5 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Diamonds


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The single most common mistake that people make when selling diamonds is selling to the wrong buyer. If you can connect to the right buyer, you’ll get a fair market price for your used diamonds. You’ll also be able to negotiate a quick and convenient sale and eliminate most of the risk factors associated with the second-hand diamond market. We’ll also take a look at the other 5 common mistakes to avoid when selling diamonds and offer some practical suggestions for a profitable and stress-free sale. 

5 Common mistakes to avoid when selling diamonds

  1. Not knowing the actual market value of your diamonds
  2. Listening to negative bargaining tactics from buyers
  3. Selling to diamond sellers not professional buyers
  4. Selling in a captive market where there is no competition
  5. Trying to sell on eBay or similar sites

How do I judge the value of my diamonds?

If you decide to sell your diamonds – or any item of property – you need to know its market value before you begin. Even a rough idea of the resale price is essential. Firstly, you’ll avoid setting yourself up for disappointment if you had previously overestimated the actual value of the diamonds. Secondly – you’ll immediately know when a buyer tries to rip you off.  This may sound like obvious advice, but pawnbrokers and jewelers routinely exploit the naivete of sellers to make a fast profit. 

  • Store receipts

The easiest way to estimate the second-hand value of your diamonds is to check the original store receipt.  Deduct any taxes or shipping charges that are included in the final price, and then deduct another 30% (the jeweler’s profits and expenses) from the remaining sum. 

For example, You paid $2,000 for a diamond engagement ring with a cushion-cut center stone. The price included a 15% sales tax and a $50 shipping charge. 

Original retail price

Minus 15% tax

 = $1,700
$1,700 Minus $50 shipping= $1,650 
$1,650Minus 30% jeweler markup= $1,155 
$1,155 is your bottom line and you shouldn’t accept a lower offer – at least until you have tried several buyers. 
If you appear confident and well informed – and show no hesitation about breaking off negotiations – you may be able to secure a better offer than your bottom line. 
  • Diamond certificates and laser etchings

If your diamond came with a GIA certificate (or a certificate from a similar organization) you will be able to accurately determine its value. Each certificate precisely lists all of the diamond’s qualities and attributes. These include the exact carat weight, color, clarity, and cut, as well as any flaws, inclusions, or fluorescence that may affect its value.

Your diamond may also have its certificate number micro-engraved into the girdle. This is the thin line around the circumference of the cut stone. Any jeweler can check it with an x10 optical device. 

  • Professional evaluation

If you’re serious about selling your diamonds, and you think that their potential value justifies the expense, you can pay for a professional evaluation by a jeweler or gemologist. This is usually available as a walk-in service and should cost no more than $100. Jewelers routinely perform appraisals for insurance purposes and won’t be surprised by your request. If you’re lucky, you may find a jeweler who will provide a free appraisal as a courtesy service. N.B. If they think that you’re considering a quick sale, they may try undervaluing the diamond and then make a cash offer. Use your common sense and listen to your intuition. 

Don’t be swayed by negative buying tactics or lies

If you were foolish enough to walk into a pawnbrokers store, or you’re dealing with one of the less scrupulous jewelers, expect to be manipulated from the get go! The second hand diamond market attracts a lot of sharks and they have had years, or even decades of practice when it comes to manipulating sellers. Some common tactics include: 

  • Feigning a lack of interest and making you feel like you are wasting their time.
  • Pretending that the diamond is flawed, damaged, or in some way inferior.
  • Telling you that the cut e.g. cushion cut, princess cut, asscher cut etc. is unfashionable and isn’t selling well.
  • Claiming that it’s the wrong season for diamonds and the market won’t move again until Valentine’s Day/the summer wedding season/Christmas etc.
  • Trying to convince you that the market is depressed due to COVID-19, the state of the economy, or any number of other reasons. 

If you meet with a potential buyer and you’re treated with anything less than professional courtesy and personal respect, break off the conversation and leave. Never allow a buyer to put pressure on you, make you feel small, or try to wear you down. You shouldn’t be aggressive when you bargain, but do be confident and quietly assertive. Trust in your own senses and life experience; if something feels wrong – it probably is wrong!

Sell to a professional diamond buyer – not a seller

You can save a lot of time and hassle – and get a higher price – if you go straight to a professional diamond buyer. An online jewelry buying service like Gemesti specializes in buying diamonds and has the expertise and resources to make a market value offer. Their entire business is geared towards buying diamonds and they depend on reviews from satisfied customers to generate future business. 

If you sell to a jeweler in your local mall, he doesn’t care if you’re satisfied or not. He just wants to close the deal, pay you the lowest possible price, and get you out of the store. Any experienced jeweler can make a profit on second-hand diamonds, but it usually isn’t part of the business model. Pawnbrokers are at the bottom of the jewelry industry food chain and pay the lowest prices. If they do get their hands on good-quality diamonds, they’ll immediately sell them to a jeweler. 

