Are online jewelers all scammers?
- Top online sites to sell your gold and jewelry
- Where to sell jewelry: Worthy
- Where to sell gold and jewelry: CashforDiamondsUSA & CashforGold USA
- Selling your jewelry locally vs online
- Before you sell gold or jewelry, here are some tips
- Get your jewelry appraised
- How to sell jewelry for cash
- Should you sell your gold, diamond or jewelry online?
- Which is the best online jewelry buyer?
Do you have fine, unworn jewelry or watches cluttering your jewelry box, or safety security box?
Many people inherit necklaces, earrings, brooches, gold jewelry and coins, and watches from loved ones — items that may have complicated emotions attached, no matter how lovely or valuable they are.
Jewelry is an unusually complicated commodity.
It is often gifted between people who have very strong feelings for each other — whether familial or romantic.
Price tags are often high, and the fashion fleeting. Most people don't know how to value their items, and the risk of fraud and getting ripped off is high.
For those who choose to sell jewelry they no longer want or use, all these complications can be crippling.
So, you likely do nothing, let the items sit, unused in the back of your closet, or cluttering your drawer or dresser top.
If you are lucky enough live in a large town or city, you may have a number of jewelers or pawn shops you can ask about the value of your jewelry or watch, and go with the highest price.
But even then, you are limited to a handful of buyers.
Thankfully, there are some excellent, reputable online jewelry buyers where you can easily sell your jewelry, and feel confident you got a high price.
But you still need to research all your options and work with the most reputable jewelry buyers, several of which are noted below, including my go-to recommendation, Worthy.com.
Here is what you need to know about selling jewelry online:
Top online sites to sell your gold and jewelry
There are hundreds of places online that will buy your gold, diamond, and other jewelry. Below I break down the pros and cons of the top, most reputable jewelry buyers. You will see that we mostly feature online jewelry buyers. While there are certainly many reputable, honest local jewelry stores, selling your jewelry online really is the best. Whether you have gold, diamond and other fine jewelry, selling to an online jewelry buyer or via an online auction gives you the best chance to get the highest price, and with the most convenience and trust.
Here is a quick comparison of top buyers:
Where to sell jewelry: Worthy
By far, the most advanced online jewelry buyer is Worthy.com. which we recommend for diamond and other fine jewelry that worth at least $1,500.
Unlike other sites, Worthy is a marketplace and sells your jewelry, watch or diamond on an online auction — which ensures that you truly receive the highest market price (because it is a market of hundreds of buyers from all over the world who determine the price — not just one jeweler).
How to sell jewelry online with Worthy.com:
- Go to Worthy.com, and get a free estimate for your engagement ring, earrings, watch/timepiece, bracelet or other diamond or fine gold or gemstone jewelry.
- After you enter your information, Worthy will send you a free, insured FedEx or USPS mailer that you can track online. In a few days you will receive a free GIA certified appraisal with all the specifications of your item, and an estimate of how much your item will receive in auction.
- Once you approve the parameters of the sale, watch the auction bids roll in, and see how much your item earned.
- Receive payment by Paypal within 24 hours, or a check or bank transfer within a few business days.
Here is why I like Worthy:
Excellent customer service
From the moment you go to Worthy.com, a customer service representative connects with you via chat.
From there, you are connected via phone and text to a very nice representative who will answer all of your questions and help you throughout the process.
Quick and easy payment
Once your jewelry is sold, money is transferred within 1 business day via Paypal, 2 business days via bank transfer, or a check can be mailed within 5 business days.
You can get an estimate for your item within a few seconds by plugging in the dimensions and other qualities of your jewelry.
From there, Worthy.com sends you a FedEx mailer, and alerts you every step of the process, so you always know exactly where your jewelry is.
Your jewelry or watch gets evaluated and appraised for free from GIA, or the Gemological Institute of America, a world-recognized laboratory known for its on unbiased, scientifically proven jewelry appraisal.
