10 Tips for Buyers of Previously Owned Engagement Rings

10 Tips for Buyers of Previously Owned Engagement Rings 

  1. Lab-Created Diamonds are a Poor Investment

  2. Not all Diamond Certificates are of the Same Caliber

  3. How to Buy a Used GIA Solitaire

  4. You Should be Paying Less Than The Jewelry Appraisal If It’s Recent

  5. Online is The Place to Shop For Preowned Engagement Rings

  6. A Vetted Online Marketplace Should Have Your Purchase Inspected By a Third-Party Lab. 

  7. Treated Natural Diamonds Are Not a Smart Purchase.

  8. Buying Previously Owned Engagement Rings is a Sustainable, Eco-friendly Purchase.

  9. Old European and Antique Diamonds are a Wise Investment. 

  10. Get an Appraisal for Insurance & Our Preferred Insurance Carrier

Across our publication, the Diamocycle Dispatch, we discuss the many places you could purchase a previously owned engagement ring. Should you be in the market for a previously owned engagement ring, The Dispatch is a great educational resource for used diamond buyers. Our family legacy spans over 164 years in the diamond and jewelry business. We take pride in providing you information as we would a valued customer. 

  1. Lab-created diamonds are a poor investment.

Lab-created diamonds are the current rage right now. This is because you can get a stone that is chemically the same diamond as a natural diamond at ⅓ to ½ the price for the same size and quality. The issue is that when you try and resell a lab-created diamond, you get pennies on the dollar. We are not advocates of buying a new diamond ring. New Diamonds often depreciate 50% in the first year due to where a retail buyer fails in the supply chain. Previously owned engagement rings are a safer bet than a new diamond ring. Lab-created diamonds, however, are often sold on diamond-specific marketplaces for second-hand engagement rings. So, buyer beware. We advise that while lab-created may seem like the best deal, it is not a safe place to park your money.

2. Not all diamond certificates are of the same caliber.

Did you know that some labs might grade the same diamond in a different color and clarity based on the caliber of the lab? 

The following is a list of labs and their commonly understood standing in the diamond industry. We believe that the diamond grading is inaccurate below a third-tier lab. 

Top Tier: GIA

Second Tier: AGS, HRD, GCAL

Third Tier: IGI, PGS

Fourth Tier: GSI

Fifth Tier: EGL

Given That GIA is the Top Tier Lab. You should know…

3. How to buy a used GIA solitaire

A GIA diamond certificate is the gold standard of diamond certificates. It enables a professional diamond buyer to provide a relatively approximate value estimate. We recommend your previously owned engagement ring ideally have one. Sometimes, a GIA hard copy has been lost with a previously owned engagement ring. Ideally, the diamond would, in this scenario, have a laser inscription that is verified by a gemologist. Not all GIA certified diamonds have a laser inscription, but most do on the girdle (edge of the diamond). The gemologist can then do a report check on GIA’s website and see that the diamond certificate matches the actual report with the laser inscription number. This is the link to the certificate report check. GIA – Report Check It is necessary that a gemologist still inspects the previously owned engagement ring with a GIA report to make sure they are matching for authenticity. 

4. You should be paying less than the jewelry appraisal if it’s recent.

Most diamond and jewelry appraisals over-inflate the value of the previously owned engagement ring they describe. This is for two reasons. The first is that the owner will need to pay a retail price for a new diamond ring in the event of a loss. This retail price can be 2 to 3 times more than the actual resale value of the previously owned engagement ring. Think of a diamond ring like a house. You need to insure the house for the cost to rebuild, not the current depreciated cost of the structure. The cost of building a new home will be far greater. The second reason is that jewelry often over-inflates the value on the jewelry appraisal, so buyers feel they got a good deal on their engagement ring. There are a few exceptions when the price on the appraisal may be fair. The first is if the appraisal is very outdated by 20-30 years. The second would be if the appraisal were for the cash value for an estate for heirs as heirs get a low overnight cash value for jewelry as the IRS allows this value for settling estates. 

