If you’ve decided to sell a diamond ring, you’ll need an idea of what it’s actually worth before you approach a buyer. The easiest way to determine the approximate resale value of a diamond ring is to deduct 30% from the original purchase price. There are other ways to achieve a more precise self-evaluation for your ring, which take into account market conditions, the cut of the diamond, type of precious metal, and consumer demand. We’ll look at these below, but applying the 30% rule is a great starting point.
Why the 30% rule?
If you bought your diamond ring from an ordinary retailer e.g. a high street jeweler, you were the final link in a long supply chain. The 30% rule deducts the profit that the jeweler made when he sold the ring to you. It also takes into account any benefits or security the jeweler may have received from a sale or return agreement with a supplier.
Any professional jeweler or gemologist can quickly establish the exact market value of a second-hand diamond ring. Obviously, they’ll try and offer you the lowest possible price, but they know that if you settle for 70% of the resale price, they’ll still make an acceptable profit on the deal. You might feel like you’re losing out, but if you were to sell any other piece of property such as your car, or furniture – you’d make a similar loss. Outside the art and antique world, very few items ever appreciate in value.
If you’re not prepared to lose approximately 30% on the sale, you can try to sell the ring independently. One option is online auction sites like eBay or personal stores like Etsy. This brings its own challenges and complications, which we’ll look at in a future blog post.
What if I don’t know the original price of my ring?
If you don’t know the original retail price of your ring, it’s not a major problem. Not everybody has the original store receipts or has a recent insurance evaluation. You can have your ring professionally appraised (this should never cost more than $100 and is sometimes offered as a free service by jewelers). If your diamond engagement or wedding ring was a gift, or you inherited jewelry, it’s quite possible that you won’t know the actual value of each item. It’s worth bearing in mind that the result of a professional evaluation can come as a shock to some would-be sellers. For every lucky seller who discovers that her diamond ring is worth a lot more than she imagined, there are plenty more who go home disappointed. When people decide to sell estate jewelry or inherited items, they sometimes find that the perceived value of a diamond ring or necklace is in fact a bit of ‘family mythology’.
Top Tip: If you take your diamond ring to be valued, ask the jeweler if the diamond has been laser engraved. Some diamonds have a certificate number micro-etched onto the girdle (the thin perimeter that divides the crown from the pavilion). Any laser etching will be visible only under x10 magnification and not to the naked eye. If there is a certificate number etched into your diamond, you’ll be able to find out the most important details like the exact carat weight and measurements in millimeters; the shape and cut; color, clarity and cut gradings; and the polish, symmetry and fluorescence, etc.
Understanding diamond certification
There are a handful of well-established diamond and gemstone institutes that offer professional appraisals and certified grading for loose (unmounted) stones. One of their gemologists, or an accredited appraiser, can examine any diamond and issue a standard certificate listing the stone’s characteristics. Each certificate is numbered and entered into a database.
The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) AGS (American Gem Society) and EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) are three of the best-known. US jewelers generally prefer to see GIA and AGS certificates and consider them to be the most accurate.
If you have a GIA or AGS certificate, it’s a quick and convenient way for a jeweler to determine the resale value of a diamond ring. The gradings are clearly defined and are universally accepted. If you don’t have a certificate, it’s not a problem; but you will have to rely on a professional appraisal to determine the value of your jewelry. Bear in mind that if the appraiser realizes that you want to sell, he may deliberately undervalue the diamond: Keep your wits about you and be prepared to get more than one appraisal if you’re not satisfied!
Is a second hand diamond worth less than a new diamond?
Second-hand diamonds are not worth any less than new diamonds – providing that they are undamaged. A diamond is an ornamental item and doesn’t suffer conventional wear and tear, or a loss of function, like most consumer durables. The only possible issue is that fashions change and some cuts are less popular than they were even a few decades ago. The actual price difference between new and secondhand diamonds is down to jewelers’ need to meet their overheads and make a profit.
When you’re calculating the resale value of a diamond ring, check the cut of your center stone. The most popular cuts in 2021 are:
- Round cut (brilliant)
- Princess cut
- Cushion cut
- Oval cut
- Emerald cut
- Radiant cut
- Asscher cut
- Pear cut
Don’t worry if your diamond center stone isn’t currently one of the most popular styles. There is also a strong market for vintage jewelry. If you have an old European cut diamond, old mine cut diamond, or an antique rose cut diamond, you’ll probably still get a good price. The popular Asscher, emerald, and cushion cuts also come in distinctive vintage styles that attract collectors and buyers with a traditional eye. If an appraiser or buyer tries to tell you that your ring is out of date, or isn’t fashionable enough to command a high price, get a second opinion or do your own research.