Whether you chose to ultimately sell your jewelry through Worthy or not, this appraisal is yours to keep.
This is an independent, very respected third-party appraisal — not some guy on the payroll lowballing you with an “estimate.”
Not only is your item sent through FedEx, but it is also insured for up to $100,000.
I have visited the Worthy headquarters in New York City, and I will tell you: security is on lockdown.
It takes three extra security steps just to get up to the company's offices, and once there, all of the rooms where the jewelry is inspected, received and shipped must be accessed by security pass.
No messing around with your jewels!
Top price / multiple buyers
Between the GIA report, and the fact that your jewelry or diamond goes to a global marketplace, means you have the greatest likelihood of getting the fairest and highest price for your item.
This unique marketplace model means that Worthy.com brings literally hundreds of potential buyers to your laptop — something you absolutely cannot do yourself.
You are in control
Once you receive your GIA value estimate, you have three options:
- Sell your jewelry immediately at the price they recommend, for a guaranteed sum. In this case, Worthy honored this minimum price, sells the ring online, and in the event it sells for more than the estimate, you receive the highest price.
- You set a minimum price higher than the Worthy-recommended minimum, then send it to market, to see what the market will bring — which could be lower or higher than what they quoted. You decide at the time of sale whether to accept the highest offer.
- Set a buy-it-now price. If a buyer bids in this amount, the item will sell immediately and the auction will end.
Worthy buys all your jewelry, as long as the minimum price per item is higher than $1,500.
This includes antique and vintage jewelry, gemstones, watches, designer items, including necklaces, earrings, brooches and bracelets.
Customer service and experience really are exceptional at Worthy.
Any fears you may have about your jewelry being lost or stolen are quickly set aside, during the evaluation and auction process, you are in constant contact with a member of their staff via phone, chat, email and text.
Worthy makes its money by taking a cut of the transaction value, or the price your jewelry fetched at market.
This is what makes Worthy unique; the other buyback sites simply offer you a price, and you do not know what the company's commission is.
Worthy's jewelry-buying system is more transparent in this way.
If your jewelry received a bit of up to $5,000 = Worthy takes 22% of that amount as its commission
$5,001 – $50,000= 15% fee
$50,001 – $250,000 = 10% fee
$250,001+ = 5% fee
How do I know Worthy is a legit business?
Worthy has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, as well as hundreds of testimonials on their site, and around the web. If you are in the New York City area, or plan to be, you can make an appointment and visit them in person. Tell Judy I sent you.
I sold a ring on Worthy, and had a really good experience. Here is a step-by-step video of how it works:
Where to sell gold and jewelry: CashforDiamondsUSA and CashforGoldUSA
If your jewelry is modest, there are other options.
Worthy doesn't buy items worth less than $1,500, including all-metal (gold, silver or platinum) items like chains, gold bands or other jewelry with small gemstones, or metal-only, without gemstones.
Get an estimate of your gold jewelry online with the gold calculator at CashforGoldUSA.com.
You can sell these items quickly, easily and safely for a high price with CashforGold and CashforDiamondsUSA. Both companies are owned by C.J. Environmental, a 20-year old company that has a Better Business Bureau rating of B+, and was found by a Fox News investigation to pay three times its competitors.
In my jewelry box was a lower-valued gold and diamond ring that a relative had given me when I married. Time to go!
From past research I’ve done as a business journalist on selling gold jewelry (including dental fillings. I’m not kidding), I know mail-in services like this can be a good deal, as can your local pawn shop and other gold buyers near you.
Just research them first.
I decided to try CashforGoldUSA.
How to sell jewelry online with CashforGoldUSA
It was really easy.
- On the CashforGoldUSA site, I plugged in my name and address on their website.
- Within three days I received a USPS mailer. You can also request a FedEx mailer. Both come with tracking numbers.
- I stuck the ring in the mailer, dropped it in the mailbox.
- A few days later I received an email with an offer for $159, which I accepted.
- A $159 PayPay payment within 24 hours. You can also get paid by check or bank transfer. BOOM! Ring was sold.
