We take pride in helping our valued customers make the best decisions for their lives. With that in mind, we’re proud to offer our Definitive Diamocycle Guide to Buying and Selling Loose Diamonds and Diamond Jewelry from a Pawn Shop near you.
While we are well aware that this global health crisis is affecting all areas of life, especially one’s economic picture, we strongly discourage you from selling your loose diamond or diamond jewelry to a pawn shop as a financial fix. While pawn shops may seem like an easy way to make cash fast, their business model depends on giving you the smallest amount of money for your valuables. Read on to better understand the pawn shop model, the pitfalls of selling to pawn shops, even the best pawn shops for jewelry, and what to look out for, should you decide to proceed.
THE HISTORY OF PAWNSHOPS
Pawn shops have been around for centuries. More than 3,000 years ago, prominent businessmen in Greek, Roman, and Chinese societies realized they could create a sustainable business model by loaning money to the lower classes in exchange for a prized possession.
While this model has survived through history, it’s not only the impoverished who have turned to pawn shops. Famous royalty and prominent historical figures, such as England’s King Edward II and Spain’s Queen Isabella, have likewise turned to the pawn shop business model and have been known to pawn jewelry to support national endeavors, such as wars and exploration.
Likewise, during the United States’ Great Depression, many citizens turned to pawn shops for jewelry selling to generate some much needed income during dire times. While the tradition of pawn shops has continued through history, it’s important to realize that while even kings and queens have pawned their loose diamonds and diamond jewelry, it still might not be the best choice for you.
HOW PAWN SHOPS WORK
At the most basic level, pawn shops make their profit by buying valuables, such as loose diamonds and diamond jewelry, at the lowest price possible, and then marking that item up, to sell, for the highest price they can. Even if the pawn shop with jewelry is selling an item significantly below their retail price, they’re able to still make money, by ensuring that the price at which they sell it will be far higher than the price that they’ll buy it from you. At this basic level, you can clearly see why selling your loose diamond or diamond jewelry to a pawn shop for jewelry (or any normal pawn shop) automatically puts you at a disadvantage.
Despite their cut-throat economics, pawn shops have persisted because they provide a simple and fast way for those in need to get cash in an immediate and easy way – the pawn shop jewelry loan. With that in mind, it’s worthwhile to always remember that the same reason that pawn shops are able to stay in business is the reason you’ll lose money when selling your goods to them.
On the legal level, pawn shops for selling jewelry are regulated by local, state, and federal laws to ensure basic protections for both consumer and business owners.
PAWN SHOP BUSINESS MODELS
The pawn shop business model is to provide short-term collateral-based loans to desperate consumers in exchange for their valuables. The loan provided will often be a fraction of the item’s actual value, and the interest rate is usually aggressively high, far higher than the interest rate on a loan sponsored by a bank for a personal loan. A pawn shop jewelry loan, along with having an interest rate, has a deadline for repayment that usually ranges between one and four months. If a consumer is able to repay the loan (plus interest) back to the pawn shop by that time, they are able to regain ownership of their item. If a consumer is unable to pay the pawn shop back, the pawn shop will keep their item. About 80% of pawn shop loans are repaid.
With this business model, you will secure a cash loan with interest. You will need to pay
that pawn shop jewelry loan, back before your deadline to receive your item back.
Other pawn shops sell the items outright. While this results in far less profit for the pawn shop selling jewelry, some owners are willing to take the risk. In this scenario, the owner of an item usually makes 30-60% of the item’s value. The pawn shop owner will often take a significant cut of the selling price tag to account for the item’s reduced value, labor, and overhead costs.
If you sell your item direct, you may get more money upfront, but obviously, you do not
receive your item back.
It is worth noting that there are also online pawn shops, who have pawn shop jewelry for sale online at significantly reduced rates. As items must be shipped to the pawn shop, it often takes longer for consumers to receive their payment from the pawn shop.
HOW CAN PAWN SHOPS OFFER SO LITTLE?
