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How to sell diamonds and not get ripped off

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If you’re thinking about selling your old diamonds or diamond jewelry for cash, there are three steps you should take before you sell, which I detail below.

This post also elaborates on setting your expectations for resale, as diamond prices are at historic lows:

3 steps for reselling diamonds and diamond jewelry:

Here are some tips about how to sell diamonds to help you prepare for when you are ready to part with your jewelry:

1. Educate yourself about the value of your diamond

A diamond’s value is determined by a variety of factors, the most important of which include the stone’s color, cut, clarity, and carat. More on that below.

You can get a diamond certification from a lab like GIA, which takes time and will cost a couple hundred dollars, or use invoice information from the original purchase.

However, most people learn what their diamond is worth by asking a reputable local jeweler or pawn broker, or by getting a quote from an online diamond buyer.

Martin Rapaport is founder of the Rapaport Diamond Report and the RapNet online diamond trading network — both of which are the industry standard for diamond prices and trends.

Rapaport told me he recommends people looking to sell their diamonds research comparable stones for sale on a site like BlueNile. He says you should expect to fetch about 30% of the retail value when you sell.

Diamond resale prices jumped 31% during the pandemic to a peak in April 2022, but have fallen significantly since then, despite recent efforts by top gem producers to bolster prices.1

Why? 

  • Softening U.S. economy 
  • Increased popularity in lab diamonds
  • Fewer people buying engagement rings, with young adults marrying less and opting for less traditional engagement rings

“High inflation and interest rates continued to restrict middle America’s spending … China’s post-lockdown recovery did not extend to diamonds,” Rapaport said.

Prices continue to drop and inventory levels stay high despite sanctions against large caches of Russian rough diamonds.

While the 2023 holidays saw diamond prices uptick, they they were still down more than a third since their 2022 peak, and far below prices five years ago:

IDEX May 4, 2024 report.
IDEX May 4, 2024 report.

2. Get a diamond appraisal (maybe)

A diamond appraisal is a document that specifies the key characteristics of a diamond and its setting, including carat, color, clarity, cut and measurements, and gives a dollar value estimate of its retail value (not resale value) — whether for insurance purposes, or to determine its value on the resale market.

You can get a jewelry appraisal for any piece of fine jewelry or watch, though since they cost $50 to $200+, it only makes sense to get one if your item would sell for at least $1,000.

A diamond certification, also called a diamond grading report or a diamond lab report, is a document that details the technical aspects of a diamond. This information helps an appraiser, buyer or insurer determine a diamond’s value in the current market.

Lab reports are only available from a handful of reputable, internationally recognized jewelry laboratories including GIA and IGI.

A diamond lab report gives you, the owner of the diamond, peace of mind that you got what you paid for and helps you understand the exact specifications of your diamond. Some diamond buyers only work with sellers who have lab reports.

3. Evaluate all reputable diamond buyers

Now that you know what you have and an idea of what it might be worth, you are ready to consider selling your diamond by researching diamond buyers online and near you.

We put together a list of the best online diamond buyers, with pros and cons for each option. Selling in person to a local pawn shop or jeweler is also an option if you need cash immediately, though in our experience, payouts aren't as high as selling online.

Diamonds USA (formerly CashforDiamondsUSA), is our top choice for selling diamonds online, since they accept:

  • Diamond rings with a small center stone of any size
  • Wedding ring with lots of small diamonds in the setting (more here on selling a diamond engagement ring)
  • Engagement ring with small diamonds or other gemstones in the setting
  • All other diamond, gold, gemstone or even silver jewelry and coins

These are some recent sales from Diamonds USA as of January 2024:

$1,500 – White gold engagement ring with 1.29 carat center stone with a clarity I1 with color J-K w strong fluorescence:

You can sell an engagement ring on CashforGold, like this 1.29 carat white gold ring, which sold for $1,500.

$1,200 – 2.7 total carat weight gold bracelet:

$445 – 1.16 total carat weight engagement ring:

However, there are some cases in which DiamondsUSA might not be your best choice.

