry appraisal will answer questions like:

  • What’s the quality of your pearl?
  • What’s the origin of your pearl?
  • What’s the size of your pearl?
  • What’s the color of the pearl? 

A jewelry appraisal can cost anywhere from $50 to $150, so if you have reason to believe that your pearl or pearl jewelry isn’t worth that much, it might be better to forgo the appraisal. If, however, you have reason to believe that your pearl is quite valuable, an appraisal will help you understand exactly how much your pearl is worth. 

2. Understand what your setting is made out of.

If you are selling loose pearls, you can ignore this. But if you are selling a pearl ring, necklace, bracelet, brooch, earrings, or another piece of pearl jewelry, you also need to consider your setting. What metal is your jewelry made out of? Silver, gold, platinum? Does it contain other precious gemstones, such as diamonds, sapphires, rubies, etc.?

Especially in cases where your jewelry contains lower-quality pearls, the actual setting might be worth more than the pearl itself. In these cases, you might be better served selling your pearl jewelry to CashforGoldUSA.

Read our CashforGoldUSA review.

3. Find a reputable buyer.

Once you have at least a rough sense of the value of your pearls, you can begin looking for a reputable buyer. Don’t be afraid to get multiple opinions, especially if you feel like the offer you received is too low. However, again, keep in mind that there are very few options for used pearls.

Where to sell pearls

You can sell your pearls in many of the same venues as you might sell any other type of jewelry, such as gold, silver, diamonds, etc. The most common buyers for pearl jewelry include local companies and online businesses.

You can search for “pearl buyers near me”

If you are looking to sell your pearls locally as opposed to through an online buyer, you have a number of options. 

Finally, you can check Yelp or Google for local pearl buyers. Be sure to check reviews of these local buyers so that you are sure you’re getting the best possible deal.

  • Pawn or consignment shops: Selling through a pawn shop will probably get you your money quickest, but you’ll also likely get the least amount of money for your pearl in this way. A consignment store near you may be fruitful, but a lot of work and time. A thrift store is also a good option for pearl jewelry.
  • Jewelry stores: Jewelry stores near you will purchase either loose pearls or pearl jewelry. They will evaluate jewelry based on how much they think they can resell the piece for, or else based on the value of the component parts (including the pearl, metal, any other stones, etc)
  • Auctions: An auction can be an excellent way of selling your pearl jewelry if you have a piece that you know is quite valuable. A local auction house might also be interested in selling high-end pearls, especially if they are a noted brand like Tiffany or Cartier. Auctions can also be effective if you are selling antique or heirloom jewelry, if you are liquidating an estate, or if you have multiple pieces that you would like to sell at once.

Finally, you can check Yelp or Google for local pearl buyers. Be sure to check reviews of these local buyers so that you are sure you’re getting the best possible deal.

You can sell pearls online

Selling jewelry online is increasingly popular, and for good reason. Thanks to a few quality online gold and jewelry buyers, you can expect to fetch a fair price, quickly and easily — often without even leaving home thanks to FedEx or USPS home pickup. 

Online marketplaces: If you are selling pearl jewelry (not loose pearls) and don’t need your money right away, you can try to sell your item yourself through an online marketplace like Etsy, Mercari, Poshmark, etc.

If your pearl jewelry consists of low-quality pearls but has a lot of gold, silver, or platinum, we recommend going with an online metal buyer like CashForGoldUSA or their sister site CashforSilverUSA. They’re our No. 1 recommendation for a number of reasons, including:

  • A+ Better Business Bureau rating
  • Free prepaid mailer to send your item from your home — FedEx tracking number to watch your item every step of the way.
  • If you don’t like their offer, they’ll return your item completely free of charge.
  • Free Jewelers’ Mutual insurance up to $100,000 on each shipment
  • CashforGoldUSA's facility insured by Lloyd’s of London.
  • You can receive payment within 24 hours of accepting their offer
  • CashforGoldUSA found to pay 3X its competitors by a Fox Business News investigation:

If you send your item within a week of requesting a mailer, they’ll pay a 10% bonus on top of the appraised value of your item. 

Get a free quote for your silver from CashforGoldUSA now >>

How do I know if my pearls are worth anything?

Most people want to know: How much can I sell my pearls for? Pearls can vary significantly in value, from as low as $50 for common pearls of low quality to tens of thousands of dollars for particularly rare or beautiful specimens. 

That being said, the value of a pearl will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • Whether it is natural or cultured, with natural pearls bringing a far higher price
  • Its lustre, or how well the pearl’s surface reflects light
  • Its size, with larger pearls fetching a higher price
  • Its shape, with perfectly round pearls being prized above others
  • Its color, with rare varieties carrying a higher price

Again, color plays an outsized role in the value of your pearl. The most common pearls will be a shade of white. Black, silver, golden and gray pearls are far less common than white pearls, but are still relatively common. The rarest of pearls include those which are naturally blue, pink, green, or purple.

The most valuable pearls have high luster, are naturally grown and not cultured, and feature a rare color.

Are old pearls worth anything?

If your old pearl jewelry has especially rare pearls or is a brand like Tiffany or Cartier, you may be able to sell your pearl jewelry, as well as if you have a pearl of significant size and quality. Otherwise, old pearls are typically hard to sell and do not hold much value. 

Is it worth selling pearls?

Pearls are harder to sell than other precious materials for several reasons. There are many pearl necklaces flooding the market, and pearls are an organic material, so unlike diamonds, gold and other gemstones and metals, they deteriorate over time.

If your pearls are small or otherwise lower-quality, you may be best served by selling your pearls to a local pawn shop, or having them restrung in a different design — or saving them. Pearls can make for excellent starter jewelry for a child, and something you could pass along even if you don’t particularly like it much yourself. In some cases, the gold clasp or beads on the pearl necklace will sell for a higher price than the pearls themselves. In these cases, a local jeweler, cash for gold or gold exchange, or an online gold buyer are a good bet. Use CashforGoldUSA's online gold calculator to understand what your jewelry is worth.

Gold calculator from CashforGoldUSA.
How do I know if my pearls are worth anything?

The value of pearls can vary significantly depending whether they are natural or cultured, how lustrous they are, the size, the shape, the color, and the origin. Generally speaking, larger, rounder, and more lustrous pearls of natural origin will be worth more than smaller, misshapen, and duller pearls, as well as those that were cultivated.

Are old pearls worth anything?

If your old pearl jewelry has especially rare pearls or is a brand like Tiffany or Cartier, you may be able to sell your pearl jewelry, as well as if you have a pearl of significant size and quality. Otherwise, old pearls are typically hard to sell and do not hold much value.

Is it worth selling pearls?

Pearls are harder to sell than other precious materials for several reasons. There are many pearl necklaces flooding the market, and pearls are an organic material, so unlike diamonds, gold and other gemstones and metals, they deteriorate over time.

Wealthysinglemommy.com founder Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, activist, author and expert. A former Associated Press reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has appeared on CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, TIME, The Doctors, Elle, O, The Oprah Magazine. Winner of Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web” and a New York Observer “Most Eligible New Yorker," her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was a New York Post Must Read. As an expert on divorce and gender, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality and multiple state legislature hearings. More about Emma's credentials.

6 Comments

I tried Worthy for an opera length Tahitian black pearl necklace. At first I was scheduled a telephone consultation appointment for the next day, but a couple hours later received a cancellation phone call as “there is no current demand”. Disappointed. No pawn shops in my area are interested either.

I have 2 strands of old pearl neclaces also many loose pearls, these are from the South Sea. I’ve looked into selling them but I’m not sure who to trust.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.