Along with the reasons listed above, pawn shops for jewelry selling and other items also only charge a fraction of the item’s value as their primary resale market is local. Given the constraints and context of your local community, they will only value the item for as much as they know they can sell it, regardless of where you bought the item or what it’s worth. In addition, most pawn shops with jewelry take advantage of the fact that many people who bring their items to pawn shops might not qualify for a bank loan. Because of this difficult truth, pawn shops can offer far less to their often desperate consumers.
In addition, pawn shops for jewelry selling are not diamond experts. If you have an untraditional stone or a very valuable stone, it’s incredibly unlikely that a pawn shop owner will be able to determine its true value or want to offer you anything near what your loose diamond or diamond jewelry is worth.
Lastly, pawnbrokers are expert negotiators. Pawn shop owners and employees are experts at finding small flaws in your item that allow them to lower the price and offer you even less money or a smaller pawn shop jewelry loan. If you’re not an experienced negotiator, it’s very easy to be beaten down to a price of far less than what your item is worth.
One of the few pros of using a pawn shop for jewelry selling is that you can procure a sum of money in a difficult moment, and later still retain ownership of your item. That said, the often exorbitantly high interest rates and short time spans to repay the loans often require consumers to repeat their pawn shop jewelry loan, during which they often end up paying interest on their already accumulated interest.
A PAWN SHOP EXAMPLE
To further illustrate our concerns with using a pawn shop for jewelry selling, we ask you to consider this scenario:
Suppose you have a diamond ring valued at $1,000. The pawnbroker will likely want to sell the item for $600, which means they’ll likely offer you anywhere from $150 to $300 for a $1,000 ring.
In addition, with a pawn shop jewelry loan with a very high APR, you’ll likely end up paying back a loan that becomes worth $450-$600 with interest.
If you know that you don’t want to keep the item, we’d instead recommend you selling it to Diamocycle (or another online jeweler). For an item valued at $1,000, depending on the piece, we’d likely be able to offer you $400-600, while many other competitors can offer you closer to the price of the pawnbroker.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR NAVIGATING PAWN SHOPS
While we strongly discourage you from selling your loose diamond or diamond jewelry to a pawn shop with jewelry, sometimes it is the only option available to someone in need of quick financial relief. If’ you do decide to take this route, please keep the following Diamocycle Recommendations in mind:
Research The Value Of Your Item online on places such as eBay and Etsy, to understand the resale value of your diamond. We also recommend looking at online pawn shops to understand a potential standard pricing of your item. In addition, we recommend looking at the current market value for diamond jewelry that has similar specifications as your diamond. You might also visit a jeweler to understand and get a better idea of the value of your loose diamond or diamond jewelry.
Conduct a Personal Audit. If you truly are going to sell your diamond to a pawn shop with jewelry, how much money, exactly, do you need to make sure your base or current need is covered? We strongly recommend coming up with an exact amount.
Also, know how much time it’ll take you to pay back a pawn shop jewelry loan of various amounts. And whatever you imagine to be likely, we recommend adding a few extra days onto the length of your loan to make sure you’re well-prepared.
Examine Your Options. While pawning a loose diamond or diamond jewelry may seem like the obvious choice, we encourage you to look around your home and see if there’s anything else you might be able to pawn. Antiques, electronics, and power tools are all other high value items that would be welcome at a pawn shop.
Prepare Yourself To Negotiate with your pawn shop owner to get as close as possible to the value of the item. Employees and owners often start low, hoping to take advantage of consumers who are unprepared to negotiate.
Your strength for negotiating will be greatly enhanced if you know the true value of your diamond, the lowest you’ll be willing to go and if you’re willing to walk away. We also suggest letting your pawnbroker make the first offer, and from there slowly working towards the number you want.
Know Your Pawn Shop
Visit various pawn shops with jewelry to see who might be able to offer you the best price. Based on their understanding of diamonds and the diamond resale market, various pawn shops may be able to offer you better prices.
Also, we recommend visiting local jewelry stores. While they won’t offer you a market price for your ring, they may be able to offer you a better price than your pawn shop for jewelry selling.