If your center stone diamond is at least .5 carat and perhaps also from a brand like Tiffany or Cartier, you might also check out Worthy, myGemma, and Abe Mor.

If you're not ready to sell your diamond but need the cash, consider a jewelry loan from a company like Diamond Banc. Diamond Banc will also buy your jewelry outright (similar to a pawnbroker).

Understanding diamond value: How much are diamonds worth?

As you learn more about how to sell diamonds, naturally you will want to know what your diamonds are worth and how much you can sell them for.

Grading and valuing a diamond is a complex process, one that requires a professional expert and benefits from sophisticated laboratory technology. 

The price you will receive for any diamond, no matter where you sell it, depends on many factors, including the size, clarity and cut of your diamond, as well as the market demand for your gemstone — not to mention the honesty and integrity of the buyer.

It is also very important to keep in mind that the resale value of a diamond (or any fine jewelry) will be much less than what you paid for it, retail.

That said, there are some basic tools and terms that anyone can use to to understand how a diamond is priced:

Diamond buyer DiamondsUSA

4 C’s of diamonds

The 4 C’s are a well-recognized foundation for measuring the quality and value of your diamond. A diamond grading chart is helpful in determining value:

Color

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.

GIA color scale on post about how to sell diamonds.
Source: GIA

Clarity

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 side-by-side with the Gemological Institute of America’s (GIA) clarity grading scale:

Gemological Institute of America's clarity grading scale on post about how to sell diamonds.
Source: GIA

Carat

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 4C's.

Cut

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.

In the 4 C’s, cut refers to the precision with which a stone is faceted by the diamond cutter. However, the word cut also denotes the shape of the diamond — and some shapes are more popular, and therefore more valuable than others.

Here is a chart of shapes and prices for different, popular diamond shapes with similar characteristics, from BlueNile. It will help you understand the value and worth of round brilliant-cut diamonds, princess (square), emerald (step-cut rectangle), marquise diamonds, and other shapes:

Diamond price by shape from BlueNile on post about how to sell diamonds.
Source: GIA

FAQs about diamond resale

If you are selling diamonds, here's what you need to know:

How much can you sell diamonds for?

At the end of the day, your diamond is worth what someone is willing to pay you for it at that moment. Considering the rapid rise and fall of diamond prices in recent years, I suggest selling sooner than later before prices fall further.

While diamond resale can be intimidating and stressful, you can always walk into your local jeweler and see if he or she will buy your jewelry or loose diamond for cash — and take the offer on the spot.

However, it can be more profitable to sell a diamond ring or other diamond jewelry online from one of the top diamond buyers, who will send a FedEx or USPS mailer to your door for free, and overnight your item to their offices for evaluation, appraisal and quick payment.

How do I sell my diamonds for the best price?

In our experience, selling to a reputable online diamond buyer will get you the highest price for your diamonds. However, if you need money immediately, you can sell to a local pawn shop or jewelry store.

One-carat diamond: How much is a single 1-carat diamond worth? How much can you sell a 1 carat diamond for?

Typically, only the center stone of your ring or necklace will hold any significant resale value, and the surrounding gold or platinum, and small side stones are considered scrap. You will only get the melt value of that setting.

As of , the spot gold value in the United States was trading at $ per ounce, or $ per gram. 

Here is a recent retail diamond value chart for a single 1-carat, brilliant (round) loose diamond on BlueNile. Note the range for all qualities of 1-carat stones range from $2,473 to $12,317 for a perfect, colorless 1-carat diamond:

Blue Nile diamond chart on post about how to sell diamonds.

Note these are retail prices for loose, 1-carat diamonds sold to buyers. Resale prices will be much lower.

One-carat diamond resale value: $1,036 to $5,946, depending on clarity, color and shape

Two-carat diamond: How much is a 2 carat diamond worth?

Again, diamond resale values are based on the size and quality of the center stone, not total carat weight of all the diamonds in the piece. 

Two-carat diamond resale value: $2,167 to $15,254

ngle diamond earrings. Almost all diamonds bought by a buyer are removed from their setting and resold to jewelers.

