I had a really spectacular engagement ring. It wasn’t that it was huge or particularly expensive. It was unique — the 24-carat yellow gold band consisted of a half-dozen hand-hammered connected spheres, each centered with a very nice diamond. It was totally my style, and it got lots of attention (which is also my style).
When I divorced I put the wedding rings in the safe in my house. In the back of my mind I thought I would give them to my daughter one day — a token of the marriage that produced her. Plus, I just wasn’t ready to sell the engagement ring — or part with that time of my life. I see now I wasn’t ready to face it.
Why sell diamond engagement rings
But this summer I had a change of heart. I thought to the handful of people I know who had used wedding rings left over from marriages that had ended in divorce. Some of those rocks were impressive – far more expensive than the young couple could have afforded on their own. It always struck me as bad karma to start a life together with a token from another couple’s less-than-ideal story.
I am a big, big believer that things have power. Whether material possessions actually absorb and retain energy from the people and experiences around them, or if it is your own memories and feelings that give the object influence over you, I’m not sure. But if your walls are lined with pictures of family members who you disdain, that is bad mojo. That token from a vacation on which you fought mercilessly with your BFF is a reminder of sour times – not margaritas on the beach.
And if you surround yourself with things that remind you of the relationship from which you are trying to start anew, well, change that up.
And so last summer I decided to sell my engagement ring. I did some research, and since it is a brand name designer (Gurhan is a known Turkish jeweler, his stuff is sold at Saks 5th Avenue and Neiman Marcus), it made sense to find a local jewelry store that would pay for that intrinsic value.
Let go of old things, it makes space for new
I called a local Gurhan boutique, which recommended the jewelry buyer that I used. You can search Yelp or CitySearch for a reputable local jeweler. I admit that the cash was less than I’d hoped, but after some research I understood that there is a significant difference between retail and resale value of jewelry. It is what it is. I used the money to send my kids to Europe with their dad to visit relatives there. It seemed a just use of those funds. Plus, it felt good to rid my home and mind of that significant marriage memento.
If you have a significant ring, loose diamond (or branded watch) you expect would fetch more than $1,000 at market, I recommend Worthy, an online auction site that makes it very easy to sell your bridal jewelry online, for a fair price. Best yet, you can get a very good idea of whether Worthy is right for you even before you commit to working with them.
I like Worthy because their system is very transparent, they have an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, and their website is very easy to use. They have historically been just focused on being a diamond buyer, but have branched out into high end watches and are looking to expand further in the future. Plus, there are dozens of reviews and video testimonials from very happy customers.
Ready to sell your diamonds? It works like this:
- Go to Worthy.com
- Enter your name and email, along with basic information (diamond color, carat weight, clarity, etc.) about your jewelry, including size and grade of your jewelry or stone.
- Receive an estimated market value for your piece by email, within a day.
- Ship your item. If that price suits you, Worthy will send you a mailer, in which you send the jewelry, diamond or watch to them — Worthy pays for all shipping and insures the item for up to $1 million. Sweet!
- Agree on a “reserve price,” or the lowest price you are willing to accept.
- Your item is auctioned. Worthy puts your jewelry in front of at least 100 potential buyers worldwide, who can then bid on your item.
- Receive an offer within 7 days of Worthy receiving your item.
- Get paid. After you confirm the sale, you’ll receive payment within 24 hours.
Fees and Guarantees
Worthy takes up to 20 percent of the sale price. They are very transparent: if they don’t sell your item for at least the reserve price, they return it to you, free of charge, no questions asked.
I also love that Worthy will pay you $100 if you successfully sell your auctioned item to an independent jeweler for a price higher than Worthy was able to offer.
How to sell diamonds or other valuable jewelry
If your jewelry is modest, there are other options. In my jewelry box were a couple of modest gold and diamond rings that a relative had given me when I married. Time to go! I did some research and decided to try to sell the rings at 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 turned out to be really easy. 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 two weeks later got a check (they also give you a tracking number to chart it online).
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.
The bottom line
The bottom line is that I sold an engagement ring that I didn’t use, no longer wanted, and kept me holding on to a relationship that I was no longer in. Plus, I got some cash that I needed at the time.
I don’t think it was insignificant that same month I started my first significant relationship in two years. I also think that selling those diamond and gold rings has something to do with the fact that my ex and I have been getting along better than since before our split. In ways I don’t fully understand, I was freed.
Here are some testimonials from clients who sold their diamond on Worthy:
Sierra Fein: I recently used your services to sell an engagement and a wedding ring that I no longer needed after my divorce. When I was emotionally ready to sell these pieces, I went to my local jewelry store and was really disappointed with the small amount that they were willing to offer me. Using Worthy was so easy. I felt very comfortable once I spoke with a customer service representative. I received shipping labels, and I was able to watch the live auction. It over exceeded my reserve price and with the money, I am able to go back to school to become a teacher. Thanks so much, and I am happy to recommend your services to anybody else I know that’s in a similar situation.
Christa Carrell: HI wanted to say thank you again for helping me to sell a ring on your site. Everything went great, the process was seamless. You guys answered any questions that I had and I will definitely recommend you in the future. Again, thank you so much. I’m going to be using that money towards a vacation pretty soon.
Kelly Witte: I recently sold my Rolex Datejust women’s stainless steel watch on Worthy.com. My experience was a wonderful one. I was extremely impressed with the attentiveness and the response time from my sales representative. I also felt that he tried to get me the maximum amount of money that I wanted for my product, and I was very pleased with them. I am looking forward to my next purchase that I will be making with the money, which is a new upgraded version of my watch. So, I am extremely excited and I would definitely recommend Worthy.com for anything you want to sell in the future.
Maura: I have been looking to sell my ring for at least five years and I did not find any good ways of selling it. When I say “good ways” I definitely wasn’t coming close to getting the value that I would have liked to have gotten for the ring. I just wanted to sit on it, like a safety net. I felt like I had my safety net ready when I needed it, even though there was no way to actually get a decent price for it. So, when I discovered Worthy, of course I wanted to look into it to see what I could get for my ring. I had a minimum in my head of what I wanted to get, and when I spoke to somebody at Worthy, which was nice when I went to the website, somebody called me to follow up, which I think was very helpful because it gave me the human touch of the process which continued throughout. So, I was very happy. When Mary called me, she asked me questions that were right on par with what I would have wanted somebody to ask. She made it very easy for me. I ended up coming into New York City because I’m close by in Connecticut, so I made it even easier for myself by popping in and making an appointment.
How about you? Do you still have your engagement ring? Or did you sell your wedding ring, give it away, turn it into a necklace, or throw it out the car window into a ditch on the way home from the court date finalizing your divorce? Please share in the comments …
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.