Frequently Asked Questions


What to Expect When Shopping at Leo Hamel Fine Jewelry & Engagement Rings Store

Shop a selection of our new and pre–owned fine Swiss & German watches.


  • Are your diamonds GIA certified?

    Most of our diamonds are GIA certified; however, we do carry diamonds that are certified by other trusted agencies. We also carry uncertified diamonds that can be quickly and easily certified by GIA. Having a diamond certified by GIA is one of the most important aspects of making sure you’re not paying too much for your diamond.

  • Are there other options beyond what is shown on your site?

    Yes, new items are added to our jewelry store every single day. Most of our best deals sell so quickly in our store that they never make it onto our website. Visit our San Diego Avenue location to see all that we have to offer. You can also sign up for our monthly catalog to learn about new deals as soon as they come in.

  • What is the difference between vintage and antique jewelry?

    At Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers we offer a wide array of new, vintage, antique, estate, and designer fine jewelry. Jewelry labeled as antique is older than 100 years old. This includes jewelry from many different eras such as, Georgian, Victorian, Art Nouveau, Edwardian, and Art Deco. Vintage jewelry, also referred to as estate jewelry, is simply jewelry that was pre–owned. It may have been originally purchased 2 days ago, 2 years ago, or 20 years ago. All vintage and estate jewelry at Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers has been expertly reconditioned to look like–new again.

  • Can you help me design a custom piece of jewelry?

    Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers specializes in full custom design, and can create the jewelry you desire. For more details, please visit our page on Custom Design Jewelry or contact us.

  • What is your custom design process?

    Our Master Jewelers work hard to make our custom design process as simple for you as possible. Meet with one of our jewelry designers to discuss your vision, view a wax or computer–aided design (CAD) model, and watch your masterpiece come to life. For more information on our custom design process, click here.

  • Can you send me additional images of the item?

    Yes, if you would like additional images of any item you see online, please give us a call or e–mail If you’ve shopped with us before, you can also e–mail your sales associate directly.

  • Do you offer financing or layaway?

    For our US customers, we offer special 12 month financing with approved credit. We also offer a layaway option which allows you to pay for your purchase with a 20% down payment and monthly installments. Click here to view our flexible payment plan options.

  • Do you offer insurance?

    We highly recommend insuring your Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers purchase to protect your jewelry from unexpected circumstances. Currently, we do not offer insurance but we have partnered with multiple agencies that specialize in insurance coverage for fine jewelry. We recommend Jewelers Mutual for the best possible jewelry insurance coverage.

  • What types of payment do you accept?

    Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers accepts all major US, Canadian, UK, and Australian credit cards. We also offer financing and layaway options.

  • Do you offer complimentary gift wrapping?

    Yes, if you would like your purchase to be gift wrapped just let your sales associate know and we will take care of that for you.

  • Do you offering engraving services?

    Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers offers engraving services on select merchandise. You have the option to choose from machine engraving, laser engraving, or handwritten engraving. Engraving services we offer include:

    • Inside Rings

      Fonts Available: Single Line Block, Mini Block & Single Line Script*

      Symbols Available: Heart & Infinity Symbol

      YG, WG, Plat or Silver up to 10 characters $45.00 $1.00 per additional character

      Titanium, Tungsten, Cobalt, Stainless Steel up to 10 characters $50.00 $1.00 per additional character

    • Watches

      Fonts Available:Single Line Block, Double Line Block, Single Line Script*

      Wrist watch up to 10 characters $75.00 $1.00 per additional character

      Pocket watch up to 10 characters $45.00 $1.00 per additional character

    • Flat Surface

      Charms, ID Bracelets, Signet Rings, Plates and Knives

      Up to 10 characters $45.00 $1.00 per additional character

    • Special Setup

      Odd shaped items, Pens, Bowls, Cups, Bangles, Locket–Heart

      Up to 10 letters $50.00 min. –an estimate may be needed $1.00 per additional character

*See Repair for full list of available fonts. All fonts will need to be approved by the engraver.

For a price quote on specific engraving requests, please give us a call at 619–299–1500.

  • Do you ship orders outside of the United States?

    No, we do not ship outside of the USA.

  • Can I have someone other than me pick up my order?

    For your safety, we ask that you personally pick up your items. Please bring a photo ID when you come to pick up your purchase. If you need someone else to pick up your items, we will need their name on record as approved by you for pick up.

  • What determines the price of a diamond?

    A diamond’s value is determined by its carat weight, color, cut, and clarity. These characteristics are referred to as the 4Cs. For more information on the 4Cs of a diamond click here.

  • What are your store hours?

    Our store hours are Tuesday–Friday 10a.m. to 6p.m. We are also open on Saturday from 10a.m. to 5p.m.

San Diego Jewelry Repair & Watch Repair Process

Shop a selection of our new and pre–owned fine Swiss & German watches.


  • How long do repairs usually take?

    Most repairs take two weeks or less, but it varies with each item. If a repair is needed by a specific date, we will work with you to see if we can meet your request.

  • Can I get a quote for a repair over the phone or online?

    Because each item is unique, we are unable to quote a repair without seeing the item first. Please bring your jewelry or watch to our San Diego Avenue location where a member of our repair team will asses each items’ condition to give a fair quote for the service needed.

  • Can I drop off my jewelry I need repaired at one of your buying locations, or do I have to bring it to your main store? What about watch batteries, can I have one replaced in the buying offices?

    Our buyers do not have the ability to take in your items that need repair or change your watch battery. Please come see us at our San Diego Avenue location to have repair work done or your watch battery replaced.

