Selling an Engagement Ring

Dear Local Jeweler,

On April 2nd, 2012, I entered your establishment with the intention to return an engagement ring which I had purchased from you two years previously for a girl to whom I am no longer engaged. The details of the our relationship dissolution are immaterial, but suffice it to say, I was looking forward to be well-shot of my last remaining relic of her.

At least I'll always have the herpes.

So imagine my surprise when you told me that the you could only offer fifty cents on the dollar for the ring, which you then made good on by offering me twenty-eight cents on the dollar. Needless to say, I was quite taken aback by your conservative offer and wondered if I had been clear that I was attempting to sell a 3/4 carat diamond ring and not a 1974 Gremlin with one wheel missing. You see, I don't recall exactly what I paid for the ring, but I had a rough idea of what it was worth from the insurance appraisal provided by your own certified gemologist (which, if we're being honest, sounds like a completely made up title, but is apparently a legitimate thing). At the time of purchase in April of 2010, you appraised the 0.55 carat diamond as being worth $1,500 and the 14k white gold setting with 0.21 carats worth of diamonds at $650, bringing the grand total to $2,150. Your offer was $600.

To be fair, you did offer me a complimentary helping of "go fuck yourself"

Learned as I am in the field of mathematics, I noted that this was not the 50% price you promised (though I would have likely rejected this amount anyway), but was in fact less than 28% of the purchase price. You did mention that you were interested in the center stone more so than the setting, but this still puts your offer well short of the 50% markdown. This leads me to one of two possibilities. The first is that ring is not worth nearly as much as I was led to believe. The second scenario is that you were trying to fuck me over.

"This is a completely reasonable offer. You will take it and be satisfied. Move along."

Despite being the cynical, world-weary husk of a man that I am today, I do, on occasion, try to give people the benefit of the doubt, so let's assume for a moment that it is not your standard business practice to hamstring a broken-hearted person in their moment of weakness. We will also assume that your initial appraisal was accurate, as assuming otherwise would reflect very poorly on your business as well as making me an unwitting accessory to insurance fraud. If your 50% claim is indeed true, that means the ring has, in your estimation, depreciated significantly. This is especially remarkable considering the price of gold and diamonds have increased 51% and 14% respectively since I bought ring. This means that barring a worldwide crash of both the gold and diamond markets in the 45 minutes between when I checked them online and when I arrived at your shop, the ring is actually worth somewhere in the vicinity of $2,700 ($2,800 if we adjust for inflation).

You better believe we're adjusting for inflation.

You made sure to point out that there was a reduction because the stone and ring would now have to be marked as "used" and I made sure to point out this was mind-bogglingly retarded. Normal products generally depreciate in value for specific reasons, such as wear and tear on components that will ultimately reduce the useful life of said product. For example, a car has many moving and wearing parts, so usage of the machine brings it ever closer to component failure, which justifies the reduction in price over a newer car. Engagement rings, however, possess neither moving nor wearing parts and are in fact considered one of the very few goods to have "perfect durability", like forks or a brick. The fact that it has been worn by another person should not matter, since diamonds are one of the most indefatigable materials known to man and gold is specifically used in jewelry because of its ability to not oxidize. Further complicating the used jewelry phenomenon is the fact that I did not see a single piece of merchandise in your store that was marked "used." When car dealers sell used cars, they mark the used cars so customers know which cars are used. Even Wal-Mart will denote items as "open-box" or "refurbished", but I suppose it's not fair to hold jewelry stores to the same stringent standards as a retail chain where size 40 Daisy Dukes are not only permissible attire, but also available merchandise.

No word on whether these were new or used.

Still, even brand new cars depreciate the moment they are driven off the lot, even though there is no appreciable reduction in service life. Consumers as a whole value "new" things somewhat higher than "lightly used" objects and regardless of how idiotic this is, I can't blame you for the stupidity of the masses. A new car will lose roughly 10% of its value immediately after being are purchased, so I felt that was a fair reduction to be applied to my item, bringing my desired sale price to $2,000, give or take. Considering that a slightly smaller diamond and comparable setting retails for roughly $3,000 at a competing jeweler, my offer is certainly not unreasonable.

Okay, so maybe it's a little over Blue Book value.

In conclusion, it must be indisputably concluded that your intention was indeed to fuck me over. Your offer of $600 is hardly fair market value for an item that you could have still turned a (second) profit on as well as offering me more money (or more AK-47s, depending on where the exchange takes place). I still plan on visiting several other jewelers, though without much hope, since it seems to me the ring would garner the highest price from whence it came, much like returning a child to his biological parents will net you more money than delivering him to a random family. So perhaps it is wrong to blame you for the shitty ways and means of the jewelry market, which is the main reason I decided not to mention your business by name. But even if this could all ostensibly be blamed on the vicissitudes of supply and demand, really, that doesn't make you less of a dick.

This came up in literally every image search I did for this article.


P.S. Anyone who wants to buy a supremely badass engagement ring, check out my eBay listing and see if your offer can insult me slightly less than the asswagons I bought it from.

All questions and comments can be directed here
Copyright 2011-2014 Chris Radomile