What to Expect

In this section:

What is my engagement ring worth?

One of the most difficult things for private sellers to realize, is the amount of money they will receive for their ring, compared to what they paid for it. Once you completely understand and accept the fact that you will be losing money on the transaction -- and you almost always will be losing money -- it is much easier to move forward with a sale. Remember: you are trying to get the best deal possible, not to recover the amount you paid.

How is the price calculated?

To start, you should compare similar items which are currently on sale. You can start by looking at websites like
Blue Nile and brilliance.com, and search for loose diamonds similar to the center one in your ring. Once you get an idea of what similar loose diamonds sell for, you can get a ballpark of what to expect by considering the following parameters:
  • Large websites often mark up their items by 15-20%.
  • The items these websites sell are purchased from dealers, who usually make an additional 10-15%.
  • These dealers, which are the actual people you will be selling to, will discount the price they pay you -- because they are paying in cash, and you are a private seller -- by another 20%.
  • The amount dealers will pay you for the precious metal in the ring is usually about 30-40% below what the commodity market's price for that metal is (for example, 30% below what gold trades for in the commodity market.)

Typical real-world example

You are looking to sell the following:
  • 14k white gold engagement ring, with a solitare diamond.
  • Round Brilliant cut.
  • 0.80 carats.
  • H color.
  • SI2 clarity.
  • Certified by GIA.

Now let's calculate backwards:
  • A similar, well cut diamond retails on large websites at about $2,700.
  • These websites buy the diamond at about $2,250.
  • The dealer buys the diamond at $1,950.
  • The dealer will try and get a discount from you, and will agree to pay $1,300.
  • The value of the gold in the ring is about $350, and the dealer will offer you an additional $150 for it.
The total you should expect to get for the ring is $1,450.

What if I paid more for my engagement ring?

You may have paid a much higher amount, if you purchased the diamond at a retail store. If the ring was custom-designed, you may have paid a premium for the design and craftmanship of creating it; however, for the dealer, the ring itself is only worth the gold they can melt it for, and they will try and negotiate that amount as well. They will most likely pay 60% below retail price for the center diamond. As disappointing as it may sound, if you get a $1,400 offer for such a ring, you should probably take it.

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