Are you ready to let go of the past, declutter, and make a pretty profit?
Of course you are. Here’s what I want you to do:
Take a walk into your bedroom, open your jewelry box, and find that one piece of jewelry collecting dust at the bottom.
Maybe it’s a pair of untouched antique earrings you inherited from great aunt Mildred — the ones you’re wondering if you’ll ever actually wear (you won’t)…
Or the diamond necklace you got for your birthday 10 years ago that couldn’t be further from your style (sigh)…
Or maybe it’s the engagement ring that hung around long after your ex did.
Dig deep into the jewelry box, dust off that dazzling diamond, and sell it for all it’s worth.
I’ve written here about why you should sell your wedding ring, and how.
That might be an easy decision for some, but letting go of the remnants of your relationship can be painful.
What about a piece of jewelry you never wear but are sentimentally attached to?
Antiques from family are tricky, and there are a lot of factors to consider as you decide whether or not you should sell your heirloom and estate jewelry.
If you find yourself ready (like I did) to part ways with your diamond but wondering where to start, this post is for you. Or, you can use Worthy, my favorite diamond buyer, if you want to get an appraisal and sell your jewelry now. You may also be interested selling your gold jewelry, coins or other scraps. Keep reading!
- Where can I sell a diamond or a diamond ring near me?
- Understand what your diamond is worth
- Top 5 diamond buyers
- How to sell gold
- Diamond Buyers International
- WP Diamonds
- International Institute of Diamond Valuation
- What about diamond upgrades or trade-ins?
Where can I sell a diamond or diamond ring near me?
Traditionally, people interested in selling their diamond ring or jewelry went to a local, trusted jeweler, perhaps gathered a few quotes around town, and went with the best offer.
Today, you can still do that, but there are easier ways to ensure you get the highest price for your loose diamond or diamond ring.
How do I sell my diamond near me for cash?
If you want to start with a quote from a local, check out Yelp, ask friends, and search the Better Business Bureau for diamond buyers in your area. Bring all documentation for your item, and never commit to a sale without a second opinion.
What about selling to an online diamond buyer?
Today, there are many online platforms that will help you sell your diamond jewelry and diamond ring. While many are reputable and safe, Worthy is unique in that it is a marketplace, or a jewelry auction that will professionally photograph your jewelry, provide a 100% free certified lab report from GIA or IGI, and market your item on a live auction to hundreds of vetted buyers around the world. Often, this means driving up the price to a true market rate, opposed to defaulting to a single offer from your local jeweler, or another diamond buyer.
Understand what your diamond is worth
Grading and valuing a diamond is a sophisticated process, one that requires a professional expert and benefits from sophisticated laboratory technology. That said, there are some basic tools and terms that anyone can use to make sure they understand any price quoted for their diamonds, and help you understand what your diamond is worth.
How to tell if a diamond is real
While a microscope can definitively determine whether a diamond is real, here are a few tricks to know whether you have a fake diamond:
- Drop the stone into a glass of water. If it floats, it is fake. A real diamond will skink.
- Use the fog test: Blow a warm breath on the stone. If it fogs for a few seconds, it is a fake, as a real diamond will disperse the fog quickly.
- Heat the stone with a lighter, then drop into a glass of cold water. A fake diamond will shatter, while a real diamond — one of the strongest materials on Earth — will resist very extreme temperatures.
- Check the setting. If your diamond is set in a piece of jewelry, the materials of that ring, earrings or bracelet are probably high-quality, including gold, white gold, or platinum. Precious metal jewelry is usually marked. Gold is marked 10K, 14K, and 18K to indicate the type of gold, while PT and Plat refer to platinum. The numbers 585, 770, 900, and 950 also indicate platinum or gold.
4 C's of diamonds
The 4 C's are a well-recognized foundation for measuring the quality and value of your diamond.
Cut is simply the way the cutter cut the diamond, and the skill and precision of the cutter's work. The more precise the cut, the more beautiful the diamond is to look at.
The color of gem-quality diamonds occurs in colors ranging from completely colorless (the rarest of diamonds), to shades of yellow (also called “canary diamonds) and brown (“cognac diamonds”). Colorless diamonds are the rarest. Rare, “fancy” diamonds that are naturally blue, red, and pink are graded on their own, separate scale.
Diamonds usually have internal flaws called inclusions, or external characteristics known as blemishes. Diamonds without inclusions or blemishes are rare; however, most characteristics can only be seen with magnification. This is the diamond clarity scale from the American Gem Society:
The carat is the diamond’s physical weight measured in metric carats. One carat equals 1/5 gram and is subdivided into 100 points. Carat weight is the most objective grade of the 4Cs.
GIA or IGI certification
The best way to ensure you get what your diamond is worth is by getting a formal, certified appraisal from the GIA or IGI. These are internationally known, independent laboratories, equipped with expert gemologists and the latest technology with which they measure, grade and offer a market price range based on recent sales. These are the most trusted lab reports in the world, and will cost you around $200 for a 1-carat diamond ring, with the price going up based on diamond size.
Worthy, as you will read below, is unique in that it sends all diamonds and jewelry to IGI or GIA for an independent, third-party certification. This is 100% free of charge to you, and you can keep the report in the event you decide not to go through with the sale. This report also increases transparency and trust on the Worthy marketplace, and helps drive up the price, as auction bidders know exactly what they are bidding on.
What is GIA Report Check?
Because there is so much opportunity for fraud in the jewelry industry, the Gemological Institute of America has created its GIA Report Check, which is a database of reports it has issued, which you can check against. So for example, if you are buying a diamond from a retailer, or an antique store or someone online, and that seller offers what they claim is a certified GIA lab report, you can check for free whether that report is authentic by quickly entering a certificate number on GIA's website.
Top 5 diamond buyers
When it comes to selling your fine jewelry, there’s no shortage of scammers on the market.
Determining which diamond buyers to avoid and which ones to trust is daunting.
I’ve taken the guesswork out of bartering your baubles, researching the good, the bad, and the ugly in the diamond-selling world.
And I found that there are some wonderful, reputable diamond buyers who will make letting go a little bit easier (or, in some cases, a LOT easier!).
Relax, read on. These companies top the list of the 5 best diamond buyers on the market.
Topping the list, as you may have already guessed is my go-to answer for selling your diamond, Worthy.
Featured in Forbes, the New York Times, and Inc., and touting an A+ from the Better Business Bureau, Worthy has established itself as the premier diamond buyer in today’s market.
Worthy tops the competition because it’s a true marketplace, meaning the company sells your diamonds in an online auction with global buyers.
Worthy says it best on their website.
Behind every action, the diamond company stands on:
“Transparency, Integrity, Privacy, Convenience, Stellar Service, and High Value Deals.”
Let’s look at some of those values a little more closely, and I’ll tell you why I support Worthy so much.
Pros and cons of Worthy.com
When you sell with Worthy, you’re kept in the loop every step of the way.
As soon as you enter the dimensions and description for your diamond on their website, Worthy sends you a trending price of similar items recently sold. This is a dollar sum you can expect to receive based on the information you sent through the site.
Once you mail your diamond jewelry to Worthy, they send it for official appraisal at the Gemological Institute of America (the most credible, world-renowned appraiser on the market). There the GIA will create an official report about your jewelry and diamond, including its dollar value.
Also, at every single step of the process, you receive email and text notifications of the location of your jewelry. You never have to worry about it being lost or stolen, as it is sent through FedEx, and insured for $100,000.
If your diamond is appraised at least $1,500, you’re eligible to sell on Worthy.
And even if it doesn’t or you opt out of selling with Worthy, you’ll know how much your ring is actually worth.
Your item will then be put to the company's global marketplace, where hundreds of professional diamond buyers will bid for your jewelry. This is an important part of the process, because it ensures that you get top, market price for your jewelry.
By comparison, if you were to sell to a local jeweler, or one of the other top-ranked diamond buyers on the Internet, you are at the mercy of just one appraisal and one quote.
Is Worthy.com safe?
Aside from getting your money’s worth, security is likely at the top of your list of concerns.
I took a trip to Worthy’s headquarters recently and saw that video security made sure that all items received and shipped there are accounted for. Rooms, where jewelry was received and appraised, were very tightly controlled.
Again, Worthy insures your diamond up to $100,000 and ships it with FedEx. You receive tracking information every single step of the way.
What if I change my mind with Worthy?
Like I said, selling with Worthy is a very easy process.
With a Paypal payment system, Worthy processes payments in 1 business day.
If your buyer does a bank transfer, you’re guaranteed your money within 2 business days, and with a check, you’ll receive payment within 5 business days.
Here’s how Worthy works:
Get started with Worthy here.
After you get your appraisal from GIA, you have a few options:
- Your first option is to sell your diamond for GIA’s appraisal price. You’re then guaranteed by Worthy to receive that minimum price. If it ends up selling for more, you’ll get the highest value.
It’s a pretty safe bet if you’d prefer to leave it to the experts.
- If you think your diamond is worth more than the appraisal, you can set your own minimum. The catch here is that the market value isn’t guaranteed.
The piece may end up selling for higher or lower than GIA’s estimate. It’s then up to you to decide which bid to accept.
- Your last option is to create a buy-it-now price. If you’re really ready to ditch your diamond, you can set a price which, once offered, will automatically win the bid and close the auction.
How fast do you get paid with Worthy?
You can get a PayPal transfer within 1 business day, bank transfer within 1 business days, or a paper check will be sent within 5 business days.
How Worthy makes money
Worthy makes its money from commission. Rather than offering a flat fee, Worthy’s rates change based on how much your diamond is worth.
$1500- $5,000 = Worthy gets 22% of the total in commission
$5,001 – $50,000= 15%
$50,001 – $250,000 = 10%
$250,001+ = 5%
Worthy customer service
Worthy’s customer service representatives are dedicated to answering any questions you might have about selling your diamond.
Type in Worthy.com right now, and once you land on their homepage you’ll get a pop-up chat from the customer support team.
If you choose to interact with them there, you can connect via phone or text.
These representatives are friendly, easily accessible, and extremely knowledgeable about what they do.
If you need more convincing, go to Worthy’s site and read the hundreds of reviews posted there.
And next time you’re in NYC, schedule an appointment to see for yourself!
Bottom line: Worthy is a boss in the diamond buying business. There is a reason their brand recognition has skyrocketed in just a few years. They really are the leaders in price, customer service, customer experience and overall quality.
How to sell gold
What if your diamond is smaller but still worth selling? What about a gold, platinum or silver wedding ring or bridal set?
You may have been really excited reading about Worthy, right up to to the point when I said they only buy jewelry worth $1,500 or more.
Like diamond engagement rings and other fine jewelry, the marketplace for selling gold online has grown and improved tremendously in years. Whether you are selling your gold jewelry, ring, dental fillings, gold coins or silver, CashforDiamondsUSA is an a quality business worth checking out.
How CashforDiamondsUSA works
Like Worthy, CashforDiamondsUSA operates on a pretty straightforward system. A few years ago I searched for places to sell gold near me, as after my divorce I had a small gold and diamond ring that I no longer wanted.
I checked out CashforGoldUSA.com because it has a B+ BBB rating, and was found by a Fox News investigation to pay out three times its competitors. It was really easy:
- I just went to the site, entered my address, and waited for a mailer to arrive.
- Two days later I received a USPS mailer in the mail. You can also opt to use a FedEx label. Both insure your item for up to $1,000, and come with a tracking number.
- Popped my ring in the mailer, and then the mail.
- Later that week, I got an email with an offer for my ring. I accepted and recived a PayPal payment within 24 hours.
That was my experience, but you can set up the process by email or phone.
Like I did, you can opt for an email offer, which you’ll receive as soon as your diamond is appraised.
You can then accept or reject it online.
Accept, and your check is mailed within 24 hours. Decline, and you’ll get your jewels back with priority shipping.
You can also get a call from the company with your offer. Whether you accept or decline, you’ll get your check or ring back ASAP.
So here’s the breakdown of the best and worst qualities of CashforDiamondsUSA.
Pros of CashforDiamondsUSA
- Established with over 10 years in the business
- B+ Better Business Bureau rating
- Simple, straightforward selling process
- Opportunity to make money on less valuable diamonds
- Meticulous expert appraisals (they don’t just accept any diamond!)
- Referral program: Get $25 when you refer a friend!