This video does a good job explaining how CashforGoldUSA works:
Pros of CashforGoldUSA
- Easy process
- Legit company with a B+ Better Business Bureau rating
- One of the older companies in the space, having opened shop in 2005
- Quick way to make some extra cash for low-end jewelry, scrap, coins, dental and other forms of silver, gold and platinum, as well as diamond jewelry and loose diamonds.
- You decide whether you want to accept their offer, or not
- Earn $25 when you refer your friends to CashforDiamonds or CashforGold
Cons of CashforGoldUSA
- If you can get over the dated website design, you'll see the user experience isn't the most modern.
- Unlike Worthy, the price they offer is based on one evaluation — not hundreds of auction bidders.
- Generally not a fit for high-end or designer jewelry
You can also sell your gold and silver jewelry, coins, silverware (and dental work!) through CashforGoldUSA, the parent company (which has nothing to do with the scandal-ridden Cash4Gold, which was embroiled in lawsuits and scandal for its 2009 Super Bowl ads).
Other places to sell jewelry
While we recommend Worthy for higher-end jewelry, and CashforGoldUSA for fine gold jewelry, as well as lower-cost items, there are other reputable online jewelry buyers, too. The following is a list of reputable websites and online buyers to check out:
Where you might sell jewelry: WP Diamonds
WP Diamonds is another big player in the jewelry and watch resale space, though, as the name suggests, they specialize in diamonds.
WP Diamonds has a solid reputation as an online jewelry buyer, and promises to get you a fair price for your diamond or gemstone jewelry, loose stones (diamonds of at least .5 carat) and watches.
However, theirs is a more traditional buyback platform, in that WP Diamond's in-house expert will evaluate your jewelry, and then make an offer. Take it or leave it.
Just like taking your precious jewelry to one local jeweler, you get just one estimate for what your item is worth at WP Diamonds.
WP Diamonds pros
- Reputable company with a high BBB rating
- Clean, easy-to-use site
- Easy process, including FedEx round-trip shipping, and $100,000 insurance
- Chose to do business via email or phone
WP Diamonds cons
- The evaluation is done by an internal appraiser, not a neutral third-party laboratory like GIA, which Worthy uses.
- There is just one offer, not a price set by a dynamic marketplace
In summary, WP Diamonds is a reputable diamond and jewelry resale company, that has been around for a long time. However, their model is simply an online version of the local jeweler, which is inherently flawed and limited for ensuring you get the best price for your diamond, jewelry or watch. You can read my WP Diamonds review if you want to learn more about this company.
Where you might sell jewelry: Mondiamo
Mondiamo is new to the diamond buyback market, though its parent company, BlueNile, is a leader in the online diamond engagement ring world.
Similar to other sites, go to Mondiamo.com, plug in all the information you know about your jewelry, including any certified grading report.
Then as long as this information proves to be accurate, the company guarantees a minimum price.
- They are backed by a reputable online diamond retailer, and have an Better Business Bureau rating of A.
- Good-looking website.
- Fully insured FedEx delivery — both from you to Mondiamo, as well as returns, when relevant.
- This is a new company, so there isn't a lot of track record of customer experience.
- They only deal in jewelry with a diamond of at least .3 carats, which limits which jewelry you can sell through Mondiamo.
- Unlike Worthy where hundreds of buyers compete for your jewelry, there is just one offer that you can accept or reject.
- The customer service is not as thorough and transparent as Worthy.
- The guaranteed price minimum does not account for the fact that a certified evaluation may discover the jewelry is actually worth more than the initial price.
- That offer is good for just 7 days, after which you have to start the whole process over again.
- Since there is a .3 carat minimum, smaller stones or gold-only jewelry would best be sold through CashforGold or CashforDiamondsUSA.
In short, Mondiamo is a solid company that brings the BlueNile experience full circle (I'd love to hear a full-circle story about a ring that was bought and then resold via this partnership!).
