Divorce – What To Do With That Spare Ring

ring appraisals

During divorce proceedings, there always has to be an assessment of assets and debts so they can be divided up properly. Sometimes people just want an appraisal to determine the value of items to be included in the divorce agreement. Sometimes there is a desire to sell jewelry they no longer want, such as a wedding ring or engagement ring. So what can you do with that “spare ring”?

Mark Watson, of Watson and Son in San Francisco (415-986-3303), is someone we recommend to our Divorce With Dignity clients in the Bay Area who wish to have their jewelry appraised or sold. We asked him to give us some information that such clients would find useful.

Mark, please tell us about your company and what you do.
We specialize in buying and appraising jewelry, gemstones, watches, clocks and silver. Our priority is toward the buying; however, we also will take items on consignment and that can maximize your investment.

We do the appraisals while you watch, whether in our office or in the comfort of your own home. Your presence is beneficial both because you often have little clues about the piece that assist us in the appraisal, and at the same time you will usually learn new details about your jewelry. We document each item with thorough descriptions and photographs, and then securely archive your appraisal indefinitely for future retrieval.

From a service point of view in the circumstance of divorce, we do fair market value appraisals to establish a value on any given property that can potentially be realized in a reasonable amount of time – i.e., “willing buyer/willing seller”. This can give both parties values to be divided for an equitable settlement, or allow you to proceed with a liquidation. If you have good information, you can make good decisions.

Do you get a lot of appraisal/selling requests from people going through divorce?
Oh yes. I especially like getting referrals from Divorce With Dignity. Their clients have come to them because they want to do things in a peaceful, dignified way, and that’s the type of person I want to work with. I have seen the other side, too, as an expert witness in divorce court where people are scraping and scratching, and for what? Afterward I always feel like I need to take a hot shower.

Do you buy wedding rings and engagement rings?
The engagement ring is usually the more valuable item and has the least stigma from a re-sale point of view, as it is all about the center stone. The wedding ring, on the other hand, is these days often a diamond band and hard to resize. In addition, a wedding ring has a tinge of cursed failure – bad karma. However, we can often reconfigure it into another piece of jewelry, such as a pendant. After all, it’s not the diamonds’ fault! No need to get rid of them altogether.

What about consignment?  How does that work?
Consignment is a gentler way of maximizing your investment. You can usually get a higher price if you are willing to wait for the right buyer – patience is profit. It’s not as immediate as selling to us, but I will often give a backup price for an item on consignment, giving the client the option to sell sooner if they wish. When you place an item on consignment with us, it will be fully insured while it is here. No lot is too large or item too small for our consideration.

With us, your privacy is protected. We have a world-wide network to discreetly sell your items. Other options will not be as private. If you put your jewelry on ebay, your personal business is blasted out to the public, and public auction can be a public humiliation. We offer a more dignified and confidential way to sell your items.

Do you have any suggestions or advice for divorcing couples wishing to use your services?

Be patient, don’t forget to breathe, and if you have children it’s all about them!

Thanks, Mark, for informing us about the options for what to do with that spare ring during or after a divorce!


Our divorce facilitators at Divorce With Dignity understand there are many facets to dealing with a divorce besides getting the divorce paperwork done. That’s why we take a holistic approach to helping our clients through divorce. In addition to helping them with the legal papers and working out a   divorce agreement that is best for all parties, we also provide referrals to many other types of professionals, such as Mark Watson, who can help with different aspects related to going through a divorce. To learn more about how we can help, please visit our website and contact a Divorce With Dignity professional in your area.



The author of this blog is not an attorney and the information contained in these blogs should not be considered legal advice.  The information provided here is based on the experience of the author and some of her clients whose actual names are not mentioned.  Do not hesitate to seek the advice of an attorney if you have any legal questions

Photo credit: Tamara Menzi

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