How Much Do Pawn Shops Pay for Diamond Rings?

There are many potential reasons to sell your diamond ring. Sometimes your life plans have changed, you want to replace it with a better one, or it is an inheritance that doesn’t go with your style. The sure thing is that you want to get the amount of money closest to the real ring value.

Unfortunately, a pawnshop deal generally means that you get a much smaller amount for the ring than you expect. Let’s see how much do pawn shops pay for diamond rings depending on their estimated value, diamonds quality, and your negotiating skills.

Pawn Shop Business Model

Unlike a jewelry store, a pawn shop is not a store for buying and reselling pre-owned jewelry. When you offer them a diamond ring, you actually get a loan, leaving it to guarantee that you will return the money within the agreed time.

In addition to jewelry, items that often end up in pawn shops are electronic devices, game consoles, and art paintings. No matter what the piece is, the pawn dealer will pay you only a certain percentage of the item’s value so that the one who pawns it can redeem it quicker.

Plus, the seller ensures to make money if you don’t repay the debt. You can say that there are many similarities in a pawn shop and a bank business because the pawn shop provides a kind of loan to those who otherwise can’t get it. The downside is that the interest rate is much higher than the one charged by the bank.

Therefore, you need to know that you won’t get as much money for a diamond ring as you or your fiancé paid for it. At best, you can make a deal for 55 to 75% of its value.

1-carat, round cut, VS1 diamond ring

D

EFGH

I

Average market price

$10,500$9,500$9,200$8,000$7,250$6,000
Approximate pawning value$5,250 to $7,350$4,750 to $6,650$4,600 to $6,440$4,000 to $5,600$3,625 to $5,075

$3,000 to $4,200

For example, if your diamond ring costs $5,000, you can consider yourself lucky to get $3,500 at a pawnshop. On the other hand, expect to pay more than you got once deciding to repurchase it.

Evaluate Your Ring Appropriately

Evaluate Your Ring Appropriately
Image: Something Borrowed

It would be wise to know how much your diamond ring is worth before entering the pawn shop. That way, you will have a rough idea of how much money you can expect. The price of a diamond ring depends primarily on the stone itself. The 4C determines the quality of the diamond, including cut, color, clarity, and carat.

A pawn shop dealer will also appraise and examine the diamond visually by using the magnifier before offering you a deal. Factors that determine the percentage of the ring value the dealer will give you include:

  • The material your ring is made of
  • The way your diamond reflects the light
  • Whether the gem sparkles or not
  • How clear the diamond is

There are several online calculators you can use to get a rough estimate in advance. Visit the site, enter the required information you have about the ring material and gems, and you will get the average value you can expect. Deviations from that price rely on the pawn shop you choose and whether you are ready to bargain.

4C Diamond Features

4C Diamond Features
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Cut

Many believe that the cut is crucial for diamonds because a poorly processed gem doesn’t reflect light well and appears dull. Your diamond can have excellent, very good, good, fair, or a low cut, which will considerably affect the overall price the pawn shop owner offers.

Color

The diamond color will significantly influence the price. Jewelers use letters D to Z to describe the gem color and mark perfectly colorless ones. Categories G to I define nearly colorless stones, which only experts can distinct, but diamond’s value decreases as the letter goes down.

Clarity

Clarity marks describe the flaws the gem poses, if any. Flawless diamonds are extremely rare and very expensive. Most couples choose the engagement ring within the VS1 category, which doesn’t have flaws visible with the naked eye. Values that define the diamond clarity are:

  • Flawless and internally flawless diamonds with the best clarity
  • Very small and very, very small inclusions 1 and 2, as slightly lower value gems
  • Small inclusions, which categorize diamonds as the cheapest

Carat

A carat is a unit that measures the weight of a diamond and other precious stones. 1-carat diamond is 0.2 grams or 200 milligrams heavy. That means that the higher the number of carats, the larger is the stone.

Instant Ring Sale

Instant Ring Sale
Image: Something Borrowed

Some pawn shops offer the possibility of buying the ring on the spot. The offer means you get no right to demand it back, and there is no loan. You only get the money in cash, and returning the ring is not an option.

Unfortunately, the pawn dealers have the opportunity to make a nice profit when you urgently need money. Typically, you will only get 55% to 75% of what the ring is worth. If you paid $6,000 for the diamond ring, the dealer would probably propose to buy it for around $3,000. That way, he will resell your ring for about $5,000.

1-carat, round cut, SI2 diamond ring

D

EFGH

I

Average market price

$6,250$5.750$5,500$5,000$4,750$4,500
Approximate pawning value$3,100 to $4,350$2,900 to $$4,100$2,750 to $3,850$2,500 to $3,500$2,850 to $3,350

$2,750 to $3,150

Always carefully choose the pawn shop to avoid selling the ring in one that runs a dubious business. Some of them pay only 30% to 50% of the ring price without a written record of the sale.

Tips on Doing Business with Pawn Shops

Tips on Doing Business with Pawn Shops
Image: Something Borrowed

A pawn shop can be an excellent solution if you urgently need extra money, especially if you need cash. First of all, you need to be well informed about the ring’s value and decide whether to pawn or sell it.

Next, visit a few pawn shops in your city and send an email query to some in the area. That way, you can compare several offers and choose the most favorable one. Also, visit pawn shop sites that you find tempting and read reviews from other users. Check out customer reviews on Google and Yelp, too.

It would be wise for you to ask for written evidence when you sell a diamond with a detailed valuation of both stone and the ring. Read the fine print carefully to make sure you are familiar with all the details.

Even if you plan to take the diamond ring back, agree in detail with the pawn shop staff on the terms of the loan and the interest. You need to get all the information about the seller, the pawnshop, and the ring you pawn in writing.

Typically, you can expect a lower price at the very beginning. Bargaining is almost a custom in the pawn shops, and you can get more favorable terms of sale if you are a good negotiator. If you are not satisfied with the offer, you can always leave and look for another pawn shop.

Finally, remember that you have other options. If you find something suspicious during the evaluation or negotiations with the pawn dealer, it may be better to visit a brand retail store that sells used jewelry and offer your ring there.

Pawnshop Alternatives

The pawn shop is often the first place where many try to sell their jewelry, although it should be the last solution on the list. There are several alternatives where you can get a fair diamond appraisal, a decent offer with instant payout, and a legal purchase agreement.

First of all, you can offer your diamond ring to a jewelry store authorized to sell preowned jewelry. Unlike pawn shops, such places employ experts who can assess the real value of your diamond.

Bring the paperwork you get when purchasing the ring. The jewelry store will calculate the price they offer by both the diamond setting and the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) certificate if the ring has it.

Some people choose to sell their rings on online sites like eBay, Amazon, or Facebook. However, this type of trade comes with certain risks since you need to handle shipping or meet the unknown person face to face while carrying something as valuable as the diamond ring.

Plus, it is a time-consuming job to make quality photos of the ring and come up with a detailed description so that you can attract more potential buyers. On the plus side, some sites operate on the bidding principle, so the starting price you choose can be significantly increased until the end of the auction.

Summary

In general, pawn shops are known to pay well below the value of the items they buy. That goes for diamond rings, too. Before you go to one of them, ask an expert about your jewelry value. Keep in mind that the maximum price you can get in any pawn shop is about 75%, so you should consider alternatives, if possible.

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