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Don't buy a Cameo before you read this!
"10 Things You Should Know..."

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Cameo Jewelry Articles



Preston Reuther





We get calls almost every day from people who want to sell a cameo. Maybe they inherited it. Maybe they found it in an old house. Makes no difference but many times they feel that their cameo may be valuable and maybe it is. And, naturally, if someone is going to sell an antique cameo , they want to get the best price possible, right? So here are some ways to do that and I might warn you this can be time consuming! (We no longer appraise cameos)


Before you sell a cameo or really anything, you must know as much as you can about the item for sale or otherwise you may not get the full value of that cameo. So here are a few things you might do:

#3.Do a search on Ebay to see if there are any for sale like yours. Check the price and determine if it is acceptable to you. If you feel you can get your money from selling it on Ebay, then do it. It’s the biggest market in the world. But most cameo prices there get low wholesale and not top retail prices. It's a discount market.

#4.Try a local antique store and see if you can get your money’s worth there and, if so, it will be an easy sale. Selling locally is always easier but may not be the place you get the best price. Be sure you are getting a fair price for your old vintage cameo.  Try to get a shop that specializes in antique jewelry, especially cameos.

#5. Do a Google search for CAMEOS FOR SALE and see what results you get. You just might find one just like yours and that would give you a good idea of retail value.


Antique and Vintage Jewelry Dealers are all different since they all specialize in different jewelry items. Some buy inexpensive costume jewelry while others may buy cameos valued in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Dealers usually buy what they know best. And, yes, honesty and just plain fairness plays a large part of your “cameo transaction.”

But just because a cameo has a retail value of $300 that does not mean that the dealer will pay you that for your cameo! If he or she is a fair dealer, they will pay you a reasonable amount for your cameo. Remember they will need a certain amount for advertising and promotion and a profit for themselves. Normally, but not always, you will get about 1/3 or 33 1/3% of the retail value of the cameo. And that is if you have a fair and honest dealer. So that breaks down like this:

$300 Cameo Sale $100 for the seller

$100 for the advertising and promotion of the cameos

$100 profit for the buyer.

This may not be a scenario that is etched in stone but you get the idea. Cameo vendors base their purchase on these things:

Will it sell

How fast will it sell

Does anyone want that kind of cameo today

Do they have a buyer for it or the clientele to buy it

Is the market fast or slow

NOTE: MOST CAMEO DEALERS INCLUDING MYSELF WILL NOT BUY FASHION CAMEOS (plastic, resin, etc) VALUED UNDER $100. They may buy them, though, if you have a large lot of them say 50 or 100 and the cameos have some age on them. And they definitely don’t buy new fashion cameos from inexpensive material like plastic and resin.

NOTE: After your detective work is done determine a price you want for your cameo. If you want the dealer to give you a price normally there is a charge for an appraisal. It’s not free. So have a price in your mind of what you want for your cameo before you get into the sales process. And be prepared for a little negotiation depending on the condition and value of the cameo.

************************************************************** Preston Reuther is a jewelry designer who has been showing, selling and collecting cameos of all kinds for over 20 years. He has written over 1000 jewelry design articles, produced over 50 videos on handcrafted jewelry and has several cameo shops on line. 

note: We do not offer cameo appraisels 



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