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Selling an engagement ring? Avoid these mistakes as prices drop

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California divorced mom Marissa Forrester's 1.5 carat diamond engagement ring had a retail value of $10,000 in 2012. Eleven years later in 2023, she sold it online for a quarter of that — $2,500.

“I thought I'd get something close to $5,000 or $6,000,” Forrester told me. “I was disappointed, but glad to finally get rid of it!”

While the resale value of a diamond has always been very low — 50% or even far less — prices have plummeted in the last two years as inexpensive lab-grown diamonds compete with natural stones, and the global economy is depressed.

While it may be disappointing to sell such an expensive item for such a small sum, it may make sense to sell now before prices drop even further.

Keep reading to learn:

Common mistakes women make when selling an engagement ring

  1. Waffle about whether to sell or keep your engagement ring
  2. Assume your ring is worth more than it is
  3. Try to sell your ring without documentation
  4. Take the first offer for your engagement ring

Best places to sell an engagement ring

  1. Pawn shops
  2. Diamonds USA
  3. Worthy
  4. Diamond Banc

FAQs about selling an engagement ring

  1. Can I legally sell my engagement ring?
  2. Should I get my engagement ring appraised before selling?
  3. How much will I get if I sell my diamond ring?
  4. How much will a jeweler pay for an engagement diamond ring?

Common mistakes women make when selling an engagement ring

Most jewelry is a gift, and therefore an emotional possession — even if the gold, diamond or other material is really just a commodity. Engagement rings are the most emotional of all.

Before you figure out how and where to sell your engagement ring, let's knock out some common emotional barriers that may be standing in the way:

1. Waffle about whether to sell or keep your engagement ring

I meet a lot of women who hold on to their engagement rings for a years, which in this market, means that they are losing money every day — all while holding on to a momento from what was likely a sad breakup.

Others similarly hold on to their ring for their children to use for their own engagement ring one day. I try not to judge, but that is nothing but bad mojo.

Others repurpose the center stone of their engagement ring into a necklace or other jewelry. Many seem happy with that choice, but again — there are plenty of other diamonds that don't carry the negative baggage of your divorce.

In general, women are happier once they get rid of their engagement rings — whether they sell (and use the funds to pay off debt, go on vacation, invest in a business or education), or, in the case of Mallory in Oregon, climbed the summit of a local mountain, wrapped the ring in a scrunchie and tossed it off a cliff. “Never felt better,” she told me.

2. Assume your ring is worth more than it is

This post spells out how to understand what your engagement ring is really worth on the resale market. Dig into that ASAP — know what you are dealing with.

Word to the wise from Jessica in Lumberton, N.C.:

I thought about keeping my bridal set for my kids. However, I know there are a lot of superstitious people in our world. Plus, there was no way of knowing if either of my children would want the rings. So I finally decided to sell them to a pawn shop, mainly because my ex was not helping financially.

The pawnshop owner told me the diamonds are fake and they're not even quality crystals! So I asked about selling the set for the gold scrap value. They tell me it's gold-plated!

I was mad, but I didn't know if my ex knew or if he was scammed. The jewelers where he bought the rings had closed down because people were finding out when they were bringing in real diamond jewelry to be sized or cleaned that their real diamonds were being taken out and were replaced with fake cheaply made stones. I went to another pawn shop and jewelry store hoping that the first place was wrong, but that was not the case. I did find someone that would take the set, but I literally got $10 for it, which at least replaced the gas I had burned going to all the different places for quotes. 

How to tell if your gold is real

One of the reasons many women choose not to sell their engagement ring is that the price they are quoted from a jeweler or auction site is much lower than what they believe their ring is worth.

There are several reasons diamonds lose so much value:

  1. Wholesale ring buyers need to make a profit when they resell your ring or earrings, so they like to buy low.
  2. Diamond values are down at least 30% from their peak in summer 2022.
  3. A common misunderstanding is that the engagement ring owner believes that, for example, she has a 1-carat engagement ring, when in reality, the center stone is .5 carats, and the surrounding smaller stones total .5 carats. Most jewelers or ring buyers value the smaller stones very little — perhaps less than $100 total in this case — and are only interested in the center stone.

