Where To Sell An Engagement Ring
Selling an engagement ring may be bittersweet — whether you’ve inherited the jewelry from a relative or have been through a broken relationship.
But on the bright side, selling your engagement ring should generate some money quickly. You could make thousands of dollars – and even if you can only make a few hundred, that’s still a significant number for most people.
But don’t just walk into a pawn shop. A specialized diamond buyer will know your ring’s value and pay a higher price.
Should I Sell My Engagement Ring?
If the ring you’re thinking about selling is an heirloom or an inheritance, you may feel guilty about letting it go. Selling might be easier after a divorce or a broken engagement, but you may still hesitate if you’re considering passing the ring on to your children.
This is a personal decision, and only you know what is right. Ultimately, if you’re not sure about selling your ring, there are some alternative routes you could take.
For example, you could re-purpose your ring into another piece of jewelry, like a pair of earrings or a pendant. You could also keep the ring to pass on to your children in case they want it.
But this post will explore the best ways to sell your ring, so let’s learn about your options which include selling online, selling to a local jewelry buyer, or selling to an individual diamond buyer.
Where To Sell An Engagement Ring
The best options to sell your ring are:
The fastest and easiest way to sell your ring will be to find a diamond buyer online.
You could earn more in a specialized auction house with the right clientele, but when you want the ring to sell quickly and for a reasonable profit, you could do that today online.
Platforms like Craigslist and eBay may come to mind, but you’ll do better to stay off these sites, though there’s one clear advantage to using them:
Buyers willing to pay the most for engagement rings are individual consumers who plan to use the ring themselves — not jewelry stores who plan to sell the ring to another customer. Jewelry stores will pay you less so they can still make a profit when they sell the ring to a customer.
If you can connect directly with the consumer you can skip the middle man and keep his share of his profit. Popular eCommerce sites can offer these sorts of connections with individual consumers.
But there’s a big drawback: You have to deal with people who are looking for a bargain, shoppers who don’t know the value of your diamond engagement ring, amateur gemologists who don’t know the fair price for your ring. You may have to hire an appraiser which adds hassle and cuts profits.
Plus, to sell the ring, you might have to meet strangers, perhaps in strange places, or have people you don’t know come over to your home. This is weird enough when you’re selling something less valuable like a smartphone or furniture. When you’re selling something very small yet worth thousands of dollars, you could be asking for trouble.
So we wondered: How should you sell fine jewelry online? And after some research, we came across Worthy. This site auctions your engagement ring which means direct buyers will be your customers. But you don’t have to do all the legwork. So it’s a win-win.
Worthy makes the process easy for you and they assess your ring to make sure that you are getting the most for your ring. Check them out below.
An Independent Jeweler
Another sales route is to visit an independent jeweler. Chances are good you can find a store in your town. If you’re in New York City walk through the Diamond District in Midtown Manhattan to find dozens of choices. Philadelphia and Los Angeles have jewelry districts.
Smaller towns may have just one or two good choices, and a Google search and Google reviews could help save you some time. Independent jewelers are a better choice than chain stores in the mall in most cases.
An independent store can examine your ring and offer advice. Look for a jeweler that has evaluators trained by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), as they’ll be able to discern your ring’s value and find out whether they could remove the diamond.
Removing a diamond is the best and most accurate way to assess the quality of a diamond. But removing the stone risks breaking prongs (metal claws that hold the diamond in place). Your local jeweler may use a color card to determine the color of a diamond – the color on the card is compared with the color of the diamond.
If the diamond can be safely removed, you can send the jewel to a lab for diamond certification. Doing this ensures the diamond is appraised at its true market value so you can sell at a precise price.
This takes time and some upfront money, but this method can bring in a higher price for loose diamonds.
Even if you’d rather not take apart your solitaire, your jeweler should have an evaluator trained by the GIA who can do an in-house appraisal and assign a value. This appraisal can’t give you an exact value, but at least you’d have a general idea.
Expect to pay between $75 to $150 per hour for this appraisal. Some jewelers offer the service for free, but they’re unlikely to be the certified appraisers, and you couldn’t prove your ring’s value later if a buyer questioned your retail price.
Sometimes, at the end of your visit, the jeweler may offer to act as a broker for you, although this will come at the cost of paying a commission. Some stores also run consignment shops that sell diamond rings or loose diamonds on behalf of their owners.
Or, the store owner may offer you a price to buy the ring on the spot. It’s up to you. You could sell the ring right then or wait for a higher price.
A Vintage Jewelry Store
Another option is a vintage jewelry store. Like an independent jeweler, a vintage store should have an expert who can examine your ring and estimate its worth. Overall the process is very similar for both types of shops.
It’s a good idea to get a few different opinions about how much your ring could be worth if you have time. Visiting both a jeweler and a vintage shop can be a smart choice.
If you find the prospect of visiting so many dealers and experts exhausting, why not try your luck with an auction instead?
Most auction houses will give a free appraisal of the item you’re selling, but of course, it’s riskier to take their word for it as final instead of consulting multiple sources.
If you can, choose an auction house that will take the ring to a jeweler and GIA lab for you. (This almost always incurs an extra fee, but decreases the size of your to-do list.)