However, it is a younger company and it does not offer the customer service or other benefits found on Worthy.
Where you might sell jewelry: Diamond Buyers International review
Diamond Buyers International only deals in diamond jewelry and loose diamonds, so if you have any other kind of jewelry, head to Worthy or elsewhere.
The process is similar to some of the other sites: Go to DiamondBuyersIntl.com, get an estimate, request a mailer, and send in your diamond jewelry.
Then, according to the site:
Your Secure FedEx package is insured for up to $5,000, and we'll send you a tracking code as soon as it hits the FedEx system. You'll receive a notice as soon as we receive your package, and an official offer within 24 hours.
You’ll receive our offer within 24 hours via email with an automatic secure login to accept or deny the offer. If you accept, we’ll send a check, direct deposit, or PayPal payment of your choosing instantly. If you deny, we’ll send your jewelry back at no cost, no questions asked.
Like most other jewelry buyers, Diamond Buyers International's commission is mysterious — an unknown percentage of the fee you agree to.
Diamond Buyers International pros:
- This is an established business, founded in 2008 and has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating.
- 30-day review period
Diamond Buyers International cons:
- They insure jewelry you ship up to $5,000, whereas Worthy insures any jewelry you send up to $100,000.
- You're at the mercy of the company's appraiser to generate the suggested price. Compare this to Worthy.com, which puts your jewelry on an international marketplace, where hundreds of buyers compete for your valuables.
- The website is old and not very user-friendly, and there is very minimal information about the company and their processes and policies.
- No chat or text correspondence.
Takeaway: Diamond Buyers International is a solid site, but there are much better options out there with more dynamic sites, services and opportunities to get top-dollar for your jewelry.
Where you might sell jewelry: IIDV, aka the International Institute of Diamond Valuation (De Beers)
IIDV is a newer outlet for selling diamonds and other fine jewelry online, but the company has a higher visibility than other sites because its parent company is De Beers, one of the oldest, and the largest diamond mining, trading and retail companies in the world.
IIDV, like other diamond buyback companies and jewelry buyers, has a clean website where you request a mailer, and send your jewelry into their New York City headquarters for valuation.
International Institute of Diamond Valuation has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating. They promise that payment will arrive within three business days if you chose bank transfer, or a week, if you request a paper check. Like other companies, your jewelry will be shipped safely by FedEx, and the packaged opened under video surveillance. The company partners with several dozen jewelers across the country, where you can take
Unlike Worthy, which sends your jewelry to GIA for a third-party evaluation with a corresponding price range, IIDV evaluates your jewelry in-house.
The company does not provide you with any documentation of your evaluation.
Also, IIDV removes the stone from your setting, to better evaluate the stone.
The website does not explain what happens if you decide not to accept their offer, and whether re-setting the stone may compromise the setting. (GIA does not unmount stones.)
In fact, another con of IIDV is that the website is very limited, with few educational resources about the diamond selling process, and limited information about IIDV's services or policies.
Other negatives about IIDV include that you are at the mercy of the company's pricing, as opposed to an auction marketplace like Worthy where hundred of bidders set the price.
In this case, the world's largest diamond wholesaler gives you a single quote, take it or leave it.
De Beers, the parent company, has for more than 100 years been the world's largest diamond producer, and largely controls diamond prices globally.
Takeaway: IIDV has a high BBB rating and its parent company is a huge player in the diamond industry. They don't seem to be highly invested in their buy-back service, which lacks in both information and services available from their competitors.
Where you might sell jewelry: The Real Real
TheRealReal.com is an excellent online luxury consignment site.
From the consumer standpoint, this is an excellent portal of gently used, high-end and designer furniture, rugs, clothes, accessories and fine jewelry and watches.
Consignment means that you, as the seller, go through the website to create an account and send in your watch or jewelry.
From there, you meet virtually with one of the Real Real's in-house gemologists, using GIA standards, and agree on a price.
The Real Real then takes photos of the item, and posts it along with important details and the price on their site.
