Diamond Answer Man Episode 9 – What to do when you want to sell!

by J. Christopher Guritz

What if you want to sell?

There are many  reasons for you to sell  unwanted diamonds or pieces of jewelry. Diamonds and jewelry that  have no positive emotional value or history may be a reasonable source of expendable cash. But, how do you go about selling the item?

First you need to do a little research, which means that you are going to have to get out from behind your computer and meet a few people.

Here are a couple things I am going to clarify for you here on www.diamondanswerman.com  so that you can go in with reasonable expectations when selling.


Appraisals/Valuations are for insurance replacement and they should reflect a new replacement price at or near your actual purchase price.   An appraisal  is not a tool or a figure for estimating your liquidation/resale value. For your comfort you may purchase a liquidation valuation to receive a base line to work up from. I only suggest you get an appraisal when you are going to act as the seller to another consumer  in order to  help you with  identifying the characteristics, building your buyers confidence and comfort. You don’t need one when you are visiting with business that specialize in diamonds and jewelry buying but, it doesn’t hurt .


You have an item that is previously owned or worn which means it is no longer new- even if it is mint new in box , it is still previously owned and will return less than your purchase price. Jewelry and diamonds that return at, or above the original purchase price are items of provenance. For example, items worn by someone famous, made by a specialty designer, or during a special era. Other items that don’t necessarily have provenance can still garner a better amount if they are high demand brands such as Cartier,Tiffany, Harry Winston and the like.

Now that you understand that I  believe you have 5 different avenues to take.

So what are your avenues?

  1. Sell it yourself on:
  2. Ebay-be ready to invest-
    1. Time
    2. Money
    3. Trust Building
      1. Appraisal
      2. Lab Report
      3. Lots of communication
        1. Its going to be a hard sale!
          1. You need to develop you ability to garner trust!
          2. Communication and conversation
          3. Meet In Person
          4. Lower your price to meet the favorable risk balance factor.
    1. Craigslist-all of the above plus-
      1. Where are you going to meet?
      2. How are you going to get paid
    2. Friends
      1. Selling to your friends – May return better than any other situation
        but it will be a tough sale.

        1. Still at a discount vs the original purchase.
        2. How much depends on the willingness of the friend.
    3. Family
      1. Family may also be willing to buy and you might get a good
    4. Businesses that buy, sell, or auction:
      1. Liquidators
      2. Estate Dealers
      3. Jewelers
      4. Auction houses

Besides working for two diamond polishing facilities – I’ve also had the pleasure of working on liquidations and estates with a focus on Diamonds. You see, I’ve met just about every type of person possible at one time or another wanting or needing to sell a diamond, gemstone, watch or other precious collectible. I firmly believe that you should only do business with an individual willing to be completely transparent! Yes, should include the estimation or should I say the difference from what they will pay you and what they will make. I think it’s possible to calculate most estimations either on the spot or on larger valued items like a 3ct. Diamond – within a working business day or so. Some things are quick and others a little more intensive – be patient and prepared – with time you may receive more.

If you could hear the mind of your buyer it would sound like this “How fast can I turn this diamond? Can I sell it  Today, Next week – Next Year??”

Is your diamond item readily available elsewhere in the market and what is the retail cost variance?

How great a difference does it need to be for resale??

What if your item is one of a kind? Be prepared for reasonable offers that you may find unreasonable.

Usually the wider the market the easier it is to sell. However, you narrow the market once you go to sell it. Some people are just not interested in secondary jewelry.  Once you narrow the market on an item that has little or no “provenance” you need to remember you are not selling a “New” item. Once it left the store it became previously owned… even if you never wore it. Therefore,under most state laws it now needs to be sold as used or previously worn or some like kind variation to ethically disclose to the next owner. Previously owned diamonds and jewelry are sometimes perceived negatively, especially if it’s a contemporary piece or a recent purchase. Individuals who look to buy estate jewelry tend to apply a positive emotional value to older diamonds and jewelry.

Quick on the spot liquidation on high valued items generally receive lower payout to reduce the risk to the buyer. Long  term time investments such as 3 months to a year may achieve a greater realization – at a cost. The cost is time and possibly a commission.  If you need an immediate or near future liquidation consignment may not be your best option.

Your check list before you visit with a buyer (Remember you don’t need any of these things.. but, the more you have the better)

  1. Appraisal
  2. Receipt
  3. Report
  4. Historical Documentation
  5. The Original Box
  6. The Original Bag

Items with provenance will need as much historical proof as possible to bring the  best monetary realization.For items without provenance you can reap more by reducing the amount of time and effort you and the person you’ve trusted to do business with supplying the above mentioned.

The more information you are able to give .. the less risk is involved in the buyers purchase – returning you a better amount.

For questions or information on diamond and estate liquidations or if you need to liquidate and have no options in your town please call me at 803-792-1326 I’ll find a referral for you .

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