Half-carat diamond: How much is a .5-carat diamond worth?

According to BlueNile, half-carat loose diamond retail prices range from $310 to $5,759. If you sell via Worthy or Diamonds USA, your diamond’s resale value is likely a few hundred dollars or less.

Quarter-carat diamond: How much is a .25-carat diamond worth?

A high-quality quarter-carat diamond may retail between $500 and $1,000, but diamond resale value will be about a third of those numbers.

How much are diamond earrings worth?

Typically, a single stone of carat weight of .5 carat is worth more than $1,000. Keep in mind that is for ONE stone — not the total carat weight of all the stones in your diamond or gold earrings.

Smaller stones are typically worth less than $100 total, and people are often surprised to find that the setting is worth more in resale value than the diamonds.

Like any fine jewelry, the gold or platinum in which the stones are set are typically with the scrap value — which in many cases is more than the value of small diamonds.

Diamonds USA, sister site of CashforGoldUSA, recently purchased these 1.34 carat G SI2 diamond earrings for $2,500:

Pair of diamond earrings bought by Diamonds USA on post about how to sell diamonds.

Can you sell one diamond earring, or can you pawn one earring?

Yes, you can pawn or sell single diamond earrings. Almost all diamonds bought by a buyer are removed from their setting and resold to jewelers.

How much is a 2-carat diamond tennis bracelet worth?

At Worthy, a tennis bracelet with about 1.62 total carat weight of round diamonds with clarity ranging from H-I, SI1-SI2, as well as 28.55 grams of 14K yellow gold sold for $1,000.

How much is a 3 carat diamond bracelet worth?

A gold and diamond bracelet has 50 round natural diamonds weighing 3.15 – 3.50 carats with clarity ranging F-G and VS2-SI1 respectively and almost 29 grams of 18K yellow gold was sold by Worthy.com for $4,718.

Abe Mor reviews 2024: Is this a legit place to sell jewelry?

How much is a 4 carat diamond tennis bracelet worth?

Worthy.com sold at auction for this tennis bracelet with 49 round diamonds of 4.15 – 4.60 total carat weight with color and clarity of H-I to SI1-SI2, and 15.5 grams of platinum. It sold for $2,350.

How much is a 5 carat diamond tennis bracelet worth?

Worthy recently sold a tennis bracelet with 30 round diamonds of total carat weight of 5.13 – 5.70 carats with color and clarity ranging from SI2 to I1 and 20.1 grams of platinum. It sold for $3,011.

How much is a baguette or trillion-cut diamond worth?

A baguette diamond is a long, 14-facet diamond typically used as an accent or side stone on a solitaire ring, or as part of an eternity band, while a trillion is a triangle-shape generally used as a side-stone in a piece of fine jewelry. Each of these shapes are typically not worth more than a few hundred dollars, though a larger baguette or trillion of high quality can be worth more.

Other factors, such as the diamond’s history (in the case of an antique stone, for example) and underlying market conditions can also affect the end price for a stone. A diamond certification will typically detail much of the specific information about a stone, while a diamond appraisal will use that information along with other data to assign it a value.

Are flawed diamonds worth more or less?

Flawed diamonds, including flawed diamond rings, are worth less than diamonds with a higher quality color and clarity. Inclusions inside a diamond, as well as scratches and chips on its surface, can decrease a diamond’s value. 

Keep in mind that all but the very, very highest quality and most expensive and rare diamonds have some inclusion or imperfection.

What are the imperfections in diamonds?

There are two types of imperfections in diamonds: inclusions and blemishes. Inclusions are internal imperfections that occur during the formation of the stone, such as: 

  • Crystals – Diamond or mineral embedded in the stone
  • Feathers – Tiny fractures inside of a diamond
  • Uncrystallized carbon – Dark spots that create a salt and pepper effect inside of a diamond

Blemishes occur after the formation of the diamond, typically during the manufacturing process, and can include chips and scratches to the diamond’s surface.

