How to Pawn or Sell a Ring

February 26, 2020 - Jewelry & Luxury Items

Wondering how to pawn or sell a ring?

At PawnGuru, we break the pawning process down for you so that you are equipped with the necessary seller’s knowledge to get the highest possible appraisal for your ring.

Whether you’re looking for advice on how to pawn an old wedding ring or sell an antique thrift store treasure, you can count on us to help you prepare for the process.

Here’s something you may know, pawn shops love diamond rings. There is a huge market for selling or pawning diamond rings because many people go to pawn shops specifically to buy diamond rings. You can get much closer to market value of your ring than almost any other item you can sell to a pawn shop.

If you need money, your ring is one of the best items you can possibly pawn or sell. But first, make your ring presentable and marketable.

Should I Pawn or Sell My Ring? Or Should I Keep It?

If you’re unsure if you should pawn or sell your wedding ring versus keeping it, we recommend you ask yourself the following questions.

  • Is the ring made out of precious metal that is at a particularly high value right now? (check
  • Is there positive sentimental value tied to this wedding ring?
  • Is there a possibility I’ll want this back?
  • If I pawn it and can’t pay back the loan, will it be the end of the world if I don’t get the ring back?
  • How would I feel about someone else wearing this ring if I can’t pay back the loan?
  • What am I doing with the money I’ll get for it?
  • Will the loss of the ring be offset by a more life-critical matter?

These questions are the best ones to ask yourself if you’re still unsure if you should pawn or sell your ring. If you’ve answered these questions and still feel okay about pawning or selling your ring, read on and learn more about pawning versus selling.

Is it Better to Pawn or Sell Your Ring?

If you’re ready to take your ring to a pawn shop but aren’t sure if you’re going to pawn it or sell it, we’ll help you decide.

The Difference Between Pawning and Selling Your Ring

If you pawn your wedding ring, you are using it as collateral for a cash loan.

The pawnbroker will evaluate your ring and make you an offer. You will then get cash for the ring once you hand it over. However, you will be required to pay back the principal balance of the loan, including any interest and any fees agreed upon.

This all needs to take place within a timeframe specified by the pawn shop. Otherwise, the pawn shop has the right to keep your ring and resell it.


If you sell your wedding ring to a pawn shop, they will keep the ring for good and offer you cash for it. It’s pretty simple!

Do I Get More Cash For Pawning or Selling My Ring?

If you pawn your ring, you might end up getting a better cash offer for it. This is because the pawn shop considers pawn transactions less risky than ones in which they buy an item outright.

The pawn shop needs to resell an item if you sell it to them. And because they aren’t making any money in interest and fees from you when you sell it, it’s a bit riskier for them than if you had pawned the ring.

However, if the market price of gold, platinum, silver (or whatever the metal in the ring is) is at a low point when you pawn it, at least you’ll be able to get the ring back and sell it when the metal is being traded at a higher price down the road.

Clean the Ring

1. Soak in Solution

Never underestimate a good bath, even for a diamond. Soaking a dirty ring in a solution makes dirt loosen and come off easier in further steps.

You don’t need a fancy jewelry cleaner, you can soak it in things you have around the house.

Warm Soap and Water

Yes, the classic soap and water will loosen dirt on a casual-wear ring. Get a bowl of hot water and basic dish soap. Soak your ring for 30 minutes and go to step 2.

Windex and Hydrogen Peroxide

In the same type of small bowl, pour equal amounts of Windex and hydrogen peroxide. Let the diamond soak for 10-15 minutes.

Windex removes grease and the hydrogen peroxide kills dirt-related bacteria. Take out and continue to the next step.


Cleaning with vinegar is one of our favorite things. It’s natural, bacteria killing, and doesn’t cost much. Pour 1/2 cup white vinegar in a bowl with 2 tablespoons baking soda.

The mixture will fizz, so make sure the bowl is deep enough. Once it’s all mixed together soak your diamond in this mix for two to three hours.

2. Be Gentle, But Scrub

The best cleaning device for your precious ring? A soft bristled toothbrush. Look for one that notes “soft” or “gentle” bristles on the package.

Take your ring out of whatever solution and rub with the toothbrush. Get into as many cracks and crevices as you can.

3. Rinse

Rinse the same toothbrush until the water runs clean. Take the water-clean toothbrush and scrub the ring, rinsing the brush as you go.

When you feel like you’ve gotten most of the solution off, rinse the ring off under cold running water.

4. Dry

Metal doesn’t like getting wet, even if it’s a strong metal like sterling silver. Take a microfiber cloth and give the ring a good rub down.

Be careful not to snag any of the setting arms with the cloth, you don’t want to pull on them!

Learn about Markings

Now that you’ve revealed any potential hallmarks on your ring by cleaning it, we’ll give you our second best piece of advice for how to pawn or sell a ring.

10K, 14K and 18K are the most common karats for gold jewelry. The value goes up as the number does, because it indicates a higher percentage of gold being used in the jewelry. Gold is measured in fractions of 24. A 10K ring is 10/24ths pure gold, or around 41.3% gold. A 24K gold ring is 24/24 or 100% gold.

For silver rings, look for an engraving of 3 numbers. Those three numbers are the purity of the ring in parts per thousand. For instance, if the engraving is 925, then the silver is 92.5% silver.

For Platinum, the ring is usually marked “PT”, “Platinum”, or “PLAT” along with 3 numbers. The three numbers are the purity of the ring in parts per thousand, much like silver.

A ring sold for scrap is worth the value of the materials. A higher purity mixed with a higher weight means more precious metals, and will get you a higher price.

Check for Completeness

Collect any original pieces that came with your ring. This includes the ring box and any paperwork or stones that had fallen out of the setting. The more you have of a complete set, the better your pawn shop appraisal will be, and the higher the price you will receive.

How to Pawn or Sell a Ring: The Transaction Process

List Your Ring Online

It’s easier today to pawn or sell a ring than it was five years ago, thanks to technology. List your ring online at PawnGuru to alert all pawn shops in your area that your ring is available for bidding. This is free and only takes a couple of minutes!

Collect Pawn Shop Offers

Once your ring is listed online at PawnGuru, you will begin to receive bids on your ring from local pawn shops. You can compare these offers from the comfort of your couch or on-the-go. You aren’t required to accept any of these offers, but you are likely to get fantastic offers from these pawn shops.

Go to the Highest-Bidding Pawn Shop

Once you have accepted an offer on your ring, you will need to enter the pawn shop to make the transaction happen.

Get Cash in Hand

If you’re looking to pawn the ring as collateral for a cash loan, you will need to come to an agreement with the pawnbroker about the terms of the loan. The pawnbroker will hold your ring in a safe place until you pay back the loan, as long as this is within the window of time you both agreed to. If you don’t, it is theirs to keep or sell to another customer. Otherwise, you will get your ring back.

If you’re looking to sell the ring with no loan involved, you just hand the ring over and get your cash in hand.

Remember, selling your ring will get you more money than pawning it. If you want to get your ring back in the future, then pawning is for you.

David Stiebel
David Stiebel

David Stiebel is one of the cofounders of PawnGuru. David was educated at MIT, where he studied Math. He subsequently worked at Bain as a data scientist before starting PawnGuru in 2015. He started PawnGuru to build a better tool for pawn shops and consumers to connect.

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