Your wedding band has been gathering dust and it’s time to move on, but making a decision to sell it isn’t easy. Sentiments aside, both gold and diamonds have experienced volatility -- meteoric price fluctuations relating to gold prices and controversies surrounding conflict diamonds have impacted the gemstone market. Take your time. Approach the sale wisely. Find the right deal, and you can finish turning an important emotional corner.
Take your wedding band to several local jewelry stores for appraisals. Ask jewelers about certifications and credentials; not everyone is qualified to set prices on jewelry. If you can’t find a local resource, visit the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, the American Society of Appraisers, or The Gemological Institute of America websites to get the names of area members qualified to assess your band.
Sell your wedding band directly to the jeweler handling the appraisal, as long as you have no expectations about the ring’s future. Some jewelers resell wedding bands. Others treat previously worn jewelry as scrap and melt it down, often resulting in a transaction that gives the seller just 75 cents on the dollar. If you feel sentimental about the ring (no need to feel the same way about the marriage) and the ring’s future matters to you, ask the jeweler about her plans for your band.
Sell the ring on a popular website. Ruby Lane, eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Ecrater and others act as middlemen for jewelry transactions and will handle the sale for you. Photograph the wedding band against a dark background from several angles and upload the images to the site of your choice. Set a price based on appraisals. If you’re a risk taker and prefer auctions, peruse comparable wedding bands on the site to make certain your price is in the right ballpark. Establish a PayPal account to get your money safely.
Place an ad in your local newspaper as well as on Craig’s List and similar communications vehicles if you don’t have a problem inviting people to your home to see the wedding band and prefer negotiating the selling price in person. Not everyone is comfortable with this. Despite checks and balances, you may not be able to distinguish a wedding band buyer from someone looking to burgle your home, so proceed with caution if you take this road.
Make your wedding band the center of a larger sale – a garage sale, estate sale, church rummage sale or a charitable flea market that invites lots of browsers to congregate at a central location. The publicity and promotional efforts that go into these types of events offer a variety of benefits, the biggest of which is that you won’t be alone.
Based in Chicago, Gail Cohen has been a professional writer for more than 30 years. She has authored and co-authored 14 books and penned hundreds of articles in consumer and trade publications, including the Illinois-based "Daily Herald" newspaper. Her newest book, "The Christmas Quilt," was published in December 2011.