 5. Online is the place to shop for preowned engagement rings.

We discuss this topic extensively in our publications for a complete guide to buying a previously owned engagement ring. Start here. https://www.diamocycle.com/a-guide-to-buying-a-used-diamond

Our preferred online platform is the diamond-specific online Marketplace for preowned engagement rings. In summary, this Marketplace has the best selection of previously owned engagement rings, a form of inspection for those rings, and some safeguards for your purchase. It connects sellers of previously owned engagement rings and buyers of previously owned engagement rings. This is different from eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or Amazon. Some examples of online diamond-specific marketplaces are True Facets, Have You Seen The Ring, I Don Now I Don’t, and our Marketplace Diamocycle. We believe we do the best job safeguarding buyers’ funds with the help of escrow.com. Also, we provide a suggested market price for buyers. So, buyers understand the market price they should be paying for their previously owned engagement ring. Lastly, we have inspected every previously owned engagement ring by a third-party gem lab. An ideal marketplace uses a third-party lab, not an in-house gemologist, to examine a previously owned engagement ring. We will discuss this in-depth later. 

6. A vetted online marketplace should have your purchase inspected by a third-party lab. 

When purchasing a used diamond online, it should be inspected by a reputable gem lab not affiliated with the Marketplace. An in-house employee is not an ideal party as they may approve the Sale of your used diamond to earn a commission. 

Likewise, as per the point above, there’s a hierarchy of grading labs, and we strongly recommend that you always get your diamond graded and only use the top-quality grading labs. 

7. Treated natural diamonds are not a smart purchase.

If you decide to buy a previously owned engagement ring, please read the fine print with the listing when purchasing a pre-owned diamond ring. 

A previously owned engagement ring can be, and likely is, treated. “Treated” is a term used to describe one of the following alterations to natural earth mined diamonds:  fracture filling, laser treatment, irradiated,  and coated. 

A reputable gem lab will not even grade the majority of these diamonds, except for laser treatments. The treatment alters the appearance of the diamond and significantly reduces its value. 

We do not recommend you purchase any of these treated diamonds. We believe they should be flagged by the sites handling them. Their resale value is low to nothing. Reputable sellers do not carry treated diamonds. 

8. Buying previously owned engagement rings is a sustainable, eco-friendly purchase.

We believe that previously owned engagement rings are the most environmentally friendly, sustainable jewelry purchase. A lab-created diamond does take quite a lot of energy to produce and, as previously discussed, is not a sound investment. We think recycling is the way to go if you want to purchase one, start shopping here. Buyer’s Guide — Diamocycle

9. Old European and Antique diamonds are a wise investment in previously owned engagement rings. 

Future Demand Trends of Old European Diamonds

If pricing trends continue, antique diamonds will become more valuable than modern cuts. They also clearly differentiated themselves from Lab-Created diamonds. In our opinion, this is very good from an investment and resale position. So you can start shopping here for an Old European cut diamond. Diamocycle Marketplace

10.  Get an appraisal for Insurance & our preferred Insurance Carrier

We created an extensive guide on diamond and jewelry appraisal. So if you purchase a previously owned engagement ring and need one, start here. Diamond & Jewelry Appraisal — Diamocycle. Our preferred vendor for insurance is the Jewelers Mutual Insurance group. We have worked with them for customers replacing very expensive diamonds, and they are the industry gold standard in jewelry insurance. You will need a copy of your GIA certificate, a Jewelry Appraisal, and a bill of Sale to get insurance. We suggest you not over-insure your previously owned engagement ring, but also do not underinsure a previously owned engagement ring purchase. 

As always, it is a pleasure helping you navigate the world of diamonds and jewelry. Please feel free to read on for other informative pieces on The Diamocycle Dispatch. The Diamocycle Dispatch

If you shopping for a Pre-loved Engagement Ring. Start here for our Buyer Guide. Buyer’s Guide — Diamocycle

Visit our Marketplace here to browse previously owned engagement rings and used diamonds. Diamocycle Marketplace