Sell Diamonds with Right Expectations

Want to sell diamonds or your diamond ring? Then first thing is to set a reasonable expectation.

If you don't have an idea of how much you'll get for your shimmering piece, then let me tell, you are not alone to face the dilemma and doubts related to selling you diamond ring. In fact let me tell you, diamond selling is not as simple as selling gold.

Gold being a commodity with quantifiable melt value (i.e. has a fixed price per gram) is easy to resell. On the contrary, every diamond is unique without any objective measure which makes difficult to assess its resale value. This is what makes inexperienced sellers puzzled while they are on trip to sell diamond or diamond jewelry.

However, before moving further, remember that just like any other luxury good, value of diamond also depreciates with time. So, unless you are having something really extraordinary that buyers are searching for, don't expect a resale value matching the price you paid at retail.

It's natural for diamond resellers to want a price somewhere close to what they purchased for. It's understandable as well, because this is what they were told in the appraisal report they got from their retail jeweler. However, that appraisal report from jeweler will have no value when you are on a foray to resell diamonds or diamond jewelry.

Reselling diamond jewelry

So, depending on the design of your piece - assuming value of diamond has not appreciated much over the elapsed time period - don't be shocked if you are offered a price much lower than what you had paid.

I am not demoralizing you, but it's the bitter truth that usually diamond jewelry don't command high price in second-hand market. The moment you pay for your new diamond piece and come out of store, its price reduces drastically.

Now, you'd be thinking why there is such a price difference between new and second-hand diamond? As a re-seller you would be expecting a price closer to what you paid at retail. However the fact of the matter is, if you go to sell your diamond, you may be shocked to know that its value can come down to as low as 25% to 40% of its original retail price.

Why a low resale value when I go to sell diamonds?

There are 2 factors:

  • Marked-up retail price
  • Market condition

Markup in retail price

The retail price that you pay for your diamond ring comprises of wholesale price (cost price of jeweler) and the markup to cover the profit margin and operational cost (rentals, employee salaries, marketing, labor, taxes, etc.) of jeweler.

Diamond Retail Markup percentage

Remember that these additional costs are considered as part of retail price in grading and appraisal report. So, you don't just pay for the jewelry piece, you pay for the jeweler's overhead costs as well.

Now, when you go to a jeweler to resell your diamond ring, he may not pay what you paid during retail purchase. This is because, he can get a similar new piece from his supplier at a much lower wholesale price.

After all, why he will pay the additional cost plus profit margins included in retail price for the second hand piece! It doesn't make a business sense. Instead, he will offer even less than the wholesale price of the similar new diamond piece that he can get from supplier.

Market Conditions

Resale value of your diamond ring will depend on market trend at the time you choose to sell. For example certain diamond shapes have proven more popular at certain points in history. Like, currently round brilliant is the most sought after shape. So, in present day scenario resale value of rounds will be more compared to other fancy-shaped diamonds.

So, until and unless it's an antique piece with heritage value or something designer with high demand, the jeweler may not offer you more than what he will pay to his supplier for similar piece.

Also, if the diamond you are looking to sell is not very attractive (or should I say ugly) in terms of cut, color, clarity or if it's not a popular shape, then be prepared to bear a huge loss.

According to jewelry appraiser Neal Beaty, people selling their diamond jewelry must not set their expectation too high. Just because you think it's valuable doesn't make it so. Therefore before rushing to sell diamonds, it's advisable to get before-hand knowledge of quality of diamond and jewelry in question.

How to sell a diamond ring?

Before listing your diamond ring for sale it's imperative to get its value assessed by an expert. This is where a qualified independent jewelry appraiser who doesn't buy and sell diamonds can help you by providing true condition of your jewelry which can be used to derive its real value.

Even if you possess the grading report of diamond (that you got at the time of purchase) that too from a credible lab, you must still get your diamond examined by an independent expert for its current state and value. This is because, since the time of its grading, the diamond may have got damaged or with changing industry scenario some other diamond attribute would be carrying more weight for determining its value. 

You must remember that while figuring out the resale value of your diamond ring, or jewelry in general, it's only the material (especially the core center diamond) that counts without much emphasis on craftsmanship and design. So, it's always better to set a realistic expectation while selling diamond jewelry.

Where to sell diamond ring?

If you have a diamond ring to sell, then primarily there are two options that as a diamond seller you can explore:

  1. Sell to jewelry industry (jeweler, diamond dealer or pawn broker) - Advantage of dealing with them is that you can save on time and can get immediate payment. However the downside is, being in professional business they may not offer you the expected high price.
  2. Sell directly to an individual buyer - This is where you can get the maximum price if you can find a suitable buyer. Since these individual buyers don't have any overhead cost, they may offer you a higher price compared to jeweler. However, this option is worth treading if time is not the constraint and you are not in urgent need of money.

Finally, do a thorough research of diamond market and styles in trend before selling your diamond. And don't feel that you are duped if a buyer offers a price below your expectation.

I am sure by going through this article, you would have enriched your understanding on how second-hand diamond market works and what you must expect while selling diamond.

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