However, bear in mind that an auction house will take a commission from your sale — possibly as much as 20 percent. But you’ll also gain services like insurance and product photography.
Just as some independent jewelers may offer to act as brokers for you, you could go directly to a jewelry broker, otherwise known as jewelry re-sellers.
A broker should take care of the selling process for you, but you’ll pay for this convenience in the form of a commission on the sale.
But you could have the process over and done with quickly. Most brokers already have buyers in mind before you walk in the door. It’s just a matter of finding the right buyer — whether that’s another store or a private client.
Pawnbrokers aren’t known for providing the best prices, but if speed is your priority, then a pawnbroker could be your answer.
Naturally, some pawnbrokers are more reputable than others – it’s always a good idea to check their Better Business Bureau rating or check for any reviews online.
If you’re willing to negotiate up, you might even end up with a decent price but a pawnbroker won’t provide your best offer. Before walking into a pawnshop, try to get some idea about the ring’s retail value. That way you’ll have a reference point in your negotiations.
What Are The Best Websites to Sell Engagement Rings?
If you like the sound of connecting with potential buyers online, check out these sites which — unlike eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace — specialize in fine jewelry.
Here are the best places to sell engagement rings online:
I mentioned Worthy earlier, but here’s some more info.
Worthy.com hosts a platform where you can sell a variety of rings. I like Worthy because all items are sold through an online auction.
You get to choose the minimum sale price, so the risk is minimal, but you could end up with a much higher price than the one you’d originally expected.
Plus, it’s completely free to send your ring to Worthy, and they insure all items. The site’s Better Business Bureau rating of A+ could help ease your fears about losing the ring, though no process is 100 percent free of a mishap.
Another big advantage of Worthy is the free GIA lab report you’ll get. This would normally cost hundreds of dollars. Of course, they take a commission like other platforms.
CashforGoldUSA and CashforDiamondsUSA
If your ring is fairly modest, but you’d still like to make money from it, you may prefer the quickest and easiest route: trading it in for cash.
This process works a lot like visiting a pawnbroker, but instead of having to go in person, you can simply send off your jewelry in a mailer and wait to receive your check.
CashforGoldUSA and CashforDiamondsUSA are two offshoots of the same company that specializes in buying gold and diamonds, respectively. Despite the rudimentary websites, they have a good reputation: a Better Business Bureau rating of B+ and have previously excelled in an undercover investigation by Fox News, which found that the sites paid out more than competitors.
They also ship your jewelry for free, offer to return for free, and insure your items. What’s not to like?
If you’re looking to sell diamonds, a great option is Mondiamo, a site set up especially for selling diamonds.
Once you create an account, Mondiamo will ask for information about your ring. It’s helpful to know the technical details. The site will give you a quote right away, but your quote will be revised — either up or down — when Mondiamo receives and examines your ring.
Mondiamo pays for all expenses involved, including the fully insured and trackable postage, and if you’re not happy with the final offer, you can receive the ring back free of cost.
I Do Now I Don’t
Another option, especially for diamond jewelry, is I Do Now I Don’t, the comically titled website for ‘luxury recycled’ items. It has a similar feel to eBay since you can add your own pictures and descriptions.
But in reality you won’t be dealing directly with your customers. Instead, the site acts as an intermediary and handles both the money and the shipping.
Although the highest percentage (20 percent) of items sell for between $500 and $5,000, an impressive 15 percent sell for between $10,000 and $50,000. However, the site takes a 15 percent commission on sales.
Diamond Resale Value
Diamonds are timeless. They’ve always been popular to mark special occasions. Diamonds are becoming more popular than ever, thanks to increased demand in countries like China and India, so diamond selling shouldn’t be too hard, right?
Well — new diamonds, like new automobiles, depreciate because, unlike precious metals, they are not liquid assets.
Your diamond price may be less than you expected – especially if it’s a sentimental item that has been passed down in the family, in which face value often gets imagined or invented. You might even find out it’s not a diamond at all!
It’s much more complicated to estimate the value of a diamond than it is the value of gold, which has one objective measure that determines the majority of its value: melt value.
Most people think that a higher carat weight indicates a higher diamond value, but this isn’t necessarily true. Ultimately, your diamond is worth what someone will pay you for it.
Qualities that Determine The Value of a Diamond
- Carats: Put simply, carats are a way of measuring weight, making it the only objective characteristic of a diamond.
- Color: Diamonds come in many colors – green, red, blue, and even black. However, the majority of diamonds are a shade of white or yellow – a brighter white color generally indicates greater value. The GIA measures colors on a scale from D to Z.
- Clarity: A diamond with greater clarity has fewer flaws and blemishes, making it worth more money. The clarity of a diamond is measured in 11 grades with five categories: flawless, very very slightly included (some blemishes), very slightly included, slightly included, and included. The EGL Gemological Report, in NYC’s Diamond District, provides a standard grading report.
- Cut: The cut of the diamond is all about its finish. A diamond cutter will try to minimize imperfections while highlighting its beauty and shine during the cutting process.
