Sell Your Jewelry: How To Make Sure You Make As Much Money As Possible
Ultimate guide to selling jewelry online
Selling jewelry 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.
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 jewelry.
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Where to sell your jewelry
Understanding the best place to sell your jewelry can be the difference between getting an offer that you are thrilled with, or receiving one that is only OK.
We have a post dedicated to this topic, as well as one showing why searching ‘where to sell jewelry near me‘ is a sure-fire recipe for getting less for your ring than you should.
It’s worth reading, but the key takeouts are:
The Diamond Oak: Best place to sell designer jewelry or diamond rings with a center diamond above 1.2 carats
Extensive experience and good connections means that Alon can offer the best prices for higher value jewelry, knowing he can sell the ring for a profit
Excellent customer experience and a fast transaction speed (typically 5-7 days) make this the best choice for higher value rings.
Worthy.com Good choice for diamond rings between 0.5 carats and 1.2 carats and other diamond jewelry
Worthy is an auction site that exposes your engagement ring to hundreds of jewelry buyers.
This scale means that higher sales prices can be achieved, but Worthy’s commissions do need to be take into account when calculating how much you will actually receive into your pocket.
Worthy offers a great experience for sellers and is a good option for all types of diamond jewelry.
Express Gold Cash: Best choice for lower value jewelry
Express Gold Cash is the best option if your ring has diamond smaller than 0.5 carats e.g. cluster rings or wedding bands, or if it is predominantly precious metal e.g. a gold necklace or bracelet.
It consistently offers the highest prices based on the ‘spot price’ for precious metals that day. It’s sales process is fast and it consistently generates a large number of excellent reviews.
If your jewelry is unlikely to be worth over $1,000 on the secondary market, we recommend you contact Express Gold Cash
Other places you could sell your jewelry.. but which we don’t recommend
- Pawn stores
- Be prepared for a real lowball offer. Pawn stores are only a good option if you’re in a real hurry.
- I Do Now I Don’t
- Poor reviews resulting mainly from the organization taking a long time to provide funds to sellers after jewelry has been sold.
- Have you seen the ring
- Slow admin – we were waiting a long time to get an auction approved. In fact, we’re still waiting..
- Limited reach means that rings seem to stay on the site for a long time.
- Mostly low quality jewelry on offer means yours is likely to get lost.
- Facebook marketplace
- Lots of ‘noise’ with many stores selling new rings
- Local jeweler
- Unlikely to be looking for what you’re selling, resulting in a low offer
You are of course welcome to do your own research, but the above is based on our tests with actual diamond rings we have offered to each of the organizations.
The last thing to add on finding the best place to sell your jewelry is that our recommended options not only delivered the best price, they also gave the best customer service and feeling of security and trustworthiness – important for such a valuable item.
How to sell your jewelry
Selling jewelry should, in theory, be simple. But rushing into it can result in a much lower price being achieved.
Our simple 8 step process ensures you you make it as easy as possible for an engagement ring buyer to offer you the best possible price.
1) Decide whether you are ready to sell
Selling jewelry can be an emotional process. The first thing to do is to truly understand whether you are ready to let it go.
Depending on your circumstances, there are other options you could consider:
- Repurposing the diamond into other jewelry e.g. a diamond pendant necklace
- Passing the ring to your children, if this feels appropriate.
- Give the jewelry back to an ex partner. This may be appropriate if it’s a family heirloom.
If none of those options are tempting and you do decide to sell, read on to learn how to ensure you get the most money for it.
2) Understand what your jewelry originally cost
Once you have decided that you are ready to sell, the next step is to start thinking about the amount that you are looking for when you sell your ring.
You may know exactly what your ring cost, or you may have no idea.
If you are looking for a figure for an equivalent new ring, retailers like James Allen can be a good option to understand what jewelry of the same size and quality is currently worth.
It’s worth noting that a current fair market price for a ring may be considerably lower than your ring originally cost.
If your ring was originally bought from a mall jeweller, it could have cost twice as much as it would have at an online retailer.
Despite this, the lower price would still be the ‘fair market value’ of the ring.
If this is the case, then the difference between what you paid and what you will be able to sell your diamond ring for may be significant.
3) Come to terms with the fact that you won’t get the price you paid
When you sell or trade in your car, you don’t expect to receive the same price you paid for it.
It’s the same with jewelry.
If you’re selling your jewelry, the person you’re selling to is likely someone in the trade. They need to be able to:
- buy the jewelry from you
- check its quality,
- clean and polish it,
- advertise it
- cover their overheads
and then make a profit on the sale.
Plus, the price that someone is willing to pay for a pre-owned jewelry is less than they would be willing to pay for a similar item if it was brand new.
As a (very) rough guide, it’s likely that you will get around half the price of an equivalent new diamond ring when selling to a diamond specialist.
