You got divorced. You have a ring.
Should you keep it for your kids?
Maybe — but will they really want a token of a failed marriage?
Do you really want that jewelry and its bad mojo cluttering up your jewelry box with its negative vibes until then?
A piece of jewelry that you know has value, but you no longer like — or perhaps it was an heirloom or antique that you don’t mind parting with. (I write about selling your inherited antique and estate jewelry here.)
Whatever the reason, there is a very good chance that extra cash will serve you better than stale memories.
In other words: It’s time to sell your jewelry.
Lucky for you, there are quality options for selling fine jewelry online – and that includes gold, platinum, gemstone, diamond, engagement and bridal, and designer jewelry.
There are reputable, trustworthy online services that will not only help you get the highest price on the market, but will also make it very easy. Because girl, if you have to sell your engagement ring — you've already been through it.
I wrote about my experience selling my engagement ring after my divorce.
Luckily, there are quality options for selling fine jewelry online – and that includes gold, platinum, diamond and gemstone engagement and bridal, and designer jewelry. And my best recommendations is to sell jewelry using Worthy, and sometimes CashforGoldUSA.
Why you should sell your engagement ring
Here are three reasons to sell your engagement ring:
- You don't wear it any more. So get rid of it.
- It has bad energy. Not only are you not enjoying it, and not using the money it is worth for a better life, but it is actually dragging you down.
- You need the money. Your engagement ring and bridal jewelry are worth money.
- You want more money. It won't make you rich but more money is more money. So get rid of the bad juju, sell your ring, and use that money for something symbolically healing and fabulous.
This is not complicated. Just sell it.
One caveat: If your engagement ring is a family heirloom, do the right thing and give it to the person to whom it belongs.
Here is a short list of some of the good-vibe things that women have done with money earned from selling their engagement rings:
- Pay off debt
- Go back to school
- Start a business
- Invest in your business
- Buy a home
- Buy a car
- Get a book job or other cosmetic surgery
- Renovate or redecorate the house
- Buy a second house
- Buy yourself a gorgeous piece of jewelry
- Settle your divorce already
- Help out a family member or friend in need
- Donate to charity
- Pay for your kids' camp or college
Spread the love!
And like any spring cleaning, this is a good chance to go through the rest of your jewelry, too.
How much is an engagement ring worth?
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 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 $1,200, 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 $1,200), then they pay for a GIA or IGI lab report and certificate, 100% free.
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 to tell if your diamond is real
Sadly, there is a lot of fake jewelry out there. Whether your jewels are real or not impacts where you can sell it (for example, if the gold in your ring is real, but the stone is not, you might send the band to CashforDiamondsUSA, which will give you the scrap value).
Here are some quick at-home tests to see if your diamond is real:
- Heat. Hold the stone with tweezers and hold above a lighter or candle for 45 seconds, then drop into an icy glass of water. A fake will likely shatter.
- If your diamond is unmounted, drop it into a glass of water. A real diamond will sink to the bottom. A fake will float.
- Look with a magnifying glass. All but the very rarest, highest quality diamonds have small, natural flaws and imperfections. A fake will be without any flaws.
- The fog test: Blow a warm breath on the diamond (as if you are fogging your glasses or a window). A real diamond will quickly dissipate the fog, while a fake stone will hold the fog for a few seconds.
4 C's of diamonds
To help understand the value of your diamond, learn a little about the 4 Cs — The jewelry industry's long-used tool to help consumers understand how jewelers, gemologists and others in the trade value a diamond.
A diamond's cut
A diamond's cut is the way a stone is finished. A diamond cutter chooses to make precision facets that minimize a stone's natural flaws, and enhances its natural beauty, brilliance and shine.
The grade of the cut is based on symmetry, precision, and polish, as well as attractive proportions. The Gemological Institute of America's grades a cut on a scale ranging from Excellent to poor.
A diamond's color
Most diamonds are not pure white. In fact, the most valuable diamonds include those in shades of bright yellow (“canary diamonds”), blue, red, green, which are called “fancy diamonds” and are graded on their own scale.
Diamonds also come in shades of brown (“cognac diamonds”), and even black, though these are less valuable, in general.
Most white diamonds are usually various shades of pale yellow. The brighter the white, the more brilliant the stone tends to be, and the greater the value. The GIA's color grading scale for white diamonds ranges from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow). GIA's color scale:
Diamonds are stones, and all but exceptionally rare diamonds have flaws. The fewer the flaws and inclusions (blemishes inside of the stone), the more brilliant — and valuable — the stone.
A carat is simply the weight of the stone. Each carat is divided into 100 units, or “points.” A diamond that weighs .4 carats would be called a “40-point carat,” or a “40-pointer.”
Where can I sell a diamond engagement ring near me for cash?
Consider heading to Yelp or the recommendations of friends for jewelry store, gold and silver exchange, pawn shops, or other jewelry and gold buyers near you that have a good reputation for giving clients a fair price for their bridal and other jewelry.
Even if you work with a very honest jeweler or pawn broker, these outlets are limited. Why?
- You get just one appraisal
- That appraisal, at best, is by a highly trained professional (meanwhile, if you sell through Worthy.com, you are guaranteed a GIA or IGI certified lab report —100% free to you, and yours to keep in the event you chose not to ultimately sell). In the future, you can always use GIA Report Check to verify that the report is real (or if you lose it).
Checking out your online options, especially an auction site, that have been vetted by national clients, media and credentialing agencies can offer a lot more security that you will get the highest price for your engagement ring.
