How to Determine the Resale Value of Your Ring

When it comes to parting ways with your engagement ring, understanding its value is crucial. Whether you're looking to sell it, insure it, or simply curious about its worth, discovering the accurate value of a used engagement ring requires careful evaluation. In this article, we will explore a few ways to determine the value of your treasured piece, which will empower you with knowledge and confidence during the process of selling an engagement ring.

How to Determine The Resale Value of Your Engagement Ring

This model below is based on an engagement ring with a larger natural center diamond, with or without some smaller side diamonds and set in precious metal. This is little guide is no guarantee of value, but it should help give you an idea of value. We also want to note that this information is directed towards traditional engagement rings that have a larger center diamond. Though often sold together, the value for the center diamond and the value of the setting/mounting are generally two different values.

Now that you are armed with the knowledge of what you have regarding the center diamond, you need to figure out the current market value. The current market value may not be the same retail value that you originally paid for the item. Of course you could walk into a jewelry store and do a comparison but not every jewelry store sells their items at a current market value. Some can be higher, some can be lower. So we’ll go a different route, You’ll need to get specific pieces of information regarding your engagement ring for this process such as;

Identifying your Center Diamond

Identifying the characteristics of your center diamond is critical to properly assigning a value to it.

Diamond Report/Certificate

If you have access to the certificate of your center diamond, depending on which diamond lab organization created the report, it can be more valuable than an appraisal.  Notable diamond labs are GIA (Gemological Institute of America), AGS (American Gem Society) and IGI (International Gemological Institute).  These diamond report/certificates will provide the actual diamond weight of a center stone (as it was weighed prior to setting into the ring).

There is a significant change in value between a diamond that is 0.99 carat and that which is 1.00 carat. Most buyers will want this to be accurate and without documentation it is difficult to confirm. Having this report or report number is an ace in your pocket, it's a valuable piece of information that will increase your chances of selling your engagement ring. Did you know that many diamonds have their diamond report number laser inscribed in the girdle of the diamond? You can only see it via microscope.

Professional Appraisal

Documented, professional appraisals cost anywhere from $75 to $125 and are required for the item to be covered under your insurance (they often come with your original purchase). When selling an engagement ring, professional appraisals are valuable but not so much for the listed replacement value. It’s important to note that the value associated to an appraisal is a replacement cost.

That means that if the ring needs to be rebuilt and stones repurchased, the replacement value would cover those costs. This is typically the highest valuation that you can give an engagement ring and it is often times higher than a retail value. The heightened value is not an inflation, it is due to the fact that it costs way more to remake a ring than to purchase one that was made through the mass production process. When it comes to selling your engagement ring, the true value of a professional engagement ring appraisal is knowing the details and characteristics of your engagement ring.

Look for certified gemologists or appraisers who specialize in jewelry valuation. They possess the expertise, tools, and knowledge to examine and assess your ring's quality, gemstones, precious metals, and craftsmanship. A professional appraisal report from a recognized appraiser will provide you with reliable information about your engagement ring such as the metal type and weight along with the 4c’s of your diamond.

Jeweler's Opinion

The last option is to walk into a jewelry store and ask a jeweler what is the quality (4 C's) of your center stone. We'd suggest finding a jeweler with AGS (American Gem Society) or GIA (Gemological Institute of America) gemologist on staff. We would not suggest disclosing that you are trying to sell it. If a jeweler is determines that you are trying to sell the piece, they may hedge towards a lower grade if a characteristic is close to being between two grades.

Information that you'll want to learn will be the carat weight of the center diamond, the color, clarity and the grade of the cut. It's also valuable to find out the weight of the ring as a whole, the weight of the side diamonds if possible and what what karat the metal may be.

Identifying Your Setting / Mounting

The setting/mounting also known as "the ring" can have two different values. The first value is a material value which comes from these parameters;

  • The metal karat (10k, 14k, 18k or platinum).
  • The metal weight of the ring (it’s usually in dwt, also known as “pennyweight”) 
  • If the setting has extra diamonds in the ring besides the center diamond, you want to know the total weight, color and clarity of the diamonds

The second additional value is a name or brand associated with the ring, such as Tacori, Vera Wang, Artcarved or from retailers such as Kay, Jared or other large retail chains.

Determining the Market Value of Your Engagement Ring

You'll want to know the current market value of your ring and your center diamond. This can take a little time, but it's worth taking the time to learn. As for the ring, if your setting/mounting is designed by a particular brand, you may be able to research like styles on that brand's website (or retailers that sell the brand) to find a comparable price. If the ring doesn’t have a brand, feel free to visit a larger engagement ring e-commerce website and search for rings that match your ring's metal karat, approximate metal weight and approximate weight/quality of smaller additional diamonds (if applicable).

Next, and often times even more importantly, you’ll need to find a diamond that is most comparable to yours in the carat, cut, color and clarity using a diamond search from an online engagement ring retailer. You’ll likely want to value your diamond in the middle to lower spectrum of the prices you see listed online. The combination of the ring value and the diamond value will give you an idea of a competitive retail value of your engagement ring.  

What Amount Should You Expect to Get Selling Your Ring?

Now for the question you’ve been waiting for… what should you expect to get for your engagement ring?

The Quick Sell Expectation

A quick sell to a jewelry store or diamond buyer should yield you close to 50% of the current diamond retail value and the metal weight of the setting/mounting (often times $50-$150) with a little extra for the smaller diamonds (usually less than $100 if the diamonds are small). Please note that larger accent stones such as 0.25ct and up can fetch a higher amount.  If that seems a little confusing here is an example, a preowned mounting ($1,200) with a natural diamond ($5,000) that retails for total of $6,200, may fetch somewhere near $2,700 with a quick sell to a jewelry store.

The Slow Sell Expectation

A slow sell to an end consumer can sometimes fetch up to 75% of the diamond retail value and at times, with a desirable style of mounting, up to 50% of the current retail value of the setting/mounting. So in the same model, a preowned mounting ($1,200) with a natural diamond ($5,000) that retails for total of $6,200, may fetch somewhere near $4,350 with a slow sale to an end consumer that plans to wear it. When we say slow sale, it can really take months.

A Helpful Tip for Nationally Branded Rings 

If your ring is a brand from one of the major retailers such as Kay’s, Jared or Helzberg, you can likely find similar rings on eBay. You can sort the items by “Sold Items” to see what end consumers were willing to pay for some of those styles. Be sure to subtract 15% to account for eBay’s fees. The options through offer both the opportunity for a secure quick sell as well as a consignment sell, which may be a longer process but can yield a higher return.