If you’re selling to a pawn shop, it will be more like 1/4.
Worthy.com’s ‘recent auctions’ tool can be useful to get an approximate ballpark figure of your jewelry’s value:
Use the filters to find rings similar to yours and you’ll be able to quickly gain an understanding of what people are actually willing to pay for a ring like yours.
5) Find your grading report or diamond certification (if you have one)
If you are selling a diamond ring, you should have received a grading report, or ‘certificate’ with it, which detailed its carat weight and the 4Cs of your diamond:
The grading report will include the information on the center stone, but won’t include any information about smaller stones (e.g. in the setting), or about the setting itself.
If you don’t have a grading report, the person buying the diamond will need to examine the stone to verify its quality, or may pay for the diamond to be reviewed by an independent lab. For this to happen, the diamond will need to be removed from its setting.
4) Find your appraisal (if you have one)
Many diamond rings come with an appraisal when they are first purchased.
Appraisals usually cover the same 4Cs as a lab report, but will also include information about other diamonds in a setting (e.g. 20 melee diamonds in a halo setting), as well as information on the weight and quality of the precious metals used in the setting itself.
Appraisals will also have a replacement value attached to them to show what the appraiser judges the ring to be worth:
If you don’t have an appraisal report, it’s not a huge deal – the person who is buying the ring from you will make their own judgement on what the ring is worth, based on current market conditions.
6) Understand the difference places you could sell your jewelry
The best place to sell your jewelry will depend on what you have, how quickly you want to sell and how patient you are.
- Local jewelry buyers – often ‘cash for gold’ type stores or pawnbrokers, these stores pay significantly less than a ring is worth. They can, however, be a good option for wedding rings or rings with small diamonds, as their prices are usually based off the ‘spot prices’ of gold or the raw material, rather than the value of the ring as a piece of jewelry
- Local jewelers – may take your ring in exchange as part of an upgrade, but unless they
- Antique stores – usually only buy very old, or ‘signed’ jewelry ie. one with a luxury brand name attached to it e.g. Tiffany & Co, high quality Harry Winston etc.
- Online specialists – usually provide the highest price for your diamond ring, although the process usually takes a little longer (although it can be as fast as one week).
7) Make enquiries
It’s good practice to source more than one quote when buying something significant to ensure you’re getting good value.
I like to get at least two quotes to compare, whether that’s sourcing a plumber, considering a new car or finding a printer for some birthday invitations.
And when selling something significant, it’s good practice to do the same. I always recommend that you source at least two quotes to ensure that the price that you are being offered is fair.
8) Select the buyer that best fits
When you get the quotes back, it should be a pretty straight forward decision on who to go with: the one that is offering the most.
Other considerations can also be the speed of the transaction, the ease of the transaction and how secure you feel dealing with the buyer. After all, it’s a high value item that you are
Understanding how much your jewelry is worth
As a general guideline, an engagement ring is worth around 40 – 50% of the appraisal value, or the original purchase price.
However, there are many factors that can affect the value, including:
The current fashionability of the jewelry
Like anything, jewelry goes in and out of fashion. For example, halo settings with round diamonds were popular 10 years ago, they are less popular now. This means that there is less demand for them, so a jewelry buyer is less likely to offer a high price.
However, If your jewelry is particularly fashionable at the moment (think large, elongated center stones, petite slim bands), it is more likely to have a significant secondary market, so will be worth more.
The brand name
Jewelry buyers on the secondary market are willing to pay a premium for these brand names, and the allure of ‘vintage’ can go a long way to ensuring that they will hold their value indefinitely.
The size of the center diamond
An engagement ring with a large center diamond is more valuable than a ring with a smaller diamond but a more expensive setting, even if the two rings cost the same originally.
The two rings below are from the same retailer and cost around the same amount – nearly $10k:
$3k diamond, $7k setting:
$9k diamond, $1k setting:
The simple solitaire engagement ring with the larger diamond will be worth significantly more when if the rings are both being sold, as the valuable part of the ring is the center stone, rather than the small diamonds that comprise the setting.
Whether you have proof of purchase
This is especially important for designer rings, where proof of purchase can go a long way to demonstrating authenticity.
Whether you have a grading report.
A jewelry buyer won’t just take your word on the quality of the center diamond – they need to have a grading report to show what an independent expert assesses it as. If you can’t supply a, they will have to pay to have one conducted, which will reduce the amount they are willing to pay.
The condition of the jewelry
While all pre-owned rings will need to be cleaned and polished to allow them to be resold again, a piece of jewelry that shows minimal wear will always attract higher offers than one is showing wear and tear.
The only way to really understand what your jewelry is worth is to offer it to people who are wiling to pay real money for it.
Our recommendations again for the buyers who offer the best prices and the smoothest transaction experience are are: