I've had a long-standing relationship with the diamond buyer Worthy.com, which has an online marketplace for selling your diamond engagement ring, heirloom and estate jewelry, watches and other jewels.
There are lots of reasons that I chose to work with them, including their A+ Better Business Bureau rating, that a casual search online revealed mostly positive posts, and, because increasingly, from women I know, I hear good things about Worthy's great customer service and getting the best price for their diamonds and other jewelry they no longer need.
Why 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 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 is Worthy.com?
Worthy is an online jewelry auction site where anyone can submit a diamond engagement ring, wedding jewelry, gold, diamond, platinum and gemstone earrings, necklaces, bracelets as well as watches.
Unlike jewelry and gold buyers, Worthy provides sellers with a free GIA certified appraisal. Worthy's online auction allows jewelry buyers around the world to bid on your jewelry, driving up the price and helping you get the highest market price.
Wealthy people have enjoyed the benefits of selling their jewelry and other luxury items like art and fine furniture through New York auction houses like Sotheby's, Bonhams and Christie's for decades. However, most people have not had access to the benefits of selling their jewelry through an auction. Now, Worthy allows you those benefits.
How Worthy.com Works
Here is my experience selling an engagement ring on Worthy.com.
First, I went to this page on Worthy.com.
I had a rough idea about the diamond's dimensions and made an educated guess about the color and clarity.
Weight, cut, color and clarity (if you forgot since shopping for an engagement ring!) are the main factors that jewelers use to determine a diamond's value.
Based on the info I put in, here is what similar rings sell for:
This amount seemed totally fair to me based on the limited information I had about this diamond engagement ring, and so I decided to move forward with the next steps.
A nice-seeming woman popped up on the chat box and asked if I had questions:
About GIA: I happen to know a bit about the Gemological Institute of America, because when I first moved to NYC about 15 years ago, I worked for a jewelry trade magazine, and I learned a lot about the fine jewelry business.
GIA is a very, very trusted institute that grades fine jewelry, and has been around for 86 years.
The laboratory employs certified gemologists whose whole mission is to protect buyers from scams in the jewelry industry, because — let's face it — the industry does have a not-great reputation, and under-pricing is common.
I really love that because Worthy buys diamonds, they work with GIA to verify exactly what my ring is worth.
I also loved that Worthy was paying for Fedex, which I know will provide me with a tracking number so I can stalk my ring all through this process — as well as insurance in the event that something happens to the ring.
Jewels are so small and valuable — I worry anything could happen in transit!
Saira offered to initiate the Fedex process, and even schedule a pickup for the same day. Have I been transported to the future?
Within a few minutes of setting everything up via chat, I received both an email with the Fedex mailing instruction and forms, as well as a text:
It was kind of blowing my mind how quick and efficient this whole process. From a business and user-experience point of view, I was very, very impressed.
From landing at Worthy.com to confirming pickup took literally, less than 10 minutes.
The next day a cute Fedex delivery guy came with an envelope, helped me pack my ring and documents, and took it away to financial and emotional cleansing!
The really cool thing that I didn't expect is that I was constantly updated by Worthy along the whole process. I get why: If you are sending in a piece of jewelry that is worth a lot of money, and / or really sentimentally valuable to you, you're likely at least a little nervous that that cute Fedex guy might not be entirely trustworthy, or that an X-ray of the package might tip off some not-so-honest person along the way.
Then I received an email asking me to schedule a phone interview to go through the steps of this process.
On one hand, can't you just email it to me? But then again, if Worthy.com wants to take the time to talk to me on the phone, then why not.
So I scheduled a time later that day with Saira, who spent about 15 minutes walking me through each and every step of what to expect next.
I'm not gonna lie: She had a very nice voice and I liked her:
Also, Worthy.com sent me texts and emails to keep me posted — including when the diamond engagement ring arrived at Worthy HQ the very next day:
A few days after sending the ring, I get a text and an email saying the ring has been graded and is ready for auction:
When I open the report and see the recommendation of the minimum price I could to get for my diamond ring, I was pretty surprised.
It was lower than I thought.
But it turns out it was a lot smaller than I thought (and, frankly, crappier quality). After all, I am not a gemologist — what do I know about diamond grading?
The reason I am confident that Worthy's evaluation of the ring is accurate (and mine is wrong) is that it was done by GIA, and they gave me the whole report (for free) detailing exactly the dimensions and quality.
What I thought was a .86 carat diamond, turned out to be a much smaller center stone, with some even smaller side stones, and the ENTIRE diamond weight was .86. Big difference. I was wrong.
Normally for a ring like this, a GIA report costs $100 -$200. Even if you decide to halt the auction process and have Worthy return the ring to you, you still keep to keep the report, which you can use for insurance purposes, or in the event you decide to sell in the future.
You can see the whole GIA report here.
Based on these qualities, dimensions, and weights, I was able to cross-check the diamond's value on other sites around the web.
I felt like the price range they suggested was fair and accurate.
Worthy.com gives you three options for selling your jewelry:
- Sell immediately at the price they recommend, for a guaranteed sum. In this case, Worthy honors this minimum price, sends the ring to market, and in the event it sells for more, you receive the highest price.
- You set a minimum price higher than the Worthy recommended minimum, then send it to market, to see what the market will bring — which could be lower or higher than what they quoted. You decide at the time of sale whether to accept the highest offer.
- Set a buy-it-now price. If a buyer bids in this amount, the item will sell immediately and the auction will end.
I opted to try my luck and set a minimum price higher than they suggested.
What did I have to lose?
Over the next two days I got a couple of texts and emails letting me know how the auction was going.
I could also log onto my Worthy.com account at any time and see how many people were bidding, and for how much, and where in the world or country they were located.
