How to sell gemstones for cash in 2022

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Gemstones, including rubies, emeralds, and sapphires, can be sold for cash, much the same as diamonds and other jewelry. This post summarizes how to understand the value of your gemstone, the process of how to sell gemstones for the highest price, and the most reputable gemstone buyers.

How can I sell my gemstones for cash?

From my investigation over the past 10 years, these two companies are amongst the most reputable gemstone buyers: Worthy.com and CashforGoldUSA.com

Worthy is an online marketplace where you can auction jewelry with larger gemstones, including 1/2 carat or larger diamonds. Get a free estimate from Worthy now >>

CashforGoldUSA specializes in buying gold, silver, platinum, and diamond jewelry with smaller gemstones. Learn what your jewelry is worth at CashforGoldUSA, and get paid within 24 hours >>

How do I sell raw gemstones?

Crystals, such as amethyst, quartz, selenite, citrine, jade and lapis lazuli are believed to possess various types of energy and healing powers and have become very popular in recent years. Typically unpolished or in a raw or rough state, these semiprecious stones may have some secondary value on a site like etsy or ebay. Raw or rough gemstones like rubies or sapphires, if they are of significant size and quality, may be of interest to the buyers in this post. Keep reading!

Here’s what else you should know about selling gemstones (both polished and raw gemstones):

Where should I sell my gemstones for cash?

Whether your gemstones are loose or are a component of jewelry, you can typically sell your gemstone to the same buyers that might be interested in purchasing diamonds or precious metals. Jewelers, gemstone dealers, diamond buyers, diamond exchanges, antique dealers, and local pawn shops all typically accept gemstones. Some may even specialize in buying and selling stones. Selling through a consignment store is also an option.

Who buys gemstones? Places where you can sell gemstones and raw gemstones “near me” include:

Pawnshops, jewelers, local cash-for-gold shops and estate and antique dealers in your area likely buy diamonds. There are pros and cons to selling locally: Pros include that you may personally know and trust a gemstone buyer, and it can feel safer to sell in-person.

However, online diamond buyers that have good reputations are incentivized by sheer Internet competition to pay the highest price, and maintain a good, honest business because their potential client base is national or international — and not just local. Plus, online businesses do not have to invest in expensive retail locations or sales people, which keeps their costs down, and can pass the savings on to buyers in the form of higher prices paid out.

What about selling to an online gemstone buyer?

Online gemstone buyers are another excellent option for selling your stones. These buyers operate through websites or online platforms to either purchase your gemstone directly, or to connect you with a buyer who might be interested in your stone.  

Worthy is an online marketplace where you can auction jewelry, including gemstones like alexandrite, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires. When you sell through Worthy, they will take professional photographs of your jewelry, complete a GIA lab report to verify the gemstone’s composition, and market your item to buyers in their auction marketplace — taking a seller’s fee out of the final price paid to you. 

CashforGoldUSA specializes in buying jewelry and precious metals, paying within 24 hours of receiving your item, and guaranteeing the highest price, or they will return your item free of charge immediately. CashforGoldUSA stands out as one of the oldest and most reputable online gold buyers, as a Fox Business News investigation found the company to pay three times more than its competitors.

Both CashforGoldUSA and Worthy have A+ Better Business Bureau ratings.

How do I find the value of my gemstones?

In order to get the most money, you must understand how gemstones are graded, which gives you an idea of what they’re worth. 

What to know about gemstone grading:

While there are a number of factors that will influence the value of your gemstone, the most important are the same as for diamonds: 

  • Color: What specific color or hue is your stone? The rarer and more vibrant the color, generally speaking, the more valuable your gemstone.
  • Clarity: The clearer your stone, the more valuable it will be.
  • Carat: The larger your gemstone, the more valuable it will be.
  • Cut: If your gemstone is processed, the specific cut and quality of cut will impact its value.

Also, any stone treatments (such as heating) can potentially impact value greatly, even if the end result is a large, clear, and vibrant stone. The origin of colored stones can also play a large part in their value. For example, with all factors being equal, an emerald from Colombia is worth more than an emerald from Zambia, just like a Burmese ruby is valued higher than one from Mozambique.

While it may be possible to reference online charts and resources to conduct some sort of assessment for yourself, in order to get an accurate picture of your gemstone’s worth you need an appraisal.

What are the grades of gemstones?

