Searching “Sell diamond ring”? Here’s what you need to know

Find out where you can sell your diamond ring for the most money

Diamonds may be forever, but they don’t necessarily need to be forever with the same person.

There are many reasons to sell a diamond ring – a change in life circumstances, an upgrade of an original engagement ring, passing on a family heirloom, or something else entirely..

But whatever the reason is, it’s a certainty that you want to know how to sell your diamond ring for the most money.

how to sell engagemenet ring hero

Understanding how much your diamond ring is worth

There are many values that are assigned to a diamond ring throughout its life.

When selling a diamond ring though, there’s only one that matters: what someone will actually pay you.

It’s much more accurate than any kind of diamond price calculator ever could be.

However, it’s important to understand each of the values that can be assigned to a ring and how they relate to each other.

Retail value

This is the price that was actually paid for a diamond ring.

While it’s common to look at a ring in a store and assume that a ring which still looks the same is worth that, a diamond that is being sold will will usually be valued at around 50% of the original price paid.

Replacement value

The replacement value is the amount that an insurance company has agreed to pay if the ring is lost or stolen.

Replacement values are usually quoted on ‘appraisals’ and unfortunately are often overstated, sometimes being higher than the initial purchase price.

This can make understanding how much you are actually likely to receive when you sell your ring more difficult.

Fair market value

Fair market value is the amount that someone is actually be willing to pay for your ring.

When you’re selling your ring, this really is the only value that matters.

This can be subjective, depending on the individual buyer’s needs at that time, so it’s always worth getting more then one quote to determine the fair market value.

Secondary market value

This is the amount that your ring will be able to be sold for by the person who buys it from you.

Understanding the secondary market value for your ring can help you understand what the fair market value for your ring is likely to be e.g. if a pre-owned Tiffany ring is currently being sold for two-thirds of the original purchase price in a store, the owner of that store would have to have bought it for less than that.

Intrinsic value

This is the value of the raw materials used in a ring.

It’s mostly applies to the precious metals used in a ring setting, and can vary significantly depending on the ‘spot price’ – the cost of the precious metals on a particular day.

So while there isn’t one easy answer to the question of how much your diamond ring is worth, there are some things you can do to ensure that you make it as likely as possible to get the most money when selling your ring.

Learn the best place to sell your diamond ring

The best place to sell your diamond ring will depend on exactly what it is you are selling.

For example, the best buyer for a 2 carat Tiffany solitaire ring is different to a cluster or halo setting purchased from Zales.

We conducted a test in our article to find the best place to sell a diamond ring where we assessed 8 different types of organisation or companies that you could sell to.

The results from our test were clear and our recommendations are below:

Best for designer jewelrydiamond oak logo
The Diamond Oak
Consistently offers the highest prices for designer brands like Tiffany & Co, Bvlgari, Cartier, etcVisit now
Best for below 0.5 caratsExpress Gold Cash logo no tag
Express Gold Cash
Pays the highest percentage of the daily raw material spot priceVisit now
Best for 0.5 - 1.2 caratsworthy logo
Offers access to the highest number of buyers which can result in higher price achievedVisit now
Best for 1.2 carats and abovediamond oak logo
The Diamond Oak
Consistently offers the highest prices for larger carat weight diamondsVisit now

While there are of course many other places you could sell your diamond ring, the buyers above are those that we view to offer the best prices and the best selling experience.

How to sell a diamond ring

When you’re selling your diamond ring, it can be tempting to go for a quick, easy sale. However, doing do can mean that you receive significantly less than you should.

If you’re in a hurry to sell and simply Google ‘diamond buyers near me’ and then choose the first on the list, it’s likely that you will receive significantly less for your diamond than you should.

In this section we’ll look at 8 steps to take when selling your ring to maximise your selling price.

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Following these steps to learn how to sell a diamond ring will ensure you are comfortable with your decision to sell and feel comfortable that you are going to receive when you are selling your ring.

