There is a saying, “ignorance is bliss” but unfortunately ignorance isn’t always forever, and we are forced to see the brutal reality of things, in this case, why I won’t buy from a retail jeweler ever again.
It all started several weeks ago when I was brainstorming for ideas on how to get some extra cash; with all the “cash for gold” commercials these days I realized that I had a wedding band that I was never going to wear again and it wouldn’t hurt to get rid of it especially with the economy as it is, I could always make use of some extra money. So the journey (education) begins as I travel from one jewelry broker to the next.
Jewelry Being Sold
The band was purchased for a $1,000 nearly 10 years ago when gold and platinum prices were well below what they are now (2002 gold price was around $350 oz, and today it’s over $1,500 oz).
Platinum diamond ring set with a near perfect 1.06-carat diamond, insured and appraised for nearly $12,000 also purchased nearly 10 years ago.
What I learned was more than an eye-opener it was a slap in the face. Both rings together were valued between $2,000 and $3,000. I guess you could view this as good news since the rings will never be used again and that kind of money could come in handy, but on the other hand, it feels like you are throwing money away since precious gems and metals are supposed to appreciate in value. In fact, we have seen that they do but what I did not know years ago is that retail jewelers mark-up their rings anywhere from 100% to 1000%. From what I could determine many places will mark them up at least 300% ($1,000 ring would sell for $3,000).
Now that I know what I know, I will never buy from a retail jeweler again. I understand that they need to pay bills and have money to maintain their stock but there are many other options available and better uses for the hard earned money.
The next time I get married I know I am going to use a broker, one that bases their price on market value rather than overhead or a small jeweler that doesn’t need to mark their product up so much. There might not be as many options, but that doesn’t mean I won’t find the “perfect” ring either.
Selling Your Wedding Ring
Most jewelers won’t take back and give you a good price for your ring unless you buy something double the value, which is ridiculous. There are other places that buy and sell precious gems and metals that base the value off current market value, but if you paid several hundred percent over what your ring was worth years ago, you still might not get what you think it is worth. Other options are; sell your ring yourself on Craigslist, an ad in the paper, etc. If you have a nice diamond, consider using it in another ring and sell your old setting.