SELLING PRICES FOR DIAMONDS
WHAT IS THE SELLING PRICE FOR DIAMONDS?
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What is the selling price for Diamonds? Or like, customers say “What will I get for my Diamond if I sell it?“
Customers bring their Diamond Rings in daily and want to know what they’re worth. They bring in their paperwork, Receipts, Appraisals, Certification Diamond Reports…
They point out that their Diamond is valued at so and so much (we’ll use $8,000 for this example and this post), and that’s what they think it is worth.
Most are shocked (extremely shocked) to find out it’s usually only worth 20% of that (around $2,000), or close to it.
Before you have a heart attack and call all Jewelers rip-offs, we should get into the reasons WHY. You need to understand what that so called Replacement Value is and what it’s good for…
An Appraisal is just a piece of paper with a description of your Diamond Ring on it. It will list things like: Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight. It should also list whether or not the Diamond is Certified and what kind of mounting it’s set in (10k, 14k, Platinum, Yellow Gold, White Gold…).
This information, along with the price, helps the Insurance Company and Police Department identify your ring in case it were stolen, lost or damaged.
The better the description is on the Appraisal, the better the odds are at identifying and replacing your item with something similar in quality, style and price.
Jewelry Appraisals do have prices on them, but generally these prices are the full retail price of the ring (or it could be the combination of the loose Diamond and the ring together). For instance, if the Diamond retails for $6,000 and the ring retailed for $2,000, the Appraisal Replacement Value will be $8,000.
This price listed is just an average full price for the item. Sometimes Jewelers will even up this Appraisal Value (just to make the deal sound like a better deal – “This Ring would appraise for well over $10,000, but I’ll sell it to you today for only $4,300!), and sometimes they’ll up the value to take into consideration inflation costs.
Jewelers know one thing:
This value is NOT what the Diamond is actually worth. No one looks at that price, no one really cares about that price.
Just note that no one is ever going to sell their ring for that Appraisal Price, it’s just used as a starting point.
The reason why no one buys at full retail price, is because no one buys at full retail price. lol It’s true! Customers expect a deal from Jewelry Stores. They know they can go in and bargain with the Jeweler. They already think that Jewelry is inflated and over-priced, so they think nothing of negotiating. Plus there’s too much competition. There’s always a better deal around the corner. Two things matter the most with customers: 1) Quality 2) Price.
I would bet a pretty penny that you yourself didn’t pay full retail price for your ring.
If your ring is Appraised at $8,000, you probably only paid around $6,000 or less for it. Jeweler’s everyday have huge Diamond Sales and Holiday Specials and 30% Off Reductions. You can always find a great price and gain some true savings if you just take the time to look.
You may even find sales of up to 40% off or more at the right time of the year… Christmas Time and Spring Time (Bridal) are great for these types of deep discounts. You could also find some splashed through the other holidays like January Clearances and Million Dollar Diamond Sales Events…
The deals are out there, and I’m sure when you bought your ring you took full advantage of a deal as well.
Insurance Companies are no different!
They don’t look at the replacement cost on the Appraisal when it comes to replacing your Diamond. They actually get estimates from Jewelry Stores who are bidding for their business. They’re looking for the best deal just like you (and often they get better). They want to pay as less as possible and still keep their clients happy.
So the retail price listed is just for reference. It really means nothing.
And if the Appraisal Price on the ring is jacked up (highly inflated), you could be paying way too much coverage for that ring then is necessary. It’s always a good thing to check if the Appraisal Price is just and fair. If you don’t know, ask the Jeweler!
So now that you understand Appraisal Prices and why they don’t matter, let’s look at what you can expect to get selling your Diamonds…
Selling your Diamond
If you’re thinking you’ll get at least what you paid for your Diamond (going back to our $8,000 Diamond Ring Example), then you’re sadly mistaken. Why would a Jeweler buy a Diamond Ring from you for $8,000 that they could only turn around and sell it for $8,000??? It wouldn’t happen. They wouldn’t make any money.
