How Do You Sell Your Engagement Ring?

Sometimes you need to just get rid of bad juju

Q:I originally started reading APW when I was planning my wedding, which was called off (blessing in disguise). I am now in a wonderful new relationship, and I have decided that having my prior engagement ring sitting in a safe feels like keeping bad juju around.

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There is very little information out there on the topic of what to do with your engagement ring when you do not want it any longer, and I thought I’d ask y’all. I just went to get the ring and a necklace from my ex-would-have-been-in-laws appraised so that I could be an informed seller. At the jewelry store, the owner told me several stories of women who have come in to sell the rings (in some cases to pay for the nasty divorce). Clearly this happens a lot, but no one talks about it.

A: Lucky for you, I have a bit of experience selling jewelry. When my grandmother died, we found that she’d been investing in jewelry for sixty years, and had a safety deposit box full of gold that she’d purchased back when gold was cheap, along with piles of other stuff, and (bless her)  years and years worth of appraisals. While I hung onto some of it (in this case, it was jewelry with very good juju), I was the person in charge of selling a lot of it. Here is what I learned:

First, appraisal. In your case, you probably don’t need an appraisal. Since you didn’t mention any distinctive features, it’s likely that your ring is not say, a hundred-year-old Victorian dinner ring, which might have value beyond just its parts. If you’re trying to sell a vintage ring, it might be worth getting it appraised first. I went through the appraisal process last year, and you generally can find a reputable appraiser with a little bit of research and, well, Googling.

If you’re trying to sell your ring as is, it can be a little tricky to find the right place to sell it. (Anyone who knows resources, please share them in the comments.) I’m still in the process of figuring out how best to sell some beautiful historic pieces. However, if you want to sell the ring as is, your best line of defense is going to local jewelers, and asking if they know places that sell rings on consignment. The jewelry community is pretty small, and I’ve found that folks are generally willing to send you to the right place.

The other way to sell jewelery is to sell it for parts. Gold is worth a ton right now, and if you Google “sell gold,” and your city, you’ll generally be able to turn up the local metal dealer. Take your ring down there, and they’ll let you know if you need to have the stone removed and sold separately, or if they can buy the whole piece. Chances are the metal is going to be melted down, but given the price of precious metals right now, you might still make a tidy profit.

Side note: I’ve found that while the places you end up going to sell jewelry sometimes seem a little bit dubious, the people who work there are generally nice and professional.

So, let’s talk about it! Have any of you gotten rid of an engagement ring post-divorce or breakup? Is it bad luck to keep the ring around? Sound off in the comments!

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