So you’ve decided to sell your diamond engagement ring. Whether your marriage just ended, you are going through a financial hardship, or you inherited an antique diamond ring that just isn’t your taste, you have a valuable item that you need to figure out how to sell. Here are some tips and steps to take to help you get the most out of your diamond.

How to Sell a Diamond Ring
Getty Images/Jamie Grill

Get Your Diamond Ring Appraised

The first step in selling your diamond ring is knowing exactly what you have.

Sometimes rings are handed down with full confidence that the stone is a valuable diamond, but instead, the ring turns out to be a fake. Even when you know for sure you have a real diamond, you also want to know the diamond’s general value as well as the size, color, and clarity. Before you have your ring assessed, I suggest first learning the basics about diamonds.

Getting an appraisal will give you an idea of what you have, but this will mean very little to you if you aren’t familiar with general diamond terminology.

Most appraisals are retail replacement insurance appraisals. These appraisals DO NOT indicate what you will be able to sell your diamond ring for because the price listed on the appraisal is the approximate cost to have the ring re-made. Generally, you should be able to get about 30-60% of the value listed on the appraisal when you sell the ring on your own. Appraisals cost about $75 and are only worth pursuing if you have a diamond that weighs near a carat or more. If you have a ring with a smaller diamond, I suggest trying to obtain a verbal appraisal.

Determine a Price

Next, you need to decide what you are comfortable selling your ring for. Oftentimes like with the housing market, people have unrealistic ideas about what their ring is worth. When you are selling a diamond on the second-hand market, you can’t expect to get full retail. Use the appraisal as a guide and start researching what other diamond rings of similar size and quality are selling for on second-hand markets like E-bay and Amazon.

Decide Where You Want to Sell

There are two ways you can sell your diamond ring. First, you can decide to sell to someone already in the jewelry industry. Second, you can decide to sell the ring on your own to the general public. There are pros and cons to both scenarios just like with trading in a car. When you sell to a jewelry dealer, they take on all the risk. They also pay wholesale prices or below. They need to be able to repair, size, guarantee, and market the ring. Sometimes in the case of smaller rings, dealers may even melt the ring, scrap the gold, and sell the diamond separately, in which case they will offer even less, giving you about 10 – 20% less than the ring’s scrap value. Having a good sense of the retail and wholesale value of your ring before selling it to a dealer will ensure you won’t get ripped off. At most, a dealer will pay you the ring’s wholesale worth or less.

If you decide to sell the ring on your own, you will be able to ask for more money for your ring, but you still won’t be able to charge full retail. This may be ideal for you if you have some diamond knowledge, have experience with sites like E-bay, and are willing to wait until the ring sells to get paid, which could take weeks or even months. Your buyer pool may be limited because most people that buy diamonds from places like Craigslist are experienced, diamond dealers. The general public is reluctant to purchase diamonds on the second-hand market from unknown sellers because afraid they are going to be ripped off.

Another option is to find an estate jewelry establishment that would be willing to take the ring on consignment.

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