Cons of CashforDiamondsUSA
- One person evaluates your diamond and gives you a flat rate vs Worthy’s plethora of buyers setting high-value bids.
- Not your best option for selling expensive, high-carat diamonds
- While the process is easy, the website isn’t too user-friendly
- You may want to check out local jewelers, gold buyers or other places that buy gold near you, though pawn shops pay pennies of what CashforGoldUSA or Worthy pay.
Bottom line: If your diamond is modest and you’re ready to see it go, you should give CashforDiamondsUSA a try.
How it works:
Diamond Buyers International
Diamond Buyers International is another established buyer to consider. Like the others on this list, Diamond Buyers International has a straightforward process for selling your diamond jewelry and loose diamonds.
How Diamond Buyers International Works
Diamond Buyers International is a mail-in buyer similar to CashforDiamonds.
At Diamond Buyers International, you just submit your diamond dimensions, request an estimate, receive a complimentary mailer, and ship those diamonds.
Okay, there’s a little more to the process than that.
What about security?
Like Worthy, Diamond Buyers International uses FedEx to ship its packages and ensure their safety.
To insure their safety, Diamond Buyers provides up to $5,000 coverage on your diamond (Worthy insures up to $100,000).
That’s where the similarity to Worthy ends.
Diamond Buyers International appraises your diamond, promising to make an offer within one business day.
You can then either accept or decline their offer online.
If the deal meets your needs, you can accept your payment via a mailed check, direct deposit, or PayPal.
If you decide to hang on to your diamond and try selling elsewhere, it will be shipped back to you promptly.
Pros of Diamond Buyers International:
- A+ Better Business Bureau rating
- Instant online quote within an hour of sharing your diamond description
- Streamlined and secure mail-in process
- Diamonds appraised by GIA
- User-friendly website with interactive appraisal tools
- 30-day guarantee: if you change your mind within 30 days, they’ll return your diamond in exchange for the money, no stipulations.
Cons of Diamond Buyers International:
- Diamonds are only insured up to $5,000, as opposed to Worthy’s $100,000 coverage.
- Again, what you get is based on one appraisal as opposed to hundreds in a global auction.
- Limited ability to contact customer service
- Vague commission prices without clearly defined rates
Bottom Line: Diamond Buyers International is a good mail-in option for selling your diamond quickly with a fair appraisal assessment.
WP is a popular diamond seller, and it’s easy to see why.
With a BBB rating of A+ and a credible reputation in the diamond market, WP Diamonds is fair and reliable.
And unlike some of the other buyers we’ve reviewed, they specialize in diamonds.
So, if you have a diamond that’s at least half a carat, you might want to look into WP Diamonds.
How WP Diamonds Works
WP Diamonds stands out because of its exhaustive appraisal.
At WP, you don’t mail in your ring and get a quote with a flat insurance fee on your package.
Instead, you provide as much information on your ring as you can, from carat weight and color to appraisal papers if you have them.
Then, the diamond experts determine an insurance policy and cost based on those factors.
With a rough estimate in mind, you mail in your diamond and wait for an official offer.
While WP might take a little bit longer, their meticulous process can benefit you in the long run and get you the most money.
You then take or leave their offer, either receiving money or your diamond back based on your decision.
In this sense, WP Diamonds is like Diamond Buyers International; however, unlike their competitor, WP Diamonds offers no guarantee period.
Once you accept the offer, the deal is closed and you can say goodbye to your diamond.
Pros of WP Diamonds
- A+ BBB Rating
- Security ensured by FedEx round-trip shipping and insurance up to $100,000
- Close contact with appraisal team throughout the process
- User-friendly website and appraisal tools
- Meticulous appraisal process
Cons of WP Diamonds
- Like all the mail-in services on this list, WP bases your price on one appraisal, not a market’s worth like Worthy.
- WP doesn’t use GIA or other certified outside appraisers, but an in-house appraisal team.
Bottom Line: WP Diamonds is great if you’re looking for a local jeweler type of experience with a credible and qualified buyer, but is limited beyond that. Read my complete WP Diamonds review.
International Institute of Diamond Valuation (IIDV)
IIDV, or the International Institute of Diamond Valuation, is a recently launched branch of De Beers, and its Diamond Trading Company subsidiary. De Beers is the oldest and most powerful diamond company in the world.