Can I increase the resale value of a diamond ring?
There are a few small tricks you can apply to get a higher price for your diamond ring, but don’t expect to significantly increase its value. You’ll still be operating within an established price range. At best, you’ll be able to nudge any final offer towards the top end of the price range.
If you’re selling a ring, or any item of diamond jewelry, independently e.g. on eBay, it’s probably worth your while to get it professionally cleaned and polished. A jeweler will usually be able to clean your ring with a special ultrasonic cleaner. The ring is placed in a tank containing a cleaning solution. A motor produces ultrasonic vibrations that break up all the tiny particles of dirt and grease that adhere to the jewelry. The result should be a sparkling diamond ring that looks brand new. The jeweler can also give the precious metal setting a professional polish. This will eliminate any minor scratches or flaws in the surface and leave the gold or platinum gleaming.
If you’re selling online, you can also invest in some professional photography. You’ll be competing with hundreds, perhaps even thousands of other sellers. Top-quality digital photographs, with professional lighting and the correct background, will showcase your diamond ring to its best advantage. Many potential buyers will be swayed as much by their first impression of the ring as by the price and certification.
Choose the right time to sell your diamond ring
Second-hand jewelry prices respond to market conditions and follow the basic principles of supply and demand. If you don’t need money urgently, it may be worth watching the market and picking an opportune time to sell. Generally speaking, if the economy is strong, there’s full employment and people have money to spend, the second hand market will be buoyant. If there’s a recession, or the economy is shaky, there may still be plenty of buyers – but there will definitely be more sellers. This is usually the time when people try to convert disposable assets like diamond jewelry into cash. The resale value of a diamond ring is likely to fall.
Whether the economy is weak or strong, there are certain times of the year when demand for diamond engagement and wedding rings grows. The first is the period before Valentine’s Day on February 14th. It’s the biggest romantic event of the year and a time when many couples get engaged. Putting a diamond ring on the market in the month before Valentine’s Day can sometimes result in a fast sale.
The next big event is the summer wedding season. If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere (including the US) this is usually May to September when over 70% of weddings take place. Offering a ring for sale, even from April, can catch a summer wedding buyer. If you missed out on the summer season, there is often a surge in demand in the run up to Christmas. It’s also a time of year that sees a rush of marriage proposals, and there is the usual Christmas shopping for luxury gifts.
The easiest way to sell a diamond ring
If you’re looking for a fast and convenient way to sell your jewelry and you don’t have the time or expertise to try and calculate how much it’s worth, your best solution is to sell it to a professional jewelry buyer like Gemesti. They’ll give you the optimal balance of convenience, speed, security – and a fair market price.
|The Advantages of Selling your Diamond Ring to Gemesti|
|Convenience||All transactions begin online and are continued by email or telephone.||Your customer account manager will work with you closely.|
|Speed||You can usually complete the sale and get your money within just 48 hours of filling out a simple online form.||The Gemesti diamond buying service covers the continental USA in conjunction with FedEx.|
|Security||All jewelry is shipped free of charge by a secure FedEx overnight courier service.||Your shipment is covered by free insurance worth up to $100K. Each package is opened and checked on film for extra protection|
|Fairness||All diamonds and jewelry receive an independent appraisal at the EGL USA Gemologists Laboratory. Your offer is calculated according to the independent gemologist’s report.||Gemesti operates a highly efficient, streamlined internet business. Our low overheads allow us to give clients a highly competitive price.|
|Flexibility||You can withdraw from the sales process right up to the moment that you sign the sales agreement. Your ring will be returned free of charge and with no questions asked.||Over 80% of Gemesti clients are happy to accept their final offer and complete the online sales agreement the same day.|
|Payment||Gemesti will give you the highest possible market price for your diamond jewelry. Your money will be transferred to your account the same day.||Your customer services manager will personally confirm that your money is transferred to your account and will then update you.|
|Credibility||Gemesti is accredited by the Jewelers Board of Trade and the Better Business Bureau, and has outstanding customer feedback.||Gemesti is a family business with 3 generations of experience in the jewelry industry. We built our business and reputation by pleasing our clients.|
If you’ve decided to sell your diamond ring, it pays to deal directly with the professionals and to avoid the hassles and security risks associated with selling independently. When you’re dealing with an established and validated jewelry buying service, you can rely on them for a fast convenient sale and a fair market price – with immediate payment.
When you work with Gemesti, your diamond ring will be evaluated – free of charge – by one of the USA’s best-known and most respected gemologist laboratories. There is no need to take your ring to local jewelers or start trying to research the value of specific cuts, carat weights, and other gradings. Nor do you need to worry about professional cleaning, photography, or how to sell your ring independently on eBay or Etsy!