Places to sell jewelry online

How do you decide which online jewelry buyer pays the most — and is the safest?

Quick answer: There are highly reputable companies that will help you sell your jewelry quickly, safely and for a fair price.

Our recommendations:

For gold, silver, platinum and diamond jewelry we recommend CashforGoldUSA, and its sister site, CashforDiamondsUSA, which are rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau and guarantee you will get paid within 24 hours. CashforGoldUSA.com and CashforDiamondsUSA.com have been in business for more than 30 years, and guarantee that you are 100% satisfied with the highest price in the market — or they will return your item immediately, for free. A Fox Business News investigation found the company pays 3X its competitors.

If you send in your item within 7 days, CashforGoldUSA and CashforDiamondsUSA pay a 10% bonus above estimate.

Get started selling your gold, silver or diamond jewelry now with CashforGoldUSA >>

If you have a diamond engagement or other ring, or branded item from Tiffany, Cartier or another high-end jeweler, and your item will sell for more than $1,000, then it is accepted by Worthy.com, an online marketplace where hundreds of vetted buyers bid on your item. Typically, the center diamond of an engagement ring of at least .5 carats will sell for $1,000. Worthy is also A+ BBB rated, and insures your item up to $100,000 with Lloyds of London.

Get an estimate from Worthy now >>

Do you have a gold necklace, wedding band, earrings, gold watch or coins?

Use CashforGoldUSA's online gold calculator with today's gold price estimates now >>

More details:

Do you have fine, unworn jewelry or watches cluttering your jewelry box, or safety security box?

Maybe you have a diamond engagement ring, wedding ring, gold necklace, watch, Cartier LOVE Bracelet, or other jewelry from a relationship that ended.

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.

Legit places to sell jewelry online: Worthy.com or CashforGoldUSA.

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 gold and jewelry: CashforGoldUSA

CashforGoldUSA and its sister site, CashforDiamondsUSA are owned by the same parent industry, CJ Environmental, which allow you to sell your gold, silver, platinum, diamond and gemstone coins, scrap, and jewelry quickly, easily and safely for a high price. Both companies are owned by C.J. Environmental, a 30-year old company that has a Better Business Bureau rating of A+, and was found by a Fox News investigation to pay three times its competitors. 

CashforGoldUSA pays within 24 hours, and insures your item up to $5,000. They also pay a 10% bonus above their estimate if you ship within 7 days.

Get an estimate of your gold jewelry online with the gold calculator at CashforGoldUSA.com >>

I had a good experience selling a gold and diamond ring with CashforGoldUSA.

In my jewelry box was a lower-valued gold and diamond ring that a relative had given me when I married. I was now divorced. 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.

  1. On the CashforGoldUSA site, I plugged in my name and address on their website.
  2. Within three days I received a USPS mailer. You can also request a FedEx mailer. Both come with tracking numbers.
  3. I stuck the ring in the mailer, dropped it in the mailbox.
  4. The next day I received an email with an offer for $159, which I accepted.
  5. 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

  1. Easy process.
  2. Legit company with a A+ Better Business Bureau rating.
  3. Pays within 24 hours.
  4. Free insurance up to $5,000 — and up to $100,000 upon request.
  5. One of the older companies in the space with more than 30 years experience.
  6. Quick way to get cash for jewelry, watches, scrap, coins, dental and other forms of silver, gold and platinum, as well as diamond jewelry and loose diamonds.
  7. You decide whether you want to accept their offer, or not. 100% free, immediate return.
  8. Earn a 10% bonus above your quote price when you send your item in within 7 days.

Cons of CashforGoldUSA

  1. Unlike Worthy, the price they offer is based on one evaluation — not several auction bidders.
  2. Generally not a fit for high-end or designer jewelry or large diamonds with a resale value above $5,000.

In short: For quick sales of modest jewelry or gold or silver, CashforGoldUSA is a solid choice for fast money and a trustworthy service.

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).

