Do Diamond Rings Have Any Resale Value?

Perhaps you were going through some old jewelry and wanted to see if there was any way to get a good price for a diamond ring or two that you haven’t worn in some time. Maybe you paid a handsome sum for your ring, and times being as tough as they are, you want to sell it to give yourself some breathing room. Are you able to sell your diamond ring? Does it have resale value?

Good news! Diamond rings do have resale value. Unfortunately, the resale value will be much lower than what you originally paid. The resale value will also be lower than the appraisal value. Brick and mortar jewelers and online diamond buyers will appraise your diamond ring and make you an offer that you can either accept or decline.

You see, while you can sell a diamond second-hand, it can be a challenge since most jewelers will not buy them back. There are a few reasons for this that we will cover, but mostly it is because they are simply not an ideal item to be purchased as investments, and they are bought for very personal and often emotional occasions.

Keep reading as we take a look at the resale values of diamond rings, the factors that can influence the price, and how much you might expect to get from your particular ring.

Do Diamond Rings go Up or Down in Value over time?

Unlike some other valuable commodities, diamonds go up and down over time. They are often seen by the investing public as a safe and profitable investment that is on par with other high-end luxury goods and precious metals. This often does not match up with the market values that people see in resale.

Diamond Rings go down in value immediately after purchase.

Just like a new car, a diamond ring is a depreciating asset. This means that the moment you buy it, it no longer has the same value to anyone else, and so it loses that value.

Secondly, they are not very fungible, or liquid, like gold and silver which can be easily stored as coins or bars, and can be sold or traded at almost any time in a variety of markets. This is not the case with diamonds since the resale market is not nearly as liquid, and is nearly always sold for a loss in the short term.

Diamonds go up in value over time.

Generally speaking, diamonds, not the rings, do increase in value over long periods of time. While short term diamond investment is limited to a small number of colored or otherwise ultra-rare diamonds, the value of diamonds has increased by more than a factor of 10 from 1960 to 2015. This is far outstripped by the return of simply investing in Standard & Poor’s 500.

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How do I know how much my diamond ring is worth?

You can determine the value of your ring with just a little bit of math. But remember that it’s really only worth what someone will pay. You may want to make a few stops to local jewelers for offers if they will make one, then compare to White Pine, Worthy, and Abe Mor to see if there is a large variance. See also: How Much is My Diamond Ring Worth?

An easy way to get a ballpark resale value of your diamond ring is to take half of the price you paid initially, so for easy math, we’ll assume you paid $1,000 for the ring when you bought it. So you start with $500, factor in about a 10% loss for depreciation, and an optimistic estimate might be $400 to $450 in a good market.

How Much Can You Resell A Diamond Ring For?

Diamonds, diamond vendors, and potential buyers can vary to quite a large degree, so with that in mind, this is a very difficult question to answer with precision. But with a few considerations, we can probably help you get a close estimate. You are likely to lose some money on the deal, but how much can depend.

The Resale value of a diamond ring is only equal to the market value of the diamond and the setting’s metal. The manufacturer or craftsmanship does not effect the resale price with the exception of luxury brands like Tiffany.

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So if we know that we are going to lose at least a little money, it’s best to try and figure out how much. The actual amount that you will lose versus the purchase price depends on:

  • Where the ring was bought (did you pay retail or buy online)
  • How much the diamond itself is worth
  • How, and to whom, you choose to sell your diamond

You will lose value if you purchased in a retail store.

Most people buy from a traditional brick and mortar jewelry store. This means you paid the market value for the diamond itself, PLUS a lot of added markup percentage.  Here is a breakdown of money you won’t get back:

The Retail Markup

The retail store or jeweler adds the markup to cover their overhead and expenses, to cover things like rent, utilities, payroll, insurance, and so on, just like with most other businesses. The amount of markup will vary but will depend most heavily on the location where you bought the diamond.

Often the markup by the jeweler is the highest. Sometimes, the markup of a brick and mortar jeweler can add 100% to what they paid. Essentially you are paying twice what the jeweler paid!

Everyone who ever touched your diamond inflated your price

Diamond retailers buy their diamonds from a broker or wholesaler. The wholesalers buy them from a manufacturer, who is the one who mines the diamond, as well as often cutting and polishing it for the market. Each step along the way, every link in the supply chain, adds additional cost markup.

Tip: Purchasing online gets you closer to the diamond’s true value.

Now there is an alternative that has emerged in recent years. Online diamond brokers like Blue Nile or James Allen offer their diamonds with a markup of only around 15%-20%. This can lead to paying significantly less overall for your diamond ring. See Where is the Best Place to Buy Engagement Rings Online and Where to Buy Cheap Engagement Rings

What Is The Diamond in your Ring Worth?

Diamonds are valued based on the four C’s, which are cut, color, clarity, and carat. There are other minor factors that can influence the value as well, but these four factors are the primary attributes. When selling a diamond to a buyer who is informed, they will look at the GIA or AGS certificate that comes with the diamond, since this is an evaluation of the diamond’s quality performed by an independent lab.

Jewelry stores and other buyers, in general, will be more apt to buy a high-quality diamond than a poor-quality one. However, even if accompanied by an outstanding lab evaluation, it will be worth less than the retail amount you paid for it.

Don’t have a certificate? Then read this: Can I sell my diamond ring without a certificate?

Where To Sell Your Diamond Ring

This is one of the most deciding factors. Even if you have a perfectly cut, flawless, 0.5ct diamond that should be worth $2,000, its value is ultimately limited by what someone is willing to pay you for it. If the highest offer you can get is $600, you have a $600 diamond. Often brick and mortar jewelers will not even offer to buy diamonds, since they do not want to make such an insulting offer (a pawnshop might though).

There are many companies that will buy pre-owned diamonds, and some of the most well-known include Abe Mor, White Pine Diamonds, and Worthy. While White Pine Diamonds and Worthy are often reasonably close to each other in their offers, Abe Mor is known for having a more generous appraisal.

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To Sum It Up

When it comes down to it, yes, your diamond ring or other diamond jewelry has resale value. If you no longer have any use for them and getting something for them is better than donating or giving them away, or if things are tough and you simply do not have much else to sell, then you can certainly get some money for them. Just be sure to get a few offers, if possible.

As an investment option, however, stay away. Their illiquidity and largely below-average return on investment essentially guarantee that your funds would do better in precious metals like gold or silver, or even the stock market. Not only are they hard to sell, but they also don’t hold enough value to make the effort worth it in the long run.

Carl A. Jones, GIA GG

Carl A. Jones is a GIA Graduate Gemologist with over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. He is an independent jewelry appraiser. He specializes in determining the value of diamonds and advising consumers on how to buy quality diamond jewelry.

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