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Ultimate guide for buying jewellery at auction

Buying jewellery at auction should be considered a sport.

It requires a considerable time investment before you can be good at it. It demands a strategy as well as your flawless execution for you to achieve your goal. It involves dealing with other competitive buyers. And last but not the least, it calls for your commitment, patience and effort if you want to reap the jewels, we mean rewards, you desire.

To help you in your jewellery-hunting adventure at auctions, we have gathered the most valuable advice of different experts from the jewellery auctions industry. Keep this guide handy, bookmark it in your phone or print it out. This ultimate guide lists the ABCs of buying jewellery at auctions.

Always know what you’re bidding on

This is a step that must be done before your first bid. Once you find a piece of jewellery you’re interested in, it’s time to do your research. Here’s a short items detail checklist you might want to use.

  • Where did this jewellery come from, i.e., which geographical location/country?
  • Where did the gemstones or pearls come from, if any?
  • Are these stones natural or treated?
  • When was this jewellery crafted, i.e., what time period?
  • What is its hallmark (if the jewellery is made of precious metal)?
  • Who was its previous owner?
  • Does it come with a certificate of authentication, condition report or valuation papers, and from whom?

This principle still applies if you are buying jewellery at an online auction site. Should you find the information about the jewellery on our auctions lacking, you may send us a message to see if we have the details you require.
Just remember, these are just considerations, we may not be privy to the past or origin of a specific piece you’d like to bid on.

Be bold

Buying jewellery items at auctions can be a very competitive, whether you do it in person or online. If you are in a live auction, know that your body language speaks volumes about your level of desire and will to own that particular item. Psych out the other buyers by remaining calm and cool, even though you are a few hundred dollars away from your maximum limit. Keeping your hand in the air is another tactic to show other buyers that you are a serious buyer, and can intimidate more timid buyers to walk away.

Consider tapping into the expertise of others

Two heads and four eyes are always better than one and two, respectively, especially if you are scrutinising jewellery worth thousands of dollars. Invite your jewellery aficionado friend or relative to come with you during the preview days. They may spot things you could miss and provide you invaluable insight about the items you like.

Do your homework

It’s always a wise idea to arrive at auction day or place an online bid when you already have as much knowledge as possible about the jewellery items. There’s loads of informative articles online like this one that can help prepare you beforehand. You may also want to consider going to antique or vintage jewellery stores, especially if the items up for auction belong to this category, look around their pieces and ask their questions.

Equip yourself – Literally

Experts recommend bringing a camera, magnifying glass, notepad with pen and torch with you during preview days to aid you in your analysis as well as listing of the jewellery you’re interested to buy. Take a snapshot of the items displayed during preview days – this can give you additional protection by providing photographic evidence of what the items should look like during the auction day. But don’t forget to ask permission first from the auction organisers if you can take photos of their jewellery pieces.

You may also request for a copy of the detailed list of items up for auction, if already available, during the preview days.

Follow your maximum budget

If you have committed to bid a maximum amount of $ 2,500 on that diamond ring you fell in love with during the preview day, stick to it. No matter how the diamond looks extra sparkly during auction day, it will be for your own good to surrender once the bid exceeds your maximum budget.

Go for trusted auction organisers or sites

Remember that jewellery items up for auction do not carry warranties, unlike those you buy from retail stores. Going to established auction houses or registering at reputable online auction sites will give you peace of mind that the jewellery items are genuine indeed.

Experts recommend buying jewellery from trustworthy auction houses or sites to lower your risk of being a fraud victim, such as ending up with fake jewellery, or a cheaper replica of what was posted online.

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Why do auction houses charge a buyer’s premium? We don’t!

One of the phrases you may encounter while reading up about auctions is buyer’s premium.

Buyer’s premium is the additional fee that the successful bidder must pay to the auction house on top of the winning bid amount. The practice started in 1975, when two of the world’s leading auction houses – Christie’s and Sotheby’s – began to include a buyer’s premium, initially 10% of the hammer price (winning/highest bid amount) to increase their net income. The buyer’s premium usually goes to the auction house, or auctioneer as his payment, and not to the seller of the item being sold in the auction.

