Why is it that deciding whether to sell your diamond after divorce feels almost as bad as getting divorced itself? It’s also probably giving you just as much anxiety.
Like so many other issues involved in divorce, deciding whether to sell your wedding rings isn’t simple. The decision is emotional. It’s practical. And, just like getting divorced, selling your jewelry after divorce makes you worried you’re going to get taken advantage of.
That’s probably why so many women end up with old wedding rings stuffed in a jewelry box at the bottom of their underwear drawer.
But, is that really what you should do?
Or does getting some cash for your jewelry make a whole lot more sense?
Like everything else in divorce, the answer is: it depends.
Why Do You Want to Sell Your Wedding Rings?
In order to figure out what you should do, you need to start by figuring out why you want to do it.
Do you want to sell your wedding rings because you need the money?
Do you want to sell them because you hate your ex and you can’t stand to see anything that reminds you of him?
Or do you want to sell them to get back at him? Maybe you know he would be furious if he found out you sold them!
Worse yet, maybe your rings were a family heirloom from HIS family. You know that selling them would really make him crazy! (PRO TIP: Don’t do that! What goes around comes around. Don’t be a jerk!)
Or maybe you’re simply selling your wedding rings because it seems like the most practical thing to do. You know you're never going to wear them again. So, why not?
Knowing your motivation for selling will help you decide whether selling your jewelry now makes sense for you or not. It’ll also help you decide HOW to sell your jewelry.
If you need to get money fast you’re going to have different selling options than you will if you have the luxury of time.
Why DON’T You Want to Sell Your Jewelry?
If you think you “should” sell your jewelry, but the idea of actually selling it is about as appealing as drinking sour milk, it’s time to dig a little deeper into your psyche.
Ask yourself WHY you’re hesitating. Chances are, your answer has something to do with what your rings mean to you, or what you think they’re worth.
If you believe that your wedding rings are a symbol of love and somewhere deep down inside you still love your spouse, you’re not going to want to sell those rings. (And, btw, that’s perfectly normal. Just because some judge declared that your marriage is legally over doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s over in your heart – especially if you weren’t the one who wanted to divorce!)
Even if you don’t still love your spouse, if you’re still mourning the death of your marriage, you’re probably not going to be ready to sell your wedding rings yet either.
Or maybe you’d be totally fine with selling your rings EXCEPT that you think that your kids might want them some day. So you want to hang on to your rings “for your kids.” (HINT: Your kids are probably never going to want them.)
On the other hand, maybe it’s not the meaning behind the rings, but the value of the rings that’s nagging you. If you believe that your rings are worth whatever your ex paid for them originally (or more!) then maybe you want to hang onto them because they’re a “good investment.” (HINT: They're not!)
Whatever your reason is for NOT wanting to sell your jewelry, what matters is that you identify that reason and deal with it.
Otherwise, no matter how much money you get for your rings, you’re still going to feel bad.
What if I Get Ripped Off?
The other thing that makes a lot of women hesitate to sell their diamonds is that they’re afraid that if they do, they’ll get ripped off.
That makes total sense.
Most of us have no idea how to value jewelry. We may have heard how important “cut, color, and clarity” is for a diamond. But we have no idea how to figure out if OUR diamond’s “cut, color, and clarity” is worth anything!
Truth be told, most of us can’t even tell if our diamond – or the gold surrounding it – is even real!
It’s not surprising then that many women hesitate to take their diamond jewelry to some random jewelry store, hoping they can sell it. After all, if you don’t know what your jewelry is worth to begin with, why would you drop it off at some unknown place to get it valued or sold? How will you ever know if the jewelry you get back is the same as the jewelry you dropped off?
That fear alone is enough to stop some people from ever selling their wedding rings.
When you compound that fear with the unfortunate reality that your wedding ring probably isn’t worth nearly as much as you think it is, it’s not surprising that a trip to the jeweler leaves you feeling a little queasy.
What’s My Diamond Worth?
Most women believe that their wedding rings are worth a ton of money.
Usually, they’re not.
Engagement rings (like new cars) drop in value like a cement block in the middle of a lake the minute you walk out the door of the jewelry store. That’s because the mark up on jewelry is enormous.
So the ring that your ex paid $10,000 for a few years ago will probably only be worth a fraction of that now.
That having been said, a lot of factors affect your ring’s value.
Contrary to what most of us believe, the most valuable part of a wedding or engagement ring is the diamond that’s in it. The size and quality of the diamond usually determines the amount of money you can sell your ring for.
What that means is that the setting of your engagement or wedding ring usually doesn’t matter much. The gold or platinum will likely be sold for scrap.
What’s more, a setting with a bunch of small diamonds in it can actually be worth LESS than a simple band with a single high quality diamond in it. That’s because the labor involved in removing the diamonds actually drives the price down.
Also, a ring with an unusual setting will also be worth less.
Since everyone’s taste in jewelry is unique, a ring with an “unusual” design will likely appeal to fewer people. That means that your “unique” ring will probably be worth less than a more standard, traditional one.
The exception is if your wedding ring came one of a very few, high-end jewelers. If your ring is from Tiffany & Co, Cartier, Bulgari, Van Cleef & Arpels or another high end designer, then your ring will fetch a much higher price because it’s a designer ring.
Where to Sell Your Diamond After Divorce
Once you decide that you truly want (or need!) to sell your wedding rings, and you’ve brought your expectations about their value back down from the stratosphere, the next question is WHERE do you go to sell them?
You have several options.
1. A Pawnbroker
The benefit of selling your diamond to a pawnbroker is that you will walk out the door with cash in your pocket. The downside is that you will walk out the door with considerably less cash in your pocket than you would if you sold your ring somewhere else. Pawnbrokers will rarely give you the best price for your precious jewelry.
