Why You Will Lose Money Selling Your Diamond Ring (2023)

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Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:

How to Sell Your Diamond Ring
What Happens When You Try to Sell a Diamond Ring?
How Much Can I Sell My Diamond Ring for?
Where to Sell Your Diamond
The Best Way to Sell Your Diamond Online
What is a Diamond’s “Market Price” or Resale Value?
How Much Do Pawn Shops Pay for Diamond Rings?
Can I Sell My Engagement Ring Setting Too?
Final Tips on How to Sell a Diamond Ring

Here is How to Sell Your Diamond Ring

To sell your diamond ring for the most money:

  1. Keep in mind that you will not get back what you paid for ir.
  2. Don’t go to Pawn Shops or local jewelry stores.
  3. Try doing it yourself, but prepare to wait.
  4. Abe Mor offers the best prices for 2nd hand diamonds.

Click here to send us information about your diamond that we willpass on to the buyer.

In Response to One of Our Readers’ FAQ

Occasionally, as an editor of this site, you have the pleasure of writing an article that’s a direct response to our readers’ most common questions.

With the high volume of email questions we receive, it’s always helpful to have an already prepared article that addresses a reader’s question or at the very least enriches his or her understanding of the topic at hand.

The Simple Q&A

A common question we receive is often along the lines of, “I have a diamond a few years old that I need to sell. How can I get the best price possible? Is there any way I can turn a profit?”

Of course, the answer is almost always an emphatic “no,” and this article will address why.

What Happens When You Try to Sell a Diamond Ring?

Let’s start with the most likely scenario. Unfortunately, most people out there are still buying their diamond rings in bricks & mortar jewelry stores.

Let’s also assume the best case scenario within the subset of physical jewelry stores – the small independent (not part of a chain) jeweler that only sells GIA certified diamonds.

In this case, the best (ie, the lowest) profit percentage you’re likely to encounter is 25%. In other scenarios (ie, large chain jeweler, high-end luxury, EGL certified diamonds, etc.), you’re likely to face much higher profit margins.

How much can I sell my diamond ring for?

Please excuse me now while I get a bit technical. Let’s assume for the purposes of this exercise that the diamond ring cost the jewelry store 100 (currency isn’t relevant here – only relative values matter).

With a 25% profit percentage, that means the price you paid was 125. Let’s be generous and assume that diamond prices have risen 10% since the diamond was purchased.

So in theory, at this point, you’re only losing 12%. 125 (price you paid) less 110 (price you get for the stone) = 15 total loss divided by original price paid = 12%.

(Video) How to Minimize Your Loss if You're Selling Your Diamond Ring

But here’s where the painful realizations begin to descend upon people who are looking to sell diamonds – whom do you turn to to sell a diamond at the current “market price?”

The answer is unfortunately nobody.

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Where to Sell Your Diamond

Jewelry Stores

Let’s say you walk into a similar type of jewelry store to the one you bought the diamond. When they originally paid 100 for that stone, they most likely had that diamond on consignment (ie, they borrowed it from a wholesaler, so it cost them nothing).

This means that the true cost of that diamond was significantly less than the 100 they paid for it on paper.

If they buy your diamond, they buy it cheap.

For the store to actually make an investment in a diamond, and not just borrow one, it will have to justify it by buying at a very cheap price. Furthermore, relationships between suppliers and buyers in this business are extremely important.

For a jewelry store to use its capital to buy a diamond from you instead of using it as an opportunity to deepen a relationship with a supplier means that they need to justify that decision through buying your diamond on the cheap.

Additionally, just about anybody in the business who is faced with a private seller knows that this is a great opportunity to buy well below the market price.

Overall, it’s very unlikely.

(Video) Why Engagement Rings Are a Scam - Adam Ruins Everything

Unless the diamond being offered is extremely rare for whatever reason (a situation I have yet to encounter), there’s simply no reason why a jeweler would be compelled to buy your diamond at the market price when he could buy an identical diamond at the same price from any one of hundreds of wholesalers (with better payment terms).


If you try to take it to a pawn shop, you’ll be hit even worse because their selling prices are already expected to be well below the market, so their costs must likewise be very low to justify their low prices.

Direct Consumers

You could always try to go direct to the consumer. Craigslist has its own risks. You could try selling it on eBay or other peer to peer selling sites, but no consumer is going to be motivated to pay you the same price you paid when they could just go and buy the same thing from a store that will offer warranties, packaging, etc.