Once the item is sold, you receive payment, minus the consignment commission.
In this case, The Real Real takes 30% of the sales prices for jewelry priced at $1,000 or more, and watches listed at $1,000 to $2,400.
Watches priced at more than $2,500 come with a 15% commission paid to the company.
Receive a 5% bonus if you chose to take the profits in the form of site credit.
Items priced at $200 and less are subject to a 50% commission fee.
Items not sold within a year are sent back to the consignor at The Real Real's expense.
The Real Real pros
The Real Real is a solid company with good customer service and an A+ BBB rating.
The process is transparent, since you can see what the listed price is, and know up-front what the consignment fee is.
Jewelry priced at $750 and more can be subject to a ‘price approval' by the seller.
The Real Real cons
Fine jewelry and watch sales are not the sole focus at this company, but just one. In other words, TheRealReal is not a full-service jewelry buyer.
The site's fine jewelry selection is varied, with many styles, prices and brands, but with a special focus on branded, luxury items — and styles that the team is confident will sell for a high price, quickly.
Meanwhile, other sites like Worthy focus very narrowly on fine jewelry, lose gemstones and diamonds, and watches, which means that unlike The Real Real, Worthy will accept jewelry regardless of the setting, as long as the stones are marketable.
In other words, you are much more likely to sell your item via a site like Worthy than a consignment site which will only want the most current trends, or high-end designers.
At the Real Real, you do not get a free valuation.
Their grading report is generated in-house, not by a neutral third-party laboratory.
Payments are made just once monthly, so it can be up to 30 days before your payment is made.
Acceptance and price are set by The Real Real alone. As long as the item is listed, The Real Real may choose to discount your item.
Takeaway: This is a cool site for shoppers, but may lack the depth of services for sellers.
Where you might sell jewelry: The Diamond Valet
TheDiamondValet.com is a stripped-down version of other, much more robust diamond buyback sites.
The Diamond Valet has a B- rating with the Better Business Bureau, which reports the jewelry buyer has been in business since 2013, though the website says the company has more than 100 years of jewelry business experience.
Pros of The Diamond Valet
Cons of The Diamond Valet
- Just one estimate, unlike the marketplace model
- Payment takes longer since they only send paper checks — no PayPal or bank transfer.
- No third-party appraisal. You are at the mercy of the price they offer you.
Where you might sell jewelry: Sotheby's
Sotheby's Auction house is one of the most famous, traditional places where high-end art, furniture, jewelry and other collectibles have been sold to collectors, galleries and very rich people.
Sotheby’s boasts that it has sold 4 out of the 5 most expensive jewels ever offered at auction:
- “CTF Pink Star,” a 59.60ct oval-cut Fancy Vivid Pink diamond sold in 2017 for $71.2 million at Sotheby's Hong Kong.
- “Apollo & Artemis diamonds,” a 14.54ct Fancy Vivid Blue diamond and a 16ct Fancy Intense Pink diamond for $57.4 million at Sotheby’s Geneva.
Today, you can sell jewelry that is valued for as little as $2,000 or $3,000 at Sotheby's — which can be exciting!
Pros of Sotheby's
- Glamorous association. Trusted name.
Cons of Sotheby's
- Selling through Sotheby's is not truly an auction experience, but rather consignment — you are just listing your item on their site for others to buy. No exciting live auction experience.
- Commissions at international auction houses are typically 25%
- You pay upfront for listing and grading your jewelry. No free lab report or listing, like Worthy provides.
Where you might sell jewelry: Christie's
Similar to Sotheby's, Christie's is a known and trusted international auction house with locations throughout the world. Christie's sells jewelry through 26 auctions per year, as well on its website, and through private sales at it's “Christie's Salons” in London and New York. These private sale salons are simply showrooms where estate jewelry is for sale at a retail prices starting at $2,000.
Pros of Christie's
Trusted, known brand with an international customer base. Get a free auction estimate by submitting photos online. A sales associate will help you decide whether your item is best served for sale by auction, private or online sale.
