Trying to sell your diamond can be a confusing process with everyone claiming they can get you more money for your old jewelry. What do they mean by “more money?” More money than what? More than you paid for it? No. More than other buyers? Maybe, maybe not. Even if one jeweler will pay you more than another in your area, how do you really know if it’s even close to the true value of your diamond? What even is the true value of your diamond? How is a diamond’s value determined anyway? Most importantly, How Much is MY Diamond Worth?
Well, it’s complicated.
Figuring out how much a diamond is worth starts with something called the Rapaport Diamond Price List. The Rapaport list is published weekly and provides diamond dealers and buyers with approximate price guidelines for diamonds. The list separates diamonds into grid tables based on carat weight and provides approximate values based on clarity and color. The values in the report change each month based on current market conditions. For example, if there’s been less demand for diamonds of a certain color, cut or shape in the past month, their value will be lower. This is crucial to take into account when you sell your diamond.
So, if you want to know the “How much can I get for my diamond?”, all you need to do is look at the Rapaport list, right? Not exactly. First of all, the list is a highly technical document that’s hard to understand for anyone who doesn’t work in the diamond industry. Second, it’s copyrighted and not freely available online. You might be able to ask a jeweler to show you the Rapaport list, but even if you are able to understand it and find the listed value for your diamond, the information won’t do you much good. Why? Because nobody pays the price listed on the chart.
The Rapaport list is really only useful to people who work in the industry. The prices it provides skew high and are mainly used as a starting point for negotiations between dealers and buyers. Buyers get discounts off the list price so they can sell the diamonds to the public for higher profits. The price you pay at the jewelry store is going to be based on how much the jeweler paid for it and how much profit they feel they can make. It will almost always be much higher than list price.
That’s why the value of your diamond plunges the second you walk out of the store. Because you were willing to pay the jeweler’s inflated price for the diamond, it was temporarily worth that much (keep in mind jewelers have additional expenses to account for, such as rent and maintenance of their store or facility.) When you walk out of the store, it becomes used. Nobody wants to pay as much as you just did for a used diamond. Especially since jewelers pay a mere fraction of that price for new ones. The true value of a diamond is whatever someone will pay for it. Therefore, when you are ready to sell unwanted diamonds, you need to keep all of this in perspective. If you sell diamond jewelry online, back to a jeweler or even at a pawn shop, you simply will not recover the retail price you initially paid.
Is your head spinning yet? Why is determining the value of a diamond so complicated? Why is it so hard to get a straight answer to the question of how much your diamond is worth? Won’t someone answer my basic, straight forward question: “What is my diamond worth??” The answer is that the value of a diamond is completely artificial. Contrary to popular belief, diamonds are the most common gems on Earth. The only reason they cost as much as they do is that the industry tightly controls their supply. When looking for the best place where to sell diamonds, you need to understand the origins of the business and why it is structured in the manner that it is.
Back in the mid-20th century, the diamond industry was small and slowly dying, largely because gigantic diamond deposits had been discovered in Africa a few decades earlier. Diamonds weren’t considered rare anymore, and after two world wars and a Great Depression, people weren’t willing to spend money on them. The cartel that owned the diamond mines, De Beers (maybe you’ve heard of them), created the famous ad campaign “A Diamond is Forever” to convince young couples that diamond engagement rings were a necessity and a traditional symbol of love. It worked. They persuaded the public that diamonds were valuable and something a man should spend at least one to two months’ salary on. Later, De Beers ran ads to sway people in thinking that diamonds were precious heirlooms that should never be resold. It worked again. By keeping secondhand diamonds off the market, De Beers was able to keep prices for new diamonds high. They also aggressively controlled supply by closing mines and hoarding large supplies of diamonds specifically to keep them off the market.
The diamond industry still employs these tactics to keep prices high and resell values low and does its best to keep the actual value of diamonds a secret. Diamonds are bought and sold on a handshake, often without any formal written contract, allowing jewelers and dealers to charge whatever they want. New diamonds are worth more because the industry has been able to convince people they are. Secondhand diamonds are worth less because buyers, be they pawn shops, jewelry stores or diamond dealers, are trying to make a larger profit and therefore aren’t willing to pay as much. And it certainly doesn’t help that the industry would rather they stay off the market.
So what exactly is the resale value of the diamond you’re trying to sell? Remember, the resale value is whatever price the buyer is willing to pay; but how do buyers determine what that is? They use the Rapaport list. Just like when they buy diamonds new, the buyer is trying to get a discount off the list price. Since you aren’t a diamond supplier and the diamond is used, they’ll buy it at a much greater discount than they would if it were new. Is this the best way to sell my engagement ring? Is this the most efficient way to sell my wedding ring?
How much of a discount depends on the current market conditions. How many diamonds like yours are on the market right now, and how much did the last one sell for? How much demand is there for diamonds like yours? If they feel the market conditions will allow them to sell your diamond for more, they’ll generally offer you more money for it. If they don’t, they’ll offer you less. Either way, you won’t be getting anywhere close to what you originally paid for it, or what a diamond supplier would get.
Keep in mind the above process only applies if you’re selling directly to a buyer in the diamond industry, or a jeweler who knows the industry. If you take your diamond to a pawn shop, 90 percent of the time, they won’t have the knowledge of the industry to work that way. Because they don’t have the tools or expertise to accurately valuate and sell a diamond, they just offer you the lowest amount they think you’ll accept. You may not need your diamond jewelry anymore, but this is clearly not the most profitable way to sell unwanted diamonds.
If determining the exact value of your diamond sounds complicated… well, that’s because it is. The good news is, you don’t actually need to know about the Rapaport list and the exact process of how the value is determined. The only thing you need to remember is that the true value of your diamond is the highest price someone will pay for it. Shop around. If you aren’t happy with the price one buyer quotes you, take it to another. Check out the prices of similar diamonds being sold near you and go from there. Only by educating yourself about the market in your area and keeping your options open can you make sure that your diamond’s true value is the best it can possibly be.
At Diamond Lighthouse, we’ve taken the guesswork out of this process. When you are ready to sell your diamond jewelry, do not hesitate to contact us. We will provide you with an absolutely free evaluation of your diamond’s specifications by our in-house, GIA trained gemology staff. This evaluation, in tandem with our expert knowledge of the diamond market place, provides you with the most accurate figure of what your diamond is worth. When we take your diamond to market, professional buyer place bids on it and we report these back to you. There is no pressure whatsoever to sell your diamond jewelry; you select an offer only if and when you are happy with it (otherwise we send your diamond back to you – again, free of charge.) Whether you want to sell inherited diamond jewelry, a diamond wedding ring, out of fashion diamond earrings, an unneeded engagement ring, or any other form of diamond jewelry, there is no place better to sell your diamond jewelry online than with Diamond Lighthouse.