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Selling Your Ring Setting: Everything You Need to Know

By Mike Fried,

Selling your ring setting can be a daunting task, but knowing where and how to sell it can make the process smoother and more profitable. Whether you’re looking to part with an outdated design or simply want to upgrade your current setting, there are various avenues to consider. Reputable jewelers, online platforms, and auctions are often the most secure and straightforward options. However, selling to pawn shops or without proper research can leave you with a lower offer than your setting may be worth.

Top 5 Tips for Selling Your Ring Setting:

  1. Appraisal: Before you sell, get your ring setting professionally appraised to know its worth. This gives you a bargaining chip when negotiating prices.
  2. Know Your Buyer: Research and choose a reputable buyer. Online platforms like Essilux or specialty jewelers often offer fairer prices compared to pawn shops.
  3. Quality Photos: If selling online, take high-quality photos to showcase the setting’s details, as this can influence the buyer’s decision.
  4. Documentation: Provide any certificates, appraisals, or documents you have for the setting. This adds to the ring’s credibility and can increase its value.
  5. Be Realistic: Understand that you’re unlikely to receive the full retail value for your used setting. Knowing the current market value helps set realistic expectations.

By adhering to these guidelines, you can optimize the selling process and potentially get a better price for your ring setting.

To help you with the diamond buying process we lean on our expertise and experience. The author of this article, our CEO, Mike Fried has over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. Mike started from the bottom, sorting and evaluating hundreds of thousands of diamonds to learn every facet (pun intended) of diamond quality and value. Mike followed that up by spending years buying and selling diamonds on the wholesale market as well as selling tens of millions of dollars worth of diamonds to diamond retailers.

How much is a setting worth?

As a commodity, gold prices are subject to market forces. When you sell gold jewelry, it’s typically sold based on what’s referred to as the “scrap gold” price — the market rate for gold that’s no longer of significant value in its original form.

Even if you have a custom-made ring, your setting is only worth the scrap gold price. A lot of labor and skill goes into designing and creating settings, which, in turn, jacks up the price. So, even if you paid $2,430 for a unique setting like this one from James Allen, it will still be melted down to its scrap gold. Why is that? Almost everyone wants a specific, custom design. Rather than reusing your ring, a buyer would prefer to have their own design created.

As an example, a custom setting like this Round Cut Engagement ring from James Allen that costs $2,580 will be more expensive than a setting that’s mass-produced. Because it’s a unique piece of jewelry and there is a large markup, you may receive $300 for the scrap gold. Although it’s a significant loss, at least you are able to recover some of the investment.

If your ring is not custom-designed, like this classic solitaire for $622 from James Allen, you will not lose as much of the original investment. You could perhaps reap $200 for the scrap gold, which is a much higher percentage than the custom ring examples above. Because custom work and intricate designs aren’t involved, the original markup and price are not as high. As another example, a $315 solitaire ring setting like this from James Allen might yield you around $100. The loss percentage isn’t as bad, because the design is simple and more widely produced.

While it’s a financial loss to sell your ring for scrap gold, at least you are able to recuperate some of the cost. Instead of letting your old ring sit in a drawer collecting dust, you can secure some cash for the jewelry.

Deal Alert: Get 25% off engagement ring settings at Blue Nile!

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What stores typically pay for settings

In general, stores will pay approximately 50 cents for every dollar of scrap gold value. If the melted down value is $1,000, for example, a store will offer to buy the ring from you for approximately $500. At Abe Mor, however, they offer 75 cents for every dollar of scrap value. So, you’d receive $750 for a $1,000 amount of gold, instead of $500.

tension setting

What to do when you have an emotional attachment to the ring

If you have an emotional attachment to your setting, you might want to consider repurposing the ring with a new stone. You could give it as a gift to a family member or make it into a necklace. Some choose to place a cubic zirconium in the ring, a stone which can be bought wholesale for $20-50. If you are in need of cash or don’t want others to know you sold your diamond, a cubic zirconium is a great way to preserve your ring.

Are all types of gold sold for the same price?