It is 100% normal and common for diamonds to have imperfections. Almost every diamond has imperfections. The clarity grading of a stone is determined by how visible these imperfections are.

Who buys flawed diamonds?

All natural diamonds have some flaws in them, though the fewer flaws — a.k.a. inclusions — generally mean higher quality and higher value. Flawed diamonds are just diamonds that are bought by jewelry stores, pawnshops, and retail and online diamond buyers.

What are melee diamonds? Are melee diamonds worth anything?

Melee diamonds are very tiny diamonds that are commonly used as accents, or in pavé, halo and channel settings. Eternity bands often use melee diamonds.

Diamond resale value for tiny diamonds are much less, and they are often sold based on their collective weight for hundreds of dollars or less. Sellers often find that the gold or platinum setting of a diamond ring is worth as much or more than the actual diamonds.

A full carat’s worth of melee diamonds is worth between $200 and $1,000, depending on the size and quality.

Where can I find melee diamond buyers?

If you want to sell melee diamonds, we recommend selling them to Diamonds USA, which purchases all diamonds, regardless of their size, condition, branding, or artistic value.

You can also sell melee diamonds to other online diamond buyers, on consignment, on sites like ebay, and to some local jewelry stores and pawn shops.

Diamond accents: Are diamond accents worth anything?

Accent stones on a ring or other piece of fine jewelry are simply the smaller side stones complimenting the larger center stone. Accent stones are often melee diamonds, but not always.

A high-quality quarter-carat diamond may retail between $500 and $1,000, but diamond resale value will be about a third of those numbers. Typically, accent stones are not worth anything — though the center stone as well as any gold they are set in are sellable.

Any diamond less than .10 carats is sold based on its weight, like melee.

Diamond buyer DiamondsUSA

Chipped diamonds: How much is a chipped diamond worth?

If your diamond is small — less than .5 carats — a chipped diamond is not worth much. However, larger diamonds, especially those that are high-quality, may be of interest to a diamond buyer who believes they can recut the diamond into a gem they can sell for a profit. However, the price they will offer you will be less than if the diamond is not chipped, of course.

What is the best way to sell diamonds and diamond jewelry?

If you are ready to sell your diamond jewelry or loose diamonds, our top place to sell diamonds is an online diamond buyer: Diamonds USA.

  • Free door-to-door FedEx shipping
  • Pays within 24 hours
  • 10% bonus when you send in your diamond or jewelry within 7 days
  • Appraisals are performed by the Gem Institute of America
  • A+ BBB rating 
  • 100% guarantee highest price
  • Founded in 2005 and paid out millions of dollars worth of gold, diamonds and other fine jewelry and watches, including Rolex watches

However, if your diamond is large and worth at least $1,000, start with one of the other places recommended like Worthy, myGemma, or Louped.

How to sell your diamonds for cash to DiamondsUSA

DiamondsUSA is among the most reputable diamond buyers on the market, and easy to use:

  1. Go to DiamondsUSA and request an appraisal kit, including a FREE prepaid overnight FedEx mailer delivered to, and picked up from your door. Your item is insured in transit up to $100,000 by Jeweler's Mutual insurance. Lloyds of London insures the Diamonds USA facility.
  2. Once received, you will get a confirmation email or call, and Diamonds USA evaluates your item and extends an offer.
  3. Once you accept the offer, get paid within 24 hours.

Send in your item within 7 days and get a 10% bonus. Best price guarantee.

If you choose to decline the offer for whatever reason, Diamonds USA will immediately return your item for free, no questions asked.

Learn more about this company in our review.

Where can I sell diamonds near me?

Many people start their diamond-selling journey with local businesses near you. These might include:

If you want to start selling a diamond 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 (like a GIA or other diamond grading report), and never commit to a sale without a second opinion.

Do jewelers buy diamonds?

Yes, jewelers often buy loose diamonds, diamond rings and other jewelry — as well as provide insurance-replacement appraisals.

Do pawn shops buy diamonds?

Yes, pawn shops buy diamond jewelry and loose diamonds, though typically for far below what a jeweler or online diamond buyer will pay.