Check out CashforGoldUSA now >>

Where to sell jewelry: Worthy

By far, the most technologically advanced online jewelry buyer is Worthy.com. which we recommend for diamond and other fine jewelry that worth at least $1,000 — the minimum value they accept.

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:

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. Once you approve the parameters of the sale, watch the auction bids roll in, and see how much your item earned. 
  4. 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.

Transparency

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.”

Security

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 $1,000, which is a diamond center stone of at least .5 carats of decent quality.

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 fees

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.

Worthy commission:

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:

Other places to sell jewelry for cash

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.

WPDiamonds vs Worthy

WPDiamonds and Worthy are both reputable companies that will purchase your high-end jewelry. There are, however, a few important differences. First, while both companies purchase a range of designer jewelry with or without diamonds, WPDiamonds does specialize in diamond jewelry, as its name suggests. 

The second difference is in the evaluation process. WPDiamonds will make you an offer based off of a single in-house evaluation. Worthy, on the other hand, gives you an instant estimate, and then conducts a GIA-certified evaluation to come to a more accurate price estimate for your jewelry.

The final difference is in the sales process. When you sell your jewelry through WPDiamonds, you are selling it directly to them. When you work with Worthy, you are selling your jewelry through them, not to them. Ultimately, bidders buying through Worthy’s auction platform will drive the sales price for your piece.

WPDiamonds vs CashforGoldUSA

WPDiamonds and CashforGoldUSA are very similar in a number of ways. Both companies provide you with packaging to send your jewelry to them for evaluation. Both companies will conduct an in-house evaluation and make you an offer within 24 hours of receiving your item. Both companies will pay you within 24 hours of you accepting an offer.

The greatest point of difference between WPDiamonds and CashforGoldUSA is in their target market. CashforGoldUSA focuses their business more on scrap metal and small diamonds, making them better suited for selling lower end pieces of jewelry. WPDiamonds, on the other hand, specializes in higher-end jewelry. While they will purchase diamond jewelry of any carat weight from luxury brands, the company will only purchase unbranded diamonds that are at least .5 carats.

Where you might sell jewelry: Circa (previously Mondiamo)

Mondiamo was a relative newcomer to the diamond buyback market which partnered with BlueNile, a retail leader in the online diamond engagement ring world. 

In early 2020, Mondiamo merged with a competing company, Circa. Circa has maintained Mondiamo’s relationship with BlueNile and has an A+ rating with the BBB.

Circa accepts high-end branded jewelry, as well as diamonds of at least .4 carats, and engagement rings. They will also purchase historical or estate jewelry including pieces such as: Antique, Edwardian, Georgian, Art Nouveau, Belle Epoque, Art Deco, Retro, Modern.

Circa has 14 physical locations (11 in the U.S. and 3 international), if you prefer you can schedule an appointment for an in-person evaluation of your jewelry. Whether in -person or online, if you accept the offer, you will be paid immediately

If you provide a grading report from the GIA, EGL, IGI, AGS, GSI, GCAL, IIDGR, or HRD, Circa provides a guaranteed offer range. Once you mail in your jewelry, Circa is able to guarantee a final offer that falls within this range. The company claims that more than 90% of its customers receive a final offer price higher than the midpoint of the guaranteed range (which includes shipping and insurance). Mondiamo’s 15% fee is already calculated into the range.

Circa pros

  • Work in partnership with diamond retailer BlueNile, and promise to offer a high fee by cutting out the middleman
  • Better Business Bureau rating of A+.
  • Website's videos and posts create transparency.
  • Fully insured FedEx delivery — both from you to Circa, as well as returns, when relevant.

Circa cons

  1. They only deal in jewelry with a diamond of at least .4 carats.
  2. If you do not have a lab report, you must send in your item for evaluation and grading before an offer is made.
  3. That offer is good for just 7 days, after which you have to start the whole process over again.

In short, Circa is a solid company that brings the BlueNile experience full circle, promising to offer jewelry sellers high prices by removing the middleman.

