How Much Is My Ring Worth?

Many people decide to sell their ring at some point. If you are one of them, you probably wonder – How much is my ring worth? If you bought it on your own, you would have the approximate value of this piece of jewelry. However, it won’t be a case if you got or inherited it.

In both cases, you should consider a few crucial factors to determine the ring resale cost. First of all, you can’t expect to get the real value, and the price will depend on the place where you offer it and the current market price of precious metals and jewels. Let’s take a look at the issue in more detail.

Your Ring Value

The only way to determine how much your ring worth is to define the type of jewelry value that can differ depending on the contexts.

Intrinsic value

Intrinsic value (cash value, scrap value, cash wholesale value) represents the jewelry’s recycling value.

The experts consider both jewels (diamond, emeralds, ruby, sapphire) and precious metals (silver, gold, platinum) as raw materials, and current market rates will determine their price. The cost of jewelry will vary accordingly.

The following equation shows you how to calculate the required value:

intrinsic value is – precious metal price + gem price

For example, if you have a ring made of 5 grams of 18k gold with 1-carat diamond, you can calculate its worth.

The current price of 18K gold is $1,960 per troy ounce, so the total gold value in your ring is approximately $236. The cost of a 0.5-carat diamond (Princess cut, G color, VS1 clarity) is about $1,200. Roughly speaking, the intrinsic value of your ring is $1,436.

Appraised value

It is an insurance appraisal that shows a replacement cost that has nothing with the real jewelry worth. The purpose of this appraisal is to show the price of replacement of a damaged or stolen piece of jewelry.

Keep in mind that your ring is only worth the intrinsic value, which is often only 5% to 20% of its appraised value.

Resale value

You can quickly calculate this value by using the following equation:

resale value is – intrinsic value + style + workmanship

Ring resale value

Cost

Amount
Intrinsic cost

$100

Workmanship cost

$100 to $500
Design cost

$10 to $100

Jewelry store marking

35 to 300%
Import cost

0 to 40%

Wholesale cost

10 to 33%
Marketing cost

20 to 100%

Commission

5 to 40%
Taxes

0 to 10%

As you can guess, an antique ring may have a higher resale value than the intrinsic value since the worth of its workmanship is highly appreciated. Plus, Tiffany’s jewelry will cost more than the same piece made by a less esteemed brand.

What to Check

Things That Determine Your Ring Value
Image: Something Borrowed

It would help if you considered a few things before bringing your ring to a jewelry appraiser.

Hallmarks

The first thing is to look for hallmarks that every piece of jewelry made of precious metal has. If there are two markings, the second one will show where this particular piece was produced. Sometimes, you can see the designer or manufacturer’s sign or the country where it originated.

Look for hallmarks on your ring inside. All jewelry made in the last 100 years has such markings, and it is specific for each metal:

  • Silver – 925, 800, Sterling silver
  • Gold – 750, 585, 375, 10K, 14K, 18K
  • Platinum – 950, plat, platinum

You can also find a hallmark of some famous brands like Cartier or Tiffany. The rule of thumb is that a new ring without a hallmark is probably fake or costume jewelry. If you have an antique ring with a strange marking or without it, you should get it checked.

Ring weight and color

Since gold and silver are heavy metals, you should always get your ring checked to be sure if it is not made of pewter or brass. Be careful with a lightweight gold-colored ring with darker or silvery spots since this piece is probably gold plated and not much worth.

Prongs

High-quality costume rungs contain prongs similar to the fine models. The primary difference is the way of gems attachment. If the ring is valuable, prongs will be well crafted and elegant, and the stone adequately set inside.

When you have fake jewelry, the gemstones will be glued into place. Keep in mind that pearls are the only exception!  Plus, some vintage costume rings with brilliant stones set with prongs are highly valuable.

Things That Determine Your Ring Value

Ring Value
Image: Something Borrowed

Center gemstone

The center stone is always an excellent ring value sign. Rings with one main stone will cost the most, but its price will depend on the stone type.

Central gemstone

Gem type

Price per carat
Red diamond

$1,000,000

Diamond

$2,000 to $15,000
Emerald

$250 to $26.500

Ruby

$100 to $15,000
Sapphire

$20 to $2,000

When you have a diamond ring, its value will vary depending on its color, carat, cut, and clarity. You can also have a worth piece with other pricey stones such as red beryl, fire opal, and benitoite.

Diamond or gemstone certificate

When you buy the ring in a noticeable brand store, you will receive a gemstone authenticity certificate.

The most reputable are:

  • Gemological Institute of America
  • Gemological Science International
  • International Gemological Institute

If you don’t have it, you should get your ring tested and evaluated before selling.

Band (metal)

Whether you want to estimate the cost of a wedding ring or a ring with a stone, you need to find out the exact value of the precious metal it is made of.

Diamond rings almost always go with a gold band. If you have an 18K ring, you will know that it contains 75% pure gold. That means the ring weighing 10 g has 7.5 grams of gold.

The gold value on the market is changeable. Its current price is about $47 per gram, so your ring without the gem is worth $352.5 at the moment. However, you can expect to get approximately 60% to 80% of its retail value when deciding to sell it.

You can use a similar calculation to estimate your ring’s value made of other precious metals, including different gold types.

Where and how much it was bought for

Once you decide to sell your ring, you can expect to receive 25 to 45% of its original retail price. Keep in mind that large retail jewelry stores have higher markups, and they always offer a lower price than a small local jewelry store.

On the other hand, you will get a better price for a branded ring since many people want to pay more for the brand name, especially if you have the certificate and original box. In such a case, you can expect to get almost 50% of the original price.

Ring age

A vintage or antique ring usually worth more than a contemporary piece of jewelry. Vintage rings are those at least 30 to 100 years old. Once they are older than a century, rings become antique. If you have such a piece, you should bring it to an expert appraiser to define its origin and value.

How to sell your ring

How Much Is My Ring Worth
Image: Something Borrowed

1. WP Diamonds

Advantages

  • It is a fast and uncomplicated process
  • They offer competitive prices
  • You can choose the way of selling (by appointment or online)

Disadvantages

  • Selling by appointments is limited to the US (NY, LA, and Dallas) and the UK (London and Birmingham) only

2. Jewelry stores

Advantages

  • They are available everywhere
  • You can quickly find out everything about the local jewelry store reputation

Disadvantages

  • Selling – They have a limited market for selling pieces of jewelry in the local area, so they are not always interested in buying
  • Consignment – It is a lengthy procedure without a guaranteed sale. Plus, they will take a percentage of the price once selling your ring

3. eBay or Craigslist

Advantages

  • It is an uncomplicated way to sell your ring

Disadvantages

  • It can last long
  • It is not easy to set a reserve price
  • You will face unscrupulous dealers there

4. Auction

Advantages

  • They have jewelry experts who will estimate your ring professionally
  • It is an excellent way to sell a rare ring

Disadvantages

  • You can’t sell every ring that way since auctioneers are mostly interested in rare and antique pieces
  • Auction house has high fees
  • The sale is not guaranteed
  • They are held occasionally

5. Pawnshop

Advantages

  • The pawnshop will hold your ring only temporarily if you want to pawn it

Disadvantages

  • Selling – The owner is not a jewelry expert so that it won’t give you a strong offer
  • Pawning – You will lose your ring if you fail to pay on time

Summary

Once you decide to sell your ring, you should be aware that its current value is dramatically different from the price you paid for it. Keep in mind that you don’t pay only material, but also workmanship, design, store’s expenses, and taxes when purchasing the jewelry.

Therefore, the jewelry price is at least three to ten times higher than the intrinsic value, and you can never reach it when reselling your ring.

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