Engagement rings do hold their value over a long period of time – but you should expect to make a loss if you choose to sell your engagement ring. This may seem like a paradox, but the explanation is actually very simple. Most people have no idea of the actual market value of a second-hand engagement ring and overestimate the resale price by up to 50%.
We’ll explain how to calculate the approximate value of your ring. We’ll also explore the best way to sell an engagement ring for a fair price. Even if you can’t make a profit on the sale, there’s absolutely no reason to close for less than the current market price. Nor do you want to waste time or incur unnecessary expenses during the sales process!
How to Sell Engagement Rings
Before you even ask where to sell your engagement ring, you need to know two things. The first is how much your ring is actually worth; the second is how the second-hand jewelry market in the US really works. Both answers may surprise you, but you should start by accepting the basic concept that ‘value’ is a relative term. Any item is only worth what the most generous buyer is prepared to pay for it.
Do Engagement Rings Hold Their Value?
The rule of thumb is that engagement rings do hold their value – but within the supplier to retailer price range, not at the retailer to customer price range. If you paid $2,000 for a diamond engagement ring, you might logically expect to get around $2,000 when you resell it. Perhaps a bit less because it’s now second-hand.
The problem is that when a jeweler looks at your ring, he’s thinking in terms of the supplier to retailer price range. Perhaps as low as $1,200 – $1,400. He’ll also be trying to figure out if he can push his offering price even lower and further increase the profit margin.
When a high street jeweler buys an engagement ring from a supplier, he could be paying 40% less than he sells it for in the store. He may also have a sale or return agreement that protects him financially if the ring doesn’t sell. If you want to sell your engagement ring to your local jeweler, you’ll have to equal or beat the supplier’s price. Your jeweler isn’t necessarily greedy. He has a lot of business expenses and financial obligations to meet before he even sees a profit. He won’t waste a second on sentimentality.
Do Engagement Rings Hold Their Value During COVID-19?
The good news is that the global COVID-19 pandemic didn’t hurt the jewelry industry badly. Some major retailers like Pandora and Swarovski even experienced a surge in online sales during the crisis. There is still a huge demand for diamond engagement rings and the second-hand market is doing fine.
Experienced jewelers do however have one eye on the state of the economy. Inflation is a concern and a future recession, especially if combined with lockdowns, could hit sales hard. If you want to sell your engagement ring this year, you probably have little to worry about though.
When is the Best Time to Sell my Engagement Ring
There are three peak sales periods for engagement and wedding rings every year. Valentine’s Day (sales rise January and February) the summer wedding season, and Christmas and the New Year. There’s only a short gap between each of these three busy times, and jewelers buy rings all year round.
It’s also worth remembering that engagement and wedding rings are only a part of any jeweler’s annual sales. There is a year-round market for earrings, necklaces, bracelets, pendants, watches, chains, charms, and other items. You should never accept a lower price for your engagement ring on the grounds that it is the slow season, or that there is no current demand for second-hand engagement rings!
Do Engagement Rings Hold Their Value if Styles Change?
Jewelry styles and fashions do change, but nowhere as quickly as clothing styles. Engagement rings will usually hold most of their value even if there are new fashions. Outside niche trends like black diamonds, style changes in engagement rings are most easily measured by the popularity of various diamond cuts. The five most popular cuts for diamond center stones are:
- Round brilliant cut
- Princess cut
- Emerald cut
- Oval cut
- Radiant cut
These cuts reflect the modern preference for distinctive center stones with a bright sparkle and plenty of fire. Tastes have been changing since at least the 18th century (partly due to superior cutting and polishing technology producing new cuts).
Engagement Ring Styles in the 1960s
The swinging sixties produced an economic boom and a new demand for jewelry. Yellow gold settings became popular and there was a lot of experimentation with colored center stones. Perhaps surprisingly for such an outrageous decade, most tastes remained conservative with simple settings and traditional diamond cuts.
Engagement Ring Styles in the 1970s
The fashion for yellow gold really hit the high street in the 1970s. The disco decade favored princess cuts and other bold, angular center stones. Cocktail inspired rings were also popular, but there was no really distinctive 70s style.
Engagement Ring Styles in the 1980s
The 80s were a brash decade where it became fashionable to flaunt wealth. Designer brands and image were all important to yuppies and a new generation of celebrities. Asscher cuts enjoyed a major resurgence and elaborate pear, emerald and cushion cuts with thick yellow gold settings were also big sellers.
Engagement Ring Styles in the 1990s
The 1990s saw a move towards greater elegance and even a degree of minimalism. There was a preference for thinner bands that contrasted with larger center stones. The old fashioned marquise cut made a comeback and there was a move towards white gold and platinum bands.
Engagement Ring Styles in the 2000s
Engagement rings usually follow fairly traditional designs. The decade that followed the millennium is as close as we’ve come to bling. There was a definite move towards elaborate halo designs encrusted with pavé miniature diamonds. The emphasis was definitely on luxury and sparkle and wasn’t to everybody’s taste.
Engagement Ring Styles in the 2010s
The last decade created some mixed styles with halo and pavé continuing to be popular. There was also a new trend for romantic rose gold settings, as well as colored (gemstone) center stones, mainly inspired by the British Royal Family.
Don’t worry if your engagement ring is in a style from a previous decade. An elegant, well designed ring will always find a buyer. It’s also possible that your ring will be recycled. Basically this means that the diamond center stone will be prised out of its setting and the gold band smelted for bullion. The diamond will then be used to create another item of jewelry or even recut.
Will an Antique Engagement Ring Gain in Value?
If you have an antique, or particularly fine vintage ring, it might gain in value. Insurance appraisers and antique dealers can provide appraisals based on their experience and knowledge of the current markets. Even the experts can be surprised by the final price of an antique ring sold at auction. Most items will close within a predicted range, but some will bomb and not meet the reserve price, others will provoke a bidding war and sell for an unimaginable price.
Where to Sell an Engagement Ring
If you’re looking for a fast and convenient sale, your best solution is to sell your engagement ring online. A company like Gemesti is usually happy to buy diamond engagement rings in any style and from any decade. Their online self assessment form helps you to precisely identify the cut of your ring’s center stone. You’ll also be able to upload digital photos so that their online appraiser can make an approximate evaluation and offer you a provisional price.
Do Engagement Rings Hold their Value if I Sell Online?
If you sell an engagement ring online, you’re much more likely to get a fair market price. Certainly, if you sell to Gemesti, your final offer will be based entirely on the actual market price of the ring. They use an independent appraiser to create a gemologist’s report for each engagement ring. You’ll also be getting a national US price and not an offer based on the local market in your state.
If you want to find out more about how to sell an engagement ring online, you can visit Gemesti’s website. It usually takes around 5 minutes to complete the simple self-assessment form and request an initial offer for your ring. If you want to proceed, your client service manager will guide you through the sales process. It’s usually possible to close the sale and get your money within 48 hours.
Do engagement rings hold their value? Not for the seller, but you can still sell at the actual market value and get the best price possible. You can also get a fast, convenient and stress free service when you do sell!