According to the Gemological Institute of America, there is no standard quality-grading scale for gemstones. In most gemstones grading reports, gemologists simply note whether a gem is “eye-clean” (meaning inclusions aren’t visible to the naked eye) or has visible inclusions, which lower a gem’s value. GIA groups colored gems into three clarity types: 

  • Type I (usually eye-clean)
  • Type II (usually included)
  • Type III (almost always included)

While it isn’t an “official” grading system, many individual companies follow these designations:   

AA-AAA Grade: 

  • Near perfect
  • More expensive
  • AAA usually reserved for precious gems like rubies, emeralds, and sapphires
  • AA usually reserved for semi-precious stones like amethyst and garnet
  • High transparency
  • Vivid and even color saturation
  • Not usually color enhanced
  • Typically faceted cut

A-B Grade: 

  • Slight inclusions
  • Good transparency
  • Well cut
  • Slight color variations or streaks

C-D Grade: 

  • More inclusions
  • Low transparency
  • Varying cuts and styles
  • More noticeable color variations or streaks

What is AAA grade gemstone?

AAA grade gemstones are considered to be near perfect based on color, clarity, carat, and cut. 

What is the highest quality of gems?

The highest-quality gems have no inclusions visible to the naked eye, are vibrant in color, and are typically precious gems like rubies, sapphires and emeralds. GIA would rate the highest-quality gemstones as Type I, while most individual companies would issue a AAA designation. 

These are the 10 most valuable gemstones in the world: 

  1. Blue Diamond – $3.93 million per carat
  2. Jadeite – $3 million per carat
  3. Pink Diamond – $1.19 million per carat
  4. Ruby – $1.18 million per carat
  5. Emerald – $305,000 per carat
  6. Alexandrite – $70,000 per carat
  7. Musgravite – $35,000 per carat
  8. Red Beryl – $10,000 per carat
  9. Black Opal – $9,500 per carat
  10. Tanzanite – $1,200 per carat

How are gems rated?

There is no standard quality-grading scale for gemstones, but most individual companies rate gems on a scale of AAA to D, with D representing the lowest-quality stones. 

How to appraise your gemstone

You can find appraisers who specialize in appraising gemstones; many jewelers and buyers also appraise stones. The most accurate of appraisals will require laboratory testing to measure color and clarity against scientific benchmarks and recent market data — whether yours is a loose stone, newer piece, or estate or antique jewelry

These posts will help you understand more about reselling fine jewelry for the highest price, including necklaces, engagement rings, earrings, bracelets, and pieces from Tiffany and Cartier — as well as timepieces.

What is the difference between precious vs. semi precious gemstones?

There are only four gemstones considered to be precious — diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires. All other gemstones are designated semi precious. Precious gemstones are set apart because of their quality, rarity, and the vibrance of their colors. However, according to the International Gem Society, today’s gemologists don’t typically use those terms because they imply that some gems are worth more than others, which isn’t always the case.

How much is alexandrite worth?

Alexandrite is a popular gemstone in how its color can change in different lights: blue or green in daylight, and purple, pink or red in incandescent or candlelight. As such, the value of your alexandrite is most impacted by the purity of its color, as well as how dramatic and noticeable the color change.

Other factors, such as clarity, carat size, and cut will also determine the value of your alexandrite. Low-quality alexandrite can sell for as little as $100, but high-quality stones can sell for tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

How much are emeralds worth?

As mentioned above, color, clarity, carat, and cut will all determine the value of your emerald. The most important of these factors, however, is color. 

The most valuable emeralds are typically those that exhibit a vivid, saturated, not-too-dark bluish-green to a pure green color. The color should be evenly distributed throughout the gem, and the gem should be fully transparent. Generally speaking, the richer and more saturated the hue of the emerald, the more valuable it will be. 

Emeralds sell for anywhere between a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. 

How much is a ruby worth?

As with other colored gemstones, color is one of the most important factors determining the price of your ruby. The most valuable of rubies tend to be an intense deep red in color, and may even be a slightly purplish red. Likewise, the clearer the stone—the fewer inclusions, or impurities—the more valuable it will be. 

While richer and deeper hues are typically better for gemstones, if a ruby is too dark in color it may actually negatively affect the price. This is typically a concern with stones that are so dark that the color of the ruby cannot be appreciated because it absorbs too much light. On the other end of the spectrum, once they are clearly pink and not red, they’re pink sapphires, and they can also fetch competitive prices. 

Generally speaking, the rarer the color, the more valuable the ruby will ultimately be. The most common hues falling in the middle of the spectrum between pinks and deeper reds can sell for hundreds or thousands of dollars, with rarer and higher-quality stones selling for tens of thousands of dollars. 

How much is a sapphire worth?

The value of sapphires, like rubies and emeralds, is predominantly tied to the color of the stone. Stones which have a high degree of clarity, color intensity, and saturation will be worth more than stones of lesser quality. Note: Treatments a stone may have undergone will play a part in its final value. It is likely that a smaller untreated ruby with amazing clarity, color, and saturation will fetch much more than a larger, heated ruby with the same clarity, color, and saturation. Heating sapphires and rubies to achieve a more desirable color is an accepted treatment, so untreated stones with naturally desirable colors are rare and hence valued more.   