Circa vs Worthy

Selling your jewelry through Circa (previously Mondiamo) works in much the same way as selling your jewelry through other sites in that they will conduct an evaluation of your item and then make you an offer, which you can accept or decline. Worthy doesn’t purchase your jewelry directly, but instead acts as an auction platform for your sale. Though Worthy provides you with an estimate of what they believe your piece will sell for, how much you make will ultimately be decided by the bids that it receives in Worthy’s marketplace—which can be much higher than the initial estimate.

Circa vs CashforGoldUSA

Though Circa and CashforGoldUSA both purchase jewelry, Circa specializes in high-end designer jewelry while CashforGoldUSA focuses on scrap metal and smaller diamonds. While Circa only accepts jewelry with a diamond of at least .4 carats in size, CashforGoldUSA does not have a minimum carat requirement. This makes CashforGoldUSA a better option if you are selling lower-end pieces of jewelry, and want your money in 24 hours.

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.

Diamond Buyers International vs Worthy

Diamond Buyers International only buys diamond jewelry, while Worthy will help you sell jewelry with or without diamonds. For this reason, if you’re looking to sell high-end jewelry that doesn’t include diamonds, Worthy is a better choice. By comparison, though Worthy provides an estimate of what they think your item can sell for, the final price is determined by the hundreds of buyers who bid and buy through their platform, who can ultimately drive the price higher.

Diamond Buyers International vs CashforGoldUSA

Like Worthy, but unlike Diamond Buyers International, CashforGoldUSA will also buy your jewelry whether or not it contains diamonds. While we recommend Worthy for higher-end jewelry that may fetch top dollar through auction, CashforGoldUSA is a great alternative for items that don’t meet Worthy’s minimum value threshold of $1,000, or for those who want money in their pockets faster than an auction may allow.

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. 

The Real Real vs Worthy

On surface level, Worthy and The Real Real may appear to be fairly similar. While both companies deal in high-end jewelry and luxury brands, the way they operate is substantially different.

In essence, The Real Real is an online consignment shop. If you choose to work through them, The Real Real will evaluate your jewelry and determine a price that your item will be listed for. Once it sells, you will receive your payout—minus The Real Real’s commission, which can reach as high as 30% of the price.

Worthy is different in that Worthy is essentially an online auction house. Though they provide you an estimate for what they believe your jewelry will sell for, the final sales price is determined by the buyers bidding on your item through the platform. Worthy’s fees are determined on a sliding scale, where fees are lower as the sale price for your item rises. Their highest fee is 22%. 

Another key difference is in the speed of payment: While The Real Real makes payments just once monthly (currently on the 15th of each month), Worthy pays out within several business days of a sale.

The Real Real vs CashforGoldUSA

If the jewelry you’re selling isn’t high-end or a luxury brand, sites like The Real Real and Worthy won’t accept it. In cases like this, CashforGoldUSA and CashforDiamondsUSA (it’s sister site) can be an excellent means of selling your jewelry. In addition to having more than 30 years of experience as a jewelry buyer and an A+ rating with the BBB, CashforGoldUSA is known to pay more than its competitors and to pay quickly—within 24 hours of you accepting their offer.

Additionally, whereas The Real Real only makes payments once a month (and only after a piece of jewelry sells), CashforGoldUSA pays you within 24 hours of your acceptance of their offer.

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

Straight-forward website

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.

The Diamond Valet vs Worthy

As is the case with many other buyers on this list, The Diamond Valet will evaluate your jewelry and make you an offer based on what they believe the value of the piece to be. They provide just one offer, which you can take or leave. Worthy, as a jewelry auction site, doesn’t buy your jewelry directly. While they will provide an estimate on what they believe your jewelry will sell for, how much you make will be driven by the buyers who bid on your item. Items can sell for substantially above Worthy’s initial estimate, which means more money in your pocket!

While The Diamond Valet only accepts jewelry and loose diamonds that are at least .75 carats in size, Worthy accepts any piece which fits its standards and which it believes will sell for at least $1,000. Typically, this would equate to any piece of jewelry with a diamond of at least .5 carats.

