Do you have diamonds, gold, an engagement ring or other find jewelry that you no longer want or need? Or perhaps you realize you could sell it for money that you really need.
Unlike stocks and bonds, or an old car, jewelry is an asset that tends to be very emotionally loaded, and it can be hard to decide whether or not to sell it for cash — no matter how broke you are!
Add to it the normal fears of getting ripped off, or otherwise finding a legitimate buyer who will give you a fair price.
In this post I outline:
- How to decide whether to sell your jewelry (vs keeping it)
- Sell your jewelry online vs locally near you
- What you need to know to get a fair price for your jewelry
- Where to sell!
Should you sell your gold, diamond or jewelry?
Examples of how women have turned jewelry-box clutter into self-care:
- Bonded with kids on a cruise paid for with money from selling ring from a broken engagement.
- Used money from selling earnings from an ex-boyfriend to earn a yoga instructor certificate — and start a new career!
- Profits from selling engagement ring after a divorce used for a hiking retreat in Italy.
- Jewelry inherited from an aunt with whom the new owner had a long and painful relationship, was auctioned on Worthy.com, and the money was used to landscape her yard — which honored the aunt’s love of gardening, gave the niece joy, and improved her home’s value.
All those shared memories are locked in furniture on which you created memories, china you hosted dinner parties together, and linens that represented evenings and mornings spent with one another.
Many relationships involve precious jewelry — investments that represented care, love, tradition and a shared vision for the future.
Here’s the thing: Even if that jewelry is worth tens of thousands of dollars, it is still clutter to you.
Why? You’re not enjoying it.
Those diamond rings, necklaces, earrings, and broaches represent something negative (even if there are some fond memories attached).
It all holds energy, good or bad.
Cleanse out the bad energy, welcome the good.
Unlike tossing out old clothes or cleaning your pantry, selling unused, or toxic jewelry can make you serious money.
All that negative energy can translate into a positive experience:
A list of reasons you SHOULD NOT sell your jewelry — online, or anywhere else:
- You wear it regularly and feel good about wearing it.
That's it. That is the only reason you should NOT sell your ring.
Not your story? SELL YOUR JEWELRY!
Let go of old things, it makes space for new
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.
I also wrote about how to sell valuable necklaces, watches, and bracelets. Not sure what to do with that pretty Tiffany engagement ring? Read my post on selling Tiffany jewelry for the best price. Same with how to sell Cartier jewelry, LOVE bracelets, and watches for the most money.
Heirloom, inherited, estate and antique jewelry are often confusing and emotional assets that can earn the owner money to honor their loved one in a meaningful way. Learn more about appraising and selling your estate and antique jewelry.
If you specifically want to research selling diamond jewelry or loose diamonds or gemstones, there are some quality resources online and in-person.
Reasons to sell your jewelry include:
- 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.
- It is legally yours, so why not? Almost always, the person who received the engagement ring or wedding ring has legal property rights to it in a divorce.
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.
Another value of selling diamonds and other jewelry online is that the right buyer will provide a certified GIA or IGA lab report for free. This is not the same as an appraisal — it's way better!
Most local jewelers near you will offer jewelry appraisals — usually for free. This can be a good estimate of the replacement value of your jewelry, which can help you get it insured, and understand its value.
However, if you want to know the true value of what your jewelry is worth, and how much you can get for it by selling, you really need a certified lab report.
There are just a few internationally recognized jewelry grading laboratories, and these include the Gemological Institute of America, or GIA, based in New York City, and the International Gemological Institute, or IGI, based in Antwerp, Belgium.
Worthy works with both of these laboratories, which provide the most respected, independent, third-party certifications (a.k.a. lab reports) on your jewelry.
GIA and IGI laboratories are equipped with extremely sophisticated grading equipment, and they provide value estimates based on databases of millions of recent sales.
A GIA certificate, or IGI certificate, provides definitive grading information about your diamond or gemstone ring, earrings, necklace, brooch, or bracelet. The certificate will also provide a market value range for your item. Expect to pay $100 to $200 for most reports, though more valuable jewelry will cost more to grade.
If you chose to sell a ring or other jewelry at Worthy, you will get a free IGI or GIA certificate, which is yours to keep, even in the event you chose not to sell.
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!). These are all outlined in the reviews, above.
