How to Get a Fair, Honest Price for Gold and Diamond Jewelry

Getting a fair and honest price for your jewelry involves research.
Getting a fair and honest price for your jewelry involves research. (Image: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

When you’re selling gold and diamond jewelry, it’s hard to know if you’re getting a fair price. Many places will buy the piece to break it down and sell the components; in that case, you’re getting paid for the materials. If, on the other hand, you’re selling to someone who wants to keep the piece together, then you’re getting the resale value. A little research before selling your jewelry will ensure that you get a fair and honest price; if something about the deal feels off, don’t go through with it.


Contact a local jeweler and ask to get your diamond graded. Don't mention selling it.

Bring your diamond to the jeweler and ask for specifics on its cut, color, clarity and inclusions. These four variables affect the price. Two diamonds that are graded exactly the same in three categories and differently in one category can show a large price difference.

Call local jewelry buyers. You can find them listed in the phone book or by asking antique dealers.

Describe your diamond to the buyers. Give them the shape, size, color, cut, clarity and inclusions. Ask for a rough estimate of the price you could get.

Bring the diamond and its paperwork to be inspected by the buyer. Sell it if you think you're getting a good deal.


Look for a mark on your gold that tells what kind it is. Twenty-four-karat gold is pure gold; everything below that is mixed and less pure. Gold is sold for scrap by pennyweight, which means an ounce of pure gold is broken down into 1/100 of an ounce and you're paid pennyweight per 1/100 ounce. Lower karats sell for less money.

Contact local jewelry buyers at antique stores, pawn shops and jewelry stores. Ask what their price-per-pennyweight of pure gold is. If you have an impure gold piece to sell, ask what the price-per-pennyweight is for that karat of gold.

Weigh the gold yourself with a sensitive, accurate scale.

Bring the gold to the buyer who offers the highest pennyweight price for it. Make sure when he weighs it, the weight is very close to what you measured at home.

Tips & Warnings

  • Selling a piece of gold and diamond jewelry that isn't for scrap requires a jeweler taking into account the resale value. You're unlikely to get as good a price for a whole piece as you would for scrap. Contact jewelers and ask them to appraise your piece. You may make more money by selling the ring yourself, online.
  • Appraisal and valuing services cost money.

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