The topic of buyer’s premium has been a divisive topic. Auction buyers at Christie’s New York questioned if it is legal when it was first implemented in 1977, considering they do not get any additional value from it. Authorities concluded it is legal, as long as auction buyers are properly informed about it. Since then, other auction houses from all over the world followed suit. The percentage of buyer’s premiums have also increased over the years, with the two aforementioned auction houses charging between 12.9% to 25% buyer’s premium today.

At Diamond Auctions, we are proud to say that we don’t charge a buyer’s premium.

As part of our commitment to make authentic, high quality luxury items accessible to more and more buyers, we implement a No Buyer’s Premium policy. This gives you up to 20% savings, on top of our heavily discounted rates of up to 80% RRP!

We have never charged a buyer’s premium, and we plan to keep it that way. In the interest of keeping our luxury items as competitively priced as possible, we also have no hidden credit card fees or any additional charges.

We run our business with absolute transparency regarding the pricing of all our items. If you emerge as the auction winner on our site who met the reserve price and posted the highest bid amount, you will only pay for that bid amount, and not a dollar more. This makes our online auction site one of the most trusted online auction sites in Australia.

By doing away with buyer’s premiums, credit card charges and other extraneous fees, we succeed in giving our members a budget-friendly and worry-free luxury shopping experience.

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How do online auctions work?

An online auction is the digital version of a live auction. Similar to its more traditional counterpart, an online auction involves sellers, items up for auction, and bidders. But unlike live auctions where you must be physically present to bid on items, online auctions only require your virtual presence through your computer or smartphone and internet connection. All bidding takes place on the virtual platform of the online auction website.

Online auctions offer you the convenience of bidding on items wherever you may be, 24/7. It also saves you precious time, effort and money otherwise spent on going to live auction houses, beating the traffic and looking for parking space.

These benefits all sound good, indeed. But if you’re still wondering exactly how online auctions work, we’ve got you covered. This article will give you a more in-depth understanding of this innovative type of auction and how they work.

Online auctions come with their own set of requirements

And we don’t just mean having a computer or smartphone and stable internet connection.

To participate in online auctions, you must first register or create an account on their website. Your basic information – name, address, contact information, email address, username and password – will be required to activate your account. Some require your credit card information details. Registration is usually free.

Once you have an active account, you can start bidding on any item on their website. It’s that easy!

Being the highest bidder does not automatically mean you will win in online auctions

Online auction sites also show the item’s “reserve amount”, a minimum price that must be met in order to win the bid. For example: if you placed a bid amount of $ 1,000 for a luxury bag but the reserve price indicated is $ 1,500, you will not win the bid for that bag, even if your $ 1,000 bid is the highest bid. But if you increase your bid amount to $ 1,500 and no other buyer places a higher bid than yours within the bidding period, you will win the bid for that luxury bag.

Online auctions can end without any winner

If not a single bidder placed a bid that met the reserve price of the item within its designated auction period, the auction for that item will close without any winner. The seller may have the option to put it up again for auction, depending on the rules of the online auction site.

Online auction winners have different ways of knowing their win

Should you win the auction, expect to receive a notification, usually through email, about your triumphant bid, so make sure you input your correct email address. And check your spam folder too!

You can also log in to your account to check the status of your bid anytime, anywhere!

Online auctions are still competitive in nature

Just because you don’t see the other bidders doesn’t mean online auctions are far less competitive and exciting than traditional, live auctions. The opposite is actually true. Since anyone all over the world with access to a computer and internet connection can bid against you, online auctions offer a thrilling experience to any bidder!

Online auctions can last from a week to a month

Patience is a virtue that online auctions will demand from you. Unlike live auctions where everything goes fast from the auctioneer’s almost unintelligible chant to the actual bidding period of items, online auctions can stretch from days to a month. Bidders are guided by a countdown feature indicating the number of days, hours, minutes and sometimes even seconds left before the bidding for a particular item comes to a close.

