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How To Sell Diamond Jewelry


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#1 shabrino

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 01:31 PM

I was asked to sell my great grandmother's diamond ring. It is round, 2 carats. Just got GIA report back which called it almost flawless. Retail value was estimated at $11,100.00.

What is the best way to sell this to realize the best $?

Thank you!

#2 barry

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 02:06 PM

You might try a reputable jeweler and see if they're interested in taking it on consignment. Consignment fees usually range in the 10-20% area.

Selling it on your own may be problematic as consumers may be sceptible of your diamond knowledge and be leery of dealing with you.

E-bay is another option. Good photographs are a must.

If you do decide to sell it on your own, do not do so from your home or office.
A bank is an excellent venue. Let family members and/or co-workers know of your appointment and get all pertinent information from the would-be customer.

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#3 shabrino

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 05:22 PM

You might try a reputable jeweler and see if they're interested in taking it on consignment. Consignment fees usually range in the 10-20% area.

Selling it on your own may be problematic as consumers  may be sceptible of your diamond knowledge and be leery of dealing with you.

E-bay is another option. Good photographs are a must.

If you do decide to sell it on your own, do not do so from your home or office.
A bank is an excellent venue. Let family members and/or co-workers know of your appointment and get all pertinent information from the would-be customer.

Barry -- Thanks for the reply.

I'm looking to avoid the 10-20% fee if possible. I was considering selling on ebay, but do people really buy $10,000+ diamonds on ebay? And isn't that "selling it on my own"?

I wasn't sure what you meant about selling from a bank. You mean simply an innocuous, well-lit location?

It's apparently a very high quality stone/cut, done over 100 years ago, according to GIA report. Apologies for all the questions, but I know nothing about this. thanks again for your help.

#4 barry

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 08:26 PM

Large ticket items are being sold on e-bay.

Sounds to me as if you need to get more informed before you take this plunge.

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#5 denverappraiser

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 06:52 AM

Selling for top dollar is what everyone wants. The problem is in the details. It’s quite difficult. The dealers who can get top money have been working for generations to build their reputations, to maintain convenient locations, to be open convenient hours, to design and operate high quality websites, etc. Not surprisingly, they expect to be paid for all of this. In selling to a final consumer, the only advantage you will have is that you are willing to sell for a lower price. Paying a dealer a 20% commission if the price they can realize is more than 20% higher is money well spent ( Some dealers cost more than this, by the way). The real issue is whether the service they are offering (helping you sell your diamond) is worth more than it’s cost.

You mentioned that you have a GIA report listing approximate weight and approximate clarity. Can you give more details about this? The usual GIA report does not give approximate values for either of these items and it does not include a value. Was this examination done by GIA or by a GIA trained grader working under some other name?

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#6 nightmare

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 06:53 AM

totally agree with Barry - selling diamonds of this size and quality isn't something to be undertaken lightly.

As hard as it is to hear, please don't expect to get anything like the retail estimate for the stone - people just will not pay retail from private individuals.

e-bay is a god way forward....lots of expensive things on there, though cars etc. t end to make better money and they are more 'definite' items (you know what you get). diamonds is less well understood. A quality auction for the ring itself (if it's really special) like Sotherbys or Christies would be worth looking at - but there will always be a percentage to pay.

good luck!

cheers
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#7 jan

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 08:34 AM

If you want to sell the diamond pretty much anywhere you will need lots of details. The first thing you will need will be a GIA lab report. Not sure if this is what you got or if you only got someone to appraise it, because GIA doesn't usually put a price on the report. The lab report just shows the dimensions of the stone as well as color and clarity. With this type of report, it is much easier to sell a diamond yourself because most won't buy a stone of this size without one. After you get the lab report, you will want to get the stone appraised by a qualified independent appraiser. There are many out there that will do appraisals with no training.

Almost flawless 2.00 ct. for $11,000 doesn't sound correct. Depending on the color and cut grade it should be much higher value.



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#8 shabrino

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 10:18 AM

Thank you to all the replies. Very generous and really helpful.

The certificate is from EGL-USA. It does not list a price estimate.
It lists the stone as 1.94 carats/TRANSITION ROUND BRILLIANT.
Measurements: 7.96 7.86 4.72 59.70 52 14.9 37.2
Color scale: I
Clarity: VSI
Finish polish & symmetry: GOOD

The appraisal, from a local jewler, is a separate document. I will get a second opinion in lieu of these comments.

So assuming I have all the proper documentation, what what you do if it were yours? I certainly understand the concept of commission for services.

Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

#9 ben

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 11:10 AM

Aside from paying a professional independent appraiser, I think one of the best ways for you to judge the value of your stone is to look at comparables. IOW, use the diamond search function on this site to find stones that are very similar (including the cert) and then use those prices as a reference.

If it were me selling this stone, I would:

1. Gather up all available documentations, appraisals, etc.
2. Price it using the method above, then take 10-25% off to account for the fact that you're not a professional retailer.
3. Post it on e-bay, on the jewelry classifieds here, and on any other venue you might find. When you post, disclose *everything* you know about the stone, including all documentation, pictures, etc.

Assuming you find a buyer who is interested in transacting, I would probably make every effort to meet the buyer in person and make the transaction in person. I would document the terms in a "bill of sale", including what rights (if any) that person gets to return the stone.

