Tips for Selling Used Jewelry

Are you planning on selling jewelry pieces in 2024? 

I’ve recently had more than a handful of people asking for information about buying, selling, or trading used and vintage jewelry pieces.

If this is you, here’s a list of things I do before I put together a jewelry/accessories drop.  However, this to-do list applies to selling virtually anything from a pair of shoes to a wood-burning stove. 

Vintage Saroyan Coin Earrings

Tips for Selling Used Jewelry

Listing Research – Take some time to have a hunt around the web and find out what’s for sale today.  As you read listings, make a note of word choice, photo quantity, and quality.  The goal is to figure out what things are priced at today, and what the current style in listings looks like.

Ask Yourself “Is it worth it?” – After the research phase is “done enough,” consider the time and energy it will take to create and upload a listing.  If you don’t have the time, skills, or energy, you can step back from this project knowing you’ve e made an informed decision. 

Clean and Repair Your Pieces – Make time to thoroughly wipe down and polish your jewelry pieces.  If you have the skills and tools, make any necessary repairs to get your pieces into their best shape.

Jewelry Supplies for Simple Repairs and Construction

Measure – Make your listing more complete by including the key measurements for the pieces. Listings with complete measurements are more appealing to shoppers. 

Photograph – Take many photos of each piece.  Try to capture every angle, at a distance and close up.  If you can snap photos modeled on a dress form, stand, or even better, a person.  Many online sellers put objects like rulers and coins to show size and provide scale.  

Create your Listing – This is my personal choice, but I build my listings in a text document on my computer first.  Then if I’m going to put my listings in a couple of places I can copy, paste, and repeat.  Think Marketplace, eBay, Etsy, and right on your feed.  

Before Posting – Review and double-check the details. Listings should include specific information about payment methods and shipping costs.  Include packaging details and timelines from order to shipment.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog!  I wish you luck and good fortune in your dance and costuming adventures!
 Dawn Devine ~ Davina

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"Jean Jinglers" chains of charms with double clasps to wear attached to bags, jeans, or even as necklaces. Watch for my yearly Etsy drop in the fall.

Assiut/Assuit Costuming DIY General Jewelry

Making Jewelry Bigger using Jump Rings

This week I had the opportunity to perform with a group of my proteges who have been taking private belly dance lessons. Each year, the Haunted HaflAdira features local dancers dressing up in costume to take the stage and dance for our community.  As we planned our costumes, I found myself craving a light metallic pendant that would hang to my diaphragm. As you can see in this photo I decided to continue my hamsa motif and put together a double-decker pendent.

Above: Swirl, featuring Vakasha in Black and Gold, Davina in Blue, Zemira in Purple, and redvelvet in Rust.

More Jewelry?  Yes Please!

I’m always tweaking my costume looks, and what I needed to fine tune this ensemble was a longer pendant.  I wanted a piece that was large, had lots of movement and rested right where I wanted at the top of my diaphragm.  With a few simple tools, and some basic jewelry componentry I created an assemblage piece from existing trinkets.

Gather Your Jewelry Components

For this piece, I found three Turkish pieces all featuring the characteristic glass blue-eye designs. On the left is a door knocker or wall ornament, designed to be hung from the top loop on a nail or hook.

The keychain is a typical tourist trinket made from silver-toned pot-metal, but with the same swirling design and blue-eye details.

The last piece is a very tiny, delicate bracelet composed of the same blue eyes.

I also needed some chain to make this piece the length I desired and a clasp that would be easy to get it on and off in a hurry before and after a performance, but that was secure enough to hold the necklace in place.

Jewelry Making Tools

This pendant is made using basic jewelry.  Pliers designed for jewelry making are smooth, so the pressure of the tool doesn’t mar the surface of the metal.  Avoid using pliers from the hardware store, as they usually have serrated teeth to help keep a firm grip on projects.

Planning the Jewelry

I wanted a hand suspended from hand look with lots of movement and bounce.  I want this piece to hang lower than the rest of my jewelry, wearing it suspended at the level of my diaphragm.  This would allow me to bounce it with strategic body waves and chest lifts.

Disassembling the Jewelry Components

Once I have all the tools, parts and pieces together, the project only took a few minutes.  I started by removing the big glass eye from the bottom of the door knocker/wall hanging piece.  I also remove the top, leaving just a hand with four dangles.  Next, I took apart the keychain, removing the key ring.  Finally, I harvested 5 of the blue-eyed beads from the bracelet.

After I took those pieces apart, I’m left with this three items.  A big glass eye, which I attached to the keychain, the top of the door hanger, and four beads left on the deconstructed bracelet.