Bottom line: Is now a good time for selling diamonds?

While diamonds have historically held their value, in recent years, several factors have resulted in a decline in diamond values thanks to the influx of lab-grown diamonds, a softening economy and general trend of big bling going out of fashion.

However, looking into 2024, the meta trends mentioned above stand to put downward pressure on all diamonds — including those in the resale market.

So, should you sell your diamond now?

On one hand, you may choose to hold on to your diamond and sell in the event prices go up, or you may choose to sell your diamond now before prices drop further.

On the other hand, you can sell now and invest the money you earn in another investment that has a high return: the stock market, a high-interest savings account, real estate, or education to grow your career.

Regardless, if you need the cash now, sell those bad vibes. Start the process now with DiamondsUSA >>

Cubic zirconia vs diamonds: What to know before you buy


Sources

  1. Diamond sales are back after miners froze the market to boost collapsing prices,” Dec 18, 2023. Business Insider. https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/commodities/diamond-sales-market-rebound-debeers-india-alrosa-miners-price-crash-2023-12
How much are diamonds worth?

The price you will receive for any diamond, no matter where you sell it, depends on many factors, including the size, clarity and cut of your diamond as well as the market demand for your gemstone, as well as the honesty and integrity of the buyer!

How much is a single 1-carat diamond worth?

Typically, only the center stone of your ring or necklace will hold any significant resale value, and the surrounding gold or platinum, and small side stones are considered scrap. You will only get the melt value of that setting.

What is the best way to sell a diamond?

Our top place to sell diamonds is an online diamond buyer.

Do jewelers buy diamonds?

Yes, jewelers often buy loose diamonds, diamond rings and other jewelry — as well as provide insurance-replacement appraisals.

Do pawn shops buy diamonds?

Yes, pawn shops buy diamond jewelry and loose diamonds, though typically for far below what a jeweler or online diamond buyer will pay.

Is now a good time to sell diamonds?

While diamonds have historically held their value, in recent years, several factors have resulted in a decline in diamond values:
– General decreased interest among younger buyers who are more interested in paying off debt and investing than in big engagement rings
– Environmental concerns of diamond mining
– Rise in popularity of quality lab-grown diamonds that cost a fraction of the real deal

How much can you sell a diamond for?

Your diamond is worth what someone is willing to pay you for it at that moment. Considering the rapid rise and fall of diamond prices in recent years, I suggest selling sooner than later before prices fall further.

13 Comments

If a company offers you 10% more to send it in within 7 days they are already undercutting the value just common sense.. I sent in two diamond rings one well over a carat and the other 3/4 carat to them they offered price was a joke Im talking basicly over gold spot then when I said send send them back they keep writing what would you take, took over 2 months to get them back

Are yellow diamonds fashionable now? This one is 2 carats, mine cut (old) in pave’ & yellow gold.

Great information and now I discovered your site and you! Awesome.
A question on the selling a diamond ring. What’s the difference between selling to Diamonds USA and worthy? Are you saying it’s better to sell diamonds that are worth more than $1000 to Worthy?

Worthy only accepts diamonds that will sell for about $1,000 or more, and sells via an auction platform. Diamonds USA does not have a minimum and will offer you a flat sum for your diamond.

I have a 5.91 carat diamond, Nile says is it worth $150,000. Worthy auction went to $41,000 less 10% commission. I want to know if I can sell my diamond myself to an individual who will get a real deal.
Is there somewhere I could post it online for people all over the world to get a chance to buy it at greatly reduced price? It is GIA evaluated.

The Nile price is retail, while the Worthy quote is to a wholesaler, and is in-line with diamond buy-back prices. Feel free to get a quote from your local jeweler or CashforGoldUSA to see what they offer.

I have an antique pin. Gold color that has three fairly nice size diamonds in it. I’d like to see about getting it appraised. Where would I do that? And then sold. I’m a bit leery about sending this away because of theft purposes. I am 65 years old and this was my grandmother’s aunt’s. Think I said that right.

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