With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and an abundance of expertise, of course IIDV makes the list.
Let’s look at how they work and why you might deal your diamonds with them.
How International Institute of Diamond Valuation works
Using GIA as its appraiser, IIDV aims to acquire your diamonds in exchange for a fair price.
IIDV's site is clean and simple to use, walking you through the whole process on the home page.
Basically, here’s what you do:
- Fill out the online form (including a pic of your diamond)
- Ship your package with IIDV’s complimentary mailer (within 7 days of receiving it)
- Get your quote (within 24 hours of IIDV receiving your package)
- Log in to your IIDV account to accept or decline the offer. If you accept, you’ll be asked to upload a photo ID and can choose between a check or direct deposit.
Like the other sellers in the list, IIDV offers you the option to decline.
Let’s look at some of the pros and cons beyond the process.
Pros of IIDV
- A+ Better Business Bureau rating.
- Secure FedEx shipping
- Payment in 3 business days by transfer, or a week by check. Your jewelry will also be opened under video surveillance.
Cons of IIDV
- Again, you’re getting money based on one person’s valuation, not a whole marketplace.
- Your ring may be taken from the setting during evaluation, and if you decline the offer, they may mail it back unmounted.
- You don’t necessarily get documentation of your appraisal findings, just an offer.
- The website limits its information on factors like IIDV’s commission or the process of declining their offer.
Bottom Line: IIDV was birthed from one of the most reputable diamond dealers in the world. They’re credible, certainly, and they’ll pay great attention to pricing your diamond fairly.
But their buyback information is vague, and they might not be the most obliging if you decline their offer.
Overall, between the ability to reach hundreds of vetted buyers internationally, excellent customer service, and a fast, secure process, Worthy stands out above the rest.
What about diamond upgrades and trade-ins?
Local jewelers, as well as some national jewelry stores offer diamond upgrade and trade-in services, in which they will evaluate your jewelry, offer you a sum that you can then apply to another, more expensive piece of jewelry — allowing you to upgrade your diamond.
Where to trade in and upgrade your diamonds:
- Kay Jewelers
These are legitimate jewelry retailers. But if you are looking to sell your diamond ring or other jewelry for the most cash, upgrade and trade-in services are not the best route. Why?
- A local jewelry store — including a national chain — will not provide a certified lab report on you jewelry. A lab report is the only way to guarantee the dimensions of your diamond, and authenticate the price offered is a fair market rate. Even an appraisal is not the same as a lab report.
- In other words, Kay Jewelers, Jared, Nordstron or Zales will extend an estimated value of what your diamond is worth — but you have no way of knowing what you could get for it on the open market
- If you really want cash for your unused or unwanted jewelry, don't let a sales person talk you into getting a BIGGER, MORE EXPENSIVE piece of jewelry, when what you really want is cash.
- Ready to cleanse your life of bad mojo? Those negative vibes may attach to the new upgrade.
Conclusion: Just trade your diamonds for cash!
Jewelry buyback companies
|Jewelry buyer||Multiple auction bids?||Free GIA report?||BBB rating||Insurance||Other types of jewelry?||Best for ...|
|Worthy||Yes||Yes||A+||$100,000||Yes— all types, including watches||You want top dollar, quick, for jewelry worth $1,200+|
|Cash4GoldUSA||No — one price offered, take it or leave it.||No||B+||$1,000||Yes, with focus on gold, silver, diamond scrap and low-end jewelry||You want to sell jewelry, coins or scrap metal worth $1,000 or less|
|WP Diamonds||No — one price offered, take it or leave it.||No||A+||$100,000||Yes, but main focus is diamonds||A good company, but Worthy is better|
|Mondiamo (BlueNile)||No — one price offered, take it or leave it.||No||A+||Insured, but unclear for how much||Diamonds only||Go to Worthy|
|Diamond Buyers International||No — one price offered, take it or leave it.||No||A+||$5,000||Diamonds only||Fine for diamonds, but Worthy is better|
|International Institute of Diamond Valuation (De Beers)||No — one price offered, take it or leave it.||No||A+||Insured, but unclear for how much||All types of jewelry||Go to Worthy|
Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post's ‘Must Read” list.
Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer.
A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.