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    Engagement rings are one of the most important purchases we make in our lives, and we’re willing to pay a lot of money for this special piece of jewelry. However, there’s often a lot of confusion about what constitutes a fair price for an engagement ring and how exactly the final price is calculated. To add to this, the resale value of a diamond ring after the initial purchase is often much different than the original price. If you’re confused about how to determine a ring’s price, read this detailed and concise explanation to learn more.

    Diamond Quality and Value
    One of the essential aspects that contributes to the price of engagement ring is the diamond quality grades. While researching engagement rings, it’s common to learn about the 4 C’s of diamonds: clarity, color, cut, and carat. The clarity refers to the diamond’s ability to give off light and sparkle; as expected, the higher the clarity, the higher the price. Carat also plays a huge role in the value of the diamond; in fact, the price difference between a 1-carat diamond and a 3-carat diamond is exponential. If the diamond is slightly yellow or brown colored, you can expect to fetch a lower price than one that’s pure and clear.


    All of these factors can be easily identified with a GIA certificate by a certified gemologist. As GIA is the most trusted lab in the country, a GIA-certified diamond is usually going to be more expensive than one from a lower quality or unrecognized lab.

    While it’s possible to find some information on current diamond prices online, in order to get an accurate assessment of a diamond’s current market value, it’s best to work with a trusted jeweler who has access to privileged industry information and online diamond trading software like Rapnet.

    Metal Value


    Another important element that factors into the ring’s final price is the quality of the ring’s metal. Gold is the most popular metal for engagement rings, but an 18k gold ring is going to be worth more than a 10k gold ring. Because pure gold is too soft for jewelry, a gold alloy is formed by adding in other, harder metals. 18k consists of 75% pure gold, while 14k only consists of around 58% pure gold. Platinum, of course, will command a higher price for the ring.

    How Labor Factors into the Price


    While the diamond(s) and metal involved are certainly huge factors for the price, the labor and design work involved also play a role. If the ring is outsourced overseas, the cost of production will be much cheaper than if a jewelry artisan handcrafted it stateside. If it’s a complex, custom designed ring, the jewelry designer’s work can also factor into the price.

    Final Markup and Brand Recognition
    Depending on where you buy your engagement ring, the final cost can be very different. For instance, shopping online at an e-commerce store will usually yield a lower price than buying a ring at a national jewelry chain. The big box retail stores will often charge a high premium on their rings in order to cover their expenses like overhead, sales commission, and inventory. Additionally, these stores generally apply a 2.2x markup on their jewelry.


    On the other hand, newer online engagement ring retailers like Brilliant Earth focus more on made-to-order jewelry and don’t need to worry about as many additional costs, so you’ll often find better deals. And if you work directly with a jewelry studio and avoid retail altogether, you may end up paying even less.

    All of these factors, from diamond quality to metal, to labor and markup, each play a vital role in determining an engagement ring’s initial sale price.

    Resale Value of an Engagement Ring
    If you try to sell your diamond ring and recoup some of the money, you might be surprised to find the price you’re able to sell it for is often much less than the price you originally purchased it for. There are a number of reasons for this; most importantly, the diamond’s market value drops immediately after the initial ring sale.


    Compared to some other gems (like emeralds) diamonds are not necessarily intrinsically rare, but rather their price is controlled by a tight market supply. Diamond dealers and others in the industry are unlikely to pay an individual seller the full value for a diamond and prefer to work with wholesale companies than can offer guarantees and other benefits. However, it’s possible to recoup up to 70-80% of the original value if you sell to another individual (for instance, at an auction).

    Aside from the diamond value, the resale value of your ring will be lower for a number of other reasons. Since it’s no longer new, there are no associated costs for labor, design, or retail markup. However, the gold or platinum that makes up the body of the ring can be resold to a gold dealer or other industry professional. And if a famous brand name is associated with the ring, this can also add value as well.

    All of that being said, buying insurance for your engagement ring is one of the best ways to maintain its monetary value over time. For a small sum each year, you’ll have peace of mind and be sure that you’ll be able to recoup the original amount you spent.

    If your diamond engagement ring is vintage, antique, or crafted by a well-known brand, it can still be quite valuable. Otherwise, expect the initial price of your ring to be considerably higher than the resale value. Of course, if you’re interested in saving some money on markup and other costs when purchasing your engagement ring, consider a pre-owned ring or buying directly from a custom jeweler.

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