Your Best Case Scenario

In my opinion, in a best case scenario, after diamond prices have appreciated by 10%, you could maybe find someone to buy your diamond for 90, leaving you with a loss of 28% (125-90=35 total loss 35/125 = 28% loss).

If you try and sell your diamond immediately after purchasing it, then your best case would be selling your diamond for 80 or a loss of 36%. Again, this is in an absolute best-case scenario buying bricks & mortar.

Benefits of Selling A Diamond Bought Online

1. Better Value = Money Saved

What if you bought the same stone online? Well, as we explain here, that means you received far better value buying that diamond in the first place. This will help you mitigate your losses.

Take these diamonds for example. Here is a beautiful diamond from James Allenfor $5,500 and a fantastic alternative from Blue Nilefor $5,581. Both of these diamonds are phenomenal choices that would have cost you about $6,500 in a local store.

We reached out to some of our contacts and the best offer for those two diamonds were $3,600 and $3,900 respectively.

2. Return Windows and Upgrade Policies

One major advantage for these online vendors are their policies. Both James Allen and Blue Nile offer full refunds for 30 days. They also offer a lifetime upgrade policy.

Buying online obviously makes selling a diamond much easier. Your cost basis is lower (so it will be easier to recoup your money if you need to sell on the open market) and the retailers give you options for returning and upgrading (so you retain full value for the ring).

Upgrading your diamond through a typical retailer usually does not give you the value you would expect. We dig into that a bit more in our trade-in article.

The Best Way to Sell Your Diamond Online

We recently did a secret test that of the major online options for selling your diamond. We purchased a diamond ring from Tiffany & Co for other purposes (making videos and keeping our reviews current) and used this as an opportunity to see what the other side of the business is like. Here are the results.

The ring we used was a 0.53ct round diamond in a classic Tiffany solitaire setting. We originally purchased it for $4,500. Obviously, we expected to lose a lot of money on the transaction. The question was, how much?
Please note that we used a Tiffany ring for this test. Tiffany diamond rings are insanely expensive and very poor bang for your buck. That is the reason there was such a large gap between the amount we paid and the amount we were able to sell it for.

The Test

White Pine: Bringing up the rear. This was the lowest offer by far. After reaching out to them via their website, I received a pithy estimate of $900-1,000. I responded mentioning that it was brand new and had all the Tiffany paperwork. The door was slammed shut by Mark who said there is no way they would go higher than that. Given the other offers we had, it was a waste of our time to send it to them.

Worthy: The middle of the pack. This one wasn’t too bad unless you dig a little deeper. Worthy has a different business model. They do not actually buy the ring, rather they auction it off to diamond wholesalers and retailers. We are not fans of this model as we explain in our review.
After a couple of weeks (time to send the ring, get it inspected by GIA and auctioned) the highest bid was $1,458. That was BEFORE they took their commission. After the commission, the offer would have been somewhere around $1,200.

Abe Mor: The hands-down winner. After sending them a message with the details we were given an estimate within 24-hours. Being as this was a Tiffany ring, there was little ambiguity as to the quality (unlike some other retailers or independent certificates, Tiffany’s grading and quality control is legendarily good).

The offer from Abe Mor was $1,850. No hassle of an auction. Just straight cash.

Offers on 1/2ct Tiffany & Co Classic Solitaire


Not Just our Secret Test

I should mention here that at some point we have given all three of these companies an opportunity to work with our readers (by referring people who contacted us directly). The number of satisfied sellers who worked with Abe Mor was exponentially higher than it was for Worthy or White Pine. The difference was so pronounced that we don’t bother recommending either Worthy or White Pine anymore.

(Video) Are Diamonds a good investment? What can I get when reselling a diamond? Detailed Diamond value-2020

As this article hammers home, many people are in for a rude awakening when they try to sell their diamond. As this test showed, the offers we received were 78%, 73% and 59% BELOW what we paid for.

Please keep in mind that this test was done with a Tiffany & Co ring. Tiffany has an incredibly high markup for their rings. A ring like that in white gold from Blue Nile would cost about $1,350. A diamond ring like that would get you a better return. For example, Abe Mor said they would buy that one for about $800. That would mean a net loss of only 39%.

What is a Diamond’s “Market Price?”

