Right now, if a consumer isn’t looking for creative ways to upcycle her old jewelry she’s definitely looking for ways hock it for cash. And she has options for doing just that: Main Street jewelers. Sites that specialize in consigning luxury goods (like The RealReal). And the many digital diamond resale portals that provide consumers with a convenient way to unload their unwanted engagement rings and other diamond jewels.
A leader in this last category is the New York–based online marketplace Worthy, which secures its diamonds through consumer channels and sells them to dealers and retailers via auction. And at this precise moment, it’s in a unique position to assist jewelry pros in need of diamonds in specific carat weights and shapes.
Securing such inventory via traditional supply channels is posing a variety of challenges. “Due to COVID, the major cutting centers have been idle,” says Worthy chief gemological officer Roy Albers. “Just recently, India, the largest cutting center, has come back online with limited cutting. It will take several months to regain any semblance of a steady supply. With the Q4 season here, the current polished supply is what will go to market and retailers will find it increasingly difficult to fill orders and last-minute holiday sales, particularly for some key qualities and shapes, especially well-cut ovals and cushions.”
Worthy is seeing rigorous bidding on its diamonds as a result. On any given day, there are more than 200 active auctions; this week there’s one scheduled to take place Wednesday and another will be held on Friday. The auctions are strictly trade only, and preregistration is required.
Clearly, Worthy is winning at volume, but it also stakes its reputation on quality and authenticity. All stones are sold with a grading certificate and have been vetted by a team of experts overseen by Albers, who was previously chief gemologist and vice president of gemstone acquisitions for Tiffany & Co. and has served on the board of directors of the American Gem Trade Association and the American Gem Society.
And since Worthy’s jewelry pros have previewed and authenticated the product, you don’t have to waste valuable time hunting and digging around for say, a 4 ct. K color SI1 clarity oval or a GIA-certified 1 ct. E color VS1 clarity round.
Or doing business with dealers you don’t know and definitely don’t have time to vet.
Albers and his staff are also willing to accommodate presale, in-person viewing appointments at Worthy’s Diamond District headquarters at their discretion (i.e., wear a mask).
When browsing the auctions, know that round and oval diamonds are particularly in demand, so if you see something you think you can sell, jump on it.
Whether you want to disclose that you bought the stone on the secondary market to a customer is up to you, but with sustainability and ethical mining a top concern for millennial and Gen Z consumers, it might, in fact, be a selling point worth mentioning.
A sustainable and expedient way to replenish your vault is a win-win. When the holiday engagement ring shoppers come calling (or Zooming as the case be), you have to be ready to rock.
Top: Hitting the Worthy auction circuit this week: this ring’s GIA-certified 1.33 ct., E color, VS2 clarity round diamond. (Most stones are sold loose, with the exception of designer items.)
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