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Key things to know when selling your diamond ring:
- Selling a diamond ring is like selling a second-hand car – you won’t get the ‘list price’ ie. the appraisal value, and you won’t get a price close to what a similar ring could be bought for new.
- The people buying your ring have to cover their costs and then also make a profit when they resell it, so it’s likely that the maximum you will receive is 50% of the original cost.
- Diamond prices, even for new diamonds, are currently down (they have fallen 25% over the last 12 months), which has affected the second-hand diamond market
- The introduction of lab-grown diamonds has also reduced the prices that diamond buyers are willing to pay as consumers are less willing to buy pre-owned diamonds when they can get a new lab-grown diamond at a great price.
- The size and quality of the ‘center stone’ ie. the main diamond is the biggest factor that affects how much you’ll get for your ring. The setting is less important, even if it was originally expensive
- Finding the right buyer is key to get the most money possible. Our recommendations to get the most for your ring are:
- Designer rings are always in demand, and specialists like The Diamond Oak usually pay the most.
Where To Sell Your Diamond Ring
I conducted a test where I offered the same diamond ring to six different types of jewelry buyer:
- A pawnbroker
- A ‘we buy gold’ jewelry buyer
- A local jeweler
- A specialist diamond buyer
The prices that I was offered for the diamond and ring ranged from $1,200 to $2,300
Diamonds may be forever, but they don’t necessarily need to be forever with the same
Finding the best place to sell your engagement ring
The engagement ring I tested with six different ring buyers was an emerald cut diamond ring with a platinum solitaire setting:
The test ring for my research had the following specs:
- Diamond shape: Emerald cut
- Carat: 1.21
- Color: I
- Clarity: VS2
- Polish: Excellent
- Symmetry: VG
- Fluorescence: None
- Grading report: GIA
If this ring was being bought new from one of my recommended retailers, it would cost around $4,700:
If it was being bought new from a chain jeweler like Kay or Zales, it would cost considerably more.
So how much could we get for our ring at each of the different types of jewelry buyer?
1. Pawn shop
Pawn shops’ business model is to offer people who need money fast lower than market value for their goods, taking advantage of people’s need for quick money.
When I asked for a price for our 1.21 carat emerald cut diamond from a NY-based local pawn shop, the price we were offered was the lowest out of any of the buyers: $1,200 – $1,400.
Even if you feel that you need to sell your engagement ring quickly, if you can wait just a few days then there is a much better way to make sure you get real value.
2. ‘We Buy Gold’ store
‘We buy gold’ shines the neon sign and yes, these businesses do indeed buy gold, as well as platinum, diamonds and many other precious metals.
They are essentially a middleman who take the items that they buy and resell them on. Like a pawnbroker, they will give you an assessment of the value straight away and will offer cash.
I contacted two NY-based ‘We Buy Gold’ organisations who predominantly trade online and the offers that I received back were: $1,300 and $1,500.
3. A local jewelry store
Many local jewelry stores don’t buy second hand jewelry because they would rather focus on selling new jewelry – the profit margins are better and it is less work for them.
If you can find a local jeweler who will buy your ring, they will normally sell it to a dealer who then will sell it to a wholesaler. Each of these people will be looking to make some profit on their sale, which means that the initial offer that the jeweler will make you is likely to be low.
I offered our ring to 10 local jewelers across the US, and only two were interested. The highest price we were offered was: $1,500 – $1,800.
Ebay can be a great place to sell many things. But it’s not a good place to sell a diamond or engagement ring, especially if you have a diamond with a good certificate ie. GIA or AGS.
While I didn’t want to actually list the ring on eBay, by searching ‘completed auctions’, I found a ring that wasn’t a million miles away – an emerald cut diamond three stone ring, with VS2 clarity and H color for the centre stone, and a total carat weight (including the side stones) of 2 carats.
The asking price was $2,499:
However, it didn’t sell, indicating that this price was too high for eBay’s buyers.
In fact, not many second hand rings sell on eBay, because it is cluttered with diamond and engagement ring listings from actual stores, rather than individuals looking to sell their diamonds, many of which diamonds have low quality certificates and are listed at extremely low prices. If you have a high quality ring, it’s likely to just get lost on eBay.
Worthy.com is an online ‘consumer to business’ marketplace, where people can list an item of jewelry and professional jewelers and diamond buyers will bid and compete against each other to buy it.
For the most pieces of jewelry, worthy.com is a great option. They have a great looking website and it can connect someone who wants to sell a diamond with far more potential buyers than they would be able to reach normally.
This crowd-sourcing of buyers means that the price attained should theoretically be the highest possible.
In fact, the ring that we were using in this test was actually sold on Worthy:
108 bidders were interested in it and it sold for $2,202.
But this isn’t the amount that the seller would have actually received as Worthy’s commissions need to be taken into account.
In this case, the commission would be $396, meaning that the person selling the ring would have received $1,806.
This test was for just one ring, and the number of bids and the price bid will depend on what you’re selling. For an idea of what you could receive through Worthy, check out Worthy’s recent auctions page – it’s constantly updated is really easy to find a ring that’s similar to yours.
6. A diamond specialist: The Diamond Oak
A diamond specialist is a person with the diamond trade that buys diamonds to reuse in jewelry, often melting the setting down to be reused also.
They’re often called ‘diamond dealers’ and are actually exactly the people that buy jewelry through Worthy.
The difference here is that by going direct, there is no middleman to take a commission, so the seller (you!) gets to keep the entirety of the selling price.
As well as a higher price paid, the other big advantage that working directly with is that you get the money for the ring straight away – no waiting around for an auction to run its course.
I requested a price quote from Alon Mor at ‘The Diamond Oak‘ – a third generation New York based diamond dealer who quoted $2300 – $2500 for the stone on its own – significantly higher than the other options.
The reason he is able to offer more is because he knows the true value of the stone and what it will be worth in its next life when it is used in another piece of jewelry.
Plus, as he isn’t acting as a middle-man, he doesn’t need to bid low in order to ensure it make business sense for him.
The difficulty with a specialist is that they may only be able to buy a small number of items each month, or they may be very specific in what they buy. In those cases, it’s
Where To Sell Your Diamond Ring For The Most Money
When we tally up the different offers, the highest price was offered by the diamond specialist:
|The Diamond Oak
|$2,300 – $2,500
|$1,500 – $1,800
|‘We buy gold’ store
|$1,300 – $1,500
|$1,200 – 1,400
The difficulty with a specialist is that they may only be able to buy a small number of items each month, or they may be very specific in what they buy.
If you have a 1.5 carat+ diamond or a designer ring and if feels like the time is right to sell, I recommend you get in touch with Alon at The Diamond Oak who will guide you through the process. He handles every transaction personally and offers incredible service.
If you have a ring between 0.9 – 1.5 carats, Worthy is your best option They offer a very smooth transaction and their competitive auction model can result in some of the highest prices for the right item.
For rings below 0.9 carats, we recommend ExpressCash Gold who continually offer the best prices for these pieces and excellent service through the transaction.