How to Sell a Diamond
Often times I get asked what is the best way to sell a diamond. The answer depends on many factors, but I can tell you the worst way to sell it is being in a hurry. So, my first bit of advice is take a deep breath and don’t make any quick decisions. Time can be your ally if you are not in dire straits.
The first thing I’d advise you to do is gather all your paperwork on the diamond and look it over. Hopefully the diamond will be accompanied by a grading report from one of the well known independent labs like GIA. If you’ve got one of these certificates, you’re in good shape on your quest to understanding what your diamond is really worth. These reports are far more important than the original “bill of sale” and the “appraisal”. In fact, it’s best not to dwell on what you paid for the diamond and it’s “appraised value” because whoever is going to buy it off of you is going to value it for what it is worth to them. And in some cases, if you tell them what you originally paid and it’s significantly lower than current market value, you will probably hurt your negotiating position.
So, if you do have your lab report handy open it up and “Google” loose diamonds. (If you don’t have a lab report we’ll address it a little later on). The “Google” results should show you many online jewelers selling diamonds. You’ll need to find one with a good diamond search where you can plug in variables like shape, carat weight, color and clarity. Fill out the search fields matching the parameters of your diamond as close as possible. These parameters should all be listed on the lab report. Note: It’s important to put in a range when putting in carat weight. For example if you have a 1.03ct, enter 1.00ct-1.15ct so you don’t limit your results too much. When you get the results try to match up every parameter the best you can including table size, depth, fluorescence, type of certificate etc. When you find a few that match your diamond the best, take the average of the prices shown. We recommend using a couple of different websites to do this. This technique should give you a pretty good idea of what the replacement value, not the appraised value, of what your diamond is.
Now you know what you’re jeweler can probably sell your diamond for. And, don’t forget, he does need to make a profit to stay in business. If the jeweler thinks he has a client for your diamond you may be able to work out a consignment deal with him. This is usually the best way to maximize your sale if your not in a hurry because there is less financial risk for the jeweler. If you need the money right away you have to be prepared to take less. The jeweler has to put out the money for it on the spot and unfortunately it can be difficult for the jeweler to predict when your diamond will actually sell and free up his investment. So decide which option is best for you and then aim for as close to the replacement value as you can.
For those of you who don’t have a diamond accompanied by a lab report don’t despair. The first thing you should do is find the name of an accredited independent appraiser in your town. My definition of an independent appraiser is one who doesn’t sell, broker or buy diamonds. Ask for an appraisal on the diamond and then ask what is it’s replacement value. Once you have the grading you should still double check the value online using a diamond search described in the paragraph above. If you happen to have a large diamond or a very high quality diamond that’s valued at $10,000 or above, it might be worth skipping the appraiser and sending the diamond to GIA to get a lab report. If you don’t have a lab report, the jeweler that is considering buying your diamond will always protect himself by valuing the diamond a grade lower. This is not because he is trying to rip you off, it’s just that it is impossible to predict what grade the GIA will assign the diamond with 100% accuracy. The cost of having a diamond certified is around a hundred dollars a carat and can take about 2-4 weeks.
So, hopefully these tips will help you maximize the amount of money you’ll receive for your diamond. The above techniques are also the safest for you if your using a reputable jeweler. Speaking of safety, whatever you do don’t try to list it in the newspaper and meet with people you don’t know. This is very dangerous and you could be risking your life doing so. Again, the best advice I can give you in selling a diamond is don’t rush, take your time and get to know what your diamond is worth before you start. Happy Selling!
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