If you are in a rush to own the item you saw in an online auction website, instead of bidding you can usually opt to buy the item immediately. You may place a high bid amount to get a higher chance of winning the bid but you will still risk losing the item if a higher bid is made. There could be another bidder who wishes to own the same item as much, or more, than you, and always override your bid amount, no matter how high it is.

Online auctions offer multiple modes of payment

As with other forms of e-commerce, online auctions offer bidders the convenience of having multiple payment options. The acceptable modes of payment depend on the online auction site you subscribed to, or the seller. Common payment methods utilised by online auction sites and sellers include credit cards, debit cards and perhaps a third-party processor such as Paypal or Stripe.

To minimise the risk of running into problems regarding your payment, we recommend reading the terms and conditions of the online auction site you’re using before placing a bid.

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How to bid & win at auctions

The Beginner’s Guide to Bidding & Winning at Auctions..

It is natural for first-time (and sometimes, even experienced) auction bidders to get carried away by the whole auction atmosphere. The sights and sounds of a room packed with competitive bidders, the auctioneer calling for higher bids in their signature auction chant and the loud bang of the gavel on the podium during live auctions can arouse certain emotions and significantly influence your bidding strategy. But what is interesting to note is this phenomenon called auction fever has been observed not just in live auction buyers, but also internet or online auction buyers.

This guide will help you navigate the exciting world of auctions – whether live or online – with great success. The expert-recommended tips and techniques you will learn from this guide are applicable to both live and online auctions, unless otherwise specified. Consider following these tips to enjoy a higher chance of winning the items you want and don’t forget to have fun at the auction!

1. Register as a bidder.

This is the first step you need to take to be considered a legitimate, participating bidder of any auction.

For live auctions, you have the option to register days before, or on the actual day of the auction. We recommend registering days before to save you time on the day the auction. The registration process may differ according to the specific policies of the live auction house, but they usually require your name, address, contact information and government issued photo ID as proof of identification. Some auction houses also require a bid deposit and supporting financial documents for certain items, while others collect a registration fee which may be refundable. The auction house will then give you a bidder number or bidder card which you need to have with you throughout the whole auction event, so make sure you keep it in a secure place.

Online auctions, on the other hand, require you to set up an online account on their website. You will need to provide your name, address, contact information, email address, account username and password, but additional details such as your preferred mode of payment may be necessary to activate your account..

2. Read and understand the fine print.

This next step is critical for your peace of mind and enjoyment of the auction process. Live auctions and online auction websites have their unique set of terms and conditions to guide all participating buyers throughout the whole process. Invest the time to read through them and to clarify any questions you may have with their respective representatives. You wouldn’t want to find out that there are additional fees you need to pay after emerging as the highest bidder, especially after you’ve spent all your money on that last bid!

3. Stick to a budget.

This is where most bidders get it wrong. Participating in an auction without committing to a budget beforehand is a sure way to suffer auction fever and that dreaded winner’s curse. Practice financial discipline and humility by refusing the temptation to outbid that competitive buyer in the room, just for the sake of doing so. When you see that another online buyer has placed a higher bid than yours and that last bid you placed is your maximum limit, let it go.

Some online auctions have a feature called “maximum bid” that can help prevent online buyers from exceeding their budget. Buyers are required to input their maximum bid on the items they wish to buy from their website. This amount is automatically stored in the system. When another buyer places a higher bid than yours, the system will automatically override that bid with a higher amount closer to your maximum bid, until the time the other buyer places a bid that exceeds your maximum bid, or walks away.

4. Do your research.

Exercise due diligence even before the auction day comes. Grab the opportunity to view and scrutinise the items in person during the preview days (if possible) organised by some live auction houses. Seeing the items for yourself will always be better than relying on their photographs, as photographs depend on the skill of the photographer, camera or light quality. They may not always give you an accurate representation of the item to be auctioned and bring you disappointment. You may also ask the auction organisers during the preview days for a copy of the detailed list of items for auction, for your reference.

Tap the knowledge of various sources including auction catalogs, shops selling similar items, trusted online auction websites and even your local appraiser to know the authentic value of the items up for auction. We recommend participating in auctions armed with as much knowledge as possible to minimise your risk.