  1. Decide whether you are ready to sell
    • Selling a diamond is a big decision, but not your only option. Your ring could also be repurposed, or could be handed down or gifted, if appropriate.
  2. Understand what your diamond ring originally cost
    • Knowing the original price of the ring can be helpful in understanding approximately how much you are likely to receive
    • One thing to know is that different retailers charge wildly different amounts for identical diamonds – sometimes up to double. If you paid a higher than average price originally, this doesn’t mean you will get more when it comes to selling.
  3. Come to terms with the fact that you won’t get the price you paid
    • Most people prefer to buy diamonds new, which is understandable with such a meaningful purchase.
    • As a result, anyone that is going to buy your diamond will only be prepared to offer you less than you originally paid for it.
    • As a ballpark figure, this could be around 40% – 50% of the price paid.
  4. Find your grading report of diamond certification (if you have one)
    • Being able to supply a grading report from an independent lab will ensure that the buyer has confidence that your diamond ring really is of the quality you are claiming.
  5. Find your appraisal (if you have one)
    • While an appraisal is useful to be able to supply to a potential buyer, it won’t affect the price you receive.
    • The price offered is the ‘replacement value’ and often higher than it would cost to buy the equivalent ring new, let along second hand.
    • Its main use to a buyer is to understand the weight and materials used in the setting and the number of secondary stones in the ring.
  6. Understand the different places you could sell your ring
    • There are many types of places you could sell your ring:
      • Diamond specialists and dealers e.g The Diamond Oak
      • Online start-ups e.g. Worthy, I do now I don’t
      • General online marketplaces e.g. eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace
      • Local jewelers
      • Antique stores
    • There’s ‘one size fits all’ solution for the best place to sell your ring – it will depend what you are selling
  7. Source multiple quotes
    • It’s a good idea to source more than one quote, to ensure you are getting the best possible price for your ring.
    • Some buyers can offer up to twice as many as others, and the more patient you are, the more likely you are to receive a higher offer.
  8. Select the buyer that best fits you
    • This is most likely to be the ring buyer that offers the highest price.
    • However, other factors can also come into play – how secure you feel the transaction is, how easy the process is and how it fits with your desired timescale for the sale.

Following these steps will ensure you are as comfortable as possible throughout the process of selling your ring.

Factors that affect how much you will receive for your diamond ring

We’ve already looked at how where you choose to sell your diamond ring can make a huge difference to how much you receive for it.

But there are many factors to do with the ring itself that can also have a huge effect, some of which are surprising.

Diamond industry margins

While diamonds are expensive, jewelry retailing is extremely competitive and some jewelers operate on very thin profit margins.

Online jeweler Ritani has recently started adding information about the amount of money they make on each and every diamond on their website.

On a 1 carat diamond that is being sold for $5,520, they make just $187.29 profit – just 3.4%:

diamond pricing

When reselling your diamond, you are selling it back to an industry that doesn’t make big mark-ups on new diamonds, let alone resold diamonds.

The price you paid for your diamond ring won’t affect the price you can sell it for

There can be a huge difference in price for diamonds when sold new. If we look at a 1 carat, G color, VS2 clarity diamond, it can be bought online for just over $5,000:

carat g color diamond with clarity price

If it was being bought new from a chain jeweler, it would cost considerably more.

Zales charges $11,185 for a diamond with the exact same specs:

carat g color diamond zales

Zales is charging more than twice as much for an identical diamond.

Despite this significant difference in purchase price, the diamond will be worth the same when it comes to sell.

What this means if you paid a higher original price at a bricks and mortar or designer brand retailer, then the difference between the price you are able to realise when selling and the price you paid will be greater.

That can be difficult to come to terms with, but unfortunately it’s the reality when some retailers charge significantly more for similar merchandise

The size and quality of the centre diamond is the most important factor when selling your diamond ring

While you may think of your ring as a single object, to a jeweler it is two separate things:

  1. The ring setting
  2. The center stone

When you are buying a ring new, the price of the setting can vary tremendously.