Don’t sell diamonds in a captive market

One of the less obvious mistakes to avoid when selling diamonds is to sell when you’re in a captive market. If you’re in a small town or even one district in a major city, you’re in a captive market. You may think that you have a choice of buyers, but in reality, they will all offer roughly the same price for your diamonds. If for example, there are three jewelry stores in your town, the owners/managers almost certainly know each other. They may have links through the Chamber of Commerce, have social connections, or may even do some business with each other. 

Each one will know exactly what his competitors will pay and what prices the local market will support. You can spend half a day visiting every jeweler in town, but you’re unlikely to get a substantial improvement on your first offer. If you sell your diamonds online, your buyer is competing for nationwide customers and can’t jack the prices downwards to take advantage of the market conditions in a small town or city.   

Avoid trying to sell on eBay or similar sites

Unless you’re experienced in the diamond industry, it’s a mistake to try and sell diamonds on eBay or other sites as an independent seller. Even if you have 100% positive feedback and great customer reviews on eBay, buyers are inherently cautious – even skeptical – when it comes to diamonds. The people who will always be interested are the ones you never want to be in contact with; namely crooks and fraudsters. They will immediately latch on to anybody who is selling diamonds or jewelry and look for ways to rip them off. 

The disadvantages of selling on eBay

  • You will need to showcase the diamonds professionally. If they’re set in jewelry, this means paying a jeweler for a full clean and polish. You’ll also need professional quality photos.
  • You need to arrange for secure shipping. The challenge is to devise a satisfactory returns policy that won’t result in you getting ripped off. E.g. the customer returns an identical fake diamond. 
  • It may take months of repeat listings to get a serious buyer who’ll pay an acceptable price.

Sell your diamonds online for a top price

All of the most common mistakes to avoid when selling diamonds can be easily sidestepped by selling online to Gemesti. There are two fundamental differences between Gemesti and other buyers. The first difference is that you’ll be treated as a valued client rather than a random seller. Gemesti functions as a service provider rather than just a merchant. The end goal is for you to walk away satisfied that you got a fair price for your diamonds and enjoyed a fast, stress-free sales process. The second difference is that Gemesti is the professional diamond buyer – buying diamonds is their core business. You’ll be working with a family-run company that has three generations of unrivaled experience in the global diamond industry. 

Because Gemesti is a nationwide buyer (covering the entire continental US) you’ll have access to genuine resale prices. You won’t be cornered by small-town economics or mini-cartels and can expect a fair market price for your diamonds. Inevitably, this won’t be the same price that you paid for your diamonds, but it will closely reflect their actual second-hand value. If you’re wondering how you can be sure of this, there’s a surprising answer.

When you send your diamonds to Gemesti (via free FedEx overnight delivery) their first destination is the highly respected EGL US Gemologists Laboratory. Each diamond receives a full appraisal and valuation by an independent gemologist. Gemesti gets the gemologist’s report by email the same day – and only then makes you a formal offer. If you like the price, your money will be immediately wired to your bank. If you choose not to sell (or your diamonds are rejected) they’ll be returned to you free of charge. 

How do I sell my diamonds online?

Visit Gemesti.com and take 5 minutes to complete the online sales form on their home page. The form uses a simple diagram-based flowchart to help you describe your diamonds as accurately as possible. You can also upload digital photos, and scans of any receipts, certificates and insurance appraisals. It’s simple enough that you can do everything with your cell phone. 

Your customer services manager will call you back and make an initial offer. This is an approximate price based on the information that you provided in the form. If you like the price, you can download a shipping label or get a scannable code to your phone. This entitles you to free overnight shipping with FedEx. The delivery is secure and your package is insured up to $100,000. 

Your diamond will be evaluated at the independent EGL US laboratory and as soon as Gemesti knows the market value, you’ll get a formal offer. If you follow the sales procedure exactly, you could have your money in as little as 48 hours. Gemesti buys loose diamonds, as well as diamond jewelry, including wedding and engagement rings, necklaces, pendants, earrings, tennis bracelets, and other items. All you need to make a sale is a government-issued photo ID e.g. a state driver’s license, a return address, and a bank account. 

Selling diamonds for a good price used to be a real challenge. If you sell online, you can get everything done with a minimum of hassle and have money in the bank in as little as two days. The only requirements on your time will be completing an online form, dealing with a couple of phone calls and emails, and coordinating with a FedEx courier. You’ll be guaranteed complete security and privacy and won’t have to hawk your diamonds around the local jewelry stores. If you decide not to sell, Gemesti will return your diamonds free of charge. There’s no hard sell and no penalties for withdrawing from the sales process.

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