Selling a diamond ring, wedding ring, or pre-owned diamond can be both a stressful and liberating process. That said, there are a few industry secrets that can help you get the most for your diamond with minimal stress.
1. YOU WON’T GET YOUR APPRAISAL VALUE, BUT YOU SHOULD STILL ALWAYS GET AN APPRAISAL.
Once you’ve decided that you’d like to sell your diamond, we strongly recommend getting an appraisal or industry quote such that you understand what your diamond ring or wedding ring is worth.
Even if you’ve already had your stone appraised, we’d like to remind you that there are over 27 different types of appraisals and appraisal amounts can vary widely based on the use and type of appraisal. As a result, if your past appraisal is not aligned with your current gemology goals, we strongly encourage you to go through the effort of getting your stone re-appraised.
The information provided by your appraisal can serve as an invaluable benchmark as you move through the selling process.
Even though it is essential to get your stone appraised, we’d also like to remind you that just because your diamond ring or wedding ring is appraised at a certain amount – it doesn’t mean that your transaction will necessarily fetch that amount!
Appraisers are known to inflate the value of the stone to please customers and to make customers feel like they have purchased a diamond at a price that was a bargain compared to its “appraised value.”
While an appraisal truly can only serve as the upper limit of what you might be able to ask for your diamond, we still strongly encourage you to forward with the process. Having a baseline understanding of what your diamond is worth will help you discern from exploitative and realistic offers.
2. IT IS INCREDIBLY LIKELY YOU WILL LIKELY NOT MAKE BACK WHAT YOU PAID.
The heartbreaking truth of the diamond industry is very few second-hand sellers will ever make back what they originally bought their diamond or jewelry piece for.
While diamonds are fabled to be a good investment, the relatively stable value of diamonds often can keep pace with the rate of inflation but does not much outpace it. Beyond that, stones that are usually bought following a fad may indeed decrease in overall value once the premium demanded by the current fad is no longer applicable.
By understanding that you are unlikely to make your initial investment back on the stone, we encourage you to instead approach this process as an exercise in loss management. In lieu of trying to get the original price back, you are simply aiming to get as close to your original price (or your appraisal quote!) as possible. Knowing this will stop you from walking away from an otherwise attractive or appealing offer because it seems low in comparison to your original price.
WHY CAN’T I MAKE BACK WHAT I SPENT?
While we, too, would love for you to make back exactly what you spent your stone – the mark-up in the diamond industry is significant enough that even with a diamond’s appreciation in value – the appreciation is unlikely to be able to compensate or surpass the amount of mark-up you paid for your diamond.
From the diamond mine to your hand, the diamond has moved through several links in the supply chain, including diamond manufacturer, diamond exchange, diamond trader, retailer, and jeweler – at each step of that supply chain, jewelry, and perhaps a previous owner. At each step of this chain there is a considerable mark-up that will certainly hinder your ability to make back what you paid.
3. THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO IS CUT OUT THE MIDDLE MAN.
As with many markets, the fewer people involved – the more profit you stand to make. By cutting out pawn shops, merchants, and often slightly exploitative ways to sell your diamond, you’re creating the conditions in which you will be able to maximize the amount of the selling price that you will be able to keep.
That said, using some sort of resale service obviously expands the reach and audience (and perhaps selling price!) that you may be able to fetch for your stone. With this trade-off in mind, we encourage you to work only with merchants and services you trust and with third-party sellers and merchants whose rates seem competitive with the industry and who come highly recommended by colleagues and users.
Generally speaking, the most profitable way to sell a diamond is to sell it to a familiar or known acquaintance. By selling within your expanded social network, you will be able to keep, hopefully, keep 100% of the profits as you have facilitated the sale of your diamond yourself. Beyond that, by selling to someone you know, it is likely that they may be able to respect or accommodate a higher selling price or the amount you may have been hoping to sell your diamond stone or jewelry for.
4. THE MORE QUICKLY YOU NEED TO SELL YOUR STONE, THE LESS YOU MAY MAKE.
Similar to being mindful about how many people you involve in the transaction, we likewise encourage you to be mindful of the trade-off between time and money. The longer your time frame to arrange and orchestrate a sale, the higher the price you potentially may be able to negotiate for. If you need to sell your stone relatively quickly or within a certain deadline, it is likely that you may have to accept a lower offer or the highest offer that comes your way within that set amount of time.
If you do not feel a sense of urgency in regards to selling your stone, you may be able to wait an indeterminate amount of time until an appropriate offer comes your way. That said, as you wait for the “right” offer, we simply aim to remind you that until the stone has been sold, the amount you’ve made on it is zero.
5. HOW YOU SELL YOUR STONE DETERMINES YOUR PROFIT.
Lastly, and most importantly, the venue through which you decide to sell your stone can make all the difference. The right combination of your seller’s expertise, access, audience, credibility, timeline, and contract negotiations can make the difference between a sold stone and a stone that hopefully might sell…tomorrow.
A selling service with more access and a higher clientele may be able to fetch you more than a local store, while a local friend may be the best bet….if you have friends in the jewelry-buying mode or the time to wait until they are. As always, the how is a vital part of your process and we encourage you to approach the process with as much thought as you did when you purchased the diamond originally.
As always, we remain your neighborhood jeweler and would love to support and help you with your diamond sale in any way we can. Never hesitate to reach out or say hello.