Additionally, while Worthy will work with you to sell high-end jewelry whether it includes diamonds or not, The Diamond Valet, as its name implies, is only interested in purchasing diamond jewelry. 

The Diamond Valet vs CashforGoldUSA

If the jewelry you’re selling doesn’t involve diamonds, then The Diamond Valet isn’t for you. While Worthy is a great option when selling higher end jewelry, CashforGoldUSA can be a great alternative for pieces which don’t meet Worthy’s $1,000 price minimum. And because CashforGoldUSA pays within 24 hours of you accepting their offer, it’s also a great option when you need cash fast and can’t (or don’t want to) wait for an auction.

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.
  • Sotheby's only accepts higher-end jewelry, and typically only name brand pieces. For CashforGoldUSA and Worthy both accept a wider range of jewelry.

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 its “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. CashforGoldUSA promises payment within 24 hours, and a 10% bonus for items mailed within 7 days.

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

How to tell if your gold is real

 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

CashforGoldUSA is our choice for online gold and jewelry sales, with an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, found by Fox Business News to pay 3X their competitors, and pays within 24 hours, guaranteed. Send in your item within 7 days and get a 10% bonus.

Get an estimate from CashforGoldUSA now >>

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 few 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 an online jewelry buyer

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, some retailers 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!

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! 

FAQs about selling jewelry for cash

“Is it worth it to sell my jewelry?”

Answer: Gold prices per ounce have been at or near record highs in recent months. The market for recycled diamonds is hot. Get a quick appraisal estimate for your jewelry at Worthy.com >>

Check out gold prices and get a free estimate at CashforGoldUSA, which Fox News found to pay 3X its competitors. They pay a $50 bonus for items valued at $250 or more.

Get your free estimate instantly with CashforGoldUSA's gold calculator here >>

The power of decluttering is especially true for women going through the end of a relationship: a divorce, the end of a serious, long-term romantic relationship, or even the death of a loved one.

If you are wondering whether it is worth it to sell your old jewelry, consider that holding on to it is money that you are not using to invest in other experiences or purchases that bring value to you, your family, and world:

With the money I made on selling my own ring, I helped my ex take the kids to Greece to visit their family.

“Where to sell my engagement ring (and how)?”

Worthy.com is an A+ Better Business Bureau jewelry auction on which hundreds of verified buyers bid on your jewelry — driving up the price to market value. Worthy insures each item sent in up to $100,000, pays within 24 hours of the final sale via Paypal, and gives each seller a FREE GIA lab report.

The value of your ring depends on many factors. These include the materials used (quality of gold and/or platinum), the quality and size of the diamonds, if it is has a designer luxury mark, and the market value of your ring.

The best way to determine the value of your ring is through a formal appraisal at a local jeweler near you, which I recommend for items valued at less than $1,000, or, if you expect the ring to be worth more than that sum, get a GIA or IGI certificate, which will cost you around $100 or less. If you chose to go through Worthy.com (which only accepts items for its online auction of at least $1,000), then they pay for a GIA or IGI lab report and certificate, 100% free.

RelatedHow much is my jewelry worth? How to get an appraisal

Here are a few recent examples of diamond engagement rings sold at auction at Worthy.com:

1.2 carat oval-cut ring, J-K color, VS1-VS2 clarity, with surrounding diamonds total carat weight of .74 carats: $2,187

0.75 carat marquise-cut 3-stone ring, F-G color, VS1-VS2 clarity: $1,245

1.26 carat round-cut solitaire, G color, VS1 clarity, 18-carat gold band: $7,409

“How much is a wedding ring worth?”

The higher the karat amount, the more valuable it is to sell gold jewelry. Again, this depends on the factors mentioned above. A simple, thin chain necklace without gemstones, will typically be worth between $100 and $200 in scrap prices. Meanwhile, Worthy sells many necklaces for thousands of dollars. Examples include a 35-gram 14k gold and diamond necklace for $1,858, and a 15-gram 18k gold and diamond necklace for $4,050.