2. A “We Buy Gold” Shop
Like a pawnbroker, a “We Buy Gold” shop will provide you with quick cash. And, like a pawnbroker, the amount of cash you will get will usually be less than what you could get elsewhere.
3. A Jewelry Store
Selling your ring at a local jewelry store feels like it would be your best option. The only trouble is, most local jewelry stores sell (but don't buy) jewelry. So very few of them will actually buy back your wedding rings. If they do buy them, they will likely sell it to a local dealer or wholesaler. That business will then resell or repurpose your jewelry. Since everyone needs to make a bit of profit on these transactions, you will likely get less than what you could get at an auction house or with a diamond specialist.
Fine jewelry does not tend to sell well on Ebay. That’s because there aren’t a lot of safeguards in place for high end jewelry transactions. Everyone is worried about getting ripped off. Sure, it's not a bad idea to check prices on Ebay. That will give you a ballpark value on what your rings might be worth. But actually selling them on Ebay is probably just going to be an exercise in frustration.
Most of the wedding and engagement rings sold on Etsy are listed for less than $5,000. (Although, there are definitely some listings on Etsy that are well above $5,000.) If you have a vintage ring, or the setting is truly unique, selling on Etsy might be a good option. However, if you do decide to sell your diamond on Etsy you will need to get your own independent appraisal of it first.
Worthy is an online auction house that provides a simple, fast, and safe way to sell your diamonds. If you want to sell your engagement ring online with Worthy, just fill out the form on their website. If they accept your ring, they will provide you with a shipping label. (They pay for the insurance.) They will then have the ring appraised at their expense. Based on that appraised value, YOU will set the minimum price for the ring and then they’ll auction it off for you. They’ll send you a check once the sale is complete.
7. A Specialty Diamond Broker
Specialty diamond brokers like Diamond Oaks generally only buy higher quality, high-end jewelry. If you have designer jewelry, or a very large diamond (5 – 10 carats) selling through Diamond Oaks can make sense. Their selling process is similar to Worthy. It also takes a similar amount of time to complete.
Should I Get an Appraisal for My Wedding Rings?
Getting your jewelry appraised is one way that you can determine its value before you sell it.
The appraiser will value your diamond based upon a variety of characteristics, including cut, color, clarity and carat.
Cut – The most expensive cut of diamond is the round, brilliant cut. That’s because an average of 60% of a rough diamond is wasted in order to make this cut.
Color – The less color a diamond has, the greater it’s value generally is. (An exception to this is for fancy colored diamonds like pink, black or yellow.)
Clarity – Natural stones often have flaws, or “inclusions” – tiny specs of other substances – in them. Those inclusions may or may not be visible to the naked eye. The more clear a diamond is, the more valuable it is.
Carat – Carat refers to the size of the diamond. While it makes sense that bigger diamonds are worth more money, what’s not intuitive is that diamonds that are over 1 carat can be worth way more than those under 1 carat. That’s because bigger diamonds, especially those with great color and clarity, are more rare.
Finally, diamonds made in a lab (i.e. “lab diamonds”) are generally worth much less than naturally created diamonds.
Do I Need an Appraisal to Sell My Jewelry?
Do you absolutely NEED an appraisal before you sell your wedding rings? No.
Is getting an appraisal before you sell your wedding rings smart? Absolutely!
As you can see by now, a lot of different factors can affect your jewelry’s value. Unless you’ve been trained to identify what a piece of jewelry is worth, it’s pretty much impossible for you to accurately determine your jewelry’s value on your own.
That means that in order to truly know what your jewelry, or your diamond, is worth, you’re going to need an appraisal.
However, just because you need to get your jewelry appraised before you sell it, that doesn’t mean that YOU have to get the appraisal yourself!
Online auction houses like Worthy will get your diamonds appraised for you. So you don’t need to run around trying to find a reputable appraisal organization of pay to ship and insure your jewelry in order to get it appraised.
How to Sell Your Jewelry Online (or Somewhere Else!)
Once you’ve decided that you want to sell your wedding jewelry, and you’ve figured out WHY you want to sell it, then you can start to determine HOW and WHERE to sell it.
If you need to sell your jewelry quickly to make some fast cash, selling to a pawnbroker or a “We Buy Gold” store will probably be your best bet. When you do that, all you need to do is walk in, give them your rings and take your cash.
Of course, unless you have a certified jewelry appraisal BEFORE you walk in the door, you won’t know whether whatever amount the pawnbroker or jeweler is offering you is or is not a good deal.
If you don’t need to sell quickly, you can choose a sales method that will take a little longer but net you more cash. In that case, WHERE and HOW you sell depends on the type of jewelry you have.
If you have vintage or unique piece of jewelry that probably isn’t worth more than $5,000, selling on Etsy may be a good choice.
If you have a super high-end or designer piece of jewelry, then selling it somewhere like Worthy or Diamond Oaks will probably be your best bet. (Btw, these places will get an appraisal FOR you. So you won’t necessarily have to get an appraisal yourself first.)
The bottom line is that how and where you sell your wedding rings depends on why you want to sell it, and what kind of jewelry you’ve got.
Does Selling Your Diamond After Divorce Make Sense For You?
Selling your diamond ring after divorce is a highly personal, and often very emotional decision. There is no “one size fits all” answer to the question of whether you should sell your rings, now or later.
If you choose to sell them, there are plenty of ways to do it. What matters is that you understand why you want to sell and then you take the time to do the research and work it will take to sell them for the best price given the time frame you have.
I am an affiliate for Worthy. If you use these links to sell your diamond there I will make a small (i.e. teeny tiny, it won't even pay for lunch!) commission. ... just so you know! The reason I do this is because Worthy's sales process and reputation make sense to me. You can read the REVIEWS here.