I’ve used this term a few times in this article, but the truth is, there really is no clear definition of what this means. Already in this article, you can see that there’s a difference between a consignment price, a cash price, or a price with generous payment terms.

There are also “call prices” (the price a store will pay when they “call” a dealer with a specific request to sell to a customer who is ready to buy this particular item) and “business prices” (a lower price negotiated when many diamonds are bought together).

Different Market Prices and Risks

So you see, in reality, a diamond has many different “market prices.”The lowest of these is, of course, the “cash price”—the price a store will be willing to pay immediately to acquire a diamond without a customer presently requesting this diamond.

The reason this price is the lowest is because it requires an immediate outlay of capital in exchange for only the hope of a future sale. This involves taking on risk, and risk needs to be rewarded with a higher potential profit—otherwise, it’s not worth the cost of taking the risk.

So if your diamond is a less popular cut, or has an ugly inclusion, or is a difficult item for a store to sell for whatever reason, expect to take a much bigger hit when trying to sell it.

Can I Sell My Engagement Ring Setting Too?

Yes, you can sell your diamond and your setting. If you go through Abe Mor diamonds, they’ll handle the resale of your diamond and setting. Remember that your setting will be worth the scrap gold price. So, even if you paid $2,580 for a unique setting like this one from James Allen, it will still be melted down to scrap gold. Why is that? Well, almost everyone wants a specific, custom design. Rather than reusing your ring, a buyer would prefer to have their own design created.

While it is a financial loss to sell your ring for scrap gold, at least you are able to recuperate some of the cost. Most jewelry stores and pawn shops pay approximately 50 cents for every dollar of scrap gold value. If the value is $1,000, for example, a store will offer to buy the ring for approximately $500. At Abe Mor, however, they offer 75 cents for every dollar of scrap value. So, you’d receive $750 for the $1,000 scrap gold value, instead of $500. We described how selling gold works and how you can do it in our sell-gold-for-cash article.

Learn more about selling your setting here.

Final Tips on How to Sell a Diamond Ring

Ready to sell? Provided you have realistic expectations about price, selling a diamond ring isn’t a particularly difficult process. If you’re thinking of selling, try using the tips below for a simpler selling process:

Be realistic regarding the value of your ring

As we’ve mentioned above, you won’t get back what you paid for your ring, even if it’s in flawless condition. Be realistic about pricing from the beginning and be prepared to deal with selling at a loss.

Avoid pawn shops

You will never receive a fair price for your diamond ring at a pawn shop. Instead, you’ll likely receive an offer for a small fraction of the diamond’s value, at best.

Avoid local jewelry stores

Likewise, you’ll rarely get a fair price for your diamond from a local jewelry store. While you may receive more than you would from a pawn shop, the jeweler ultimately has other options that are more appealing than buying from you.

Do consider selling online

While online companies like Abe Mor won’t give you the full amount you paid for your diamond ring, you’ll receive a higher amount than you will from any local business.

Be prepared to wait if you sell privately

Selling on eBay or Craigslist is possible, and it may net you slightly more than selling elsewhere. However, pre-owned diamond rings rarely sell quickly (especially at near-retail prices), meaning you may need to wait for a long time before your ring finds a buyer.

Diamond Resale Value

The resale value of a diamond can vary hugely depending on its carat weight, color, cut quality, clarity and numerous other factors. Our guide to diamond resale value goes into more detail on the key factors that determine a diamond’s value.

How Much Do Pawn Shops Pay for Diamond Rings?

Most pawn shops usually pay about 30 to 60% of what a diamond is worth. Once you add in the standard retail markup that’s applied to most diamonds, this means that you’ll usually receive an offer for a small fraction of the amount you paid for your diamond ring when it was new.

(Video) Where To Sell Your Diamonds

The reason pawn shops pay so little is simple — their business model requires them to buy your diamond at a very low price in order to make a profit. We’ve explained this in more detail in our guide to selling diamond rings at a pawn shop.

Selling a Diamond Ring: Conclusion

We recommend Abe Mor if you want to sell your diamond ring for the most money.

Cash prices are all about the risk of having your diamond sit in the store shelves for years ahead—the more likely that is to happen, the less a store is going to be willing to pay for it.

If you have a diamond that you need to sell, please use the form below to send us the details of your item which we will then pass on to our contact in the diamond district.

