Is it worth it to upgrade your diamond ring?
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 something you are considering.
And you aren’t alone.
In fact, there are many couples who reinforce and strengthen their relationship by upgrading the diamond in their engagement ring after years of marriage. There are also people who are looking to trade in their old diamond ring simply because their styles and preferences had changed.
Whatever the reason that you have for upgrading your engagement ring, it can be a tricky process to navigate. In this write up, we are going to show you how you can get the best value for your diamond ring and reveal the best diamond dealers when it comes to trading in a diamond.
Here is a list of topics we will be covering:
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.
Looking to upgrade to a bigger sized diamond when you feel the current one is too small?
I think it is only human nature to want something different at various points in time. Here are some common reasons why people choose to upgrade their diamond jewelry:
1) Ring designs that go out of style and changes in personal tastes. For example, the 3 stone ring setting is a design that is recently made popular by Meghan Markle but may lose its appeal with the passage of time. New manufacturing methods have also enabled bold looking designs like tension settings to be created and constant innovation is always changing up the landscape of the jewelry industry.
2) Reflecting your current social status. As mentioned earlier, some people may want to upgrade to a bigger-sized diamond to show off their status and wealth. Interestingly, there are some people who 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 decades, shapes like the marquise and ovals were all the rage. However, the popularity and demand for these shapes had appeared to die down in recent times. If you want a change of style, one of the easiest ways to do this is to trade in your diamond for another shape.
In recent years, proprietary diamond cuts like the Solasfera and cushion Hearts And Arrows are some of the head-turning designs that had hit the market. If you are drawn towards some of these unique cuts, you may want to consider upgrading your current jewelry into one of these diamonds.
Click the image above to check out this one-of-a-kind diamond 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 that 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 gift (e.g. major anniversary or life event) also represents a big expense and an entirely new jewel. Instead of having a new diamond to wear and keeping the older ring in your drawer, an upgrade might be a better option as a “continuation” of your previous one.
Most jewelry stores usually offer some sort of upgrade policies for customers. In fact, most jewelers will even promote the idea of having you trade-in your diamond ring in the future.
Well, it’s all about the money ($$$). By offering upgrade policies, it gives the jeweler an opportunity to do future business with an existing customer.
In general, the best place to upgrade your diamond engagement ring would be at the place where you bought your initial purchase from. On this note, I want to highlight the point that different jewelers have different policies and the devil is always in the details.
Here are some examples of common trade-up programs offered in the industry:
Mervis Diamond Importers – http://www.mervisdiamond.com/100-lifetime-trade-up-policy
Robbins Brothers – https://www.robbinsbrothers.com/shipping-returns-policy#tradeup
Shane Co. – http://www.shaneco.com/About/UpgradeTradeIn.htmx
The huge majority of diamond vendors have trade in policies in place but that doesn’t mean they are all good policies. This is especially true with brick and mortar retailers where they seemingly offer “full value” upgrades where you can get a credit for the original purchase price.
For example, let’s assume that you purchased a $5000 diamond ring from Zales where they have a lifetime trade-in program and you are required to spend twice the price ($10000) you paid for your original purchase.
On the surface, many consumers may think this is a good way to get “full value” for your purchase but you will end up overpaying for the new diamond because the goods sold at Zales are excessively overpriced to begin with.
Compared to buying from brick and mortar retailers like Zales, you can easily get an identical (or better) quality diamond ring for less than half the price with the list of online vendors here.
By forcing yourself to upgrade with a mediocre vendor you purchased your initial ring from, you are throwing good money after bad and digging yourself a bigger hole when buying a new diamond that’s going to be overpriced as well.
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.
White Flash – Most trade-up programs offered by jewelry retailers often come with restrictions, legal jargon and specific requirements (e.g. need to spend 2X more or even higher carat/color/clarity ratings). With White Flash, you don’t get any nonsense like this and they make it really simple.
White Flash allows you to trade in a diamond at any time for any other in-house diamond with equal or greater value. That means even if you choose to spend $1 more, that’s perfectly fine with them.
James Allen – They offer a lifetime upgrade program where diamonds can be exchanged for a 100% credit towards any replacement diamond that is at least 2 times or greater in value. Now, this is very similar to the majority of trade up policies that many jewelers have.
However, what makes James Allen stand out is their competitive prices and wide-selection of GIA/AGS certified diamonds. On top of that, their 360 video technology allows you to verify and scrutinize the diamond you are buying. In the diamond industry, you don’t get this level of transparency and consumer orientated service.
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 or probably give you a lowball offer.
Why? When a jeweler accepts a buyback or upgrade deal, the jeweler assumes some risks in this new undertaking. This is because some of their cash flows and capital will be tied up with this newly acquired diamond and there’s a probability that the diamond may not sell.
If you are willing to take the hassle, there are other methods that 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 bigger portion of the cash paid for the purchase. Thereafter, you can also have the freedom to work with anyone for your new purchase.
When you are looking to trade in a diamond, I’m sure you want to get the highest value possible instead of getting ripped off by a scumbag jeweler. The key to doing this is to choose a reliable and honest jeweler.
And this goes all the way back to whom you buy your jewelry from in the first place. If you made your purchase from a reputable diamond vendor that offers rock-solid upgrade policies, the trade-in process would be painless and straightforward.
That’s why it is important to choose a jeweler you want to work with for the long term before spending a fortune on your first purchase.