Selling an Engagement Ring: Why, How, and Where
There are many reasons why someone might choose to sell their engagement ring. If you’re considering selling your engagement ring, keep these helpful tips in mind.
There are several circumstances where you might want to sell an engagement ring – some unpleasant and some rather innocuous. Regardless of why, those seekers have created a secondary market for pre-owned engagement rings, and there are many opportunities to sell. If you need to unload an engagement ring, you have plenty of options.
Why Sell an Engagement Ring?
An engagement ring is more than just a piece of jewelry: it’s a symbol, a promise, a commitment. Engagement rings are chosen with care – buyers often spend hours searching for a piece that’s just right for their future spouse.
So an important question is why you’d want to sell an engagement ring in the first place. If they’re so important, what’s the reason for getting rid of it?
Called Off Engagement.
Unfortunately, things don’t always work out as planned in matters of the heart. An engagement can be called off for many reasons: family issues, lies coming to the surface, financial problems, dwindling romance, and more. Regardless of why, the end of any engagement usually removes the need for an engagement ring, and a previous fiance or fiancee will want to get rid of the jewelry.
Divorce may be one of the most painful things anyone can experience. An engagement ring can be a very painful reminder of a failed marriage, and selling it can not only recoup some cash but get rid of an emotionally charged piece of the relationship.
It Wasn’t What They Truly Wanted.
Because engagement rings are one of the most important pieces of jewelry you’ll ever buy, it’s important to get it right. If someone isn’t happy with the first ring they got, it’s a fine choice to sell it and go for something that fits.
It’s Old Family Jewelry.
Sometimes you might come into possession of an engagement ring that isn’t yours! Maybe you got it from an estate sale, or inherited it from a relative. If you can’t find a place for it, these pieces can be very unique and therefore highly sought after – perfect for the secondary market.
Do People Really Buy Used Engagement Rings?
Yes! It may seem like buying a used engagement ring carries bad luck. Superstition aside, not all engagement rings come from couples who didn’t work out. Sometimes a person just wanted a different ring or could be getting rid of it after someone’s passing. Still, others may not actually be used at all, but overstock that dealers are offloading.
Similar to buying a used car, the value proposition of a used engagement ring can’t be ignored. Spending less on a ring frees up money for other priorities or financial goals. Think a bigger wedding, a longer honeymoon, or just ordinary living expenses for newlyweds. The sustainability aspect is also attractive to some buyers of used engagement rings. Since there are no questionable supply chains or environmental practices when buying used, it appeals to those who value a sustainable choice.
How Much Can You Get?
It can be hard to say exactly how much you’ll get from selling an engagement ring. However, an important stat to note is that a typical diamond engagement ring will resell for around 20-60% of its original value. Keep in mind that this is the pure resale price. If you sell to an outlet or pawn shop, you will typically get less as they take on the work of actually selling the ring.
Ring value is mainly determined by the value of the stone, which is why diamond rings tend to have the highest resale value. Diamond value is determined by a number of factors:
Diamonds follow fashion trends, and certain styles fall in and out of style over time. Classic designs like round shapes remain consistently popular, whereas marquise or heart-shaped diamonds are less in demand.
The 4 Cs:
Cut, color, clarity, and weight. Perhaps the most important of these is lab-grown versus natural diamonds, with natural stones claiming noticeably more value. Some lower-quality stones are also “drilled and filled.” This means they are filled with a clear substance that makes them appear more pristine. This is an attractive option when buying new on a budget, but one that can lower the resale value.
This is how a diamond’s origins can be authenticated. Some high-end brands inscribe a microscopic code into the base of the diamond, assisting with authentication and, therefore, resale value.
Not just of the stone itself, but of prongs, the band, and any accessory stones. Nicks, dings, and cuts can all affect your appraisal.
Other materials can sell for significantly less. Morganite, for instance, can sell for 10% of a diamond of similar weight.
Another thing to keep in mind is where you originally bought the ring. Jewelry stores sell diamonds at a markup; this is how they make their money. They’re also salespeople and may use “creative” techniques to inflate the actual value of the diamond when selling it to you. So don’t be surprised if an appraisal comes in at significantly less than what you paid.
Where Can You Sell an Engagement Ring?
The used engagement ring market is very diverse, with many in-person and online options available for prospective resellers. There is consensus on one thing: avoid selling to a pawn shop if possible. Because pawn shops are built on a business model of absorbing risk and paying cash, you will get significantly less for your ring there. Pawning a ring is only advised for desperate circumstances, and even then, it’s wise to buy it back later and resell it elsewhere.
Pro Tip: Get Your Ring Appraised First
Before doing anything, you should have the ring appraised by a qualified jeweler. A pawn shop or local jewelry store can provide an appraisal, but it’s important to take care to get the best value for your ring. If there’s a lot of potential money at stake, going to a dedicated appraiser is your best option. Organizations like the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers make it easy to find a qualified pro in your area. An appraisal is relatively inexpensive at around $50-150, and the small upfront cost can pay off in getting you a better deal.
Try Your Local Jeweler
If you go into your local jeweler with a used ring, you may receive an offer on the spot. However, since many jewelers prefer to sell new rings, you may get a very low offer.
Online Engagement Ring Resale Marketplaces
Your best bet is to sell on a dedicated online marketplace like I Do Now I Don’t or Worthy. These companies are dedicated entirely to the used jewelry market and provide the infrastructure and professional guidance to get your ring to a buyer as quickly as possible.
Generic Online Marketplaces
You can also try selling the ring yourself on eBay, Craigslist, or a comparable online marketplace. But bear in mind that these marketplaces lack the authentication techniques or professional stature of a true reseller. Your ring’s value on one of these sites may be much more subjective. Selling expensive jewelry to a stranger also comes with obvious safety risks. So be sure to meet in a public place and be extra careful.
So, now you know pretty much all there is to know about selling your engagement ring. If you’re looking for a safe and reputable place to get the best value for your ring, one of these options should work well for you. Thanks for following our guide on how to sell an engagement ring!
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