Sell Gold, Silver, Diamonds, and Other Jewelry to Leo Hamel Jewelry & Gold Buyers San Diego

Shop a selection of our new and pre-owned fine Swiss & German watches.


  • Where can I sell jewelry near me?

    Selling jewelry to Leo Hamel Jewelry & Gold Buyers is the safest and fastest way to sell jewelry and other valuables in San Diego. For your convenience, we have 5 locations throughout San Diego where you can sell unwanted jewelry and watches. Click here to find our buying office nearest you.

  • How do you price items?

    All prices are based on current market values. Your jewelry will be evaluated based on metal content, value of gemstones, and condition. Our goal is to offer you a price based on the piece as a whole whenever possible.

  • Do you buy gemstones?

    Yes, we buy gemstone fine jewelry. Precious gemstones, such as diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds, are the most valuable so you will receive premium prices on these glittering gems. You can also sell semi–precious gemstones, antique gemstones, treated gemstones, and more. Loose gemstones will be evaluated; however, we typically do not purchase loose stones unless they are of exceptional quality.

  • What types of watches do you buy?

    We are San Diego’s premium watch buyer and seller. Our knowledgeable watch experts will take the worry out of selling your watch and help you to get the best price. We buy fine watches, vintage or modern. Here are some examples of brands we buy: Rolex, Cartier, Patek Philippe, Omega, IWC, Franck Muller, Hublot, Breitling, Jaeger Le Coultre, Panerai, Longines, Chopard, Corum, Vacheron Constantin, Piaget, Ulysse Nardin, Audemars Piguet, Breguet, Chronoswiss, Gerard Perregaux, Ebel, Tag Heuer, Hamilton, Glashutte, Oris, vintage watches, pocket watches and more.

  • Do you buy pearls?

    We will always take the time to evaluate pearls and other semi-precious gemstone jewelry. However, please keep in mind semi-precious gemstones don’t hold as much value as precious gemstones. Semi–precious stones set in designer jewelry, like Mikimoto pearls, will receive higher payouts.

  • Do you offer a loan on jewelry?

    Yes, your jewelry can be pawned as collateral for a personal loan. Pawns will only be handled at our San Diego Avenue buying office. Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers does not require credit checks to approve a loan– the value of your loan is based solely on the assets you pledge as collateral. Your assets will be stored on–site in one of our state–of–the–art, alarm protected, 24 hour security monitored, fireproof vaults.

  • Is there a minimum or maximum loan period?

    Our loan period is 4 months with a 10 day grace period. At this time, you can pick up your jewelry that was loaned or ask for your loan to be rewritten for another 4 months and 10 days. Interest will then be included. Please keep in mind you are able to pick up your loaned items at any time during the 4 month period.

  • Do you have a trade–in policy?

    Yes, you are able to trade–in your items towards anything else in our store. Please keep in mind it will need to be of equal or lesser value to avoid any additional payment.

  • How does the process of selling jewelry work?

    The process is simple. You bring the items in to us that you’re interested in selling, a buyer will evaluate them right in front of you, and if we agree upon price, a check will be issued to you on the spot.

  • Can I get a price over the phone or by e–mail?

    We feel the best way to provide you with an accurate figure for your valuables is to bring them in for a personal evaluation. Unfortunately, going by photos or a verbal description can lead to missed information that can affect the final offer, so we do not provide prices on anything without seeing them in person.

  • How long does the process take?

    The entire process is typically pretty fast, usually under 30 minutes depending on the number of things you have and the complexity of the items.

  • I have a large estate I’d like to sell, there are dozens of pieces. Should I make an appointment?

    The majority of our customers are walk–ins, but in a situation where you have a lot of items to sell, you may wish to contact the office that you plan on visiting to speak directly with the buyer in that location to set up a time to come in. An appointment is not mandatory; you can always come in at a time that is convenient for your schedule.

  • Do you pay for the gemstones set in the jewelry I am looking to sell, or is it just based on the gold weight?

    We do buy select gemstones, and there are a lot of variables that go into determining the value of them. We try to calculate each component of the jewelry and make you an offer on the piece as a whole whenever possible.

  • Do I need to make an appointment to sell jewelry?

    No appointment is necessary to sell jewelry, watches, or other valuables. Our buying offices are open Tuesday– Friday 10a.m. to 6p.m. We are also open on Saturdays from 10a.m. to 5p.m. All offices are closed on Sundays and Mondays, with the exception of our San Diego Avenue location which is open on Mondays from 10a.m. to 6p.m. Walk–ins are always welcome!

  • Do I get paid right away?

    Yes, payout is immediate. Once you accept the offer made for the items you are selling a check will be written on the spot. Please bring a valid form of identification in order for payment to be processed.

  • Do you buy coins?

    Yes, we buy coins from anywhere and any era that may be of value. Gold coins, silver coins, coins of any size, and even collectible paper currency.

  • Is there a charge?

    There is no charge for an evaluation for sale.

What Are Your Shipping Rates?


$0 – $100 $20.00
$101 – $500 $25.00
$501 – $1000 $30.00
$1001 – $5,000 $40.00
$5001 – $10,000 $50.00
$10,001 – $15,000 $55.00
$15,001 – $20,000 $60.00
$20,001 – $25,000 $70.00
$25,001 – $30,000 $80.00
$30,001 – $35,000 $90.00
$35,001 –$40,000 $100.00
$40,001 –$50,000 $110.00
Over $50,000 add $15 per $10,000
Watch Winders:  
Single add $20.00
Double add $40