While most people think of blue gemstones when they think of sapphires, the truth is that these gems can be found in a wide range of colors. Blue, pink, purple, orange, and yellow sapphires are all highly sought after. One of the rarest, and therefore most valuable, of colors is the Padparadscha sapphire, which is pink-orange in color.

Sapphires range in price from $25 to $11,000 per carat.

How much is opal worth?

Opal is a unique stone in how it reflects light, and as such the value of opal is often tied to these unique qualities. The class (single vs. doublet vs. triplet, body tone (white vs. black opal), play of color (variety of colors reflected in light), brilliance (clarity of the stone), and internal pattern can all significantly impact the value of an opal. Rare opals can sell for hundreds to thousands of dollars — or be worth tens of dollars.

Learn more about the price of gold and selling gold for the highest price, including gold buyers near you, the best silver buyers, as well as what platinum is worth.

Learn about how much pearls are worth and how to sell them.

Bottom line: Is there money in selling gemstones?

Yes! Once you learn about how to sell gemstones, you will want to know where to sell gemstones. You can certainly do a search for “gemstone buyers near me,” but there are two reputable online gemstone buyers we recommend.

If you have a large gemstone or gemstone jewelry worth more than $1,000, then Worthy.com is a quality auction platform that will help you sell your item for the highest price to multiple bidders.

If your gemstone or jewelry is worth $1,000 or less, CashforGoldUSA is the best place to sell your item for fast cash within 24 hours.

Learn how much your silver is worth and how to sell it

Where should I sell my gemstones for cash?

Whether your gemstones are loose or are a component of jewelry, you can typically sell your gemstone to the same buyers that might be interested in purchasing diamonds or precious metals. Jewelers, gemstone dealers, diamond buyers, diamond exchanges, antique dealers, and local pawn shops all typically accept gemstones.

Who buys gemstones near me?

Pawn shops, jewelers, local cash-for-gold shops and estate and antique dealers in your area likely buy diamonds.

How do I find the value of my gemstones?

In order to get the most money, you must understand how gemstones are graded, which gives you an idea of what they’re worth.

Is there money in selling gemstones?

If you have a large gemstone or gemstone jewelry, then Worthy.com is a quality auction platform that will help you sell your item for the highest price to multiple bidders. If your gemstone or jewelry is worth less, CashforGoldUSA is the best place to sell your item for fast cash within 24 hours.

Wealthysinglemommy.com founder Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, activist, author and expert. A former Associated Press reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has appeared on CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, TIME, The Doctors, Elle, 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. As an expert on divorce and gender, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality and multiple state legislature hearings. More about Emma's credentials.

14 Comments

My father was a jewelry hobbyist and before he passed away he gave me several trays of various gem stone where can I get a free appraisal for the for possibility of selling them and where can I take them to sell them

I don’t know anyone that would do appraisals on gems or jewelry for free. You could search for a jewelry store that has a GIA Gemologist. That more than likely
would not be in a chain type jewelry store like Zales etc. Either way you will have to pay for the appraisal. I would ask for close up pictures of quality too.

Hello
Sir/ madam
I have to sell top quality transperant burma ruby of 4 pieces caret 3, and 9 caret, and helo sapphire of 3.50 caret, white sapphire 4.50 caret, dark blue sapphire of 11.75 caret, blue silony sapphire clean top quality of 4.85 caret all stones are natural unheated and untreated . let me know how to sell and cost

I have multiple loose and cut Tanzanite/Tsavorite stones. that I Brough home from Kenya. All have been appraised now I’m looking for buyers. How can I get rid of these?

Hello
I live in Chicago. My mom just shipped me 500 grams of morganite ranging from 5 carats to 37 carats. I am looking for buyers. Any advice.

Hello I live in tx and I have a raw gem stone .i have been told by a small gem stone store it is a phosphophylite gem .they said it is a rare stone .it weight is 4lbs 13 oz .and I can’t find any body that wants to look at it .to tell me if it is as such any help would be very grateful.

Hi, I have a gemstone and looking for an expect to tell me how much it worth and where can I can help to sell it. I can also share the pictures if anyone interested to see.

My mom passed away she had several loose gems I would like to know how much they are worth . I can not afford to have them appraised. We are on a fixed income. My husband is on disability. I am only able to work part time. So I can help him. I have sold a few. To a jeweler I feel like I may have been taken advantage of. Can anyone help?

I just had some gems, that I faucet, from raw stones and cost me $ 150.00 per gem, so I only did 2 and still can’t find buyers, I have pictures of everyone I have now that are cut polished if know anyone

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