I need advice on selling a diamond engagement ring.
May 24, 2016 10:23 AM   Subscribe

I've been divorced for 4 years now, and I think it's about time I get rid of my engagement ring. It's a 1.5 carat solitaire in a big hunk of white gold, so rather than chunk it down the sewer, I'd like to see about getting some cash out of it. I've done a lot of reading about different ways to do this (pawn shop, consignment, diamond broker, online site), but I'd like some advice from anyone that has successfully sold fine jewelry.

First, I have zero idea what this ring might be worth, so I figure I need to get an appraisal. Do I just take it to a jeweler for this? Is there a certain kind of appraisal I need? I've seen estate appraisers listed locally, but those seem to be more geared towards, well, an entire estate worth of stuff rather than one ring.

Second, I've noticed a lot of sites pop up lately that are geared towards online sales of jewelry (Worthy, I Do Now I Don't, etc). They all seem to have the same business model - you send them your ring (they provide packaging and insurance), they make you an offer, and if you accept, you get a check. Has anyone used one of these?

Lastly, once I have an appraisal, what $ amount should I am to sell it for? Is 50% of the value a good metric? Less?

Any and all advice is greatly appreciated!
posted by tryniti to Shopping (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I sold my engagement ring after a breakup (he did not want it back) and in my quest I found I would only get about 10% of its worth. Fortunately for me, I had a coworker with a family connection to a jeweler who gave me about 30-40% of its original worth. You might want to check around to see if you know anyone with a connection who can help you out.
posted by ancient star at 10:35 AM on May 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

I am actually an owner of a jewelry business. To give you a definitive number would be misleading you.

When you resell something you have worn, there are small nicks and such that devalues a diamond. In such a case, a diamond needs to be re-polished or re-cut to sell.

Even if you had not worn the ring, simply setting it could scratch a stone sometimes.

That being said, 1.50 Ct. Diamond is a significant size. Was the diamond certified by the GIA?

I would suggest a couple of things:

Find any original paperwork that the diamond comes with

Dismantle the ring from the diamond. Scrap the gold (it won't be much, but it will give you a good amount of cash and the diamond is worth more than the gold. Sometimes a vendor who buys will use the weight of the gold toward what your entire ring is worth and you will end up getting less for your diamond.)

If the diamond is certified and of desirable quality and color, you may have much better luck to sell it on consignment with a jewelry store or jeweler. It is what I do with my customers who would like to sell their items. Sometimes I am able to sell it to a diamond dealer who will do all of the necessary "clean up" to resell the diamond and you will get cash for it. Sometimes I am able to sell it to another customer and while offering a good discount to the buyer, I am able to give a higher price to the seller.

PM me if you need more questions answered.
posted by Yellow at 10:46 AM on May 24, 2016 [25 favorites]

My ring was a 1 carat in white gold. I went to a small local jeweler who also does custom designs and such (so they had a very trained jeweler on site). She valued it for me (I also had original paperwork on it) and put it in her sale/clearance case. I wound up getting about 40% of what we paid for it (we included the diamond anniversary band) and I was very happy with that. It sold fairly quickly...I got lucky because someone liked the style. Had it not sold after a decent amount of time we were also considering trade in or melting and redesigning. She does not advertise that she sells on consignment either which I think helps her keep a high quality inventory (her case of "used" items had maybe 10 pieces in it). That draws customers in.

I think you should find a small local jewelry shop, maybe in a neighboring town and go have a conversation. A good one would be able to tell you the possibility of selling it as is or if redesigning is needed based on what styles are selling. The larger (but still local) store we originally got mine from were buttholes...they said they would give me $500 store credit for trade in and then would resell it for much more.
posted by MultiFaceted at 12:02 PM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

Has anyone used one of these?

My husband used one to sell a ring from a previous engagement. I think it was I Do Now I Don't, but I'm not 100% sure. It was above-board and worked as advertised. I think he got about a grand for it, which was somewhere around 20-25%, IIRC.
posted by slenderloris at 2:36 PM on May 24, 2016

There's a couple sell-your-diamond by mail services if you're in an area without local jeweler. I know people who've had good luck with DivorceYourDiamond.
posted by paulcole at 9:18 PM on May 24, 2016

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