Selling at Auction
By working with one of the world’s few auctions that deals primarily with fine jewelry and timepieces, you have access to a specialized team with decades of experience assessing the quality and value of your piece, and the best way to sell it. With bidders from over 50 countries competing for your items, selling your jewelry and watches with FORTUNA® is a rewarding and exciting experience, with no risk at all.
After you consign your piece, our team of specialists will research, photograph, and market the collection globally. If the jewelry or watch does not sell for the minimum price that you determine, we return it to you with no fees at all. This is unprecedented in an industry where the norm is to burden the sellers with numerous fees, ranging from photography, to insurance, and even unsold lot fees.
How to Sell Your Jewelry or Watches at Auction
We are always seeking fine jewelry, watches, and objets d’art for upcoming auctions. It is recommended that you consign your jewelry at least 4-6 weeks before an auction to allow appropriate time for research, photography, and marketing. Read below for the steps involved in consigning your fine jewelry or watches for sale:
1. Get a Free Valuation
The first step when selling your precious assets is always to acquire an unbiased valuation of its worth at market; it is the only way to protect yourself from misinformation and realize when you are being offered an unfair price. Our jewelry experts will give you their best assessment as to what your piece would fetch at auction. There are many factors to consider, such as condition, age, provenance, quality, current market conditions, and rarity. We will also explain the details and timetable of the auction. Jewelry and watch valuations are free, and you are not obligated to put your items in auction thereafter.
To help our specialists determine accurate value ranges for your jewels or watches, please submit photos of the front, back, and any visible markings of your piece. If there is a receipt of purchase, a past appraisal or a gem laboratory certificate, please include them in your photo submissions. In the description, be sure to include as much information as possible about your jewelry or timepiece: where and when it was purchased, provenance, and designer if you know it.
After receiving your inquiry, our specialists will contact you within 1–3 business days with preliminary estimates and to discuss the next steps.
Our jewelry and watch specialists are available Monday through Friday, from 10am to 6pm, by appointment. If you would like to schedule a valuation or auction appraisal appointment, please call us at 212-389-9040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. In some cases, for particularly large estates or collections, our jewelry experts can meet you at your home or other location.
2. Consignment Agreement
If our jewelry team’s initial valuation values are of interest to you and you would like to take the next step in the consignment process, which is an in-person valuation, we will provide you with an insured shipping label to send your pieces to our office for further examination. Your items will be fully insured while in transit and throughout the entirety of its stay in our state-of-the-art high-security vaults. After receiving your final proposed reserve, low and high estimate, if you decide to consign an item to an upcoming auction, you will be asked to sign a consignor contract. The contract details our commitment to you and covers all aspects of the sale of your jewelry or watch, including the seller’s premium, which is typically 15-20%, and reserve values.
After the consignment agreement has been finalized, we will proceed with cataloging, professionally photographing, and preparing your item(s) for offering at auction. Your items will be fully insured while in transit and throughout the entirety of its stay in our state-of-the-art high-security vaults.
3. After the Auction
After the sale, we will provide a detailed seller’s settlement, notifying you of which lots have sold, for how much, and how we will pay you. For sold lots, your payment is calculated based on the hammer price achieved, less the seller’s commission and any agreed-upon expenses. If there are unsold lots, we will discuss the possibility of re-offering them at an upcoming auction for a revised reserve or arrange insured shipping of the items back to you.
Other Selling Channels
In addition to our monthly auctions, we also purchase items outright. If you wish to compare and explore alternative methods of selling, please contact us directly.
To speak to one of our specialists, please call or email us today. We are pleased to assist with any inquiries you may have.
608 5th Avenue, Suite 507
New York, NY 10020
Frequently Asked Questions
The seller's premium is a percentage of the final hammer price that Fortuna retains as payment for our services. It is typically 15–20% and varies depending on the overall consignment value or rarity of items.
Of course! Fortuna has buyers and sellers from all over the world and we are thoroughly experienced with shipping high value items, fully insured. Our specialists will first perform a preliminary valuation of your pieces based on the images and details you provide. Once your pieces are ready to be consigned to an auction, we will provide you with an insured shipping label to transport the items to our state-of-the-art high security vaults.
Fortuna does not charge sellers any fees for insurance, photography, or marketing of their items at auction—an uncommon practice in the auction industry. Occasionally, our specialists might recommend acquiring a lab report, certificate of authenticity or repair service to enhance the value of your pieces. With your approval, these fees will be deducted from your auction proceeds, along with the seller’s premium. If your items do not sell at auction, you will not be subject to pay the seller's premium fee.
The Consignment Agreement covers the terms of the sale of your items at auction. Most importantly, it sets the reserve prices and seller’s premium. The reserves are the minimum prices you are guaranteed for your jewelry or watches, which have your approval. The seller’s premium is the percentage of your sale that the auction house retains for selling your items, and it is only applied if your items sell at auction. The seller’s premium can vary based on the total value or overall rarity of your items, but it is never more than 15%.
Absolutely, every auction is streamed live online. On auction day, just head to our homepage or visit our Facebook page or Instagram to view the video livestream. You can also attend the auction in-person by visiting our NY office. Note: Please click here as some of our services have changed in response to COVID-19.
Congratulations! We will mail you a check within 45 days after the date of the auction, provided that Fortuna receives timely payment from the buyer. As a precaution to protect payments to our sellers, we wait for payment to be fully cleared before shipping out consigned jewelry or watches to winning bidders. If your item didn’t sell, we will return your item in an insured package, at no cost to you, or you may choose to reconsign your item for an upcoming auction.