Combine Jewelry with Jump Rings

The next step is to take all the disassembled parts and pieces and create a new pendant. I used the tiny blue-eyed beads and their original jump rings, to attach them to the tips of the fingers to hang like dangles.  This mirrors the design of the door knocker/wall hanging piece.

I then attached this former keychain to the central finger of the wall hanging/door knocker piece. Overall, I am pretty happy with the way the new assemblage pendant looks.

Determine the Necklace Length

Once the pendant was finished, I put the costume onto my dress form and positioned the pendant where I wanted it to fall on my body.  Because I like to make jewelry for performance, I always have a few spools of chain in my stash.

I put the pendant on the chain, and played with the position until I had it at the best length.  I strategically choose this length so the top hamsa would rest right above my diaphragm.  This particular style of chain has links that open, so it was just a twist of the wrist and I had the perfect length chain.

Add a Closure to your Jewelry Piece

The final step is adding a closure to the necklace.  Although this piece is quite long and could easily go over my head, I always add a closure.  I frequently wear large and complicated turbans or headdresses, and it’s really handy to be able to put a piece of jewelry on and off without disturbing my costuming.

Jewelry Making Tools and Supplies

Here are just a few of the tools and supplies I keep on hand in my studio for making custom jewelry as I need it.  If you are into tribal style belly dance costuming, you may find yourself frequently using jewelry making techniques.  For glam dancers, having these tools on hand means that you can make repairs on your rhinestone necklaces and bracelets.  And of course, having the ability to redesign your jewelry to make pieces that are bigger and better is always a plus!

Basic Jewelry Making Kit: I started with a Beadalon Jewelry Toolkit similar to this one.  I still use the chain-nosed pliers today, nearly 20 years later.  What I love about this case, is that I can put my favorite closures and earring wires in the plastic organizer keeping everything together to grab and work without digging around for parts and pieces.

Jump Rings:  I always keep a selection of different sized jump rings in my toolkit to have on hand to make repairs and create new pieces. Getting a set with six different sizes and a storage box means that not only will you be prepared, but if you run out of a particular size, you can buy replacements by the baggie to refill your organizer.


I had so much fun dancing with my crew in these bright robes and almost, but not quite, excessive jewelry.  We had so much fun, we’re already planning for performances in December. Looks like there will be more jewelry making in my future!

Best of luck on all of your costuming and dance adventures!
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
Oct. 27, 2017

PS: If you enjoyed this post, why not share it with this image on Pinterest?  And tag me if ya do!

Belly Dance Costuming DIY Jewelry

Designing a Lavender Bedlah Ensemble – Part 1

Hello Gang!  During the month of March, I’m working on three costume projects.  The first project of the month, I’ve given the title Lavender Garden.  It’s a five-piece belly dance performance ensemble that includes a bedlah set composed of a bra and belt which are covered with lavender stretch velvet, purple and pink appliques, and sprinkled with sew-on rhinestones. In addition, there is also a backless halter dress and two coordinating skirts.  The entire project, except for the bra and the fabric for one of the skirts, is being constructed using left-over materials, vintage “from the stash” fabric, and items bought many years ago and stored for the perfect moment. Over the next three or four posts, I will share the development of this costume from concept to finished stage-worthy performance belly dance costume.

Lavender Garden Mood Board

Lavender and Purple floral bouquet mood board made using PicMonkey | Dawn Devine of Studio Davina -

I made this floral mood board digitally using the free software at

One of my strategies as a budget conscious designer is to shop creatively and strategically to build and maintain my stash.  I begin with broad, sweeping visual concepts, and then over time, when I see something that will fit with the color scheme and style of the project, I pick it up and add it to the project kit that fits in with my overall idea.  If I get the materials home, and they aren’t quite right, or seem imperfectEmbellished Bras - Front Cover, I still add them to one of the kits.  If they don’t fit, they get added to the Triage box for sorting at a future date when more items come together to create a project kit.

These kits will include all sorts of items.  This kit began in 2004 shortly after finishing the bra for the cover of the Embellished Bras book.  I had purchased far-far too many appliques, but not quite enough to make a second costume.  So they were the first elements added to the new kit.  Over time, I tucked in more appliques, jewelry components, rhinestones, fringe, and fabrics.  This kit was pretty full and ready to be turned into something magnificent!

The Client Pitch + Rough Sketch

When a continuing client comes to me and asks for a costume, and doesn’t particularly know where to begin, I will pull out some of these pre-planned kits to show them what is possible.  I like to share with them a mood board that catches the color story, texture, and vibe that I envision for the costume I intend to create from this kit.  Having all the materials together can help non-sewers imagine what a final costume will look like.

