Diamonds and jewelry can be difficult to part with, especially if there are sentimental feelings attached. Whether a piece is a family heirloom or a symbol of a relationship, diamonds and jewelry can be very personal items.
For better or worse, there may come a time in life when one makes a decision to sell their diamonds and jewelry. Perhaps it’s time to move on from a relationship, or maybe finances are tight. Whatever the reason, if you are planning to sell jewelry — whether it is gold or diamonds — there are several things to consider before you attempt to sell.
1. Get an appraisal
Sometimes jewelry comes with a story that might not be exactly true — grandma’s diamonds are actually zirconium and gold is actually plated. If you are going to sell, you want to be armed with the truth about your jewelry, especially the quality of your diamonds, so getting an appraisal is important.
Paying for an appraisal might not be in the cards, especially if you need a quick sale. If you think your diamond is worth less than around $2,000, you can often have it appraised for free by a pawn broker or a diamond buyer. It’s a good idea to take it to a few places to get a second and third opinion. Further, if your jewelry is made of gold, you can check what the current prices are online.
2. Adjust your expectations
There is the saying that something is only worth what another is willing to pay. Even after your appraisal, remember that you are not guaranteed that amount. There are other things to consider like the state of the markets, the time of year, and whether the pieces are in style or outdated.
In order to have reasonable expectations, do some market research yourself. Look at online marketplace sites to get an idea of what price similar pieces are fetching.
3. Consider your buyer
There are several options here: pawn shops, private sales, and diamond and jewelry buyers. Each have their benefits and drawbacks as follows:
This is the riskiest and least recommended option, however it might be suitable if time is a factor. Remember that if someone is buying your diamond, it is often so that they can make a profit of it themselves, which is doubly true for pawn shops. While the sale might be quick, the dealer will take a large cut, while trying to undervalue the diamond to you. Proceed with caution.
While you might be able to get a reasonable price for your diamonds through an online sale site like Kijiji or eBay, you will have to wade through no-shows, scammers and low-ballers. A relatively new marketplace for previously used jewelry is I Do… Now I Don’t, which offers escrow services. This can be great for both diamond buyers and sellers, as there is an added layer of security.
Since there is no middle man, private sales may result in top dollar for your diamond, especially if you’ve had an appraisal and are a good negotiator. If you have the time and patience, private online sales can be a reasonable option, but again, stay alert for scams.
This might be the safest option for selling diamonds for several reason. First, certified diamond buyers are interested in building a rapport as they see the seller as a potential customer as well. Second, wholesale diamond buyers have their reputation at stake, so they are likely to be trustworthy. If you have the time, look for a certified gemologist. But do remember that you might not get the highest amount (as compared to a private sale) because they will factor in their own margins.
4. Mentally prepare
You don’t want to regret selling your diamonds, once they are gone, they are usually gone for good. If you are thinking about selling a family heirloom to pay the bills, ask yourself: might there be another way to make the money?
On the other hand, it is important to remember that diamonds and jewelry are material things, and that at the end of the day, peace of mind also has an inherent value. And, depending on the circumstance, it may be a great sense of relief to let go of a symbol of the past. Whatever your decision, it’s a good idea to prepare for what it will feel like once the jewelry is no longer in your life.