Cashing In The Family Jewelry

Got some family jewelry stashed in the closet? Consider it a possible source of income in this economic downturn, but selling the items might not be as easy as you think, reports CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller.

Tamar Schoenberg is expecting a baby girl in June.

This should be a very happy time ...

"Yeah. I mean it is a happy time, but it's been a scary time, and it's become scarier recently with my husband losing his job -- this week actually," Schoenberg admitted.

With big bills ahead, the Brooklyn resident is selling her mother's diamond watch on Craigslist.

"I know that in '92, she probably spent $4,000 or something on it. I'm not exactly sure, and I'm selling it for $750 and I think that's a very fair price," Schoenberg said. "I'm hoping that because the economy is so difficult, people are looking for deals, looking for beautiful pieces for less."

Irwin Sablosky, owner of New Jersey's biggest pawn shop, has seen a 20 percent jump in volume compared to last year.

"People have an image of pawn brokers catering to a lower economic class, but that has not been the case recently," said Sablosky, owner of Rich's Pawn Shop. "You have people affected by the economy. They're losing their jobs. Their credit lines are being cut. Their credit cards are being taken away. Lines of credit as far as mortgages and things like that are being affected. People are looking for a source of cash."

With the economy in a free fall and the price of gold hovering at record prices …

"We're seeing bigger diamond rings, much more expensive watches, a much higher value of item than we saw years ago," Sablosky said.

But the demand for these expensive items has also fallen ...

"It's the bigger things from years past that don't sell as quickly," Sablosky said.

Back in Brooklyn, Schoenberg has found a tough market for her watch.

"The irony, the difficulty is -- just when you need to sell it the most, everyone else seems to be in the same position and they're not going to be purchasing your items necessarily at the same market value you would have sold them for a year ago even," Schoenberg said.

"You're not going to budge on the price?"

"Not yet, no," Schoenberg said.

For more tips on selling your jewelry, click on the Play button below.





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