Customers usually respond with “Well how about $7,000 then? They’d still make a Grand!“
It’s not going to work. Even if they could make a Grand on the deal, they’d still have to pay labor costs involved with cleaning the ring up, polishing it, retipping the prongs (if needed) and maybe even resetting the stone (if the prongs or mounting are too wore down).
Then you’d still have to tag the item, inventory it and stock the piece. Plus, you have all the overhead and commissions to pay… So in reality, the Jeweler, if they did this, would only come out a couple of hundred dollars at best.
And if your Diamond needs a Certificate Replacement (customers always lose these), or if it needs to be recut or repolished (Diamonds often chip or break around the Girdle) then the Jeweler could actually lose money. Not cool!
Now, here’s the real deal when it comes to Jewelers and Prices…
Jewelers Buy at Wholesale Prices
Put yourself in the Jeweler’s Shoes. If you had the opportunity to buy an SI1, E, 1.00 Carat Diamond for $3,500 (again only an example of cost), from a vendor (which you get great deals from because you spend $100,000 with them a year), then why… WHY would you even consider buying that same quality of Diamond from someone off the street for so much more ($7,000)??? You wouldn’t! It just doesn’t make any sense.
Jewelers buy from the dealer that gives them the best prices and the best guarantees (something you can’t offer).
Jewelers can then take that $3,500 Diamond and turn it around and sell it for $6,500. They make a little bit on the deal minus taxes, overhead, labor, insurances and commissions. It keeps them in business, especially in a very competitive field.
Plus, around Christmas time, when the sales are HOT, they’ll sometimes offer crazy specials like 40% off. That means that $8,000 Diamond would sell for $4,800!!! And after everything is accounted for, the Jeweler would be lucky to make even a grand off that $8,000 ring (slim margins).
And then of course the customers always want to pay with a credit card that eats up even more profits with credit card fees…
Jewelry is a tough business and it takes a lot of money to operate, store and stock thousands of Diamonds and Rings and Gemstones. Plus, hiring a knowledgeable and trained staff who are not cheaply paid…
That’s why when stores get the opportunity to purchase a Diamond Ring cheaper, they’ll leap at the chance. You see ads everywhere with Jewelers saying “Turn your Jewelry into Cash!“. Every Jeweler is Buying! And Everybody is Selling!
So what will you get Selling your Diamond?
Like I said in the opening, a good guess would be anywhere between 20-30% of the retail price (also saying that price isn’t inflated).
20% or 30% of the worth. That’s it!
So if your Diamond is worth $8,000, you’ll get around $2,000 for it.
Take a look at the table below to get an idea of what your Diamond retails for and what it COULD be worth…
$7,000 = $1,750
$6,000 = $1,500
$5,000 = $1,250
$4,000 = $1,000
$3,000 = $750
$2,000 = $500
$1,000 = $250
Jewelers are SMART
Jewelers know that people selling Diamond Rings are in a tight situation. They know that they need money and are desperate. When the economy slopes and takes a turn for the worst, consumers are forced into selling their valuables and luxury items. Which leads to Jewelers stepping up to Buy.
You can’t blame them either. They can get an exceptional deal on Diamonds, so why not do it?
You also have to know that when the economy is down, so are Jewelry Sales. It’s tougher for the Jeweler to pay the rent. It’s tougher to sell high priced ticketed items. Everything is tougher. During times like this, buying Diamonds cheaper and then reselling them cheaper is what it’s all about. Everyone is hurting. Everyone is looking for a deal…
So when you walk into the store with a ring appraised at $8,000, an offer between $1,600 – $2,400 is to be expected. Like it or not. It is what it is.
If you happen to get more than that for your Diamond ring, then consider yourself lucky.
GIA Certified Diamonds get more Love!
If your Diamond is GIA Certified then it puts you in a much better standing to get more money for your Diamond.
GIA Certified Diamonds hold their weight more than any other Diamond out there (of course all depending on quality).
GIA is the best in the industry and the most established Certificate company in the world (they wrote the book on the 4C’s).
If your Diamond is GIA Certified (make sure you bring the actual Certificate with you), the Jeweler will probably give you more money than if it were a non-certified stone, or if it was certified by any other company (EGL, IGI…).
