Selling Jewellery – Frequently Asked Questions | First State Auctions

Selling Jewellery – Frequently Asked Questions

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When do our auctions run? 

First State Auctions runs at least one online auction every week of the year.


What type of jewellery items do you accept?

We are currently taking vendor submissions for:

  • Diamonds - certified diamonds over 0.60 carat in all shapes and settings, Fancy colour diamonds.
  • Swiss Watches - including Audemars Piguet, Breitling, Cartier, Chopard, Frank Muller, IWC Schaffhausen, Longines, Omega, Panerai, Patek Phillipe. Piaget, Rolex, Vacheron Constentin and other luxury brands.
  • Gemstones - fine quality ruby, sapphire, emerald and alexandrite jewellery and gemstones.
  • Brand Name Jewellery - including Bvlgari, Cartier, Chanel, Chopard, Dior, Hermes, Paspaley, Tiffany, Van Cleef and Arpels and other luxury brands.

We do not auction silver jewellery.


How does it work - what is the process?

Step 1 - Submit your application online

  • All vendor submissions to sell jewellery through First State Auctions need to be made online by completing the Sale of Jewellery Form. Vendors are requested to include detailed item descriptions, multiple images, certificates, original purchase receipts, box and instruction manual information and other relevant information.

Step 2 – Get an estimate

  • Our Procurement Department assesses the submission based on the information provided to us.  Further information is requested if required.
  • If the item is suitable for our auctions, a draft proposal is provided to the vendor which lists a reserve (if required), estimated selling range and the charges involved with selling. A cash purchase will be considered upon request. All the above is subject to visual inspection of the items by our qualified jeweller.

Step 3 – Visit our Sydney Head Office or send in your jewellery

  • If you wish to proceed with the proposal, the items can be submitted in person (by appointment) at our Sydney Head Office, dropped off at an upcoming auction near you or posted to us (registered and insured). We will discuss the best method with you.
  • Once received, our qualified jeweller conducts a thorough inspection of the items.

Step 4 –  Receive auction agreement

  • If all is acceptable, an agreement is drafted for both parties to sign.
  • This contract outlines and includes our terms and conditions, fees and charges.
  • If a cash sale offer is accepted, paperwork is filled out and payment is made to the nominated bank account.

Step 5 –  We prepare the item for auction

  • Once the signed agreement is received by us, the item is prepared for auction. This may include cleaning and polishing, obtaining a Certificate of Authenticity, photographing, cataloguing and lotting.

Step 6 –  The item is allocated to an auction

Step 7 –  When the item sells, you get paid


Do you have an office in Melbourne or other States?

No - Our Vendor program is conducted directly through our Sydney Head Office.


What if my jewellery is not in perfect condition?

You can still sell it at auction. Jewellery and precious metals are appraised based on their weight and quality. Our expert team can help you with the assessment.


Do I need to clean my jewellery before I send it to you?

No - this is not required.


I don't have any paperwork with my submission - will this affect the value?

The more supporting documentation you have, the better. Luxury branded items sell better with original documents. We also request paperwork for additional information on the item to assist us in providing a more accurate auction appraisal.


How do I send my jewellery to you by mail?

If you are mailing your items to our Head Office in Sydney, we highly recommend you send it by registered mail through Australia Post with insurance and acknowledgement of receipt from the receiver.


How do I know my valuables are safe with you?

Your items are fully itemised, documented and insured while in our possession and throughout the auction process. Our comprehensive processes also ensure that your valuables are always safe and secure.


How much is my jewellery worth?

The auction value of your jewellery will vary depending on the nature of the item and its condition. We can give you an auction estimate based on past sales and current market conditions. We have been trusted auctioneers since 1995 and are very experienced and knowledgeable in valuing all kinds of jewellery.


Can I set a reserve?

If a reserve is requested, First State Auctions will provide a reserve based on past sales and current market conditions. You can lower the suggested reserve, but cannot increase it. The reserve price will be held in strict confidence and protects you from the item selling below the reserve price at the auction.


How do you determine the auction estimate?

We provide estimates of what we believe the item will sell for at auction based on current market conditions, past sales, information provided to us and confirm this with a physical assessment.


Why is your estimate usually much lower than the valuation price?

Most retail valuations are insurance replacement valuations and may even be higher than the retail price it sold for - it is not an indication to us as to what it will sell for at auction. Valuations may vary significantly because the amounts are subjective and differ from valuer to valuer. Additionally each type of item has a different resale market. We use your valuation certificate for information such as the gemstone type, carat weights, colour and clarity gradings, metal type, gram weight etc. We are also conservative in our auction estimates, as we would rather under promise and over deliver.


What are the charges involved with selling?

Seller commission charges will apply when we sell an item on your behalf:

  • The commission is charged on a success fee basis only –  If we don’t sell the item, there is no commission charged.
  • The rate of commission will be quoted to you based on the items offered to auction.
  • The rate of commission is industry competitive.
  • Commission is charged based on the final auction "hammer" price that the item is sold for.
  • The commission will be deducted from sale proceeds.
  • The commission will include an insurance component.

A lotting fee will apply and includes photography, clean & polish (as required) and authentication (if required).

Additional fees also apply if the item requires repair or a Gemstone Laboratory report.

The above fees are deducted from the auction proceeds or payable if the items are not sold and are returned to you.


Can I back-out of the process at any time?

Once you have signed an auction agreement, you cannot back-out of the process.


When will my item appear in an auction and can I submit it to an auction of my choosing?

First State Auctions makes every effort to auction your items as soon as possible. Before your items can be included in an auction, your items will need to be inspected and a vendor agreement needs to be prepared. We require some lead time to prepare your items for auction including cleaning, photography and lotting. 

Items will normally be listed for auction approximately 2 to 3 weeks from the date we receive a signed Vendor contract from you. You can request that your item is included in a particular auction, however, we do not guarantee that it will be included in an auction of your choosing.


What advertising do you do to promote the auction?

We have been a leading Auction House in Australia and New Zealand since 1995 and have a substantial and loyal customer base. For each auction, we conduct extensive advertising and promotional campaigns that often include:

  • Online promotion via our website
  • Google advertising
  • Digital display advertising within an online advertising network comprising over 2 million websites
  • Email marketing
  • Direct mail
  • Press advertising
  • Social media


How long will it take for my items to sell?

The time it takes for an item to sell is dependent on many factors. Some items sell at the first auction, some sell after a few auctions.  


How do I find out if my item sold or not?

Please contact the First State Auctions vendor department for an update -


How frequently will my items go to auction?

An item will go to auction a maximum of twice per one month period subject to other variables.


What if my item does not sell?

If the items don’t sell at the first auction they are offered at, FSA will resubmit the respective goods for an additional 2 auctions.

If after 3 auctions, the items have not sold, the following options will apply:

  • You can request in writing that the items not sold be returned to you.
  • FSA can return all the items not sold to you.
  • You and FSA can agree to continue the process on the same basis as outlined in this document. A review of the reserve price may occur in this instance.


When and how will I get paid?

Vendor payments are conducted after the end of each month. Sales made during a calendar month will be paid within the first week of the following month. You will receive a detailed notification from our accounts team as to the prices realised and the amount payable to you.

All vendor payments will be made by EFT to your nominated bank account or by company cheque.


Can I get paid early?

We do not organise early vendor payments.


What security checks apply?

Based on best business practices, we will need a copy of your official photo ID such as your drivers license or passport. We do this to protect both our buyers and sellers and to prevent fraudulent behaviour.


Selling jewellery at aucton.

Why you should consider selling your jewellery through First State Auctions; Selling jewellery through First State Auctions