Diamond Appraisal vs. Diamond Resale: Understanding the Real Value

Understanding the different diamond valuations will help you make the right decisions when selling your diamond. We ’re breaking down the difference between your diamond’s appraised value vs. resale value so you can sell with confidence.

Ring Appraisal

When it comes time to sell your diamond jewelry, you’re going to have a lot of questions: how do I start the process? Where do I look for expert information? Perhaps the most important question is also the most misunderstood: how do I find out what is my diamond worth?

Let us guide you through the often-confusing world of diamond jewelry appraisals, helping you understand the different valuations and what they might mean for you when selling your diamond.

What is a Diamond Ring Appraisal?

An appraisal is a document that provides a detailed description and corresponding value for a specific item, whether it is a bracelet, a watch, or a diamond ring. Most jewelry and diamond ring appraisals are performed by a certified appraiser who conducts a thorough inspection of the piece. Appraisals sometimes accompany a piece of jewelry when its purchased from a store, but are most often requested for either insurance purposes or when a client is looking to sell the asset and wants to understand what it could be worth. Insurance companies will use this document to implement a policy for your ring and allow it to be covered in the event the ring is lost, stolen or significantly damaged. Getting a diamond appraisal will provide a detailed description of the ring – including the diamond’s carat, color, clarity, and cut - and a corresponding valuation based on the quality of all its various elements, such as diamonds, side stones, age, condition, and branding.

How to Interpret a Diamond Appraisal

While appraisals are quite common, they often open the door for many misunderstandings. Many people believe the value stated on a jewelry appraisal is the same as its resale value, but that’s not the case. Often times engagement ring appraisals or other types of diamond appraisals reflect a value that is inflated – sometimes as much as double the retail purchase price - which allows insurance companies to increase the premium you pay to have your ring covered. The truth is that a diamond’s resale value is based on its immutable characteristics, and the demand for those attributes at a given time. Therefore, getting a ring appraised by a certified appraiser does not reflect the true resale value of the item.

Ring Loop

And unless the diamond ring comes with a Diamond Grading Report from a reputable company, such as the Gemological Institute of America, the descriptions of the diamond provided on the appraisal are subjective to the appraiser’s opinion, and it’s possible it may not represent the actual characteristics - and therefore potential value - of your stone. Only highly trained and experienced diamond professionals, such as CIRCA’s, will be able to determine the true characteristics of your diamond. So, it’s important to keep in mind that a diamond ring appraisal should only be used for insurance purposes and does not reflect the value of the item at retail, let alone for resale, valuation.

The Jewelry Appraisal vs the Selling Price

So, what does the value stated on the diamond jewelry appraisal mean for you? When you want to sell a diamond ring , the only true value lies in the diamonds and the precious metal. Any additional factors such as labor and the original jeweler’s profit are no longer relevant because they cannot be recuperated. The largest factor of value depreciation relates to where the diamond jewelry was purchased. Larger brick and mortar retail stores have much higher fixed costs than pure online players, and as such need to command higher margins. Signed jewelry also commands a premium on retail prices, but only elite brands such as Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Harry Winston, and Van Cleef & Arpels (to name a few), will retain that premium once selling the diamond ring.

To summarize, all of the factors listed above - retail margin, retail type, and labor costs - would be lost when reselling your diamond jewelry. Therefore, when comparing jewelry appraisal value vs. selling price, you can expect the resale value of your diamond to be significantly less.

Why Diamond Value Changes

This perceived loss of value is most apparent with diamonds, which are still sometimes marketed as being a “good investment.” This is a misleading sales tactic. With few exceptions, a diamond sold to its first buyer will experience a depreciation from its original purchase price, in the same way other luxury goods do. The profit was already made by the retailer in the original sale, which means the owner will inevitably sell it to someone else at a loss.

The only exceptions to this rule are either very rare diamonds, such as some Fancy Color Diamonds, or unique or vintage signed pieces by brands such as Cartier or Tiffany & Co. These are more likely to hold their value – and in some cases appreciate - with time.

Knowing the Difference Between a Jewelry Appraisal and Selling Price, How Do I Sell My Diamond Jewelry?

Since many factors determine the resale value of a diamond, including quality and current demand for that size and shape, it’s important to find reputable diamond buyers who understand the best way to maximize the value of your diamond.

Ring Loop

A certified appraiser cannot provide as accurate a resale value estimate as a highly trained diamond grader. At CIRCA, our diamond buyers have decades of experience and have been trained to pay competitively in every market. Our buyers are uniquely qualified to evaluate the characteristics of your diamond and offer its maximum value for immediate payment. Our expertise combined with our international sales platform ensures our clients that they will receive the very best value for their diamonds. If you have a diamond you want to sell, or are curious about what your diamond is worth, schedule a visit to one of CIRCA’s 12 office locations today.

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