This is why if you go in to sell your stone and you say “It’s Certified“, the Jeweler will ask you “Who Certified it?“. They want to know if it’s GIA. That’s what really matters. If it’s any other company, they don’t care!!!
People know GIA. People trust GIA.
This is another Good Reason to only Buy GIA Certified Diamonds!
Do note that the Certificate (even GIA) is pretty useless if you’ve chipped or broken your Diamond after purchase. Most people don’t even realize they’ve marred it until they try to sell it. The Jeweler will scope the Diamond well to see if it’s been damaged or not. If the Diamond is nicked, chipped or broken, the Diamond will have to be recut, repolished and recertified… Which can be quite costly.
In this case, if the chip isn’t too big, it could only knock off maybe 10% of the Diamond’s worth. But if the chip is large enough and significant Carat Weight will be lost, it could cut your money in half.
Is this Shocking?
I don’t think so. It’s just like cars. Cars lose their value instantly after you drive it off the lot. Reselling your car gains you very little monetary value. Diamonds are the same way. Diamonds are not an Investment. Anyone who says otherwise is a fool.
There is no market for selling Diamonds. There is no place out there that will give you what you paid for the stone ($6,000 on sale). If there way such a place, we (the Jewelers) would just take all of our Diamonds to them, sell them, and make bank. Get my point?
20 – 30% is standard.
But you can get more…
You can get more for your Diamond if you trade your Diamond in versus just selling it outright.
Jewelers will be willing to work with you more if you’re spending more money in their store. Keep in mind you probably have to double up your purchase in order to get any real value back. So buying a $12,000 Diamond Ring could get you a trade in value of $6,000.
You could probably get even more for your ring if you sold it directly to a friend or neighbor who needed an Engagement Ring. Some people even try Craigslist, Ebay or the Local Newspaper… But this isn’t always the easiest way to sell a stone and I’ll tell you why…
You can’t offer anything else with the Deal!
You can’t sweeten the pot. Unlike a Jeweler, you can’t offer Interest Free Financing. You can’t offer Payment Plans or Extended Service Plans. You have no Diamond Guarantee (and even if you had these things, they aren’t transferable!) You can’t resize the ring. You have no means to polish the band. You have nothing. More than likely, not even a Ring Box…
Nothing but a used ring and some paperwork that you may or may not understand.
Doesn’t make the purchase very tempting does it?
Plus, a lot of people frown upon buying used rings. They say broken marriages bring bad karma.
So Jewelers really are your best bet. They do offer more than anyone else out there including the pawn shops.
But wait, there’s more…
There are still other factors involved that can weigh heavily into the price you’ll get for your stone…
What if you have a stone that the Jeweler doesn’t want or need? (like a Marquise that used to be popular 20 years ago).
What if the Jeweler already has plenty of Round Diamonds in the same quality as yours? (I have a ton of I1 Clarity, I Color Diamonds already)…
What if your stone has a bad cut, or a bad Clarity or bad Color? These all weigh on what a Jeweler is willing to pay you for your Stone. (Jewelers are picky when it comes to Quality – Better Quality stones are easier to sell).
Sometimes they just don’t have an extra $4,000 laying around that they can pay you with. Sometimes if they’re short on cash, they’ll low ball you and hope that you bite. If people are desperate enough, they could end up dumping the Diamond for anything they can get. It’s a sad case, but it works out good for the Jeweler.
All in all, everyone is looking for a deal. And when you need cash and want to sell a Diamond, then you really don’t have the upper hand… Unless of course, you hold the Ace of Diamonds! :)
Good luck with your deal. Maybe it won’t sting as much now that you know what to expect.
Because otherwise, it can get pretty shocking.
Before you guys write in about my prices on here and how you can’t get these deals, or you can’t make this much money or my costs are way out of line… let me say this once again: These prices are used only as examples!
Every Jeweler can vary (and their Location also makes a Difference) and no two Diamonds are alike. 20-30% is what I have experienced over the last 20 years and that’s what I’m basing this information on. My own personal experience.
The best thing I would advise is for you to shop around and see what everyone else is offering.
Only then will you truly know who is giving you the best deal and the most money!
Good luck! :)
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I’have selling my rough colored diamonds
400 carats we can deal something ..