- Polish and Symmetry: Polish, symmetry, proportion, and shape all come under the umbrella of cut and impact the overall diamond grading. The GIA’s scale for cut ranges from excellent to poor.
- Fluorescence: Diamonds are fluorescent if they give off blue light emitted when exposed to UV rays. It’s a minor detail which some people like and others don’t, but it’s good to be aware of it.
How to Determine The Value of Your Diamond
The most accurate way to figure out the value of your diamond is to take it to a GIA lab, although this is only possible if you can actually remove the diamond from the rest of the ring.
There are only two GIA locations in the country – in New York City and Carlsbad, Calif. – but if you don’t live in either area, you can send your diamond off in the mail. Be sure to tell UPS, FedEx, or the USPS what you’re shipping so you can properly insure the package.
You’ll need to prove your identity if you’re visiting in person as a diamond laboratory is a fairly high-security premise.
The appraisal fees depend on the carat weight of the diamond, but you can expect to pay about $200 for this entire process of appraising your stone. When the lab technicians finish the appraisal, you’ll be given an accurate report of the characteristics of your diamond: carat weight, diamond grade, clarity grade, polish, symmetry, and fluorescence.
Once you have your estimate of all these factors, you can refer to the Rapaport Price List which should give you an estimate of how much the diamond is worth. However, regardless of a diamond’s intrinsic value, you’re likely to receive an offer for less since many buyers will be hoping to sell the ring on for a profit.
How Can I Check A Diamond Is Real?
We highly recommend anyone to go for the full GIA certification, but if you have doubts over whether your diamond is real and don’t want to waste your money or make a fool of yourself walking into Tiffany & Co. and demanding top dollar, there are a few ways to find out at home.
The easiest way to check is to drop the diamond into a glass of water. If it sinks to the bottom, it’s probably real, and if it floats, then it’s probably a fake.
Of course, you’d need to detach the diamond from the ring to perform this test. If you can’t remove the diamond without harming it or the ring, don’t try this test.
Instead, you could use a magnifying glass to look for imperfections. It might sound counterproductive, but the presence of flaws is a good thing – only fakes and extremely rare diamonds are completely flawless.
Finally, you could hold the diamond above a small flame (like a candle) for around 45 seconds and then drop it into a glass of ice water. A fake diamond will shatter, whereas a real diamond will remain intact. If you want to keep your ring regardless of whether the diamond is real or not, this clearly isn’t the right test to perform.
How much is a 1-carat diamond worth?
A range of 1-carat rings could all have vastly different values. Contrary to popular belief, the number of carats isn’t the most important factor. Clarity and cut matter a lot, too. You could expect anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000 for an average 1-carat ring.
Who gets the engagement ring after a divorce?
If you haven’t started the divorce process yet, but you’re already thinking ahead to selling your ring, you might be concerned that you won’t even be eligible for the ring. Legally, wedding or engagement rings are a gift, meaning the recipient has the right to keep the gift. Basically, your ring is yours – to keep or to sell.
Can you sell your engagement ring?
As long as people continue to get engaged and married, there’s not going to be a shortage of demand for engagement rings any time soon. In the U.S. alone, more than 2 million weddings take place each year – so it doesn’t seem like there’s anything to worry about on that front.
Of course, many people would prefer to buy a new ring, but for those looking to cut costs, a second-hand engagement ring is an attractive prospect. Buyers can enjoy huge savings this way, so it makes financial sense. Some people may even have a preference for vintage rings.
Because of consumer demand, jewelry dealers and brokers will always be interested in buying used engagement rings – they know they stand a good chance of selling them on and making a profit.
As a result, you need to take care not to accept too low a price, but you certainly don’t need to worry about being unable to sell your engagement ring at all.
How much do used engagement rings sell for?
The average new engagement ring costs $5,500. This is based on the retail price of diamond rings. You shouldn’t expect to charge as much for a second-hand item.
But selling your wedding ring for even a fraction of this average price could result in a healthy boost for your finances.
Of course, the exact amount you can expect depends on the type of ring you have. Once again, a proper appraisal will provide the information you need to set a fair price and insist on your best offer.
Typically, you might be able to sell your wedding ring for 30 to 50 percent of its original price. This is slightly disappointing to realize but bear in mind that there’s one main reason why people choose to buy a ring secondhand: to get a significant discount compared to a new ring.
So, you can’t expect to reach anywhere near the price of an equivalent ring that’s brand new, no matter how good a condition the ring may be in. Plus, if you’re selling to a broker or retailer hoping to sell the ring to another diamond buyer, they’ll expect to make a significant profit themselves by buying low and selling high.
Should You Sell Your Engagement Ring?
Hopefully, we’ve convinced you that selling your engagement ring is nothing to feel guilty about and a great way to make some easy money.
Why not capitalize on something you have lying around the house out of sight?
Just remember not to set yourself up for disappointment when it comes to the value of your diamond ring. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you deserve a good price just because you paid a lot for the item or it has sentimental value.
Most people need a serious incentive (low price) to buy a secondhand engagement ring, and the sentimental value isn’t going to do anything to change that.
But still, don’t let it discourage you – even a modest amount of money is more useful than an old piece of jewelry you never use or look at.