Are online jewelers all scammers?
No. There are some highly reputable companies that will help you sell your jewelry quickly, safely and for a fair price.
Do you have fine, unworn jewelry or watches cluttering your jewelry box, or safety security box?
Maybe you have a diamond engagement ring or other bridal jewelry from a relationship that ended.
Jewelry is an unusually complicated commodity.
It is often gifted between people who have very strong feelings for each other — whether familial or romantic.
The price tags are often high, and the fashion is 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.
Related: How to sell a wedding ring
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.
Should you sell your 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.
Yep that's it. Long list, huh?
Not your story? SELL YOUR JEWELRY!
- 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.
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.
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!). See what I've found in the roundup below.
Top online sites to sell your 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. Here is a quick comparison of top buyers:
By far, the most advanced online jewelry buyer is Worthy.com.
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).
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 https://www.wealthysinglemommy.com/go/worthy-top-sites-to-sell-jewelry-online/
From there, Worthy 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 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 honors this minimum price, sends the ring to market, and in the event it sells for more, 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.
Cash for Diamonds USA
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 without gemstones.
In my jewelry box were a couple of lower-value gold and diamond rings that a relative had given me when I married. Time to go!
Several years ago I tried to sell some modest diamond rings through jewelry buyers CashforGoldUSA and CashforDiamondsUSA (they have the same parent company), one of those places that advertise on TV.
Those sites always seemed super-cheesy. But I researched this one.
The parent company, CJ Environmental, has a BBB rating of B+.
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.
Just research them first.
I decided to try CashforDiamondsUSA.
It was really easy.
On the CashforDiamondsUSA site, I plugged in my name and address on their website, they sent me a mailer, I stuck the jewelry in it, dropped it in the mailbox and a few days later I received an email with an offer, and a few days after that, I received a check (they also give you a tracking number to chart it online).
From CashforDiamonds website, you can make the transaction one of two ways:
- Offer Via Email: An email with your offer is sent the same day they inspect and evaluate your items. This email will provide you with a link to accept or reject their offer. If you accept the offer, a check will be sent within 24 hours. Should you choose to reject the offer, your items will be processed for return within 24 hours and sent via priority mail.
- Offer Via Phone: One of their professional staff members will call you with their offer the same day it's inspect and evaluate your items. If you accept the offer, a check will be sent within 24 hours. Should you choose to rejectthe offer, your items will be processed for return within 24 hours and sent via priority mail.
I was pleasantly surprised. One of the rings – 12-carat gold with a couple of small diamonds – fetched a $159 check.
The other, similar, but of indeterminate quality, was actually returned.
I was at first disappointed, but the rejection made me trust the company more.
They were being honest: Nothing personal, the return implied, but your crappy ring is dead to us.
Pros of CashforDiamondsUSA
- 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 CashforDiamondsUSA
- 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
In short: For quick sales of modest jewelry or gold or silver, CashforGold and CashforDiamondsUSA are a solid choice for fast money and a trustworthy service.
You can also sell your gold and silver jewelry (and dental work!) through CashforGold USA, 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).
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.
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 ensured 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 Cash4Gold or CashforDiamondsUSA.
In short, Mondiamo is a solid company that brings the BlueNile experience full circle (I'd love to hear a story about a diamond engagement ring that was purchased 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Before you sell jewelry, here are some tips
What ever 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
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 your diamond 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.
Which is the best online jewelry buyer?
So, which is the best online jewelry buyer? While several are certainly trustworthy and reputable, Worthy 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.
Some of the links in this and other posts generate a commission. I never recommend products that I don’t truly believe in. Seriously – I get asked to write about stuff all the time and turn down hard cash if I’m not feeling it.
Jewelry buyback companies
|Jewelry buyer||Multiple auction bids?||Free GIA report?||BBB rating||Insurance||Other types of jewelry?||Best for ...|
|Worthy||Yes||Yes||A+||$100,000||Yes— all types, including watches||You want top dollar, quick, for jewelry worth $1,200+|
|Cash4GoldUSA||No — one price offered, take it or leave it.||No||B+||$1,000||Yes, with focus on gold, silver, diamond scrap and low-end jewelry||You want to sell jewelry, coins or scrap metal worth $1,000 or less|
|WP Diamonds||No — one price offered, take it or leave it.||No||A+||$100,000||Yes, but main focus is diamonds||A good company, but Worthy is better|
|Mondiamo (BlueNile)||No — one price offered, take it or leave it.||No||A+||Insured, but unclear for how much||Diamonds only||Go to Worthy|
|Diamond Buyers International||No — one price offered, take it or leave it.||No||A+||$5,000||Diamonds only||Fine for diamonds, but Worthy is better|
|International Institute of Diamond Valuation (De Beers)||No — one price offered, take it or leave it.||No||A+||Insured, but unclear for how much||All types of jewelry||Go to Worthy|
Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post's ‘Must Read” list.
Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer.
A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.