Selling your jewelry locally vs online — why work with an online jewelry buyer
It can be confusing and scary to decide to sell your fine jewelry through an online jewelry auction, diamond buyer or gold buyer. Perhaps you have a local jeweler whom your family has known a long time and trust. Selling an engagement ring, watch, tennis bracelet or other jewelry locally can be a fine choice, but reselling jewelry online typically results in a higher price, more transparency and convenience. Here is why:
- If you work with the online jewelry auction site Worthy.com, you will receive a free GIA lab report, which is the only way to truly understand the dimensions and resale value of your gemstone and jewelry. Meanwhile, a local jeweler may give you a reasonable appraisal price, but it is not lab-certified, and therefore not as accurate as a report from an organization recognized worldwide for its objective accuracy.
- Worthy.com auctions are bid on by hundreds of vetted buyers, which sets a true auction price — opposed to receiving a single offer from a local jeweler.
- Reputable online jewelry sellers typically have many thousands and thousands of customers and clients — who can leave reviews, report to the Better Business Bureau and TrustPilot. If an online jewelry buyer is scammy or sleazy, you can likely learn that online, Meanwhile, a local jeweler's reputation is mostly word-of-mouth and harder to learn about.
Can you resell jewelry back to jewelry stores?
Meanwhile, you may want to return your engagement ring or other jewelry back to the store where you bought it — or participate in a resell program from Tiffany, Cartier, Kay Jewelers, and Zales. While jewelers will not typically buy back jewelry they sold you after a 30-day window, some retailers do have trade-up programs that allow you to cash in the value of your current diamond and apply that to a more expensive piece of jewelry, or larger center diamond.
However, these programs do not include any certified lab reports to understand the resale value of your diamond, and are not helpful if your goal is to get cash for your jewelry, fast!
Is it safe to sell your jewelry online?
WP Diamonds and Worthy are two of the leading online sites that will help you sell your diamond ring and other jewelry. There are countless places to sell your jewelry online. Some are excellent, while others are, frankly, shady.
Before you send your ring to a buyer you found online, check the company's status with the Better Business Bureau, TrustPilot, and Yelp — and read the company's online review. Also, ask friends and family if they are familiar with the company. Finally, only work with a company that provides delivery through a national shipping service like FedEx, UPS or USPS, and get a tracking number and insurance policy for your item. Both WP Diamonds and Worthy check these boxes.
Why sell your engagement ring or other jewelry online?
Overall, I am a huge fan of selling your engagement ring in the event that your relationship ends, and I did so myself about five years ago.
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, again, I felt good about.
The real value in selling bridal jewelry, 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.
Even if you loved the ring, loved your ex, loved being married (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!
I recently decided to try out Worthy.com for myself, and sell a nice, modest diamond ring that I had come into, but had no use for. As pretty as it was, the yellow gold and diamond ring did nothing for me by sitting in my jewelry box.
Time to stop fretting about what to do with it, sell it, and move on already!
What about diamond upgrades and trade-ins?
Local jewelers, as well as some national jewelry stores offer diamond upgrade and trade-in services, in which they will evaluate your jewelry, offer you a sum that you can then apply to another, more expensive piece of jewelry:
- Kay Jewelers diamond upgrade and trade-in services
- Jared diamond upgrade and trade-in services
- Tiffany diamond upgrade policy
- Nordstrom diamond upgrade policy
This list is, in general, legitimate jewelry retailers. But if you are looking to sell a ring, watch or other jewelry for the most cash, upgrade and trade-in services are not the best route. Why?
- A local jewelry store — including a national chain — will not provide a certified lab report on you jewelry. A lab report is the only way to guarantee the dimensions of your diamond, and authenticate the price offered is a fair market rate. Even an appraisal is not the same as a lab report.
- In other words, Kay Jewelers, Jared, Nordstron or Zales will extend an estimated resale value of what your diamond is worth — but you have no way of knowing what you could get for it on the open market.
- If you really want cash for your unused or unwanted jewelry, don't let a sales person talk you into getting a BIGGER, MORE EXPENSIVE piece of jewelry, when what you really want is cash.
- Ready to cleanse your life of bad mojo? Those negative vibes may then attach to the new upgrade.
Ready to sell your jewelry online from home?
Online jewelry buyers like Worthy and CashforGoldUSA are excellent if you need cash fast, since they pay directly via Paypal or bank transfer.
Learn more about selling your gold jewelry for the highest price, including selling jewelry to CashforGoldUSA.
Read my experience with selling a diamond ring in my Worthy.com review.
Conclusion: Just trade your diamonds for cash, and use it to reach your goals: pay off debt, buy a house, pay for college, a vacation, renovate, plan for retirement!
Wealthysinglemommy.com founder Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, activist and author. A former Associated Press reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has appeared on CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, TIME, The Doctors, MONEY, 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. A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Emma's Top Single Mom Resources.