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Selling a client's engagement ring?

Hi All,

I’m wondering if anyone has advice about re-selling an engagement
ring. A client would like to sell a 1-carat diamond platinum ring,
and asked me the best way to go about it. I’m not at all familiar
with the options and am hoping someone can point me to the way(s) to
get the most for it. Thanks for any wisdom!

Best wishes from San Francisco,

Stones arnt my field, but buying and selling is. Go downtown to the
most expensive jeweller and ask for a price for a ring and diamondof
that spec. Thats the buying price and your reference point. That same
jeweller will pay for such a ring between 50 and 60 % of the selling

Thats what your bottom price will be and the minimum you should
accept for the ring.

If you have the bill of sale or reciept as proof of title, it will
be easier to sell.

If its a good client then what you do is an act of good will. If
there no one special you shouldnt waste your valuable time unless
your paid your normal hourly rate for doing the leg work for them.

  1. Sell to pawn shop.
  2. Sell to manufacturing jeweler.

Problem is that both will not give the person near what he/she paid
for the ring. I had two people who worked for me in my previous life.
They became unengaged, even hatred could describe their trust for
each other. I explained to them the economics of selling jewelry:

The original selling jeweler gave them a letterhead letter giving
them a value of $16000 for the ring.

They paid $8000 for the ring (on sale).

I could buy the same setting and stones for $2000 and make the ring.
I told them that to me it was worth $2000 as that would be what I
would have to pay for the pieces. BTW, that is what I got for them
selling to a high end shop in a city nearby. The ring was beautiful.


Hmmmm… never thought about this.

Suggest a 2nd hand jewellery store.
Put it in your store window and take a commission.
Take out the stone, sell it, then sell the platinum to a bullion
Buy it yourself and remodel it.

Sure there are many other options too :slight_smile:

Regards Charles A.
P.S. If it’s a new client ask for ID.

A client would like to sell a 1-carat diamond platinum ring, and
asked me the best way to go about it. 

I have a few of those myself, and I can assure you there is no easy
answer. But boy Julia, if you can ever crack it, you’ll be a

Her best situation would probably be to sell it to a friend or
acquaintance, she will be able to get more than just about any other
method, and her friend will get a better price than they otherwise
would. Another method might be to list it on Craig’s List or
something similar, but there is a risk of being conned and also the
very real possibility of being set up to be robbed. Still another
option might be to sell it through EBay or other on-line auction. A
few folks I know have done pretty well doing that, but it is not
without risk. Reams have been written about the scams and cons
directly targeted towards people like your friend that show up there
and in other similar on-line auctions, so I won’t go into them here.

A good option might be to sell it to a brick and mortar jeweler or
to a pawn shop. They’ll have cash so if speed is needed, that would
probably be the best (but maybe not the most profitable) way to go.
She might also try to sell it through an auction house. Leland Little
Auction and Estate Sales ( is near me in Hillsborough,
NC and they might be a good avenue. We do repair, evaluation and
appraisal work for them, and have found them to be extremely
professional, very honest, trustworthy and hardworking.

Any way she goes, your friend will be very lucky to get anywhere
near what she paid for it, let alone anywhere near what it might be
appraised for. Most folks in the trade of making “street buys” are
wanting to pay somewhere around 30% to 40% of RAP (Rapaport Report, a
trade pub that lists current wholesale prices being paid). With
mark-ups being what they are these days, that means somewhere around
20% to 40% of current retail (actual retail, not MSRP or ‘Retail
Replacement Appraised Value’ kind of retail - no one pays sticker
price anymore).

Some folks might give you a formula to use or something similar to
arrive at what a fair price might be. That’s all well and good, but
when it comes to liquidating a diamond, cash talks, everything else
walks. The only formula that really works is to pursue as many
different options as possible, and go with the one that is willing to
pay the most. Any pro (and most non-pro’s) will insist on seeing it
before making an offer, so if she wants to comparison shop, a bit of
driving might be involved - few will volunteer to go to her unless
it’s priced to sell fast. A lot depends on how fast she needs the
cash and how hard she is willing to work to make sure she’s going to
get the most.

Wish there was better news, but unfortunately right now it’s a
mighty tough and highly contested market. There are more people
selling jewelry than buying it, and those that are buying seem to be
aware of the softness of the retail market and the strength of the
buyer’s market they are in. It’s pretty similar to how the real
estate market is, there are a lot more desperate sellers than there
are eager buyers and money’s tight. Everybody’s looking for a deal,
no one’s paying retail.

Dave Phelps