Diamonds do not hold their value the same way that commodities like gold and silver do. Typically, the resale value of diamond jewelry is 30% to 50% of what you paid for it. 

One online diamond buyer told me that the resale value can be as little as 5%.

“People are always surprised by how little their diamond is worth, but diamond retail prices have always been inflated, and now prices are dropping like crazy,” he said.

Prices have fallen nearly 30% since their peak in summer 2022, according to IDEX, which tracks global diamond trends:

IDEX June 5, 2024 report.
IDEX June 5, 2024 report.

3. Try to sell your ring without documentation

Now, many people, especially those with smaller stones, do not have a proper diamond appraisal, and that is OK.

Nonetheless, do your best to learn everything you can about what your diamond is worth. If you have a GIA certificate for your engagement ring or other lab report, the original box, receipt, and any documentation of the size and quality of the stones and metal, send or bring it with you when you sell.

The resale value of your engagement ring depends on the size, cut, clarity and color of the stone, as well as the market value of the precious metal in which it is set. Plus, yours might be worth more if it's from a designer jewelry brand. All of these can be documented in a lab report or even a jewelry appraisal or diamond appraisal

These reports typically cost between $100 and $300, so they're only worth it if your item is worth at least $1,000.

4. Take the first offer for your engagement ring

It's always worthwhile to get at least two offers for your engagement ring (or any jewelry for that matter).

You can always start with a quote from a jewelry store, diamond buyer, or local pawn shop. 

No matter where you end up selling — even if you are not a skilled negotiator, the buyer will typically respond to your suggestion for a higher price. As my mom used to say: They won't respect you unless you negotiate!

It’s easy to obtain multiple offers from online diamond buyers. Here's how the process typically works:

  1. Online diamond buyers will ask you for some basic information about your engagement ring, either online or over the phone.
  2. They'll give you an initial estimate, either via email or over the phone.
  3. A quality online buyer will send a free FedEx, UPS, or USPS mailer that includes insurance (you should be able to track your item all the way to the buyer — and back if you decide not to sell).
  4. The diamond buyer will make a final offer after evaluating your engagement ring in person, which you can accept or reject. Again: negotiate! Many of the top diamond buyers offer payouts within 24 hours or less.

Best places to sell a diamond engagement ring

Based on our criteria and extensive research in the diamond-buying space, we've determined these are the four best options for selling your ring, based on what makes the most sense for you:

  • Pawn shop: Where to sell diamonds for immediate cash
  • DiamondsUSA: Best place to sell most wedding and engagement rings online
  • Worthy: Good choice for designer engagement rings
  • Diamond Banc: Best way to get cash without selling your engagement ring (jewelry loans)

Keep reading to learn about each of these options:

Best place to sell your diamond engagement ring for immediate cash: Local pawn broker near you

Pawnshops can have a bad reputation for paying pennies on the dollar. There are many local pawnbrokers that are honest, reputable business and will pay you a fair price for your diamond — or extend a pawn loan, allowing you to maintain ownership of your diamond and secure a short-term loan if you need money.


  • Immediate cash
  • Do business with a local company in your community
  • Possibility of pawn loan


  • Unlikely to get highest price for your engagement ring

This post outlines how to find a reputable, legit pawnshop in your community, and sell for the highest price (tip: know the value of your ring and always negotiate).

Find a pawnbroker near you:


Best place to sell most diamond engagement rings: Diamonds USA

Selling your engagement ring to a local jeweler or pawn shop may give you quick cash, which is important to a lot of people. However, local jewelry buyers typically pay less than online buyers — plus also require you to leave your house (annoying), and have a much less private process than online diamond buyers.

DiamondsUSA is one of the best gold and jewelry buyers on the market and buys any and all sizes of gold and diamond jewelry, including lab-grown diamonds. We also like Diamonds USA because:

  • A+ BBB rating
  • Payouts within 24 hours of an accepted offer
  • Fully insured shipments from your home
  • Guarantee they will beat any written price for your engagement ring

Most other buyers require a minimum size and value of diamond engagement ring or loose diamond, typically .5 carats and $1,000.