A simple solitaire in 14k white gold may be just a couple of hundred bucks:

simple solitaire engagement ring setting

While an ornate platinum setting with significant amounts of melee diamonds set into it can be several thousand dollars:

halo diamond engagement ring

This difference can make a big difference to how much the ring is worth now, and maybe not in the way you might expect.

Two rings may cost the same but have be worth very different amounts when selling

If a theoretical diamond ring buyer had originally had a $10,000 budget, they could have bought either of the two settings above, and used the remainder of their budget for the center diamond.

Choosing the halo setting would obviously have left a significantly smaller proportion of the budget to go towards the diamond:

halo vs solitaire engagement ring budget

But when it comes to selling the rings, the ring with the solitaire setting and the larger diamond will be worth considerably more as it is the diamond, rather than the setting that is valued by jewelry buyers.

In fact, the ring with the simple setting and larger diamond would likely be worth more than twice as much, even though the two rings originally cost the same amount to buy.

Bottom line: the most important thing in determining the price you will receive is the size and quality of the center diamond, not the ring setting.

Why expensive settings aren’t valuable when selling a diamond ring

When buying an engagement ring, the cost of production makes up a significant proportion of the cost. If a ring is custom designed, or if it has many small ‘melee’ diamonds set into it, it takes time, effort and money to create.

These certainly makes it more special to the wearer, but unfortunately when most jewelry purchasers place a value on a ring, they disregard the production value and base the their offer on the center diamond as they will usually remove the diamonds from the setting and melt it down to reuse in other jewelry.

This process of removing the diamonds is time-consuming and can mean that the time taken to disassemble the ring can be more valuable than the small diamonds are actually worth.

To a diamond buyer, therefore, the $10,000 ring with a setting that cost $4,840 doesn’t have the same value as a simpler solitaire setting with an inexpensive $245 setting but a much larger diamond. It doesn’t mean that the expensive setting wasn’t valuable originally, just that unfortunately it isn’t valued by jewelry buyers to the same extent now.

The exception to this are designer rings, which do have a secondary market and which can be sold as complete rings.

How your diamond’s grading report can affect the price you receive

As well as the 4 Cs of your diamond, another factor that will affect how much it is worth is its diamond certificate, or as it’s more properly known: ‘grading report’:

Sample DGR x

Grading reports are different from appraisals as they are prepared by an independent lab rather than a jeweler. They also don’t assign a value to a diamond but they are a key factor in deciding how much a diamond is worth.

There are several different grading labs that assess diamonds, with some having a reputation for strictness and consistency while others are more generous with their gradings – known as ‘overgrading’.

As a result, the same diamond can be graded very differently from different labs. In a test by a diamond industry publication, one diamond was graded as G color by GIA and D by EGL Israel:

Grading Test

The GIA has graded this diamond much more strictly and it is likely that this is a more accurate grade. As a result of this strictness, the diamond trade trusts that certificates from GIA are accurate and trustworthy and is willing to pay more for a diamond with these certificates.

If your diamond has a certificate from a lab other than GIA or AGS, or if your diamond only has an appraisal and no grading report, the diamond seller may offer you less than a diamond that has been graded by one of those two organisations, as there is a chance that it has been overgraded and is actually lower in quality than the report indicates.

Our recommendations again to get the most for your diamond ring

If your diamond weights 1.5 carats or more, or if it has a designer name attached to it e.g. Tiffany & Co. or Van Cleef & Arpels, I recommend you contact Alon at The Diamond Oak to get the best price possible.

He is a dedicated diamond dealer who specialises in larger stones and ‘signed’ jewelry and consistently offers the highest prices.

For most diamonds between 0.5 and 1.5 carats, if your ring has many smaller stones set into it or if you have a wedding ring set then Worthy, with their extended network of diamond buyers, is the best option.

Worthy is a marketplace which connects people with jewelry to sell with a network of jewelry buyers. It’s a great way to get your ring in front of as many people as possible who will then bid against each other which can increase the sale price.