As of April 15, 2020, these are the scrap market prices for a typical, basic 5 gram gold wedding band, according to the gold calculator at CashforGoldUSA.com:

10k gold wedding ring is worth: $116.78

14k gold wedding ring is worth: $163.83

18k gold wedding ring is worth: $210.04

Simple jewelry, including a solid-metal wedding ring, or one with small stones, can be sold to a local jeweler near you, gold buyer near you, pawn shop, gold and silver exchange, or a reputable online buyer like CashforGoldUSA.

Takeaway: Just trade your diamonds for cash, and call it a day.

In short … 

If you have a valuable gold, gemstone, or diamond, best place to sell is via online auction at Worthy, which has an A+ BBB rating, gives you a free GIA or IGI certification, excellent customer support and puts the sale process in your hands, all from the comfort of your home. 

Start the process of letting go of old things >>

Should you sell your gold, diamond or jewelry online?

Examples of how women have turned jewelry-box clutter into self-care:

  • Bonded with kids on a cruise paid for with money from selling ring from a broken engagement.
  • Used money from selling earnings from an ex-boyfriend to earn a yoga instructor certificate — and start a new career!
  • Profits from selling engagement ring after a divorce used for a hiking retreat in Italy.
  • Jewelry inherited from an aunt with whom the new owner had a long and painful relationship, was auctioned on Worthy.com, and the money was used to landscape her yard — which honored the aunt’s love of gardening, gave the niece joy, and improved her home’s value.

All those shared memories are locked in furniture on which you created memories, china you hosted dinner parties together, and linens that represented evenings and mornings spent with one another.

Many relationships involve precious jewelry — investments that represented care, love, tradition and a shared vision for the future.

When the relationship ends, those rings, watches, necklacesearrings, and bracelets can linger in velvet-lined jewelry boxes for years — or even the remainder of the new owner’s life!

Here’s the thing: Even if that jewelry is worth tens of thousands of dollars, it is still clutter to you.

Why? You’re not enjoying it.

Those diamond rings, necklaces, earrings, and broaches represent something negative (even if there are some fond memories attached).

It all holds energy, good or bad.

Cleanse out the bad energy, welcome the good.

Unlike tossing out old clothes or cleaning your pantry, selling unused, or toxic jewelry can make you serious money.

All that negative energy can translate into a positive experience:

See how much your jewelry is worth at Worthy with an immediate, free estimate >>

A list of reasons you SHOULD NOT sell your jewelry — online, or anywhere else:

  1. 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:

  1. Money in your bank account is always better than jewelry sitting in a box or dish somewhere.
  2. 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!
  3. 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!
  4. Clutter. Say no to clutter!!
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. Money. You need more money. You don't need more crap. And if you're not wearing and enjoying the thing, it is crap.
  8. 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.

But if you have gold jewelry, or other items worth $1,000 or less, go for CashforGoldUSA.


Jewelry buyerMultiple bids?Free GIA report?Insurance
WorthyYesYes$100,000
CashforGoldUSANoNo$5,000+
WP DiamondsNoNo$100,000
Mondiamo/
BlueNile
NoNo$100,000
Diamond Buyers InternationalNoNo$5,000
IIDV (De Beers)NoNoUnclear
Gold Calculator
$ Loading /oz
Today's Gold Price
Latest Gold Price
How much gold do you have?
Your estimated value:
$ Loading

About Emma Johnson

Wealthysinglemommy.com founder  Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, activist and author. A former Associated Press reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has appeared on CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, TIME, The Doctors, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine. Winner of Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web” and a New York Observer “Most Eligible New Yorker," her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was a New York Post Must Read. A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Emma's Top Single Mom Resources.

12 Comments

  1. Wendy on June 5, 2020 at 3:30 am

    Very thorough analysis! Would love to hear your take on reselling designer jewelries!