If transacting in person is not possible, I would try to find a third-party that is trusted by both sides (perhaps a jeweler that already offers consignment) to make the swap. Obviously, if you go with a third party, they will need compensation for their trouble, and that compensation will come out of the seller's pocket.

Good luck!
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#10 shabrino

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 06:28 PM

If you want to sell the diamond pretty much anywhere you will need lots of details.  The first thing you will need will be a GIA lab report.  Not sure if this is what you got or if you only got someone to appraise it, because GIA doesn't usually put a price on the report.  The lab report just shows the dimensions of the stone as well as color and clarity.  With this type of report, it is much easier to sell a diamond yourself because most won't buy a stone of this size without one. After you get the lab report, you will want to get the stone appraised by a qualified independent appraiser. There are many out there that will do appraisals with no training.

Almost flawless 2.00 ct. for $11,000 doesn't sound correct.  Depending on the color and cut grade it should be much higher value.



Jan

Hi Jan -- Your post was so helpful, I wanted to check in to ask your opinion. Just got back my report, which I attach. Any sense of a ballpark $ on this? I'm open to someone else selling it. Not sure how to find a reputable seller.

Thanks for your help!

George

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#11 ben

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 08:43 PM

It is round, 2 carats. Just got GIA report back which called it almost flawless.


Uh, the cert you posted is an EGL and it is for an SI3 stone. This is exactly the type of thing that would make a buyer so very extremely nervous!!
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#12 Princess Tess

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 08:57 PM

Ben's right. You start off saying it's a GIA report when it's an EGL. That's enough of a discrepancy to cause a price difference. And you got it wrong which will instantly worry people about how much you know. Then you state "almost flawless" which SI3 is NOT.

Did you say you got it appraised? Where's a copy of the appraisal? You'll absolutely need one to sell it on your own, or you'll have to guarantee that you'll refund money if buyer doesn't like it after THEY get it apraised. This last scenario is really too risky for any buyer to undertake.

I'd honestly find the best jeweler you can and consign it. I think you'll get more for it in the long run. Which isn't to say you'll get a lot.... :rolleyes:

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#13 denverappraiser

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 08:32 AM

This is a great example how tiny details can make a big difference and why it’s a problem to give (or receive) unconsidered valuation opinions.

George, I'm not picking on you. Most people outside the industry don't count this kind of detail as all that important and I have to agree, it does seem a little on the compulsive side. How can it be that damn big a deal? I'll try explain:

The original question said 2 carat. EGL-USA says its 1.94cts. This is accounts for about a 30% difference in the final valuation.

The clarity description ranged from ‘almost flawless’ (VVS1?) to EGL-SI3. That’s a whopping 300% difference in the bottom line. Even the intermediate grade of VS1 would be expected to show a difference of about 200%.

The lab went from GIA to EGL-USA. This accounts for about 10-20%.

The color went from unspecified (G?) to I to J, an expected difference in price of about 75%.

The cut went from unspecified (AGS3?) to Transitional Round Brilliant. These differ by about 100%. If the unspecified cut were actually one that would sell for a premium, it goes up from this.

Combine all these together and we get a range of roughly a factor of 5, just from the options relating to the description. Differences in the market chosen will add another factor of 3 or 4.

This results in a value conclusion somewhere between $2,200 and $40,000, give or take a few thousand.

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#14 shabrino

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 10:32 AM

Jeez guys, go easy on me! I admittedly know absolutely nothing about diamonds and would make no claims otherwise to any buyer. That's why I'm trying to educate myself and ask folks like you your thoughts, which I very much appreciate. We went with EGL because two separate jewlers told they are more conservative than GIA and just as respected. I wanted a realistic, conservative evaluation. Thus, EGL.

Sotheby's will sell it for 10%. Is that a good idea? Or should I explore an individual dealer?

thank you again, everyone.

#15 denverappraiser

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 11:18 AM

Shabrino,

Much of that explanation was aimed at other people reading this thread with similar questions. Tiny details matter. Your issue is actually pretty common and you are approaching it in a reasonable way.

It's unusual to hear EGL described as more conservative than GIA. You might consider doing some research into this question.

10% commission from Sotheby's is a great deal. Check to make sure if there are other fees involved and ask them if they are charging a 'buyers premium'. Keep us posted with what you learn. As I mentioned above, there are lots of people with a similar problem to yours who are reading this thread and I'm sure they would love to hear about the program.

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#16 ben

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 12:59 PM

George, not trying to pick on you at all. Just pointing out inconsistencies that would make a buyer very nervous about buying from an individual that they do not know.

I think selling it through Sotheby's or some other third-party is the best way to go. And a 10% commission from Sotheby's is quite reasonable -- frankly, almost too good to be true!! Like Denver said, make sure you read all the fine print.

Definitely keep us posted. This question (how does an individual go about selling a diamond) comes up very often and your experiences will help others in the future who find themselves in your position.
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#17 Princess Tess

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 09:39 PM

We're not picking on you, we're picking at you, to make sure you get the best deal possible for your diamond. :rolleyes:

Don't go with whoever told you EGL was better than GIA. That's simply untrue.

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#18 shabrino

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 10:05 PM

I truly do appreciate the help.

I wasn't told EGL was better, just slightly more conservative. When I asked Sotheby's, they said they consider them interchangeable. Frankly, all I care about is not having to go buy yet another report (from GIA)...unless you make me!

Thanks again.