Selling an engagement ring
April 24, 2005 5:11 PM   Subscribe

A friend of mine has a nice and fairly expensive engagement ring that he would like sell. The jeweller from which he bought the ring (Tiffany's) does not buy back rings, and it seems like "used" rings get only pennies on the dollar on eBay. Given that he is intent on selling it, can anyone recommend a method for recouping as much of the original expense as possible?
posted by karen to Shopping (11 answers total)
It will be hard. Diamonds are a completely artificially constructed commodity whose value is only kept inflated by the diamond industry itself, which buys up diamonds quickly. The "diamond is forever" bullshit was a marketing slogan to help keep values of diamonds up. In fact it's quite tough for even thieves to resell diamonds. There was a great article about this I read a while ago and I'll try to find it and post it.

At any rate, the reason diamonds are "pennies" on ebay is precisely because they're only worth pennies; only in the false world of the diamond stores are they worth any more.
posted by yonation at 5:26 PM on April 24, 2005

This might be the long version of the article yonation is refering to.
posted by Staggering Jack at 5:58 PM on April 24, 2005

it is! thx staggering jack
posted by yonation at 6:00 PM on April 24, 2005

b1tr0t, I think you're referring to the other ring question yesterday.
posted by fionab at 6:06 PM on April 24, 2005

It is old? or did he buy it recently? He should be able to sell the stone easily--has it been appraised?
posted by amberglow at 6:07 PM on April 24, 2005

I would think your best bet would be to find someone locally who doesn't know what yonation just told everyone.

Also, be sure not to mention that artificial jewel diamonds costing less then pennies are just around the corner, if not here.
posted by toftflin at 6:45 PM on April 24, 2005

If he knows someone else to give the stone to (ie a mom or sister) and doesn't feel like selling it unless he can get close to full value, then the stone can easily be recut for use in a necklace, bracelet, or other jewellry piece. The gold (if it was in gold) can be melted and reused.

That doesn't help if he needs to sell it, but there isn't really a big secondary market out there for rings, unless there's some original craftmanship that makes the ring a standout.
posted by Salmonberry at 7:17 PM on April 24, 2005

He should hang on to it, assuming he is planning on getting married one day in the future. It can always be resized for his new fiancee. Just be sure he never, ever tells her he bought it for someone else.
posted by cali at 10:42 PM on April 24, 2005

Would giving it to charity for a large, original-purchase-priced tax deduction work?
posted by Lizzle at 4:50 AM on April 25, 2005

Is your friend also in So Cal? Have him go up to the jewelry district in downtown L.A. and talk with a few of the jewlers there. They may be willing to purchase the ring, or they can use the materials to make another piece of jewelry for a fairly decent price.

Otherwise, if he doesn't -have- to sell it right away, I'd say just keep advertising a Tiffany ring for a less than Tiffany price (somewhere below retail but above pennies on the dollar), eventually some thrifty soul with good taste will bite.
posted by vignettist at 10:05 AM on April 25, 2005

Tiffany's prices are so inflated, and *some* people would kill to get the name at a reduced rate (of course, it would really help if you could supply the blue box, too.) The reason, probably, why people don't want to buy through e-bay is that there are (or, rather, the perception is that there are) so many fake Tiffany rings on there.

Tell your friend to check out Pricescope and such. They know a lot about diamonds, jewelery, and how to buy nd sell it.
posted by lalalana at 10:57 AM on April 29, 2005

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