Our auctions are open to the public and admission is free. Our professional and friendly team is always available to assist you and will try and make your auction experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible. We can assist you with selecting a piece, product information, placing a bid and other aspects associated with the auction.
We recommend that prospective buyers inspect the goods prior to purchase:
We suggest that you join our Loyalty Club to receive reminder emails for upcoming auctions in your area. Joining our Loyalty Club also enables you to view the price guides (auction estimates) on our website.
At First State Auctions, we source our jewellery and watches from local and international vendors including: government agencies such as Australian Customs & Border Protection Service, Australian Federal Police, insolvency trustees, manufacturers looking to liquidate stock, importers, private sellers and companies closing down or going bankrupt.
You can rest assured that all items you purchase from First State Auctions are genuine. First State Auctions is owned and operated by gemologists and diamond graders, and we pride ourselves on ensuring our descriptions are 100% accurate. All products submitted for auction are checked by at least two qualified gem experts before being catalogued. We ensure all diamonds, gemstones, gold and watches are authentic and graded correctly.
To assist customers to understand the condition of the items sold, all items have been classified based on the following guide:
Every diamond is unique. Each reflects the story of its arduous journey from deep inside the earth to a cherished object of adornment. Yet all diamonds share certain features that allow us to compare and evaluate them These features are called the 4C's. Colour, cut, clarity & carat are the original 4Cs and for more information you can view the GIA videos below. GIA developed the 4Cs and the International Diamond Grading System™, the grading standard adopted by jewellery professionals around the globe.
GIA is an abbreviation for The Gemological Institute of America. Established in 1931, GIA is the world’s foremost authority on diamonds, colored stones, and pearls. A public benefit, nonprofit institute, GIA is the leading source of knowledge, standards, and education in gems and jewelry. GSL is an abbreviation for Gem Studies Laboratory. GSL in Sydney is the Gemmological Association of Australia's endorsed diamond grading laboratory. GSL was started over twenty years ago to meet the demand in Australia for a first-rate diamond laboratory. Today it has become the best known independent diamond certification and gem identification laboratory in Australia.
When buying a diamond, a diamond certificate obtaining a diamond certificate is very important. The Certification should be conducted on the loose diamond – it’s the only way to give an accurate grading. This way the setting is not obstructing the measuring of important information that make up the value of the stone. The laboratory should also be independent of any retail or wholesale business. Diamond grading is subjective, some laboratories standards of what is a “D” colour or what is a “VVS1” clarity are much lower than others. First State Auctions recommends GIA (Gemological Institute of America) for internationally graded diamonds and GSL (Gem Studies Laboratory) for Australian graded diamonds. We have regularly found other internationally known laboratories to grade diamonds up to 2 grades of colour and/or 2 grades of clarity higher than GIA or GSL. That means the stone you are buying as a VS1 and E colour with a less reputable laboratory, for example, could be graded by GIA or GSL as SI1 and G colour – this makes a big difference to the value and price you should be paying for your diamond. We come across many professional-looking laboratory certificates, which we believe do not represent the correct grading of the diamond. These are genuine laboratories, but are not endorsed by the Gemmological Association of Australia or internationally renowned. They are not GIA, even though some may sound like GIA to the uninitiated. We will send diamonds graded by these laboratories to the GIA or GIA laboratories to receive a true grading. So, our advice is buy diamonds that have a reputable, recognised and trusted diamond certificate to ensure that you get what you are paying for!
At First State Auctions, we only sell natural gemstones and cultured pearls. While some gemstones may have been improved through industry-accepted treatments such as heat treatment, we don't sell laser-drilled or fracture-filled diamonds, or lead glass-filled rubies. It’s about quality, naturally.
All diamonds over 1 carat in size come with a laboratory certificate from highly regarded industry renown organisations like GIA or GSL. All other jewellery with a price guide (auction estimate) of more than AUD 3,000 will have a quality assessment from an independent gemmologist and valuer.
There is a 3 month limited warranty on “pre-owned” and “as-new” watches provided by FSA.
For “new” watches, FSA provides a limited warranty for the equivalent of the manufacturer’s warranty period.
The hands, dial, and watch movement are the only components covered under the limited warranty.
This is a limited warranty and does not include:
Please note that any modifications or 3rd party repairs will void the warranty.
Yes, we accept submissions to sell fine jewellery and watches from the general public. Please complete the Selling Jewellery Form.
Before you are able to bid in a room auction, you will need to register.
You can register when you attend the auction or can save time and pre-register online.
All bidders are required to register their name, address and contact details. If attending a room auction you will need to provide a photo id at registration. When this is complete, you will be handed a bidding card with your own bidding number for use in the auction room.
The auction is a secure environment and in the best interest of FSA and its customers, we aim to maintain the highest level of security and integrity.
Bidding in the auction room is really quite simple and nothing to fear. You can simply raise your hand or your bidding card, or you may prefer to call out your bid. The auctioneer also accepts many commonly used hand signals and he will describe these in the introduction at the beginning of the auction. The auction is a relaxed process and if there’s any doubt, we will always ask you to confirm whether your bid is intentional. Our auctioneers have many years’ experience and at First State Auctions we like to keep things fun and accessible for all.
Yes, we offer confidential absentee bidding.
