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If you decide to sell your old engagement ring, you need to find an honest buyer. It can be a challenge to get a fair price for second hand jewelry and there are a lot of sharks out there. You also need to work with professionals who won’t waste your valuable time, and who will treat you with respect. The single best solution is to sell your engagement ring online to a professional jewelry buying service. They will give you the highest price, most convenient service – and will protect your personal security.
There are of course other options for selling used jewelry. These include old fashioned buyers like pawnbrokers and local jewelry stores, as well as online solutions like eBay and Craigslist. Pawnbrokers and jewelers are less user-friendly and you’ll always be offered a low initial price for your ring. Selling independently online can be profitable, but is also problematic. We’ll take a look at these choices below and examine some of the possible pitfalls.
What is a professional jewelry buying service?
A professional online jewelry buyer like Gemesti is first and foremost a service provider. Their entire business model is based on offering a quick, convenient and secure sales process to clients. An online service offers several key advantages to anybody who decides to sell an old engagement ring.
Professional jewelry and diamond buying services have nationwide reach, access to expert gemologist laboratories, and an intimate knowledge of the second-hand jewelry market. They also operate with low overheads, cutting their own business costs and passing on some of the savings to sellers.
5 key advantages to selling jewelry online
- Convenience – You can conduct the entire sale from home and usually receive your money, straight to your bank account in less than 48 hours. A FedEx courier will collect your ring for free independent evaluation. The entire sales process is carried out by phone and email. Even if you are in a small town or remote location, you can use the online service.
- Personal Security – You don’t need to hawk your jewelry around pawnbrokers and jewelers shops. Nobody except the online buyer, and a vetted FedEx courier, will know that you have valuable jewelry in your possession. Any payment will go straight into your account and there is no need to walk around with cash. Nobody, apart from the online buyer, will know that you have come into a sum of money.
- A Personal Service – Shortly after you fill in the initial online form describing your ring, you’ll be contacted by a customer service manager. Your manager will guide you through the entire shipping, evaluation and sales process – and will make sure that you get your money on time. If you have any questions or concerns, your manager will be immediately available by phone or email.
- A Fast Sale – Most people who sell their engagement ring online are able to close the sale and receive their money within just 48 hours. Services like Gemesti use secure FedEx shipments to cover the entire continental United States. If you are organised, and already know how much money you’re prepared to accept, you can convert unwanted jewelry into cash within a short time – and without any running around.
- A Fair Price – Online jewelry buying services are operated by professional jewelers and gemologists. They know exactly what a used diamond engagement ring, wedding ring, tennis bracelet, necklace or earrings is worth. Their business depends on good reviews from satisfied customers and they will always give the best possible market price.
Key Fact: Over 80% of people who send a ring for free evaluation accept Gemesti’s final cash offer!
The problem with pawnbrokers
Pawnbrokers are old fashioned dealers in second hand goods. They either pay cash for used items, or offer a redeemable pledge. This is basically a fixed term loan against an item of property. For example: You need money urgently, you leave your diamond ring with a pawnbroker in exchange for a cash loan. The pawnbroker will give you up to three months to repay the loan (with interest) and recover your property. If you don’t repay the loan, the pawnbroker will sell your ring.
- Pawnbrokers sell second hand goods cheaply. This means that they buy them even more cheaply. If you sell your old engagement ring – or any jewelry to a pawnbroker – you will never get the actual market value. You might be lucky to get as little as one third of the retail price!
- Pawnbrokers are rarely professional jewelers or trained gemologists. They are seldom able to give a really accurate valuation. They may also lie about the value of your diamond ring and tell you that it is worth much less than it really is.
- Very often pawnbrokers are no more than middlemen. They will buy a used engagement ring at a cut price and then resell it to a professional online jewelry buyer for a quick profit. A more savvy client could have gone directly to the same jewelry buyer and kept the difference.
- Pawnbrokers are tough, shrewd business people. They are experts at spotting naivete, weakness or desperation. If they sense that a customer urgently needs money, or can be easily manipulated, they will make a significantly lower offer than the real market price.
- Not every pawnbroker runs an honest business. Some have a sideline in stolen goods and are frequented by thieves and fences. Their stores may be in unsavory neighborhoods. You don’t know who may be watching – or who may be tipped off – if you are hawking a valuable item of jewelry around pawnbrokers’ stores.
Pawnbrokers are not a recommended option for anybody who wants to sell an old engagement ring – or any other piece of diamond jewelry. They can provide a useful service if you want to quickly sell other secondhand items and are willing to accept a low price. But most of their regular customers are poorer people who lack better options.