Hi. So if my diamond is appraised at 41k Canadian retail value… how much could I possibly get if I try resell?
If your wondering it’s GIA. triple ex F color VVS1 :)
Have no idea. You’d have to take it around to different jewelers and stores (pawn shops, antique dealers) that buy diamonds. It really depends on what they’re looking for, the condition, how much they believe they can resell it for (if there’s a market for it), how much cash is on hand… There’s a lot of variables, you’ll have to scout around and see. -Richard
I’ve got a .67, G-H, SI2, “lazar kaplan perfect cut” with serial# on girdle, brilliant/round. flanked by 2 trilliants, abt .15 each, i think. i think it’s just a 10 or 14K yellow gold setting, white gold prongs.
Appraised back in 1992 at about $5800. No idea what that amounts to, today.
what’s a “reality check” on trading that in for 2 fairly equal round stones, to give to my 2 sons? how big do you think i could get? what out of pocket could you see?
thanks for any ideas :)
Hi Missy Biba, that is something a jewelry store would have to tell you. For there’s so much that goes into trading diamonds, the biggest factor being what you’re trading them for. Normally jewelers want you to double up your purchase price, meaning, they’ll give you your fair trade in exchange for you buying something(s) twice as expensive, i.e. if they gave you $5800 trade, you’d have to spend $11,600… Likewise, if you’re only looking at two diamonds that total $6,000, then they’d probably only give you $3,000 in trade. It’s all based upon how much you’re looking at, and what the jeweler can buy that trade-in diamond today (and also if they even need it). So all in all, only a jewelry store, and the diamonds you choose, would determine how much you can really get. Good luck! -Richard
Hi! I have a 1 carat diamond appraised at $12,000. The jeweler told me that the ring is a very rare cut. Apparently the ring was cut before World War II and is a rare cut that gives more value to the ring. Do rings vary on the sell back price depending on the type of cut the diamond is?
Hi Jeff. Appraising the diamond as rare from WWII is wonderful, but that big price tag won’t do much in the real world, other than make you pay a high insurance rate. When you try to sell that ‘rare’ diamond, you’ll find that older diamonds like that are hard to sell (not a lot of people like old mine cuts, or old european cut diamonds), and you’ll find that anyone interested will offer barely 20% of it’s worth (if you’re lucky). A more honest value, is comparing the diamond to an equivalent quality stone nowadays, because that’s what insurance would end up giving you. -Richard
Thank you.This was very useful for a baseline of what I will be dealing with when getting my ring appraised and shopping it around.The time you spent with the basic outline I personally appreciate.Don Olson. :)
I wish I’d seen your very astute website before I went to 47th Street to sell a 2.33 Old European Brilliant Cut diamond. I did weeks of research on antique diamonds, selling, basic principles of diamonds, on and on. I had it graded by the GIA. The only bad thing was the M color. There I was thinking I was fortified with all this “knowledge.” If all my self-education was right, I could expect to sell it for about $13,000. Wrong. I didn’t know until I was showing it to a diamond dealer that the table had been gouged and numerous facets chipped, which precluded it from getting anything more than $4,500. There is a question buried here: Are there any professional standards for jewelers who withhold information about a damaged diamond but then talk you into getting it graded and engraved as if it were a better diamond, even though in the end you could barely unload it?? It was the definition of a boondoggle.
Hi Robin. No. Jewelers would not withhold any information that would keep you from unloading it, because jewelers are in the position to sell jewelry, and there really isn’t a market to buy them back. Getting such a large diamond professionally graded and inscribed would not be uncommon in the least. I would if it were my diamond, especially one listed as $13,000. Because even the lowest clarity grades (I1, I2 and I3) are still rare and valuable (and almost all large diamonds are lower grade stones), regardless if they have chips, cracks or damaged girdles or tables. The problem doesn’t exist because of the clarity, color, cut, certification, or whatnot, it’s just because there is no genuine place to resell them. Jewelers can buy diamonds at cost, so no jeweler in their right mind would pay more for that same stone. It’s as simple as that. That’s why diamonds are not an investment… Just a luxury item we love. :) -Richard