These are some recent Diamond USA sales:

January 2024 — White gold engagement ring set with 1.29 carat center stone with a clarity I1 with color J-K w strong fluorescence, paid $1,500:

You can sell an engagement ring on CashforGold, like this 2.89 total carat weight ring, which sold for $903.

January 2024 — 1.16 total carat weight engagement ring set, paid $445:

January 2024 — 1.78 total carat weight engagement ring set, paid $550:

January 2024 — 2.89 total carat weight engagement ring set, paid $903:

DiamondsUSA is also a good option for selling gold and platinum wedding rings. Actually, DiamondsUSA and its sister sites, CashforGoldUSA and CashforSilverUSA, can help you sell the following:

  • Diamond engagement ring with a center stone of any size
  • Wedding ring with lots of small diamonds in the setting (known as melee diamonds)
  • Engagement ring with small diamonds or other gemstones in the setting
  • All other diamond, gold, gemstone, or even silver jewelry, coins and bullion

Where to sell a designer engagement ring: Worthy

If you have something that’s high value because you have large diamonds or a designer engagement ring (Tiffany & Co, Cartier, Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels, etc.), and you don't need the money immediately, consider Worthy.

Worthy accepts engagement rings if the largest diamond is at least 0.90 carat in weight and auctions them to a network of more than 1,000 professional buyers.

These are some recent auction payouts for engagement rings on

March 2024 — 0.97-1.08 carat princess cut bridal set, sold for $1,450

March 2024 — 1.5 carat round cut bridal set, sold for $3,193

March 2024 — 2.07 carat round cut solitaire ring, sold for $8,000

Check out my Worthy review to learn more about my personal experience selling an engagement ring with the auction platform.

Where to get cash for your engagement ring without selling: Diamond Banc

If you need to get the most money for your engagement ring today, but you don’t really want to sell it, then consider a jewelry loan from Diamond Banc. A jewelry loan allows you to send in your engagement ring (or other jewelry) as collateral against a loan, in exchange for interest.

Learn more about how jewelry loans work and read our Diamond Banc review.

Moissanite vs diamond: What to know about resale value in 2023

Cubic zirconia vs diamonds: What to know before you buy

FAQs about selling an engagement ring

Can I legally sell my engagement ring?

In all states, any item that was gifted to you, you own. Typically, an engagement ring is a gift from one person to the other — the receiver of the ring in this case has full legal ownership and has the right to sell, trade or trash it.

Should I get my engagement ring appraised before selling?

An appraisal from a local jeweler is useful for insurance resale value, or perhaps to understand the quality of your engagement ring. A lab report can be very helpful in selling your engagement ring, or for getting a loan against your ring, but will cost $100 to $300, so this only makes sense for more valuable items.

How much will I get if I sell my diamond ring? How much is a diamond worth?

Your engagement ring is worth the current market price for the diamond and metal.

The real value in selling your wedding or engagement ring or other jewelry you don’t wear is that it frees up all that negative energy attached to the item, stewing indefinitely in your jewelry box. It felt good to rid my home and mind of that significant marriage memento.

Even if you loved the ring, loved your ex, loved being married, love any kids that came from that union (yes, yes, yes, yes for me), it is time to move on and free the mental energy attached to the ring — not to mention the money!

How much will a jeweler pay for an engagement diamond ring or wedding ring set?

A jeweler will likely pay you anywhere from 5% to 50% of the retail value of your ring, similar to pawn shops. Again, this may be less than what you would get from an online buyer, as a jeweler will have a higher markup. Shop around to ensure you get the best price and always negotiate. 

A 1-carat diamond and gold engagement ring will fetch resale prices ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the cut, quality and setting. Platinum setting and large side stones can mean higher prices, as can name brands like Tiffany or Cartier.

Bottom line: Is it worth it to sell an old engagement ring?

A couple years after my divorce, I sold my engagement ring and wedding band at a fine jewelry buyer in New York City, where I lived.