The resale price of all golds (yellow, white and rose) are the same. All rings are melted down into a bar of gold, so the setting is simply worth its weight in gold. On average, platinum is resold for the same price as gold. Silver, on the other hand, sells for much less. The calculations are simple: the metal is priced per gram, so the number of grams in the ring will determine the scrap value.

Tension style setting

The only exceptions (which are very rare) are signed pieces from distinguished designers such as Tiffany or Van Cleef. Again, these exceptions are rare and are only granted for the most prestigious and venerable designer rings. Instead of melting these rings, Abe Mor resells the actual setting. Their team handles the retail process so you don’t need to spend time finding a buyer or pricing your designer ring. The resale process takes time but you can expect more cash than you would for the scrap metal. It’s important to note that custom-made jewelry from local stores and artists do not fall into this category.

Where should I go to sell my ring setting?

The price you’ll get for your gold differs significantly depending on where you resell it. Pawn shops and local jewelry stores usually pay 50% of the value of the gold. So for a ring with a scrap value of $400, expect to receive $200.

If you go through a professional, reputable resale vendor (we recommend Abe Mor), you will receive approximately 50% more than in a jewelry store or pawn shop.

Abe Mor pays 75% of the value of the scrap gold. For a ring with a scrap value of $400, you would receive $300 (compared with the $200 from a jewelry store). Abe Mor also resells diamonds, making their service quite simple to use—saving you both time and hassle.

The Resale Process at Abe Mor

Sending your ring to Abe Mor for resale is simple and efficient.

  1. Send Abe Mor information about your ring, including any certificates or photos.
  2. Abe Mor provides an appraisal of the ring so you have a ballpark estimate of how much you can expect.
  3. Ship your ring to Abe Mor (if the estimate is to your liking). They pay for shipping costs and insurance.
  4. Abe Mor sends you an official offer with the resale price of the diamond and the setting. If you don’t like the offer, Abe Mor sends the ring back to you and pays for the return shipping.
  5. If you accept their offer, they will send you the money for the diamond and the setting.

Important note: There are no fees or commissions with Abe Mor like there are with other services like Worthy. Worthy charges 20% in fees, which is a significant portion of your resale amount. By choosing Abe Mor, you avoid fees and reap the largest value for your ring.

The main advantage of going with Abe Mor is that you receive more money at the end of the day. You also don’t have to spend time driving to different stores to compare prices and offers. You’ll save time by shipping to Abe Mor, which can be done from anywhere in the world.

When is the best time to resell your diamond ring setting?

A variety of factors can affect gold prices, most of which are difficult to reliably predict. It’s impossible to consistently time the market for gold prices, just like it’s impossible to accurately time the stock market. The price of gold also doesn’t fluctuate that significantly, so there is no benefit to waiting until the market rises to sell your gold jewelry.

If you’re not sure how much your ring is worth, send the information (photos and certificates) to Abe Mor for an appraisal. This will help you decide if you’d like to sell your ring or not.

Selling Your Other Gold Jewelry

Many Americans (and others worldwide) have hundreds of dollars of gold in their dressers and storage. Gold jewelry, including necklaces and bracelets, often go unworn for decades.

If you’re looking to make extra money and you own jewelry that’s not being worn, consider reselling it for scrap. Abe Mor uses the same process for buying gold jewelry as they do engagement rings, and you’ll receive 50% more with them than with pawn shops and local jewelry retailers. Consider looking through your drawers and jewelry boxes for pieces you can exchange for cash.

Want personal assistance for reselling your ring or buying new jewelry? Email our experts.

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab-created diamonds online.
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free International Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisals
  • One free resizing within 60 days of purchase
  • Free ring inscriptions
  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Best-in-class packaging
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Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well-known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high-quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. Save 25% on settings at Blue Nile!

Please enter your email address to receive your 25% off coupon code:

What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment
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About the author

Mike Fried Mike Fried Mike Fried has over 25 years experience in the diamond industry working with Leo Schachter Diamonds, Moshe Namdar Diamonds, and joining The Diamond Pro in 2007. He is recognized as an industry expert and has been quoted in publications such as Us, People, Page Six, The Next Web and more.

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