To save time, we use the concept of “Auction by Request” at our room auctions. Often we have over 250 lots listed in our auction catalogues. Accordingly, we ask our customers to identify the jewellery items that they might be interested in bidding on. There is no obligation to bid on these items, and we do not record who has requested the item. If you would like to request an item, please speak to any of our staff. Items that are not requested will not be auctioned (as no customers have expressed interest on bidding on those items). This process allows the auction to progress and complete much more quickly.
An “Auction Estimate” is a guide to what an item might sell for at auction, based on what similar items have sold for at previous auctions and current market conditions. Auction Estimates relate to auction prices, not retail prices (which are typically considerably higher). In other words, an auction estimate gives an indication of the auction value of an item. These are not inflated prices, but aim to be a realistic guide.Any item can of course sell for less or more than the auction estimate, depending on the interest on the day.
Please ask our friendly staff for the price guides for any items you are interested in. Joining our Loyalty Club also enables you to view the price guides on our website. For all other enquiries regarding price guides, please contact us.
Some items may have reserves. If there is a reserve, it will always be less than the price guide (auction estimates). Reserves are confidential between the vendor and auctioneer.
First State Auctions, like all other traditional auction houses, charges a buyer’s premium. The fee is charged by us to cover administrative expenses associated with conducting the auction. The buyer’s premium goes directly to the auction house and not to the seller. The standard buyer’s premium at First State Auctions is 18% and is one of the lowest in the industry. A buyer’s premium is charged on all items purchased at First State Auctions and this 18% must be added to the hammer price. It forms part of the total invoice amount that is paid by the winning bidder. The buyer’s premium is not negotiable. Example: If you bid $1000 with the auctioneer and he declares the item sold to you (hammer price), you will then pay a further 18% buyer’s premium on top of this. So your final invoice amount will be: $1000 + $180 = $1180
Yes, it is. A tax invoice is issued with your purchase, and people travelling overseas from Australia may be able to reclaim the GST on the items purchased subject to Australian Customs regulations. GST on the buyer’s premium may not be eligible for a customs refund.
The auctioneer will start the bidding according to either a verbal or hand signal offer in the room, on behalf of an absentee bidder, or below the reserve (if applicable). The auctioneer may reject an opening bid if he feels it is not in the best interest of the vendor. Typically the auctioneer will look for a starting bid of at least 50% of the price guide (auction estimate).
If you are the successful bidder, the amount you will have to pay is calculated based on the hammer price plus the buyer’s premium of 18%. Example: If you bid $1000 with the auctioneer and he declares the item sold to you (hammer price), you will then pay a further 18% buyer’s premium on top of this. So your final invoice amount will be: $1000 + $180 = $1180
About 15 minutes after you finish bidding, you can proceed to our invoicing desk. You can either choose to pay in full and take the item away on the day, or pay a minimum of 20% deposit with the balance to be paid within 5 working days.
We have plenty of payment options including:
If you want to take the goods with you on the day of the auction, you will need to pay for the goods in full by cash, EFTPOS and/or credit card.
All other payment methods have a clearance time and the the goods can be picked up in our Sydney head office or will be sent by secure courier when the payment has been cleared.
There is no surcharge on credit card payments. If your credit card is from overseas, we do not charge any extra ‘overseas’ fees – however you may need to check with your credit card company directly to see if they have any.
For pick up of jewellery on the day or to arrange ring re-sizing (Australia and NZ auctions only), after paying for your items, please proceed to our “Collections Desk”. Goods that are paid for in full by cash or credit card can be collected from the auction on the same day. Goods where a 20% deposit is paid, won by absentee bid, where payment requires clearing or that require re-sizing can be picked up in our Sydney head office or will sent by secure delivery/courier to you for a nominal fee.
If you are a member of our Loyalty Club, we offer a complimentary ring resizing service (Australia and New Zealand auctions only) for up to 3 sizes up or down. Your ring must be fully paid for prior to work commencing and it takes 3-5 working days to complete the resize. If the item needs to be resized more than 3 sizes, a small fee will apply per extra size. Please note, some rings may not be able to be resized due to the nature of their setting. Please check the description of the item for the current size, and any sizing limitations.
When goods are to be delivered to you from First State Auctions Head Office, we use secure couriers with tracking of packages.
If an item has been ‘passed in’ or ‘referred’ then it may be possible to purchase the item after the auction. The Auction Manager may be able to help with a sale on the day itself, or you can contact our office the next day. Remember, we’re not hoarders! Our goal is to sell these items, so will assist where we can. Please note that offers will only be accepted for amounts higher than the referred or passed in values.
No. At First State Auctions, like other auctions, all bids are final. You need to inspect potential purchases thoroughly and evaluate your priorities prior to bidding.
You can register online now and we’ll let you know when we are holding an auction near you. If you are at an auction, simply advise us of your email address at registration – this will also join you up to our Loyalty Club. Upcoming auctions are also displayed on our website.
If you have any enquiries after the auction, please contact our friendly head office staff on 1300 650 072.
At First State Auctions, we truly appreciate your repeat business which is why all Loyalty Club members enjoy 5% of their purchase price credited to them for use at a future auction within the next 12 months. The Loyalty Club is free to join and there is no obligation to buy anything. But when you do – you get rewarded!
Loyalty Club Reward Dollars are calculated on the Auctioneer’s Hammer Amount (excluding the buyer’s premium).
Sorry, photography is not permitted at First State Auctions.