Engagement Ring Budget

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How to sell your engagement ring

Sell your engagement ring

How to get the most money when selling your engagement ring

 

sell engagement ring header image

Selling an engagement ring is seldom a task that people are looking forward to, but by making a smart decision on where to sell, can make a huge difference to how much you get for your ring.

The buyer that is right for you will depend on what it is you are selling.

This article will talk you through the process and ensure you get the most money for your engagement ring.

“Engagement ring buyers near me”

When selling an engagement ring, the choice used to be that you could either find somewhere quick and convenient to sell it get cash, which would likely result in a lower price, or you could take the time to find the best price, which would take longer but result in a higher price.

Thankfully, the internet means that you don’t need to do that.

Googling ‘engagement ring buyers near me’ will likely return a list of people you could sell your ring to.. But probably shouldn’t.

The right place to sell your engagement ring will depend on the individual ring you have – the answer isn’t the same for everybody – and the best place probably isn’t he one

Before we start looking at options though, there are a few things to know about selling an engagement ring:

  1. A little patience will mean that you will make significantly more money
  2. The center stone size and quality is the main thing that determines how much you will get for your ring. The setting is less important
  3. Selling an engagement ring is like selling a second-hand car – you won’t get the ‘list price’ ie. the appraisal value

 

Best place to sell an engagement ring

best place sell engagement ring

The amount that you will receive when selling your diamond or engagement ring will depend on where you decide to sell it

In fact, it’s the most important thing that will determine who much money you will receive, aside from the size/quality of the center diamond.

But there isn’t just one ‘best place to sell an engagement ring’ – it hugely depends on exactly what it is that you have to sell.

In the next section, we’ll look at a range of types of engagement ring, so you can see which is the best fit for you.

Best place to sell most engagement rings: Worthy.com

The key to getting a good deal when selling most engagement rings is to get it in front of as many people as possible to make it more likely that a party who is looking for just such a ring will see it.

This is where Worthy.com comes into its own – it has hundreds of jewelry professionals who are actively looking for engagement rings on its books and will bid against each other to win it.

If we look at a recent auction, this engagement and wedding ring set sold for $2,000:

sell engagement ring worthy

It’s worth looking at just how many people were interesting in this item before it sold – there were over 259 people watching the auction:

sell engagement ring worthy bids 

As a result of this interest, it sold for over $200 more than the average bid:

sell engagement ring worthy average bid

Worthy’s business model has been set up to ensure bids from interested parties are maximised, resulting in higher prices.

If your engagement ring is 1 carat or lower then I recommend you click through and get it listed with Worthy to get it out in front of as many people as person

Best place to sell designer engagement rings: Specialist Luxury Jewelry Buyer

If you have a designer engagement ring, then it makes more sense to go direct to a specialist.

My recommendation here is The Diamond Oak – a jeweler based in New York’s diamond district who specialises in luxury brands.

As part of our testing, we offered a 1.06 carat, G color, VS2 clarity Tiffany engagement ring to several jewelry dealers who purchase engagement rings directly. This ring had been sold for $6,500 on Worthy.com, would have resulted in $5,590 for the seller after Worthy’s commission.

Prices from direct diamond dealers varied, with a typical price being $5,000 to $5,500.

However, the stand-out was the Diamond Oak – a specialist in pre-owned luxury jewelry who offered $5,900 – $6,200. The price was a range, with the exact price to be agreed once the ring was inspected.

sell designer engagement ring

While this price is lower than the selling price on Worthy, it is at least $300 higher (and possibly $600 higher) than the seller would have actually received once Worthy’s sales commission was accounted for.

If you have a ring from a luxury brand, I recommend that you make Alon your first port of call.

Best place to sell an engagement with a larger center diamond: The Diamond Oak

The size of the center stone in your engagement ring is one of the biggest factors in determining how much you will receive for it.

As with the Tiffany & Co. ring above, we tested several engagement ring buyers and again The Diamond Oak came out top with the price they would pay.

We tested a 1.2 carat emerald cut diamond engagement ring which had sold for $2,368 on Worthy:

Worthy engagement ring price

 

After Worthy’s fees had been deducted, this would result in $1,942 to the seller.

Alon’s price offered was $2,300 – 2,500 – significantly higher than both the selling price on Worthy and the amount that the seller would have received.

Along frequently buys diamond at up to 5 carats and offers and great blend of best prices and trustworthy service. If you have a ring with a center stone over 1.2 carat, I highly recommend that Alon is your first port of call.

Places to avoid when selling your engagement ring

When sourcing quotes to find our recommended buyers, we also mystery shopped the 1.21 emerald cut engagement ring to a variety of other types of jewlery buyer, to see how they compared:  

  • A pawnbroker
  • A ‘we buy gold’ jewelry buyer
  • A local jeweler
  • eBay
  • I do now I don’t

The prices that we were offered ranged from $1,200 to $1,500 – significantly less than both Worthy and The Diamond Oak.

While these other options may be a slightly faster way to sell your engagement ring, they will almost certainly result in you receiving less money for your jewelry.

