So You're Divorced — Time to Sell That Sad Old Engagement Ring

In Depth

Your marriage has ended. That sucks. You guys were great together. Really. And now that you’re not, there’s one thing you really should to do to move on: Make some money off of that engagement ring and throw yourself a vodka party. But how much is a ring worth? And how much should you sell it for?

Ratter investigated the high-stakes world of selling off your engagement ring and found that a 1.5 carat diamond purchased from Tiffany in 1998 for more than $20,000 could net you a potential $15,000 on the resale market…if you’re smart about it.

According to jewelers in New York city, there are a few guidelines you need to follow in order to make sure that you’re getting a fair price for your ring. Guideline number one: Don’t go to that shop from Pawn Stars because they will give you $3 for anything you have. Guidelines number two and three: Don’t let anyone take the ring anywhere you can’t see it, and know the ring’s market value.

From Ratter:

Never let the ring leave your sight.
“Be careful,” said a jeweler named Sacha, “that’s a very nice diamond.”
He went on to explain how easy it would be to pop off that stone and replace it with another one of a lesser value. I kept the ring and its paperwork in a white tyvek envelope and carried it in a nondescript black backpack.
Know the ring’s market value.
It’s important to know the value of the precious gem you are shopping around, or you’ll be taken for a ride. Obtain an up-to-date Rapaport Price List. This official index catalogs the price of diamonds worldwide and will come in handy.

In addition, you need to be aggressive and make sure that you don’t get sucked in by the jeweler’s “dirty tricks” such as asking you when the ring was purchased or telling you that your diamond is radioactive and probably from Chernobyl—something that actually happened to the person trying to sell the ring. (Then again, the Chernobyl connection be a bonus rather than a deterrent—what other ring has the possibility of giving you/your future children radioactive powers?)

In the end, the rules are the same as they would be for selling anything of value: shop around, be smart, and don’t get emotional. That might be hard when you’re selling the very thing that was supposed to symbolize the promise of everlasting love, but the money you make in the end will make the pain a little more bearable. (And the vodka will help.)

Contact the author at [email protected].

Image via Shutterstock.

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