The problem with retail jewelers
Retail jewelers used to be the best choice for anybody who wanted to sell used jewelry. Independent jewelry stores on a high street or in a local mall are usually happy to buy good quality second hand rings at below the resale price. Some stores even specialise in selling second hand jewelry. The problem is that their business model is outdated and online jewelry buying services have the resources to offer better deals!
- If you’re in a small town, or don’t have time to travel out of your city neighborhood, you’ll be limited to a small number of local jewelers. These guys all know each other, and know the local second hand market intimately. Even if they’re not collaborating to fix prices, they’re unlikely to significantly undercut each other.
- Visiting jewelers to sell an engagement ring or a wedding ring isn’t always a comfortable experience. For many women it basically means admitting to strangers that your marriage has failed, or that you need money. If you’re living in a small community, the jeweler or his employees may be acquaintances. Online buying services offer anonymity
- A high street jeweler usually buys diamonds and rings on consignment (sale or return) from a supplier. It’s a low risk arrangement for the jeweler. If he buys second hand, he’s basically stuck with the ring. He’ll expect to pay significantly less than the supplier’s price. This will further reduce the final payment that you receive for your ring.
- As with selling to a pawnbroker, you’ll have to take your ring to the jewelry store – or possibly to a number of stores. This can be inconvenient and possibly exposes you to security risks. Although most jewelers stores are in good neighborhoods or malls, you’ll still be walking around with valuable items or possibly even a cash payment.
It’s not always an easy decision to sell your old engagement ring. But a clear picture of the second hand market, and all the factors that affect prices, can make the process a lot simpler. It can save a lot of disappointment if you already have a reasonably accurate idea of the value of your ring. . It will also help you to quickly filter out unrealistic offers when you approach buyers.
Documentation – Do I have any relevant documentation that can help with the sale? Documentation can include the original store receipts, insurance appraisals and the certificate for your diamond (GIA, EGL, IGL etc.). These can all help to establish proof of ownership and give you a starting point when you try to calculate the resale value of your old engagement ring.
The certificate will precisely detail the 4 Cs for your diamond – color, cut, clarity and carat weight. It also describes the dimensions of your diamond and its fluorescence, polish and symmetry. A GIA certificate will also contain a plotting diagram, showing the shape of the stone and position of any flaws or inclusions which affect its value. A jeweler or gemologist can make an accurate initial assessment of your ring’s worth just by looking at the certificate.
Settings – Most engagement rings are made of gold, but 10% of recent sales are for platinum rings. The type of gold (yellow, white or rose) its weight and purity will all affect the resale price of your ring. It’s also worth remembering that all precious metals are traded as commodities on the global markets. Their value rises and falls according to current demand.
The purity of gold is measured in karats (spelled carats in Europe). This should not be confused with the weight measurement for diamonds – also carats. The standard karat measurements are: 9K, 10K, 14K, 18K, 22K, 24K. The higher the karat number, the greater the purity of the gold and the higher its value.
Wear and Tear – If you had your old engagement ring for many years, it probably has some wear and tear. Usually this isn’t serious, but it could occasionally mean scratches to the diamond, loose prongs on the setting, or damage to the ring itself. If you’re planning to sell your ring privately e.g. on eBay, it’s worth taking it to your local jeweler for a professional ring clean.
An ultrasonic clean is a quick process that many stores will perform for free. The jeweler can also buff out any light scratches in the metal.Some will charge $20 and you certainly shouldn’t pay more than $50. White gold can be rhodium plated if it looks too tarnished or old. A professional clean is a good investment if you’re going to upload photos of the ring to eBay or show it to potential buyers.
|N.B. Online jewelry buyers like Gemesti won’t lower an offer just because a ring needs a polish or a clean. If they buy your ring and choose to resell it as an original piece, their gemologist will clean and recondition it. If they remove the diamond from the ring for separate resale, the metal setting will simply be smelted for bullion. When you sell to Gemesti you don’t have the headache of cleaning or polishing your ring!|
Sell designer branded engagement rings
It’s always easier to sell an old engagement ring from a well known designer. Second hand buyers are happy to get a prestigious brand name at below the current retail price. Vintage and antique engagement rings can command a high resale price. A reliable online jewelry buying service will immediately recognise the market value of a brand Like Tiffany, Harry Winston or Cartier and make an offer beyond the specific value of the center stone.
The top 10 jewelry brands are shown below. Tiffany, Harry Winston, Cartier and David Yurman are the best known in the US. But there are niche markets for other designer brands, including European names that most Americans aren’t familiar with. One advantage with high end designer jewelry is that the demand for brands isn’t dependent on wider fashion trends. There are always collectors and connoisseurs who are willing to pay for their favorite names.