5. Start bidding.

Only after you have fully understood the terms of the auction, agreed to them, committed to a budget and investigated the items, should you start bidding.

If you are participating in a live auction, we recommend you sit or stand in a spot where the auctioneer can immediately see you. Hold up your bidder number or bidder card, then declare your bid in a clear and loud voice. You have two options for declaring your bid: you can either state the amount you’re willing to pay for the item, such as “$ 500”, or state how much you’re willing to increase it from its last bid, by saying “Another $ 500.”

To start bidding in an online auction, you need to log in to your account first. Once you are logged-in, simply search for the items you like and place your bid. If you are the first one to bid on the item, you can either bid low, or bid high to attempt to scare off other buyers. Use the strategy which best suits you. You can increase your bid when another buyer places a higher bid than yours, until the time you reach your maximum bid amount. The person who places the highest bid and meets the reserve price of the item wins.

6. Act confidently and fast.

Live auctions are loud, fast-paced events not suited for apprehensive, shy people. If the auctioneer misheard your bid, you have the responsibility to correct him/her on the spot. No one else will do that for you.

Bidding with confidence is a proven technique during auctions. Shy buyers can sense serious buyers in the room who refuse to give up on an item, and may voluntarily stop bidding as a result. Making eye contact with the auctioneer and even your competition is a way to project confidence during the live auction. Refrain from making eye contact or discussing during the bidding with your partner as these are telltale signs you are already nearing your maximum bid limit.

7. Monitor the status of your bids regularly.

This applies to online auctions only. Since online auctions require your bidding to be done over the internet unlike in person as live auctions do, the only way for you to keep track of the status of your bids is to track the items you’re bidding for time and time again. We recommend monitoring your bid status several times a day to give you a competitive edge over other buyers. You can make the necessary bid adjustments before other buyers do, particularly if the online auction does not offer an automatic bidding system. This regular monitoring may take up more of your time, but it can help you win the bid for that item you’re longing for.

8. Master stealth bidding.

This is a technique that many experienced bidders employ, and for good reason: it works. It simply means you place your bid within the last minute or even seconds before the bid closes. The logic behind it is this: bidding early on an item will hike up its price, as other bidders will try to outbid you. Stealth bidding can keep the item’s price down, resulting in a “bargain” for the successful stealth bidder.

Stealth bidding may be used whether you’re attending a live auction event or logged into a live auction website (but read the auction terms just to be sure!), and is commonly used for high ticket auction items such as jewellery, luxury goods and electronics. Stealth bidding is a tactic that proves patience pays big time during auctions.

Follow these eight tips to have an enjoyable and worry-free auction experience!

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Why are Diamonds a Girl’s Best Friend?

“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” – this is one statement you may have heard a million times over. Every woman would love to own her first diamond jewellery, or have another to boost her diamond jewellery collection. These are the four reasons why a diamond is the favourite precious stone of women all over the world:

1. Diamonds represent eternal love

The world-famous slogan “A Diamond is Forever” was first used by the De Beers Group in their engagement advertisement more than 70 years ago, with an image of a diamond ring and a couple sharing a loving embrace. This slogan perfectly captured the idea that diamonds represent eternal love – an idea that has been instilled in the minds of men and women alike for decades now.

You can prove your love by giving that special woman in your life a ring. But if you want to make an eternal promise of devotion to her, a diamond ring is your best choice. Once you have decided to give her a diamond ring, we recommend that you choose from top brands like Cartier, Chopard, Bvlgari, Tiffany & Co, Givenchy, Canturi & Chanel.

2. Diamonds are romantic

What’s so romantic about a piece of carbon, you ask?

Well, some creative minds have successfully romanticised diamonds, and we believed them. You’ll see it in advertisements of top jewellery brands such as Cartier, Chopard, Bvlgari, Tiffany & Co, Givenchy, Canturi & Chanel. We see our celebrities, musicians and movie stars dripping with diamonds. Diamonds have infiltrated every element of our popular culture, from movies, music videos and social media posts.

So little girls grow up with the dream of owning that first diamond jewellery, preferably given by their knight in shining armour in the form of an engagement ring. And they all lived happily ever after.