Deal only with pawn shops with jewelry that check IDs on every customer. Likewise, only visit pawn shops that work with local law enforcement to ensure that they are not purchasing or dealing in stolen property.
Read reviews of the pawn shop for jewelry selling to better understand the ins and outs of that specific place of business.
Rely on trusted relationships. If you, or a friend or family member has a pre-existing relationship with a pawn broker or with a pawn shop for jewelry selling, we encourage you to rely on the strength of that relationship. The pre-existing trust and relationship may allow you to get a better deal for your loose diamond or diamond jewelry.
Understand Your Terms & Conditions
Check that all fees are clearly stated and be aware of any hidden or contingent charges.
Read the fine print concerning annual interest rates. Before you sign anything, be aware of the true cost of your pawn shop jewelry loan. Make sure you understand all conditions regarding extra fees and your potentially high interest rate. If you’re unsure of any condition or language in your contract, make sure you ask and clarify before signing.
We strongly encourage you to remember that if you miss your deadline, the pawnshop for jewelry selling has no obligation to take your money, even if you have the funds to pay back your pawn shop jewelry loan. Please make sure you agree to terms that you truly believe you can meet, if you decide to pawn your diamond.
OTHER ALTERNATIVES TO PAWN SHOPS
While we strongly discourage you from selling your loose diamond or diamond jewelry to a pawn shop, if there are items that you no longer wear, want, or need, there are plenty of other options of where and how to sell them.
A few other ways to sell your loose diamonds or to sell your diamond jewelry are as follows:
SELL TO A CONSIGNMENT SHOP
While this is a much better open than selling to a pawn shop, be warned that the sales process often takes a significant amount of time. In addition, as it is a brick and mortar store, the business will also need to cover their overhead, which is deducted from your selling price.
Selling locally is a great option. Whether that means selling your loose diamond or diamond jewelry through craigslist, through a friend of a friend, or on another local marketplace- you are much more likely to sell your loose diamond or diamond jewelry at a price that is closer to its value.
That said, while selling locally, here’s a few things to keep in mind:
Protect Yourself. Given that you are selling a valuable item, we strongly encourage you to take the steps to protect yourself and your identity.
Never give your address to a stranger.
In addition, if you’re meeting someone to sell your diamond, make sure to meet in a public place.
Lastly, make sure you only accept cash and make sure you test or can identify counterfeit bills.
Do Your Research. In addition, if you’re selling your piece yourself, consider the amount of time and energy it will take to sell the piece well.
Listing Your Item: How will you list your item? How will you photograph your item? What will you say about your item in the listing to attract potential buyers? Pricing Your Item: Will you get your item appraised? Will you research the value of your item, and see what its resale value might be in local jewelry shops, consignment shops, and pawn shops? While all of these steps are time intensive, they also ensure that you are getting the best value for your diamond.
Check out our article WHERE TO SELL YOUR DIAMOND JEWELRY for more Information on where and how to sell your diamond.
SELL YOUR DIAMOND ONLINE
You might elect to sell your diamond to an online diamond retailer. This option is attractive as you receive a strong retail value for your stone, you’re working with experts in the industry, and online businesses offer full insurance and protections for your stone.
Diamocycle is a trusted loose diamond and diamond jewelry expert.
With Diamocycle, your diamonds are always insured by JM Shipping Solutions, we cover the cost of shipping your diamond to us, and pay our loyal customers in only a few business days. We know diamonds, and we’re always proud to offer you the best.
We also understand that the sale of diamonds is a sentimental process. With that in mind, we always let you take your time and do all we can to ensure a gentle and full-service transaction.
In addition, due to our loyal and knowledgeable clientele, we know that we can offer you a reasonable price for your diamond, as our business relies on treating our customers fairly and with respect. We’re able to evaluate your diamond, ascertain its true worth, and offer you a price that is based on your item’s true worth, instead of the unscrupulous business practices of a pawn shop.
BUYING A DIAMOND AT A PAWN SHOP
While we strongly recommend selling your diamond to a more reliable source than a pawn shop, there can be some advantages to pawn shop jewelry buying.