Cons of Christie's
Christie's does not provide free auction estimates for items it does not want to represent, including jewelry.
You pay shipping.
Expect an estimate in 3 to 6 weeks — and then wait for a sale or auction weeks or months later. This is much slower than Worthy.com which can sell submitted jewelry within a week.
Before you sell gold or jewelry, here are some tips
Whatever reason you are researching how to sell your jewelry online, it is no doubt a big decision, and there may be a fear of getting ripped off. Before you start, here are some tips to educate yourself:
How to tell if a diamond is real
- 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 typically marked. Gold is marked 10K, 14K, and 18K to indicate the type of gold, while PT and Plat refer to platinum.
- As if you were fogging a window or your glasses with your breath, blow 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.
- Drop the stone into a glass of water. A real diamond will skink. If it floats, it is fake
People have been creating fake and lower-value gold since the dawn of time. Here are some easy ways to learn if your gold jewelry, coin or other item are authentic, real gold:
Use a lighter to tell if gold is real. Hold your gold jewelry or coin to the steady flame of a lighter or burner on the oven.
Real gold will get white-hot after a while, but will get darker. Fake gold will darken or otherwise change color when heated with fire. Also, if the jewelry or coin is gold-plated (covered with gold, but made of other metals inside), the plating will melt, revealing the inner metal. FAKE!
Test your gold with a magnet. Gold is not magnetic. Using an extra-strong magnet (you can get one from the hardware store), see if your gold jewelry is attracted to the magnet. One side note, sometimes a real-gold bracelet or necklace will have a clasp that is not made of real gold, and will be drawn to the magnet, while the rest of the item will not.
Float test your gold. Drop your gold into a glass of water. If it floats, it's fake. Real gold does not float, and does not rust.
Skin test gold. Real gold jewelry will not turn your skin black or green. In fact, there is some research that finds that real gold has healing properties, and heals arthritis and other ailments.
Check your gold for a stamp to learn whether it is real. A real gold piece of jewelry, bullion or coin will have a purity marking on the back or inside. This stamp is typically either a carat number, such as 18K, or 12K, in the shape of a rectangle with the corners cut off, and with a number inside. Here what those numbers mean:
999 = 24 karat, 99.9% gold
990 = 22 karat, 99% gold
916 = 22 karat, 91.6% gold
750 = 18 karat, 75% gold
585 = 14 karat, 58.5% gold
375 = 9 carat, 37.5% gold
Get your jewelry appraised
Before you start the process of selling your jewelry, get an idea of what it is worth.
The first place many people go is to a local jeweler. A trusted jeweler in your area, that you research through Yelp, word of mouth, and the Better Business Bureau, is a solid first step. But keep in mind this person does not have the sophisticated equipment that a world-renowned laboratory like GIA or IGI. As you will read below, Worthy.com will provide you with a free IGI or GIA lab report free of charge if you start a selling process with them.
An appraisal from your local jeweler is fine if you are seeking insurance replacement value — which will be much, much higher than the actual resale value, but can provide you with some information about how to sell your ring or estate or antique jewelry.
GIA Certification Report Check
If you are buying or selling a diamond or other fine jewelry, you may be approached by a seller whose item comes with a GIA certification. How do you know if it is real — or if it has been fraudulently altered? GIA now offers its ‘Report Check' — a free, quick and easy service in which you simply enter the report number on GIA.edu, and find the original report, which you can cross-check with the one in question.
How to sell jewelry for cash
Once you understand how much your jewelry is worth, you can always sell at a pawn shop, local jeweler, or one of the online jewelry buyers outlined in this post. Online jewelry buyers like Worthy and CashforGoldUSA are excellent if you need cash fast, since they pay directly via Paypal or bank transfer, if you prefer.
Selling your jewelry locally vs online
Often, the first place someone goes when they are thinking about selling unwanted jewelry is their local jeweler.
This is a solid first step, but it should not be your last.