Where to get the most money for your engagement ring

After researching all of the options out there, our recommendations for where to sell your engagement to get the most money possible are therefore:

Best for engagement rings with diamond under 1.2 carat Worthy.com
Best for designer engagement rings Signed-jewelry specialist, like The Diamond Oak
Best for larger engagement rings Specialist diamond dealer, like the Diamond Oak
Best for inexpensive engagement rings Specialist gold dealer like ExpressGoldCash
Not recommended due to low price Pawnshops
Not recommended due to poor reviews I do now I don’t
Unlikely to sell eBay

 

Why you won’t get the appraisal value when you sell your engagement ring

Most people who own a significant piece of jewelry will have received an appraisal certificate with the purchase. A

And when it comes to selling an engagement ring, people often base their expectations on what they will be able to sell it for on the appraisal price.

In reality though, the price that a ring can be sold for will be significantly lower than an appraisal value.

Firstly, one thing to know is that appraisals are almost always higher than the actual value of the ring.

There are a couple of reasons for this, depending on which type of appraisal you have.

Engagement appraisal: replacement value

When a jeweler appraises an engagement ring, they will give a quote for the ‘replacement value’.

This replacement value is the estimated amount of money that it would take to have the item replaced with an identically specced piece of jewelry.

That value can be based on the amount it would cost to buy the precious stones, the precious metals and create the ring, including any custom design or craftsmanship.

diamond ring appraisal certificate

Replacement values generally try to take into consideration market shifts in the diamond prices over time – it’s basically an estimation of how much the jewelry could cost in the future. As a result, they are usually higher than the actual purchase price.

However, even allowing for this, the replacement values that are included on an appraisal are often over-stated. Jewelers know that engagement rings are significant expense, so want to make sure that there is no feeling of ‘buyer’s remorse’. They don’t want people to feel like they got ripped off.

The diamond in the appraisal certificate above is 1 carat ’round brilliant’, with SI1 clarity, H color and very good cut, polish and symmetry.

An identically specced ring can be bought today for around $4,500 – a full 25% less than the $6,000 appraisal value:

carat diamond real price

By providing an appraisal that is higher than the purchase price, jewelers make people feel that they got a great deal and hugely reduce the likelihood that people will have second thoughts and ask for a refund.

This is morally dubious, especially as it means that the buyer then needs to pay more than the ring is really worth for insurance.

What it also means is that if you are basing the amount that you hope to receive for your diamond ring off the replacement value on the appraisal certificate, you may be disappointed as it’s unlikely that the ring was ever actually worth the stated ‘replacement value’ amount.

Engagement ring appraisal: resale value

Resale value is the real number that you need to know for selling a piece of jewelry, but this won’t be included on an appraisal certificate.

Instead, the resale value is the amount that someone will pay for the goods in their current state. This value is generally a “used” price and it’s based on what someone wants to pay for item.

Often the biggest hurdle for a person trying to sell an engagement ring is accepting a resale value that they can live with. In the perfect situation, there’s normally a balance, slightly less money than the seller really wanted and slightly more than the buyer wanted to spend.

How the place you originally bought from may affect how you feel when selling your engagement ring

If you bought from a bricks and mortar then the difference between the ‘replacement value’ listed on the appraisal and the ‘resale’ value that you are offered may be significant, and more than you expect.

This is because diamonds and jewelry at bricks and mortar retailers are generally overpriced.

Compared to online retailers, bricks and mortar jewelers have far larger overheads – staff, rent, stock etc. This means that they need to charge more for their products to cover these. With diamonds, this difference can be significant and the price of a diamond at a chain jeweler can be twice that of an online retailer.

For example, a 1 carat, I color, VS2 clarity cushion cut engagement ring in a 14k solitaire setting is priced at $6,045 at Zales:

sell cushion cut engagement ring

If we look at one of my recommended retailers for purchasing an engagement ring, an identically specced diamond costs just $2,830:

 

how to sell cushion cut engagement ring

The ring from James Allen is the same quality as the ring from Zales, but it less than half the price to buy.

Despite this big difference in original price, these two diamonds would still be worth the same when it comes to selling them.

What this means if you paid a higher original price for your ring, then the difference between your purchase price and the price you are likely to receive when selling and the price you paid will be larger.

Get the most money for your engagement ring

As we’ve seen, the price that two retailers will sell a very similar diamond for can vary significantly, and as a result can result in vastly different value for the buyer.

The same is true of people who are trying to buy your engagement ring from you. Making the right choice on who to sell to is the biggest factor that determines the value you will receive for your ring.

Our recommendations again for the best place to sell your engagement ring are:

After researching all of the options out there, our recommendations for where to sell diamonds to get the most money possible:

Best for engagement rings with diamond under 1 carat Worthy.com
Best for designer engagement rings Signed-jewelry specialist, like The Diamond Oak
Best for larger engagement rings Specialist diamond dealer, like the Diamond Oak
Best for inexpensive engagement rings Specialist gold dealer like ExpressGoldCash
Not recommended due to low price Pawnshops
Not recommended due to poor reviews I do now I don’t
Unlikely to sell eBay