As articulated above, the pricing of diamonds at pawn shops is often severely undervalued, allowing you to potentially score with a pawn shop jewelry find at a very low price.
If you don’t mind buying a diamond that you know was possibly sold under financial duress, a pawn shop jewelry buying might be a great way for you to acquire a new loose diamond or diamond jewelry for a bargain.
Below, we offer some helpful tips and hints for getting a good deal when pawn shop jewelry buying.
Do Your Research
Before you go pawn shop jewelry buying, we strongly recommend learning and knowing more about the jewelry and jewelry style you are hoping to acquire. Go to your local jeweler and try on jewelry. This will allow you to familiarize yourself with your tastes, the feel of authentic jewelry, and what their retail price tags are. This knowledge will better equip you to pick your item and get a good deal at your local pawn shop.
In addition, we strongly recommend researching the potential pawn shop for jewelry selling you may frequent. Get a sense of the company’s reputation, their prices, and their willingness to negotiate. We’d encourage you to prioritize visiting pawn shops that specialize in jewelry. Lastly, we recommend that you google the market price of gold (per gram). It’s always helpful to keep that in mind before you go shopping for a piece.
Think Outside the Box
If, in your pawn shop jewelry buying, you are searching for an exact style or type of item, odds are you’re going to be in for a very long search. Most of the delight in shopping at pawn shops is similar to that of shopping at a thrift store: you never know what you’re going to get!
With that in mind, we also encourage you to be creative in your search. If you’re looking for a ring, we’d encourage you to also look at necklaces and other items. Perhaps there’s simply a stone (set in a different jewelry type) that could be your pawn shop jewelry find, that you bring to your jeweler, and then truly end up with the item of your dreams.
With jewelry, we encourage you to be less concerned with the aesthetic of the piece and instead focus on the quality of the item. If the materials and stone are an excellent quality, you’ll be able to bring the item to your local jeweler and have them remake your pawn shop jewelry find at a fraction of its retail price.
Prepare Yourself to Negotiate
One delightful pro of pawn shop jewelry buying is that you can negotiate with your pawn broker. In addition, if you pay in cash you might be able to procure an additional discount. As mentioned above, the best way to negotiate is by being willing to walk away. Before you go to a pawn shop, we recommend brushing up on some negotiation tactics to get you the best deal for your future loose diamond or diamond jewelry.
See If There’s Anything You’d Like to Trade
In addition to negotiating, when pawn shop jewelry buying, you can also trade in an old item (from an ex?) for a newer item in the pawn shop that you might want. Adding a new item for the pawn broker to sell not only helps you get rid of unwanted items but also will likely get you a discount on your future piece of jewelry.
Trust Your Gut
As you may know, if you’re a repeated reader of our Diamocycle Definitive Guides, all valuable fine jewelry should come with papers from a gemologist to back up their value. If your pawn shop with jewelry doesn’t have the necessary papers to verify the value of your diamond jewelry, we highly suggest you move on to another pawn shop with jewelry. In addition, if the pawnbroker is pressuring you to make a sale or buy an item, we again suggest walking away. If you don’t feel comfortable making the purchase, don’t.
In addition, most pawn shops with jewelry do not have the ability to tell if a diamond they have bought has been treated or is synthetic. It is exceedingly rare that a pawn show can do a pawn shop jewelry appraisal. With that in mind, we strongly recommend that you buy your item from a reputable seller or require that any piece you own has a GIA certificate.
While some pawn shops for jewelry selling specialize in diamonds and have a gemologist on staff, this is exceedingly rare. As a result, you do not have professionals doing pawn shop jewelry appraisal and pricing the items to purchase and to sell. Furthermore, you, as the buyer, have little assurance that what you are buying is an authentic diamond or that your pawn shop jewelry is real.
That said, if you have extensive knowledge in the diamond and gemology industry, a pawn shop can be an incredible place to find amazing items and deals on diamond jewelry. That said, unless you are a diamond expert, we encourage you to consider the risks in buying a diamond at a pawn shop, even a pawn shop specializing in jewelry.