I only received a fraction of what my now ex-husband and I paid for it, but I felt I got a fair price and used the proceeds to fund a trip my kids took to Europe with their dad to visit family — which I felt good about.

You can get a quote for your engagement ring within a day at DiamondsUSA.

How about you? Do you still have your engagement ring? Do you feel you understood the true resale value of your jewelry?

Share in the comments!

Where can I sell my engagement ring for the most money?

Selling your engagement ring to a local jeweler or pawn shop may give you quick cash, which is important to a lot of people. However, brick-and-mortar jewelry buyers typically pay less than online buyers, so I recommend considering a reputable diamond buyer online.

Do engagement rings hold their value?

While over time, diamonds have historically risen in value from a retail price point, do not expect to get your money back on an engagement ring. Typically, resale value of fine gemstone jewelry is one-third to one-half of what you pay for it. Diamond prices have been declining over the past year.

How much can you sell an engagement ring for?

A 1-carat diamond and gold engagement ring will fetch resale prices ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the cut, quality and setting. Large side stones can mean higher prices, as can name brands like Tiffany or Cartier.

How much will a jeweler pay for a diamond ring?

A jeweler will likely pay you anywhere from 20% to 50% of the retail value of your ring. Shop around to ensure you get the best price.

Should you sell your engagement ring?

Overall, I am a huge fan of selling your engagement ring in the event that your relationship ends, and I did so myself. Diamond prices are declining, so best to sell now before your ring is worth less in the future.


Sold it to help pay off debts accrued during marriage. My advice, don’t get it appraised first. The diamond dealer who bought mine gave me less money when I brought back the appraisal. Remember, they’re not your friend. They aren’t doing you any favors.

I’m going to sell my rings, and use the money to help buy my daughter’s wedding dress. That way the rings will go to her in some way, but be a blessing to her, instead.

I went to Cancun, got my belly pierced and had my diamond reset into a belly ring. Also had a fling with a hot Latino waiter…

Thanks , I’ve recently been searching for information about this subject
for ages and yours is the greatest I have discovered so
far. However, what in regards to the bottom line? Are you positive in regards to the supply?

I would love to sell mine but when I tried to, I found out the “$10,000” diamond was fake. Seems appropriate based on my marriage experience. Live and learn!

I am not divorced but my mother and father got divorced. My mom hung onto her ring for me. She thought multiple times about selling but didn’t. My step dad also hung onto his ring for his daughter. When my husband asked permission to marry me he was given the ring. I love it and it means so much to me.

I held onto mine for 9 years after everything was done. I asked my daughter who was 13 if she would like me to save the rings for her (which I paid for our entire set and as well $21,000 in his schooling and he didn’t finish his degree). She declined and suggested I sell the rings. I went to a reputable jeweler in my area and was surprised how much I received!!! I have the money in savings bonds for kids for college. I slowly got rid of pieces of furniture and other household items and replaced with my own choices. My house is my own style now. Only thing I have left isn’t wedding dress and wedding photo albums I don’t know what to do with so packed away and put in storage……what did everyone do with their wedding albums:photos?

Great experience … and good Q … I have all the pics … I like to remember the good times and feel those memories belong to my kids.

I have a “show diamond…looking as if he spent a fortune. Go figure. Ex bought a one and three quarter diamond surrounded br nice bagets..six. bur the diamond was exactlythat. “LOOK WHAT I BOUGHT HER..” What looked like a 10,000 ring has so much carbon..worth maybe 1,500…I may donate it to a food bank or homeless shelter. Not doing me a darn bit of good hanging around.

that sounds like a plan! Or … sell the ring and donate the $$ … might be more helpful to the charity.

After having my diamond engagement ring and wedding bands stowed in a safe for the last two years, I decided it’s time to get them out of my life. Appreciate all of the advice I found here. Whatever I get for the rings, I intend to donate half to the Democrats. Then I will let my hillbilly ex know just where his money was donated. #SweetRevenge.

LOL–Lee You are too funny…I feel like Ebeneezer…I want one ghost to show me hope for compassion, grace and forgiveness to drizzle down and peace to settle in

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