  2. […] your items accurately. If it’s a smaller item like jewelry or earrings, use something that’s universally recognized (like a quarter or penny) and put it […]

  3. Barry Fischer on April 14, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    Greetings~ I have two beautiful vintage jewelry pieces from my mom’s collection. There is a diamond pear-shaped/platinum with 2 single diamonds with surround diamonds (appraised in 2018 for $19,000). I would send pics if there was a way?!? The other piece is a thick gold necklace with s afew small stones.

    These have been in a vault since my mom’s passing ’07

    Can you help on how to sell?
    Thank you,
    Dr. Fischer

  4. Who buys gold? – Crypt Nus on January 28, 2020 at 2:48 am

    […] Selling gold online has become popular. The reason people opt for online buyers is because it is convenient. However an online auction site like eBay offers you the added advantage of getting different people to outbid each other for the same item. You might end up getting more than the base price you expected. However, before you go online or on eBay particularly, you need to understand how it works and take measures to protect yourself from unscrupulous buyers. […]

  5. Allyson Dennen on January 19, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    This is a great comprehensive article for us divorced or divorcing women. Selling my ring was one of the first and best things I did to give me a boost to my bank account to help with the changes and costs that come with divorce. Of course, I had a family friend we had known for years that was able to help me. That is not the case for all women, this guide is very helpful.

  6. Susan Moore on December 1, 2019 at 1:07 am

    I helped a friend out & bought her jewelry & art store now I have apx in retail 1.75 million in art, estate, & new jewelry & owe 225000 on it all. I have so much art , collectables & tons of new & estate jewelry & have no idea where to start to get rid of it all & pay my loan off. You have helped tremendously thank you. I just listed it thru I don’t now I do website as I don’t have to ship off 600 or so pieces of jewelry. Now without you even mentioning them I’m worried & will email Worthy I too am a single mom & feel like I’ve made a huge mistake & hurt my family by putting us in so much debt. You have given me some hope. God Bless you .

  7. Pam DeLeo on November 25, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    Hi Emma,

    Thanks!!!!!! so much for this article – really appreciate. I’ve sold a lot of family jewelry with Heritage Auctions, and a couple of other jewelers, and done a ton of research in the last decade. Currently exploring selling a few last pieces, and considering Ebay with an experienced Ebay selling friend. Any input?

    Again thank you so much for this,
    Pam

    • Emma Johnson on December 6, 2019 at 11:00 am

      I don’t like eBay because it is such a deep trove of both sellers and users – I prefer Worthy because you know exactly who is managing your jewelry (Worthy) and they manage the sale for you, give you a free GIA report, take professional photos (so hard to do with jewelry and gemstones) and then vet all the buyers before they are allowed to bid. So much easier, safer, more transparent ….

  8. Neill Breslin on April 3, 2019 at 2:27 am

    Hey Emma,

    Really amazing research on places to sell your jewelry online. It’s inspiring for other existing online jewelry buyers and sellers to move on with great spirit. Thank you for being stand alone to support online jewelers.

  9. Siddharth saraf on March 22, 2019 at 5:58 pm

    Dear sir I’m interested to sale (1 st)item rate starting auction 5 million dollars ) my real diamond gold necklace and (2nd) item rate starting auction 5 million dollar) real stone gold necklace at the time of 1980 my grandfather time and (3rd ) ,(4th),(5th)item starting auction 1 million dollars )2 pieces real diamond same time and one real ring diamond 1975 and real ruby one piece very old 1960 and American diamond shaadi pacha 1945 evey one selling auction only 11 million dollar amount transfer in my bank account indian rupees .sir thanks u regard siddharth saraf. Please help to buy urgently sir once again please sir help I’m form india .sir company selling item im paid u 10 percentage commission paid company and to india buy . please help me urgently im waiting .

  10. Margaret Marsilii on January 18, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    Thx for your research.

  11. Vicky Excell on December 4, 2018 at 8:48 am

    Really good advice, thank you.

Leave a Comment