The is a guest post by Barbara Diggs, a Paris-based freelance writer specializing in personal finance.
When Christine Clifford’s marriage ended two years ago, she found herself solely responsible for the payments and maintenance of her million-dollar home. For months she scrambled to keep up with the bills, but finally made the difficult decision to sell her jewelry – including two one-carat diamond rings, and a pair of diamonds earrings– to stave off foreclosure. “Today, I don’t have any ‘nice’ jewelry,” says Clifford, CEO of Divorcing Divas, LLC, “but I have the peace of mind that I kept my house afloat.”
Christine isn’t the only cash-strapped American setting aside “a diamond is forever” sentiment to sell their jewelry these days. Josh Opperman, founder of the website “I Do… Now I Don’t” which specializes in the sale of “preloved” diamond jewelry, reports that 2011 was the site’s best year for diamond ring-listing and sales.
Now is a good time to sell. Thanks to an escalating taste for diamonds among the middle class in China and India, diamond prices soared in 2011, increasing by 49% in the first half of the year before ending 19% up overall by the year’s end. As a result, an increasing number of sticker-shocked jewelers are restocking with diamonds purchased from the public, rather than buying from wholesalers.
“You’re seeing a lot more signs in [jewelry store] windows saying ‘We buy gold and diamonds,’ not just ‘We buy gold,'” says Rob Bates, senior editor of the Jeweler’s Circular Keystone magazine, a leading trade publication in the jewelry industry. “I even spoke to one jeweler who is only buying diamonds off the street these days.”
While the timing may be right, selling your diamond can be a major headache. Unlike gold, which has a quantifiable melt value, resale prices for diamonds have no one objective measure, making it easy for inexperienced sellers to become confused and overwhelmed.
To help unravel the mysteries of diamond selling, here are four tips to consider before hocking your stone.
1. Know what you’ve got
Just because Granny said her old diamond ring was valuable doesn’t make it so. It doesn’t even make it a diamond. So, before you rush to market, get an accurate picture of its quality and authenticity. A qualified appraiser – preferably one that doesn’t buy or sell diamonds – can give you an unbiased opinion of the stone’s characteristics and condition, and highlight positive and negative attributes that could affect its value.
But spending money on a formal assessment isn’t always necessary,says gemologist Neil Beaty, owner of American Gem Registry, an appraisal service in Denver. If you’re short on funds and the diamond is likely worth less than $2,000, have the stone evaluated for free by a professional diamond buyer or even a pawnbroker. Visit two or three shops to get a range of opinions; in the end, you’ll have a solid idea of the specifications and state of your stone.
2. Set a realistic price
Having unrealistic price expectations for your diamond is the fastest way to disappointment with any ultimate sale. Beaty recommends two approaches to determining a shrewd price. First, if having an appraisal, ask how much the stone might be worth in specific markets and circumstances. “Discussing pricing strategies is about 80% of the benefit of an appraisal for resale customers,” he says. A good appraiser follows current market trends and can help you understand the potential resale value of your diamond.
Alternatively, do the legwork yourself. Look at prices of completed eBay sales for diamond jewelry with similar characteristics; check out comparable new diamonds in retail stores and online, and factor in a discount for your pre-worn jewel. Above all, remember that in most cases, “the only reason anyone will buy your diamond is because they’re either going to make a profit from it or because it’s a good bargain,” says Beaty. “Otherwise, they’d buy it new.”
3. Investigate your selling options
Resellers of diamond jewelry have two options: sell to the jewelry industry or to the public. Choosing a buyer isn’t always about getting the top price, says Beaty, but is often a function of how quickly you can settle the deal, how much you trust the buyer, or your stomach for negotiation and marketing.
The primary advantage of selling to someone in the jewelry industry is time. If you want to sell quickly and safely with little fuss over marketing, target a jeweler, diamond dealer or pawnbroker. “The most important thing is to choose someone you trust,” says Murray Rose, President of Rose Estate Jewelers in Chicago. Always check their Better Business Bureau rating or seek out American Gem Society members, who are dedicated ethical business practices. The downside to selling to an industry insider is that you’re unlikely to get top dollar. Since they intend to make a profit from your stone, they have no reason to pay anywhere near retail value.
Generally, members of the public pay more for diamonds than industry insiders, as they’re looking to save on retail but can’t access wholesale prices, says Beaty. The hard part here is finding the right buyer. Online classifieds such as Craigslist can bring success, but you’ll have the hassle of filtering out the weirdoes and cons. eBay is a good platform, particularly if you have previous selling experience there.
Another option is “I Do…Now I Don’t”, a relative newcomer to the online auction scene. Like eBay, the site allows sellers to list diamond jewelry with pictures and descriptions. However, unlike eBay, once a buyer and seller make a deal, both the ring and money are sent to the site. “The money is held in escrow while a certified, independent gemologist authenticates and appraises the [diamond],” explains Josh Opperman, the site’s founder. “The buyer’s money is only released when the diamond certification process is complete.” The site takes a 15% commission on sales.
Also consider giving your jewelry to a consignment shop or dealer to sell for you. You might fetch a better price than selling to an industry insider because the diamond will be sold to the public, but the dealer will take a 25-40% commission. If you choose this option, never fail to obtain strong dealer references, says Beaty. When leaving your diamond with another person, you should trust them absolutely.
4. Be emotionally ready to sell
Because diamonds are often symbols of passion or love, they can be harder to part with than any other piece of jewelry. Nonetheless, “you have to leave emotions out of selling,” says Rose. Sentimental value may raise the price of the diamond in your eyes, but a potential buyer won’t be so moved.
More important, selling before you’re ready could bring long-lasting regrets. Linda Bryant, a freelance writer in Nashville, grew panicked by piling bills and slow business during the Great Recession, and hastily sold her grandmother’s platinum and diamond cocktail ring for a song. Two years later, it’s still a painful topic. “It was crazy to sell it for so little,” she says. “I should have willed it to my niece.”
On the other hand, if you’re considering selling diamond jewelry whose sentimental value has diminished but you’re still clinging to memories, Christine Clifford offers this piece of advice: “Recognize that while it was a part of your life at one time, and most likely represented someone or something important to you, you need to move on. Diamonds are only material things. Your peace of mind is more important.”
http://winterparkcash.com/wp-content/uploads/diamond-specialists2.jpg489500Danielhttp://winterparkcash.com/wp-content/uploads/oeb-logo.pngDaniel2017-09-05 11:11:332017-11-12 16:15:54Four Tips for Selling Your Diamond Jewelry