How much is the gold in my engagement ring worth?
The higher the carat amount in gold, the more valuable it is. Again, this depends on the factors mentioned above. A simple, thin gold ring without gemstones, will typically be worth about $100 or less.
10k gold ring is worth: $87
14k gold ring is worth: $122
18k gold ring is worth: $157
Where to sell engagement ring
For lower-end gold and silver chain rings and other jewelry that are not branded, as well as those with small diamonds, a local jeweler, cash-for-gold buyer, gold exchange pawn shop, or a reputable online buyer like CashforGoldUSA are a good option.
However, for larger rings, especially those with gemstones, or those branded by a known jeweler like Tiffany, Cartier, Graf, keep reading. I will explain why Worthy.com, a very reputable jewelry auction site specializing in diamond rings, is an excellent option for ensuring you will get the most cash for your ring.
You can actually sell your jewelry without leaving the house.
I researched the top companies, and outline the most reputable diamond and jewelry buyers in this post.
When researching places to sell your engagement ring, loose diamond or other diamond jewelry, check:
- What is the company's online reputation. Check the BBB, whether they have been favorably been reviewed in top media outlets, and consumer reviews on sites like Yelp.
- Do they insure your item? For how much?
- What is the customer service like? Do they have a responsive chat box? A phone number where someone answers? What are their customer service hours? These things matter when there is a question or issue.
- What is the shipping process? Can you track your item along the way? How is security once your ring reaches the company?
- How do they appraise or otherwise value your item? Is it just the opinion of one person looking at your diamond — or do they send it out to a reputable third-party laboratory like GIA or IGI?
- Do you have any control over the price of your item? At auction site Worthy, you can set your minimum sales price.
- What is the return policy in the event you are not happy with the price quoted? Do you have to pay to have your jewelry returned to you?
- How quickly will you be paid — and how? Sites like Worthy pay within days via Paypal or ACH bank transfer. Do you have to wait for a paper check to be mailed to you like it is 1997?
You can d sip coffee, watch Showtime, while researching jewelry that you might want to sell.
Worthy is an online auction — but the company’s staff helps you get the get the best deal and you get to keep an eye on the process the whole time. (Read my review of using Worthy here.)
The site will walk you through a quick appraisal process, which involves you providing a few details about the piece of jewelry you want to sell and snapping a photo.
Worthy’s experts provide you with a trending market price and send you an insured FedEx shipping label.
The folks at Worthy will have the jewelry appraised formally by GIA or IGI, get a certified lab report, and provide a professional photo and report to help it sell online.
I've sold jewelry through Worthy and really appreciate that they help you understand how much your jewelry is worth, provide a GIA certified report on the item, and offer excellent, patient customer service throughout. You can read about my Worthy experience.
Plus, they have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, or BBB, which is important to me.
How to sell your ring online:
- Go to Worthy.com
- Enter your name and email, along with basic information (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 right then and there. This process takes about 2 minutes.
- A very nice customer service representative calls to answer all your questions and tells you what will happen next.
- Ship your item. If that price suits you, Worthy will send a FedEx delivery person to your house the next business day (or sometimes the same day!), 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 (yes, really!).
- Agree on a “reserve price,” or the lowest price you are willing to accept.
- Your item is auctioned. Worthy will put 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, including through PayPal or your bank account. Cha-ching!
I even filmed a video about my own experience selling jewelry on Worthy:
How do you know that the price is fair?
Worthy's jewelry evaluation process is actually a pretty big deal.
They work with the Gemological Institute of America, which specializes in analyzing and pricing fine jewelry — especially pieces with diamonds.
Worthy keeps you updated throughout the appraisal process and, in the end, leaves it up to you to decide if your piece goes up for sale at the final appraised price.
Plus, the report from GIA will be available for you to inspect for yourself.
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.
I was recently on The Doctors, talking about the importance of selling your old wedding ring to pay the bills:
More ways to sell diamond and other valuable jewelry
Worthy is certainly not the reputable only place to sell your diamond ring, luxury watch, gold or other jewelry. In some cases, Worthy may not be the best fit.
What about diamond upgrades and trade-ins?
Both local and national jewelry chains like Kay Jewelers, Jared, Tiffany and Nordstrom all offer diamond trade-in and upgrade services. This means that they offer you a price for your diamond that you can only use in-store to buy another piece of jewelry, or upgrade your diamond to a larger stone. Some have an online trade-in value calculator.
These tend to be legitimate services. But if you are looking to sell your diamond ring or other jewelry for the most cash, upgrade and trade-in services are not a good choice. Why?
- A local jewelry store — including a national chain — will not provide a certified lab report on you jewelry. They may offer an appraisal, but lab report is the only way to guarantee the dimensions of your diamond, and authenticate the price offered is a fair market rate. All Worthy sales include a free lab report through either the GIA or IGI.
- In other words, you have no way of knowing what you could get for it on the open market if you go with a trade-in program.
- If you really want cash for your unused or unwanted diamond, don't let a sales person talk you into getting a BIGGER, MORE EXPENSIVE piece of jewelry.
- If your goal is to declutter a piece of jewelry tainted with bad memories, those negative vibes may then attach to the new jewelry.
Takeaway: Just trade your diamonds for cash, and call it a day.
If your jewelry is modest, and you expect less than $1,200 when you sell it for cash, 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. Bye!
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 even 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 entered 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.
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.
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.