How Do I Sell An Old Wedding Ring?

ForeverMaybe.com

I'm waiting for the day that someone turns that URL into a dating website. There's something about the bluntness of a website that says, "Let's do this until I'm tired of it." Maybe I just think it would attract other people that have a good sense of humor, we'll probably never know.

There are relationships in our lives that don't always work out, it can be a friend, relative, co-worker, or even a spouse. And well... Some of these relationships have more baggage than others. In the case of a spouse, that baggage can have some real value to it. Typically with a divorce you're splitting ways with that person and don't want them as a regular part of your live, so what do you do with those valuable reminders that you see everyday. What do I do with that ring?

You can do whatever you want with the ring. You could throw it into the ocean to give you a sense of closure. Or you could sell it and take your F-You money to an island in the Caribbean where you can get a Swedish massage in your own tropical paradise by the local cabana boy while sipping mai-tai's on your ex-husbands dime. But it's up to you on how you close that chapter of your life.

When can I sell my ring?

First of all, if you were only engaged and were never actually married, there's a good chance that you might not be able to sell the ring. Many states have ruled that the ring is considered a conditional gift in an engagement, and if you don’t get married, then the ring needs to be returned. The marriage would make the gift final.

If you realized it wasn't right before you got married, look at it this way, that emotional rollercoaster sucks but you dodged a bullet, consider yourself lucky that you didn't go through a divorce.

If the marriage actually does happen then usually an engagement ring is considered a pre-marital gift and therefore, not subject to equitable distribution in the event of divorce. But, if the ring appreciates in value during the marriage then the increase in value could be considered marital property, just not the original cost of the ring.

I would recommend not doing anything until after you're divorced. Once you're divorced, if nothing has come up, then you can view it as a golden ticket to a new life without him (or her, but let's face it women's wedding bands are worth much more then men's).

Also, apparently it's fairly common for divorce attorneys to take wedding rings as retainers for their services. They value them for far less than they are worth because their clients may have no other way to pay for the divorce. If you can avoid this, then I highly recommend that you don't give the ring up as collateral. (Sorry any lawyers out there, this is just what I hear.. and we all know that everything we see on the internet is true right?)

How can I sell my wedding ring?

You really only have 2 types of people you can sell to, the jewelry industry, or to the public. Think of it like you were selling a used car, you can trade it into the dealer and it's convenient and more importantly, it's done. But we all know that if you sell it on your own you'll get more.

If you are trying to sell it on your own then the first thing you should do, is get it cleaned. This won't cost too much to do and it will look better to prospective buyers.

Next you should get an appraisal. Just because your ex told you it was worth $X doesn't mean it really was. I'm sure he thought he negotiated well, but that ring was marked up like bottled water.

Get a jeweler to tell you specifics, number of carats, cut, clarity, color, settings, size. You'll probably know some of this already, but make sure you get all the information you can. Basically, pretend you are going to buy it, what details would you need to know as a buyer. I recommend going to multiple jewelers and having them all quote you prices, after this you will have a better idea of how much your ring is really worth.

Another sad thing about this step is that if you know the ring was purchased for $2000 at a specific jeweler, it's likely that exact same jeweler will only buy it back for half of what you paid, sometimes maybe only 35% of what you paid. They won't buy it unless they know they can make a large profit, and they marked it up a ton before you bought it the first time.

Consignment Shops

You could also have a consignment shop sell your ring for you. You will get a higher value, but at the same time they could take a 25-40% commission, also there's no telling how long you might wait for it to actually sell, it could easily be years. Also make sure you trust the shop, you are leaving something very valuable with them. If they close up shop then you might lose the ring.

Selling it online

These days, you can sell anything online. You can try online auctions like eBay or even Etsy if you want. But there are a bunch of newer websites popping up specifically for this situation, one of them is ExBoyfriend Jewelry, each piece of jewelry on the site comes with a story as to why their ex was a loser or why their relationship ended. It can provide for some entertaining reading, but I have no idea how well things actually sell there.

Another option is "I Do Now I Don't". This site also comes with pictures of the jewelry with descriptions, but once an item is sold, both the ring and the money are sent to the site, the "payment is then held in escrow by I Do Now I Don't until a gemologist authenticates the item." Once the item is authenticated the ring is sent to the buyer and the funds are released to the seller. The site then takes a 15% commission on the sale.

There are many other sites out there that do this so pick one that you feel comfortable with. Personally I like the idea of a site verifying the sales for me and collecting the money as well. You pay them a commission but it's relatively small in comparison but you have less of a chance of being scammed.

Other Options?? 

Then there's apparently a new trend that seems to be taking hold, and that is redesigning the ring into something new and sizing it to wear on your middle finger. It then becomes your new 'F- you ring' which I could see being somewhat satisfying. I guess that all depends on how things ended though.

Oh yeah, places like Cash For Gold, those are probably the worst places to send an old ring. You can take it to a jeweler and get at least the amount of the materials from them.

24 comments:

  1. I am actually trying to sell my brother's wedding ring at the moment (he got divorced and doesn't want to deal with it!). I'm trying craigslist and Facebook first. After that, I might follow your tips!

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    1. Yeah, I actually looked into this because someone close to me didn't know what to do with their ring. I also figured that I knew about as much as most people do about selling old wedding rings so why not compile what I could find into one place.

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  2. As someone who is currently planning a wedding, I hope I'd never have to use this post! But there's some great ideas and advice here. Cash 4 gold is okay if you're not looking to get any value from the stones and you just want a quick sale. But there's definitely better ways to make more money.

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    Replies
    1. Emma,

      I hope that you never need to use this information either. I only wrote it because I know someone that unfortunately was in a situation where they would benefit from knowing what options they had. I realized that most people wouldn't know where to begin and I knew as much as anyone else so I figured I would look into it and share what I found. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. This assumes the ring is worth anything over sentimental value. ;) A guy once proposed to me with a ring and said "If I asked you to marry me or leave me, what would you do?" I told him I would leave him. He gave me the ring anyways and said that it was a "promise ring". So now I am curious if those have to be given back too? Not like it matters at this point, although I still have the ring. I am not sure about changing it into something else though. Seems like no matter what shape it is formed into it will still be a reminder (unless, of course, you want that reminder). As far as having to give it back, I wonder how it varies from state to state. I do remember reading an article where a woman kept her 53k ring after a judge ruled she could due to the circumstances. California is a "no fault" state so I am assuming they would require the return and consider it a conditional gift.

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    1. Well, I think that all depends on what the "promise" is? That one is pretty open ended, it was given as a promise ring? promise to be friends? never forget your time together? If the intention at the time was made clear that you were not going to get married when the ring was given it does not seem like a conditional gift.

      I don't know state laws, I'm sure that they can be completely different wherever you are so if you really want to know the you should seek actual legal council.

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