In fact, selling your diamond jewelry online, with the right partner, is nearly always better than selling to a local jeweler.
Here is why:
- Fair price. Even if your jeweler is 100% honest and reputable (as many are!), he or she offers just one offer, and one opinion about what your piece of jewelry is worth. Setting a price for any piece of jewelry is highly subject to opinion and mistakes. The grade of a gemstone or diamond, the market value of various styles is subject to interpretation. When you go to the entire world for quotes on what your ring or other jewelry is worth, you are more likely to get a fairer price. Market economics 101.
- Fraud is rampant. For many reasons, the jewelry industry has historically been rife with fraud and dishonesty. If you are relying on a quote from just one, or a handful, of local jewelers, you are more likely to get ripped off. Thankfully, organizations like the Better Business Bureau, as well as online review sites and blogs, mean that the entire world can hold accountable online businesses with hundreds or even thousands of reviews and reports.
- Ease. You can drive around your town or area, maybe take a train or bus, and schlep around your area's jewelers or diamond buyback businesses, scratch your head, check your gut and hope for the best price. Online jewelry sites are easy. The good ones offer great customer service, send you a mailer, and communicate constantly with you via text, email or chat — putting you at ease and getting you your money quickly without ever you ever needing to leave the house.
Another value of selling diamonds and other jewelry online is that the right buyer will provide a certified GIA or IGA lab report for free. This is not the same as an appraisal — it's way better!
Most local jewelers near you will offer jewelry appraisals — usually for free. This can be a good estimate of the replacement value of your jewelry, which can help you get it insured, and understand its value.
However, if you want to know the true value of what your jewelry is worth, and how much you can get for it by selling, you really need a certified lab report.
There are just a couple internationally recognized jewelry grading laboratories, and these include the Gemological Institute of America, or GIA, based in New York City, and the International Gemological Institute, or IGI, based in Antwerp, Belgium.
Worthy works with both of these laboratories, which provide the most respected, independent, third-party certifications (a.k.a. lab reports) on your jewelry.
GIA and IGI laboratories are equipped with extremely sophisticated grading equipment, and they provide value estimates based on databases of millions of recent sales.
A GIA certificate, or IGI certificate, provides definitive grading information about your diamond or gemstone ring, earrings, necklace, brooch, or bracelet. The certificate will also provide a market value range for your item. Expect to pay $100 to $200 for most reports, though more valuable jewelry will cost more to grade.
If you chose to sell a ring or other jewelry at Worthy, you will get a free IGI or GIA certificate, which is yours to keep, even in the event you chose not to sell.
Again, not all online jewelry sites are the same.
I have been working in the single mom space for many years now, and have researched all the top sites that will buy your jewelry (especially diamond engagement rings, because, well — lots of single moms are living that show!). These are all outlined in the reviews, above.
Selling your jewelry locally vs online — why work with Worthy.com
It can be confusing and scary to decide to sell your fine jewelry through an online jewelry auction, diamond buyer or gold buyer. Perhaps you have a local jeweler whom your family has known a long time and trust. Selling an engagement ring, watch, tennis bracelet or other jewelry locally can be a fine choice, but reselling jewelry online typically results in a higher price, more transparency and convenience. Here is why:
- If you work with the online jewelry auction site Worthy.com, you will receive a free GIA lab report, which is the only way to truly understand the dimensions and resale value of your gemstone and jewelry. Meanwhile, a local jeweler may give you a reasonable appraisal price, but it is not lab-certified, and therefore not as accurate as a report from an organization recognized worldwide for its objective accuracy.
- Worthy.com auctions are bid on by hundreds of vetted buyers, which sets a true auction price — opposed to receiving a single offer from a local jeweler.
- Reputable online jewelry sellers typically have many thousands and thousands of customers and clients — who can leave reviews, report to the Better Business Bureau and TrustPilot. If an online jewelry buyer is scammy or sleazy, you can likely learn that online, Meanwhile, a local jeweler's reputation is mostly word-of-mouth and harder to learn about.