If you inherited antique jewelry, it’s important to do some research before you approach a buyer. You should get an idea of the value of the pieces themselves, and the current state of the market. If you inherited a set or collection, you’ll need to work out whether it’s better to sell the items as a job lot or as individual pieces.
Top 10 Designer Jewelry Brands in the US
- Tiffany & Co.
- Harry Winston
- David Yurman
- Van Cleef & Arpels
5 Main reasons why women sell engagement rings
In our experience, the main reason why women sell their engagement rings is because the relationship is finished. Divorces and broken engagements account for over 80% of sales. The final decision to sell is often sad, and occasionally bitter. However, once you’re done, it can be a big relief. Whatever your motive for selling, it’s always good to get the money too.
- A relationship has ended
This is the main reason why women sell an old engagement ring. An engagement ring is initially a precious possession charged with emotional value and personal memories. Most women won’t part with a ring unless the original relationship is dead and the ring now holds bad associations. Even if you just want to move on, an old engagement ring is an unwelcome link with the past.
- You need money urgently
From prehistoric times, jewelry was an attractive status symbol. But it was also a form of portable wealth. Jewelry was usually light weight, easily hidden and had a resale value. The second most common reason for women selling engagement rings today is a financial crisis. If you need money for the rent, or just to put food on the table, you may have to make a sacrifice.
- Your tastes have changed
Perhaps surprisingly, women do sometimes sell an old engagement ring because their tastes have changed. This is quite rare, but the brash halo or pave ring that you thought was so stylish when you were 20, might seem vulgar when you reach middle age. The money you get for it could be reinvested in a subtle and elegant solitaire diamond ring.
- You actually inherited the ring.
Many women – and men – who sell jewelry online are selling inherited estate jewelry. Either they don’t want it, can’t afford the insurance, or need the money. It’s not always easy to sell a piece, or a collection, that belonged to a deceased loved one. Working with a professional jewelry buyer like Gemesti can make that process easier.
- The ring no longer fits
Our bodies change as we age. If a ring is too tight, a professional jeweler can enlarge it slightly with a mandrel and hammer. But there are definite limits to how far a ring can be stretched. If you’ve gained several sizes, you may choose to sell an old ring and buy a larger one. If a diamond center stone has special value, it can be reset on a new ring.
|Gemesti’s online jewelry buying service is a family business. We have three generations of experience as jewelry buyers – and we understand the issues. Whatever your motive for selling your old engagement or wedding ring, you’ll be treated with sensitivity, respect and discretion.|
Questions you should ask when you sell jewelry
When you decide to sell an old engagement ring, or any other item of diamond jewelry, there are several questions you should ask the buyer. If you don’t get straight answers, go somewhere else!
Does your final offer include all taxes, fees, commissions, service charges etc?
If a buyer tries to deduct any money from your agreed payment, they aren’t on the level and you shouldn’t do business with them.
Is your buyer accredited with the BBB (Better Business Bureau)?
It only takes a minute to check, especially if you’re visiting a buyer’s website. If they don’t have BBB accreditation, think twice before selling to them. N.B. Anybody can display a BBB logo on a website or store window. If you’re concerned, take another minute to check them out on the BBB website.
Questions you should ask when you sell jewelry online
If I send you my jewelry, is it insured?
Always check that your jewelry is insured to its full value before you ship it for valuation. Your buying service should do this as a matter of course. If you’re concerned, ask for an email detailing the insurance agreement. You can also check out the insurance company itself.
What if I don’t like the final price offer?
If you’re not satisfied with the final offer for your ring, don’t accept it. If you’re dealing with a professional buyer, they will return your item free of charge.
At what point am I obliged to sell my jewelry?
No reputable jewelry buyer will ever put pressure on you to sell. They should be willing to return your item – free of charge – right up to the moment when the sales agreement is signed. Once you’ve uploaded the signed contract, the jewelry becomes the buyer’s property and they will pay you immediately.
What happens if my ring is lost or damaged after I send it to the buyer?
If your ring is shipped by secure FedEx courier, it’s almost impossible to lose track of. When it arrives at the gemologists laboratory, they’ll film the unpacking and checking process. If there is a freak accident or theft, you will be fully compensated by the buyer.
Using an established online buying service like Gemesti is the fastest, safest and most convenient way to sell an old engagement ring. You’ll also get a fair market price that accurately reflects the value of your ring. This includes the market value of the precious metal setting and the diamonds themselves. If you work closely with your customer service manager, you can usually complete the sale and get paid within just 48 hours!
Gemesti customer service team is always available