How Has the Value of Jewelry Changed Over the Years?

September 27, 2021

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The value of pawn jewelry is a fascinating subject that often comes up whenever pawn shops are discussed. Jewelry can provide many people with the chance to make good money, often beyond other options. So just how has the price of jewelry changed over the years? Let’s take a look at a few of the highs and lows of this industry to get an idea of what to expect the next time you go to a shop to pawn jewelry.

Jewelry Prices Typically Go Up

As time passes, jewelry prices continue to go up across the nation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that prices between 1986 and 2021 were 82.21% higher, partially due to inflation and partly due to increasing metal prices and more. For instance, inflation went up around 1.73% per year on jewelry, meaning that a $100 purchase in 1986 was worth $182.21 in 2021.

These changes did not occur steadily or without fluctuation. Princes from 1986-1994 went up by 54.35%, making up the vast majority of these increases. The highest single-year increase was in 1990 when prices went up 9.99% in inflation. After 1994, though, prices drastically slowed and decreased. Between 1994-95, prices went up from $158.58 to just $159.26.

After this time came a 10-year period where prices went down in all but two years. By 2005, prices were at $131.75, having dropped 18% since 1995. Ever since then, prices have mostly gone up, with a few years when they went down. In fact, 2018-2020 saw a nearly 10% drop. The prices in 2020 were at around $166.96 before a big jump in 2021 up to $182.21.

Still Valuable

These prices reflect the reality that pawn jewelry is still going strong. An estimated 30 million different Americans visit pawn shops every year. Many use personal items to secure lawns to help pay for expenses. Others purchase items that have been sold to these shops, like jewelry. As inflation increases the cost of jewelry, it is wise to consider this option for financing seriously.

Most pawn jewelry stores will take items from a variety of different sources. For instance, they may identify gold necklaces and bracelets worth more than other types of jewelry. However, there may also be items with diamonds, emeralds, and other precious stones. These often provide the best chance of making good money, though the opportunities vary depending on the area.

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