Trading Up a Diamond Ring – Is an Upgrade a Good Idea?

upgrading your diamonds

Is It Worth It to Upgrade Your Stone?

Life’s been good and you had gotten better in life with more assets and disposable income. For couples who had begun their marriage together with a simple purchase, the concept of trading in your original ring for something bigger and better might be appealing to you.

While a diamond engagement ring is undoubtedly the ultimate proposal gift any bride could receive, they are no longer strictly viewed as a symbol of eternity. What happens after a certain number of years in marriage is that some couples might reinforce and strengthen their relationship by upgrading the diamond in their engagement ring.

In layman terms, trading in your diamond is the act of giving your diamond back to a jeweler, paying some money and getting a better (and usually larger) diamond in exchange.

When Might Trading In Your Diamond For An Upgrade Be a Good Idea?

I think it is human nature to want something different at various points in time. Here are some reasons why people might choose to upgrade their jewelry:

1) Ring designs do go out of style and personal tastes might change. For example, the solitaire ring setting is an evergreen design that has survived centuries of fashion changes but not everyone might find it appealing. New manufacturing methods have also enabled bold looking designs like tension settings to be possible and are constantly changing up the landscape of the jewelry industry.

2) Reflecting your current social status. As mentioned earlier, some people might want a bigger-sized diamond to show off their wealth now that they can afford it. Interestingly, some people may choose to keep the original setting and simply swap out the main diamond for sentimental reasons.

3) A thirst for new diamond shapes. In the past, shapes like the marquise and ovals were all the rage. Those demands and preferences had appeared to died down in present times. The point I am trying to bring across here is that new diamond cuts are always being introduced to create different looks.

Proprietary diamond cuts like the Solasfera, Spirit Sun (pictured below) and cushion Hearts And Arrows are some of the head-turning designs that had hit the market in recent years. If you are drawn towards some of these unique cuts, you may want to consider upgrading your current jewelry into one of these diamonds.

spirit sun

A one-of-a-kind design

4) Dealing with old estate jewelry and heirlooms. Traditionally, jewelry is often passed down from one generation to another. For some people, trade-ins can offer the opportunity to turn old jewelry into contemporary designs which better match current lifestyles.

Whatever your reasons for doing a trade-in, remember there are always two sides to every coin. While getting a bigger diamond as a representation of a stronger commitment to a loved one is beautiful as a concept, the change also involves getting rid of the original stone which may have sentimental value attached to it.

5) Out with the old and in with the new. Buying a new diamond for a major anniversary gift also represents a big expense and an entirely new jewel. Instead of having a new diamond to wear and keeping the older stone in your drawer, an upgrade might be preferential as a “continuation” of your previous one.

Vendors who offer buyback guarantees and generous trade-up policies who those who fully stand behind the quality of their products. Click on the following links to find out more about these exemplary vendors like Victor Canera, White Flash and Brian Gavin.

Be Familiar With Policies of Upgrading With Your Jeweler

teardrop shaped diamondMost jewelry stores usually offer some sort of upgrade policies for customers. In fact, they even promote the idea of having you trade in your diamond ring in future.


Well, it’s all about the money ($$$) and gives them the opportunity to do future business with an existing customer. After all, the more you browse, the more you buy!

As mentioned previously, trading in diamonds has a very commercial side to it in two different scenarios.

On the first hand, you are usually given the chance to sign an upgrade deal when you acquire your original diamond. That is, if you decide to do an upgrade with the same jeweler, you might get a discount on the upgrade fees. Presumably, you should choose a jeweler that you want to work with for the long term before spending a fortune on your first purchase.

On the other hand, whether you have an upgrade deal or not, you still have to be very careful when the act of upgrading comes. There are a few common practices that you have to be aware of.

For example, most jewelers won’t allow you to upgrade to a stone that is “on sale”. This works pretty much the same in any other retail business where you will probably have to pay the full price for already “discounted” items. That’s fine because high quality diamonds never go on sale in the first place.

Also, most jewelers will only allow for upgrades where the new diamond is worth at least twice the original diamond. Taking into account the typical price of such a purchase, this means the upgrade will most likely cost you in the range of thousands of dollars.

The important thing to note when doing trade-ins is that you need to factor in the amount the jeweler is charging for the new stone and how much “discount” you are really getting.

Here are some examples of common trade-up programs offered in the industry:

Mervis Diamond Importers –

Robbins Brothers –

Shane Co. –

Whiteflash –

Other Options Available Besides Taking the Scenic Route

What happens in the event that you choose to do your upgrading with a different jeweler? Some stores may allow you to do this by giving you credit towards a new purchase. Some other jewelers may charge you a fee for the deal.

Why? When a jeweler accepts an upgrade deal, he has to secure his business too. It is never sure whether he will be able to sell his newly acquired diamond and he/she assumes some risks in this new undertaking.

If you are willing to take the hassle, there are other methods which can help you save that fee or get better value out of your unwanted diamond jewelry. By selling your diamond independently, you might be able to recover a greater portion of the cash paid for the purchase. Thereafter, you can also have the freedom work with anyone for your new purchase.

Due to the high price range of diamonds, the total sum of the jeweler’s fee compared to the difference between the new diamond’s discounted price and the full price is likely to be high. You probably want to do some math and calculate which route makes more sense.

At times, even signing separate deals for selling your old diamond and buying a new one at the same jeweler might be a more profitable approach, despite the bureaucratic hassle.

James Allen and White Flash both have generous trade-up policies to help consumers upgrade their current diamonds. Visit their websites to find out more information!

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  1. Avatar
    August 30, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    I have an old engagement ring that I want to reuse the stone but upgrade the ring to a new ring. Many of the online vendors I have looked at want to sell you both a stone and a ring at the same time. Which vendors so you recommend that will sell you just the ring? Of those vendors, which offer remounting services?

  2. Avatar
    Paul Gian-
    August 31, 2017 at 5:44 am

    I recommend that you do it with a local jeweler as it saves you hassle of mailing it out to the typical online vendors. Remounting services are typically not expensive and the bulk of costs go to the new setting.

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