3. Diamonds last forever

The word “diamond” came from an ancient Greek term that means “unbreakable”. That alone says a lot about the durability and timeless appeal of this precious stone.

These two qualities make diamonds the perfect gift for your girlfriend, fiancee, wife or daughter, for any occasion. Chances are high that a diamond jewellery will be the answer you’ll get when you ask women the best gift they have ever received.

And you never have to worry about giving too many diamonds. Women will always have room for diamonds in their jewellery box, particularly if its from Cartier, Chopard, Bvlgari, Tiffany & Co, Givenchy, Canturi & Chanel.

4. Diamonds are ideal heirlooms

Drawing from the fact that diamonds are one of the toughest precious stones on our planet, they have also emerged as one of the most popular heirlooms that mothers pass on to their children.

Diamonds are not meant to stagnate in jewellery boxes. They may be worn occasionally by women during formal gatherings, but they mean more to women than just glamorous accessories. They are an investment that they will be proud to leave behind.

These four reasons shed light on the logic behind that oft-quoted statement. If you are searching for top quality diamonds from Cartier, Chopard, Bvlgari, Tiffany & Co, Givenchy, Canturi or Chanel at amazing prices, go now to our diamond jewellery auctions to find your dream diamond! Have fun diamond hunting!

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Is 9K or 22K more valuable?

Get to know your Gold with Gold Buyers Gold Coast

What is Hallmarking? What is a Carat or a Karat? Is 9K or 22K more valuable?

Hallmarking is quality control which dates back to the 14th century when Goldsmiths took their wares to Gold Guilds throughout Europe where metal was tested (or assayed) for purity.

Although a Carat is the unit weight for diamonds and other gemstones, there are many cases where Carat (or ct) will be used for gold classication.

Often Gold is partnered with other metals in the alloy. If Gold is combined with Copper it will present as a dull bronze colour (Rose gold). Silver or Nickel partnered with Gold adds a white tint to the alloy (and will often be referred to as ‘white gold’).

All Gold will be stamped (hallmarked) based on the standard in the country it is produced.

Technically the term for grading Gold is Karat. The lowest Karat grading is 8 (also known as 333, which tells us how much gold is in present, in this case 33.3%). 8K is not recognised in the United States and is easily tarnished.

9K (or 375) is 37.5% Gold and is common in British Commonwealth countries.

10K is the minimum standard for Gold in the United States and is also recognised at 416 (41.6% Gold).

The remainder of classifications are:

– 12K or 500 is 50% gold (uncommon)

– 14K or 585 is 58.5% gold (Asian Gold destined for overseas market. Common in USA. Russian 584)

– 15K, or 625 is 62.5 % gold (British Commonwealth countries. Discontinued over 80 years ago. A good indicator that the piece is old.)

– 18K or 750 is 75% gold. (Most quality pieces are 18ct. Minimum standard in Italy.)

– 22K or 916 is 91.6% gold (mainly Asia, Middle East. Very soft)

– 24K or 1000 is PURE gold (too soft for most jewellery manufacture)

When checking for hallmarks, some classifications mean that the metal is not solid Gold – stamps like EP, CP, HGP are Electroplate, Gold Plate, etc). Often this means that the Gold has been rolled and is not of high quality.

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Aquamarine: The stunning blue birthstone of March

Aquamarine is commonly a blue variety of beryl and is the birthstone for the month of March. Literally meaning seawater, Aquamarine resembles a the palette of the blue sky or the bright luminous colour of the sea.

For centuries, this treasured gemstone has been a symbol of youth, hope, health and fidelity.

Said to embody eternal life, many believe that the stone has a calming influence on married couples, making it an ideal anniversary gift.

Beryl is a mineral composed of beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate and other varieties of the stone include the more common emerald.

Aquamarine occurs at most localities which yield ordinary beryl, with Sri Lanka, Brazil and Madagascar areas that yield significant amounts of the stone.

Aquamarines are found in a wide range of blues; from pale colours through to a greenish-blue to a deep color. The darker shades of blue are increasingly rare and in turn, make the value increase.