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Do you lose money on diamonds? ›

Diamonds typically lose between 25 and 50 per cent of their actual worth upon resale due to market fluctuations, the markup on your ring, and the decline in diamond prices. A portion is also taken out for insurance.

Is it worth selling your diamond? ›

Diamonds resell for 25% to 50% of their purchase value. So if you purchased your diamond jewelry for $1500, the resale value will be somewhere near $855-900, depending on the buyer's preferences. That's why only rare and big diamonds are good for investments.

Why do diamonds sell for such high prices? ›

Diamonds are expensive because they cost a lot to bring to market, there's a limited supply of fine quality gems, and people around the world want to buy them. It's simply supply and demand.

Why do people sell their engagement rings? ›

Moving on: One of the main reasons why people decide to sell their engagement ring is because their relationship has ended. Whether your wedding was been called off or your marriage ended in a divorce, the engagement ring is now simply a painful reminder of the past.

Why is diamond resale value so low? ›

To understand why a diamond's resale value can get so low is to first look at the retail prices of the diamond. In many retail diamond stores, management sets the prices at a high margin to earn a profit. So the diamond can be priced twice the amount than it originally is.

How much should I expect to sell a diamond ring? ›

While the factors above all influence the resale price of an engagement ring, in general you can expect to get 20-45% of the original retail price. If you sell your ring to a jeweler, this number will be affected by their markup. Larger stores will likely have a higher markup than your local independent jeweler.

Will diamond prices go down in 2022? ›

In the wholesale market, diamonds are priced per unit of weight, referred to as "per carat." Updated Thursday, September 1, 2022, diamond prices moved LOWER by an average of 1.3% in August 2022.
227.0 1.3.
Weight RangeAvg. Price/Carat
5.00 ct. or more$29,566
7 more rows
1 Sept 2022

What is the best way to sell a diamond? ›

What is the best way to sell diamonds?
  1. Pawnshop. Selling your diamond to a pawnshop is one of the easiest and fastest ways to make money, but not the most lucrative. ...
  2. eBay. ...
  3. Craigslist. ...
  4. Consignment with a local jeweler or auction house. ...
  5. Sell to a Diamond Buyer.

How much can I sell a 1 carat diamond for? ›

Note the range for all qualities of 1-carat stones range from $2,473 to $12,317 for a perfect, colorless 1-carat diamond. Note these are retail prices for loose, 1-carat diamonds sold to buyers. Resale prices will be much lower. One-carat diamond resale value: $1,036 to $5,946, depending on clarity, color and shape.

Are diamond rings a good investment? ›

Yes, diamonds are a good investment. Diamonds are more than just one of the world's most precious gemstones; they're also one of the world's most reliable investment opportunities. That's because diamonds have increased in value since their first discovery thousands of years ago.

Are second hand diamond rings worth anything? ›

What Are My Second-Hand Diamonds Worth? The simple answer is not what it was bought for – when you sell second-hand diamonds, diamond rings or jewellery, they generally fetch between 20% and 50% (sometimes 60% for GIA stones) of the original retail price (unless it was bought a long time ago).

Are diamonds a good investment 2022? ›

Diamonds are one of the best investment options for your future. Considering the benefits, they can be an excellent option for diversifying your assets and safeguarding your future. Both rare and commercial-grade diamonds are fantastic investments in 2022.

Is investing in diamonds a good idea? ›

Diamond jewellery as investment offers a lot of opportunities provided you do your homework. They are beautiful investment options as long as you don't buy them to resell immediately. They diversify your investment portfolio while giving you access to some of the best jewels in the world of jewellery.

Are diamonds a good long term investment? ›

Diamonds are truly timeless, both in beauty and value. The higher their rarity, the more valuable they become. As a long term investment, natural diamonds not only maintain their value but appreciate at a far greater pace than most other investment vehicles.

Are diamonds worth more now than 20 years ago? ›

In 1960, the average price for such a diamond stood at some 2,700 U.S. dollars. Since then, the diamond price has increased more than tenfold, to 29,650 U.S. dollars in 2015.

Do diamonds appreciate in value with age? ›

A diamond's value appreciates over time. How much or how quickly it appreciates is a more complicated question. Like most valuable items, diamond prices increase with inflation. A diamond that was purchased in 1970 would, of course, be worth considerably more in 2016.


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