Can you resell jewelry back to jewelry stores?
Meanwhile, you may want to return your engagement ring or other jewelry back to the store where you bought it — or participate in a resell program from Tiffany, Cartier, Kay Jewelers, and Zales. While jewelers will not typically buy back jewelry they sold you after a 30-day window, Kay Jewelers, Zales and Tiffany do have trade-up programs that allow you to cash in the value of your current diamond and apply that to a more expensive piece of jewelry, or larger center diamond.
However, these programs do not include any certified lab reports to understand the resale value of your diamond, and are not helpful if your goal is to get cash for your jewelry, fast!
How to sell jewelry online
The most reputable site for selling your jewelry online is Worthy.com, a unique online auction platform which has a BBB A+ rating, comes with a free GIA appraisal, insures your jewelry up to $100,000, and attracts vetted bidders from around the world. Just get a free online estimate, send in your item by trackable FedEx, and learn what a certified estimated sale price. Get paid by Paypal within a week. For gold and silver jewelry and coins, check out CashforGoldUSA's online gold calculator, for an estimate of how much your item is worth, then take the steps to securely mail in your item, and get paid within days.
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:
- Kay Jewelers diamond upgrade and trade-in services
- Jared diamond upgrade and trade-in services
- Tiffany diamond upgrade policy
- Nordstrom diamond upgrade policy
This list is, in general, legitimate jewelry retailers. But if you are looking to sell a ring, watch 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 resale 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 then attach to the new upgrade.
Conclusion: Just trade your diamonds for cash, and use it to reach your goals: pay off debt, buy a house, pay for college, a vacation, renovate, plan for retirement!
Should you sell your gold, diamond or jewelry online?
A list of reasons you SHOULD NOT sell your jewelry — online, or anywhere else:
- You wear it regularly and feel good about wearing it.
That's it. That is the only reason you should NOT sell your ring.
Not your story? SELL YOUR JEWELRY!
Reasons to sell your jewelry include:
- Money in your bank account is always better than jewelry sitting in a box or dish somewhere.
- If the jewelry has sentimental value — an heirloom, estate or antique jewelry, a gift, engagement gift, etc. — you can honor the person and story behind the ring, bracelet or earrings by spending the proceeds on something positive that does enhance your life. This might include investing in your future, buying a home, a vacation, education for your kids — or another piece of jewelry that you DO wear and that brings you joy!
- If you don't wear the item, you likely feel bad about it in some way: Either negative feelings about where or whom it came from (complicated relationship with the giver, guilt for buying yourself something you don't use). Get rid of the jewelry, and get rid of the negativity!
- Clutter. Say no to clutter!!
- No, your kids don't want it. Your daughter does not want an engagement ring from a relationship that ended in divorce. And your future daughter-in-law sure as shit does not want that! Come on. Let it go!
- Let it go. Let the man go. Let that negative, complicated relationship with your mom/aunt/friend/cousin who gave you the earrings go. It is just a thing. We're talking about your life here. Let the material thing go. Embrace your energy.
- Money. You need more money. You don't need more crap. And if you're not wearing and enjoying the thing, it is crap.
- It is legally yours, so why not? Almost always, the person who received the engagement ring or wedding ring has legal property rights to it in a divorce.
Which is the best online jewelry buyer?
So, which is the best online jewelry buyer? While several are certainly trustworthy and reputable, Worthy.com stands out for its unique auction platform that increases your chances of attracting bids from qualified buyers, and driving the price up. It's history of excellent customer service, free third-party lab reports from IGI or GIA, as well as many happy customers makes Worthy the strongest choice.
Related: How to sell a wedding ring
Jewelry buyback companies
|Jewelry buyer||Multiple auction bids?||Free GIA report?||Insurance (up to)|
|Diamond Buyers International||No||No||$5,000|
|International Institute of Diamond Valuation (De Beers)||No||No||Unclear|
Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, noted blogger, and bestselling author. 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.