I will also do quick croquis sketch or two to give them an idea of the drape of the cloth, where embellishments will be placed.  This is where I get to share my design vision.  You don’t have to be a great sketch artist to do this.  Find a croquis, or fashion drawing figure, and print one out and draw right over the top of it. This eleimantes the stress of having to create the body proportions and form.  You can dive straight into the drawing of the costume.   For this quick sketch, I started with this line art from the book “Becoming a Belly Dancer: From Student to Stage.”  Available on Amazon or Etsy.

When working with a customer, you can use this rough sketch to start discussions about color, shape, line, motifs, and any other feature of the costume you desire. When working on a costume for yourself, a sketch can help you identify the supplies and materials you might still need to get, and help you create a build list based on the needs of this particular costume.

I showed my client my “Lavender Garden” project kit. We spread out the fabric and all the materials and she chose to give it a go!  If I were working in a more formal atelier or bigger costume shop, I would have put together a presentation board and affixed swatches and examples of the rhinestones and sequins together.  Instead, I spread them out on a table, let my client touch and feel, and then took photos to document the items I have in mind.

Gathering the Materials and Supplies

Image of materials and supplies used in the creation of the Lavender Garden costume ensemble | Dawn Devine of Studio Davina -

Once I had met with my client, and she was onboard with the plan, she purchased a perfect lingerie bra to convert into a costume and I began work on the sewing part of the project.  The least glamorous part of a costume project is gathering all of the inner structure materials and supplies together.  While it’s fun to look at a luscious pile of rhinestones, beads, and appliques, it’s much less fun to gather up the buckram, interfacing, and grosgrain ribbon that we use to build the inner layer of the belt and bra straps.

Materials for the structure of a belly dance bra and belt set. Buckram, Heavy-weight non-woven fusible interfacing, grosgrain ribbon, and industrial strength hooks and eyes. | Dawn Devine of Studio Davina -

Now that I have all the materials at hand it’s time to work on the pattern for the belt, bra straps, and bra band.  We will continue on with the development of this costume in my next blog post.

Happy Costuming – Glorious Dancing,
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
March, 10, 2017 

Designing a Lavender Belly Dance Bedlah Series
Step 1 – Lavender Belly Dance Bedlah – You’re Here!
Step 2 – Lavender Belly Dance Bedlah – Bra Bands and Straps
Step 3 – Lavender Belly Dance Bedlah – Belt Base and Bra Covering

Belly Dance General Jewelry

Cheap Statement Necklaces from Forever 21

Why not bling up this spring with an affordable rhinestone statement necklace from Forever 21. This spring, their necklace collection includes some fantastic offerings that will look great with daywear, for evening, or even for performance wear!Cheap Statement Necklaces
Cheap Statement Necklaces by davinadevine featuring forever 21 jewelry
Belly Dance Design Jewelry

The origins of a jewelry designer

First Byzantium Collection Necklace - Cat's Eye by Davina

The Origins of a Jewelry Designer

The Byzantium Collection

As many of you have realized, 2011 marks a year of intensive change for me and my company.  I moved into a new studio (just to find out that the building is slated for demolition and my time here is limited) and discovered all kinds of treasures.  As I start purging the UFO’s (Un-Finished Objects) and sift through raw materials in preparation for using them or letting them go, I’m finding all sorts of lovely things that had gotten buried.

In one corner of the workroom is a pile of boxes full of beads and jewelry making supplies.  I have already sent many of these supplies out into the world in the form of raw materials to fellow jewelry artists, finished pieces for my patrons, and even a few gifts to myself.  As I’ve been working through a rather epic pile of tribal jewelry components, I found the very first piece of jewelry I designed and made myself.

I hired my good friend and jewelry mentor Laura Thompson of Beadzilla Jewelry to come and host a “ladies lunch & tea with jewelry” at my home.  There were five of us around a table, crafting away, and I made this necklace from a handful of beads and a piece of kuchi jewelry I adored.  Needless to say, I was instantly HOOKED on jewelry making and sucked up as much knowledge from Madame Beadzilla as I could.  Before I knew it, I was making and selling jewelry as a creative side-line to my costumes.  As time passed, I realized that jewelry making is fun, but it’s just one facet of my life as a designer.   Now, I make jewelry when called upon to do so.  I also make a few pieces and take them to art shows now and again.  But the truth is, I’d rather be making a head-to-toe costume than just focusing on the neck.  The Byzantium Collection is now created on a piece-by-piece custom for each client, sometimes even including a coordinating necklace.  But I’ll always treasure this very first piece.

It’s fun to sometimes peek into the past and see the personal relics and marvel at how things got started.  I’ve had a ton of fun as a jewelry artist.  Be sure to try your hand at jewelry design at some point!  Take a class, buy a book, or just get some materials to experiment with.  It’s fun, relatively easy, and you never know where you it will end up.   Enjoy!  ~ Dawn Devine ~ Davina