It was like watching Auction Kings, except on a computer and not as exciting:
- Great reputation. In addition to its Better Business Bureau A+ review rating, and hundreds of customer testimonials, Worthy has been featured in reputable publications including the New York Times (twice), Crain's New York Business, Bravo, Washington Post, Entrepreneur, Reader's Digest, Woman's Day, and others.
- Really easy to use.
- Transparent process — you can see every single step along the way.
- Great customer service. The chat was really easy to use (no wait), and I could call and talk to a human at any time.
- Convenient. They covered all the costs: Fedex, insurance, and the GIA report.
- Control. I could back out at any time, no problem, which made me feel really in control.
- Fast. The whole process took a few days.
- Best price. Since it is an auction, and hundreds of people around the world were bidding, I felt like I was getting the best price — can't argue with the market, after all! By comparison, when I sold my own engagement ring, I went to one jeweler in my city, and had to trust they were giving me a market price. One jeweler does not equal the market.
- Reputation. For the appraisal, Worthy.com partners with GIA, the most reputable gemstone and jewelry grading laboratory in the world.
- It is online, which can be challenging for some people. Especially if you have a very valuable or sentimental item, it might feel a lot more comfortable to meet in person. If you happen to live in or visit New York City, Worthy welcome you into their offices to meet them for an initial appraisal with their Chief Gemologist Ray Albers, who is the former head of gemstone acquisitions for Tiffany & Co., which a lot of people do, and they welcome it. Otherwise, I found Worthy very accessible
- There was a lot of communication. Between the texts, emails and a phone call, Worthy was up in my grill. Ultimately, this is a great thing, but if you are a busy single mom, you might be like: just sell the damn ring and send me my money already! Or not.
How to sell jewelry using Worthy
Sound confusing? It's not. Selling your ring, bracelet, loose diamond, watch, gold jewelry, necklace, engagement ring, estate and inherited jewelry, or other items is so easy:
- Go to Worthy.com.
- Enter your contact info, and a few details about your jewelry.
- Receive a trackable FedEx mailer within a day, typically.
- Send your item via a trackable FedEx mailer, insured for up to $100,000.
- Receive a GIA-certified grading appraisal and for your engagement ring or other jewelry.
- Set the price for your item.
- Once the auction closes, you receive payment via Paypal within 24 hours — or by check.
Worthy recent sales:
These rings and jewelry were recent Worthy.com auctions:
A diamond engagement ring for $1,448:
A princess-cut solitaire diamond ring for $2,636:
A diamond engagement ring sold at Worthy.com for $6,000:
A diamond tennis bracelet sold on Worthy for $1,254:
Tiffany diamond earrings sold at Worthy.com for $1,623:
A Rolex watch sold at Worthy's online auction for $6,792:
Worthy customer reviews
“I sold my ladies Rolex Datejust watch! Loved having someone do “all the work for me”. In less than a week I had my money and was using it to buy a new pilates workout machine!”
“I highly recommend Worthy.com to sell your jewelry. I had a wonderful and professional experience from beginning to end. Neil and Ashley were very helpful. I had a 2.5 carat diamond wedding set to sell. I got a new wedding ring in December, 2014 so I knew that I wanted to sell my other one eventually. I looked into how to sell a wedding ring to an appraiser, and a jewelry store, but their offers were offensive. I found Worthy.com and was a bit skeptical, but their A+ rating with the BBB and the fact that they insured my ring for shipping, calmed my fears. My piece had 179 interested buyers and sold for the highest bid which was way more than I expected to get. Also I like their low fees. My mom was so impressed, that she is now preparing to sell 2 of her rings through Worthy.com.”
“My engagement ring was an estate piece and didn't want to just take the diamond and set it because it was too pretty in my opinion. I used Worthy after doing some homework and even contacting my homeowner's insurance if something would happen. The process was FANTASTIC and I got the money I wanted and I hope my ring goes to a beautiful girl full of love. I plan on selling other pieces now….you can't go wrong with Worthy!!!!”
“I worked with Shelly Robinson and she assisted me from A-Z every step of the way! I was given honesty and compassion when it was hard to let go of my beautiful wedding ring. I was even given time to think about it. When I did sell it was a higher bid than when the bid closed so I was grateful for the money difference and for Shelly to help me claim the highest bid.”
“Highly recommended!! I was absolutely skeptical about having to mail my ring off.This company and its representatives worked with me thru every step. Always kind, courteous, and understanding.They took the time to listen to all my concerns and assured me on every one. They went above and beyond for me.I appreciated every associate from beginning to end.Not to mention, I got the best deal for my ring.Due to their excellent commitment to help in every way, I wouldn't think twice about using any other company.Personally, this company is #1 and I wouldn't hesitate to work with them again.”
Takeaway: Well being is far more valuable than things. But you have to let go of the stuff before you can enjoy the good stuff.
Ready to sell your engagement ring?
How much money I made selling my ring on Worthy.com:
Finally, the verdict was in, and it came by text on my iPhone:
Look: this is not a ton of money. But it was a small ring, and I really had no idea what it was worth. The Worthy process had been so smooth and transparent — not to mention fast! — and I was really just glad to get this ring on to another appreciative person who could enjoy it. Plus, the holidays were coming up and that cash would come in hand.
I hit ‘Approve & Get Paid,' and within a minute this landed in my email:
Then, the next day, this popped into my email (remember, Worthy takes 22% commission):
Overall, I was really impressed with Worthy's jewelry buying process, as well as the transparency of the auction, which helped me understand how much my ring is worth.
Not sure if you're ready to sell your jewelry online?
Posts about online jewelry sales:
Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, noted blogger, and bestselling author. 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.