News & Press: Member News

Call to Action

Tuesday, October 8, 2019  
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The following is a paid advertorial from a member of the American Gem Society.

By Martin Rapaport, Chairman of the Rapaport Group, Founder of the Rapaport Diamond Report and RapNet


2019 Demographics TableThe greatest opportunity facing the diamond, gem and jewelry industry is the purchase and resale of estate jewelry. Ninety-seven million American baby boomers and seniors will be reaching retirement age over the next decade, with 22.7 million that are already over the age of 75 (see table). Many will want to sell their jewelry, perhaps to send a grandchild to college, raise funds for retirement or resolve family issues before they pass away.

How will our trade deal with the senior sellers? Who will take care of them? What is to become of their jewelry? How will the trade resell estate jewelry? What are the issues confronting the trade?

Fair Market Value (FMV)

The jewelry trade has an ethical responsibility to help consumers get a fair price when they resell their jewelry. The role of the jeweler is to help consumers whether they are buying or selling. The only way to ensure consumer confidence in jewelry and jewelers is to create a viable, scalable market that ensures consumers fair market value through competition.


Many jewelers will be given an opportunity to buy more jewelry than they can resell in their stores. Jewelers will need access to reliable, consistent and efficient markets that will provide liquidity. They must be able to sell easily and quickly so that they can continue buying. We must create a market that provides jewelers with fair market value prices so they can give consumers fair prices. Jewelers with access to liquid FMV markets and expertise to properly evaluate and value fine quality jewelry will be able to make more money buying jewelry than selling jewelry. The key is to ensure liquidity in the market by including dealers who can inventory estate jewelry as it recycles from sellers to buyers.

Estate Jewelry

Preowned estate jewelry is a fantastic, unique, one-of-a-kind product that generates excitement. It is fun to deal with. Every piece is as individual as the person buying it. Every piece has a story. You and your customer might love or hate the look and feel of a piece of estate jewelry, but you will feel something, and that is the true power of jewelry.

Estate jewelry is the most environmentally sound and socially responsible product you can ever sell. Many pieces are signed and branded by the most fantastic jewelers in the world. Their craftsmanship and exclusive provenance are irreplaceable. Estate jewelry is your opportunity to offer Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany & Co., Bulgari, Mikimoto, Boucheron and many other brands in your store to your customers.


Fortunately, the 93 million baby boomers and seniors are matched by 90 million millennials. Millennials are getting older every day. Their tastes and desires are developing. Millennial women are reaching childbearing age, and many are making a decision to settle down and marry. They are and will be getting into serious long-term committed relationships.

Millennials will be great customers for estate jewelry. The challenge for us is to learn how to sell them what they want. The most important thing is for us to have fun and love jewelry. We must be passionate about what we sell. The amazing thing about estate jewelry is that once a customer sees something they like, the jewelry sells itself.

AGS Jewelers

American Gem Society (AGS) jewelers are perfectly positioned to play a key role in the redistribution of estate jewelry. They should be the preferred address for elderly consumers seeking to sell their jewelry and millennial consumers seeking to buy something special. This is an opportunity for jewelers to get back into the jewelry business instead of being glorified showcase merchants selling commoditized products.

It is time for jewelers to sell products that Amazon will not sell. It is time for us to use our expertise to buy and sell beautiful jewelry at good prices. It is time for us to recognize that old is the new “new.”

The Rapaport Initiative

Rapaport believes in supporting AGS jewelers by providing a centralized monthly auction market that will provide sellers with liquidity at fair market value prices and give buyers an opportunity to purchase estate jewelry at competitive market prices.

The first Rapaport Estate Jewelry Auction will take place on November 3 to 7, with viewing in New York. The auction will feature over 200 select lots of fine jewelry. All lots will be available for viewing and bidding online

Previews of lots offered for sale, registration for the catalog and bidding, as well as a fact sheet that explains the auction, are now available at Registration is now open. Personalized customer support is available via 1-212-354-9800 and

There will be a webinar at 12 noon EST, Tuesday, October 29, and a special Instagram social-media campaign for AGS members on Wednesday, October 30. Online bidding begins on Sunday, November 3, with bidding to close at 1:00 p.m. EST, Thursday, November 7.

The auction will be held in a tender format, similar to a silent auction. Bidders may bid confidentially online or provide sealed bids no later than 1:00 p.m., Thursday, November 7. Sellers will be informed of high bids after bidding closes and have 24 hours to confirm the sale or reject bids. Buyers will be informed of their successful bids by Sunday, November 10, and have three business days until Wednesday, November 13, to make full payment. Additional details are provided in the fact sheet on the auction website.


The US jewelry trade is experiencing an unprecedented opportunity to serve customers and create value through expertise and market presence. Billions of dollars of estate jewelry will be offered for sale by millions of motivated sellers over the next decade. A new generation of millennials will find estate jewelry unique, exciting and desirable. There will be enough supply and demand for everyone, everywhere

The Rapaport Group recognizes the significant and successful role many AGS jewelers play in the estate-jewelry market. Of particular importance is the high level of expertise provided to consumers in their local markets. We anticipate significant increases in the supply of estate jewelry and are working to create efficient clearing markets that enable liquidity at competitive fair market value.

Thank you for taking the time to view this article. I invite your comments to and encourage you to view the auction lots at

Rapaport Estate Jewelry Auction


Mission Statement

The American Gem Society (AGS) is a nonprofit trade association of fine jewelry professionals dedicated to setting, maintaining and promoting the highest standards of ethical conduct and professional behavior through education, accreditation, recertification of its membership, gemological standards, and gemological research.

The Society is committed to providing educational products to inform and protect the consumer and to contributing to the betterment of the trade by creating industry standards to protect the jewelry-buying public and the fine jewelry industry as a whole.

AGS Laboratories, founded to support the AGS mission, is a nonprofit diamond grading laboratory with a mission of consumer protection. Adhering to the AGS Diamond Grading Standards, AGS Laboratories is dedicated to offering diamond grading reports that provide consistency and accuracy based on science.

American Gem Society