Diamonds At Pawn Shops: Guide To Buying & Selling Real & Lab-Grown Diamonds

Diamonds At Pawn Shops: Guide To Buying & Selling Real & Lab-Grown Diamonds

Most pawn shops buy and sell real and lab-grown diamonds. Learn how valuing diamonds works.

Last updated November 29, 2022

Heart-shaped diamond bracelet

Source: Pexels / The Glorious Studio

Diamonds At Pawn Shops

Diamonds are a popular item at many jewelry pawn shops. Diamonds are rare, expensive, and in demand. Pawn shops often carry large selections of diamond rings, diamond bracelets, and diamond necklaces.

Many pawnbrokers are experts in identifying and valuing diamonds. They often have specialized equipment to analyze diamond grades in the pawn shop.

Diamonds Guide

Diamonds come in many different shapes, colors, clarities, and cuts. Buying a diamond can be confusing if you are new to the diamond industry. Below we will outline the basics of diamond terms.

Diamond Colors

Diamonds come in many different colors - colorless, white, red, blue, and green. Most diamonds we are accustomed to seeing every day are colorless. Red, blue, and green diamonds are very rare and expensive.

Diamonds are graded and receive a color rating for how colorless or yellow they appear. Diamonds can vary from totally colorless to a yellowish appearance. Diamond color grades start at the letter D for perfectly colorless, and go to Z for very tinted.

Colorless diamond ratings

Diamond colors

An ideal diamond is completely colorless and grade D. These diamonds are priced the highest. Although many diamonds appear colorless, most have slight tones of yellow or brown.

Lab-grown diamonds are created in a controlled environment, and the color can be pre-determined. Lab-grown diamonds have a much wider range of colors.

GIA diamond color guide

Diamond Cuts & Shapes

Diamonds are cut into many different forms - the cut of a diamond changes the way it sparkles (also known as its brilliance). The most common diamond cut is known as a round-cut diamond. Popular diamond cuts include:

  • Round-cut diamond
  • Pear-cut diamond
  • Emerald-cut diamond
  • Radiant-cut diamond
  • Marquise-cut diamond
  • Heart-cut diamond
  • Baguette-cut diamond
  • Oval-cut diamond
  • Cushion-cut diamond
  • Princess-cut diamond
Diamond shapes

In addition to the general shape, the cut depth of the diamond can differ. The cut depth affects the way that light reflects through the diamond. Imperfect cuts can cause too much shadow and light to be lost from the bottom, which results in the diamond losing its brilliance.

Expert diamond cutters spend years learning the trade. A correct diamond cut can make a huge difference in the optical appearance of the diamond.

Diamond cuts

Diamond Carat Weight (Size)

Diamond carat weight measures how much a diamond weighs. A metric carat is defined as 200 milligrams (mg), which enables precise measurements to the hundredth decimal place. Jewelrs often use the term points to describe the weight of diamonds below one carat.

Diamond carat weight
Source: GIA

Diamond Clarity

Diamond clarity refers to how many imperfections exist inside the diamond. Imperfections are small pieces of non-diamond material trapped inside the diamond. These pieces reduce the diamond’s brilliance because light becomes trapped when it hits the imperfections.

An analogy for diamond clarity is a window - a clear window allows all light to pass through it. A dirty window absorbs much of the light. The GIA has a standard scale for diamond clarity:

  • FL - Completely Flawless
  • IF (Internally Flawless) - Some flaws exist, but they can be removed with polishing.
  • VVS1 - VVS2 (Very Very Slightly Included) - Only an expert can detect flaws with a 10X microscope.
  • VS1 - VS2 (Very Slightly Included) - Flaws are visible with a 10X microscope, but it is not obvious.
  • SI1 - SI2 (Slightly Included) - Flaws are visible with a 10X microscope.
  • I1 - I3 (Included) - Flaws are visible and can be seen with the naked eye.
Diamond clarity

Buying Diamonds At Pawn Shops

Pawn shops can offer great deals on diamonds. Many people sell their diamond rings, diamond bracelets, and diamond necklaces to pawn shops when they want to exchange their jewelry for cash.

Most jewelry pawn shops have in-house diamond experts who can answer questions and help you decide on the right diamond for you. Buying diamonds at pawn shops can save you money - you do not need to go through expensive retailers who often have a 100% markup on their diamonds. Also, pawn shops allow you to negotiate the price.

Jewelry pawn shops carry a large selection of other items like gold. The jeweler can help you find a matching gold, silver, or platinum ring for your diamond. You often can negotiate a deal when you buy both the diamond and the setting in the same transaction.

Pawning & Selling Diamonds At Pawn Shops

You can pawn and sell diamonds at most pawn shops. Diamonds are an international market and there is strong demand. The pawnbroker will typically have an expert inspect the diamond before giving you an offer. The expert will verify its authenticity and provide an opinion on the grade and value.

Before you pawn or sell your diamond to a pawn shop, you should follow these steps:

  1. Clean the diamond with soft soap and water.
  2. Gather all paperwork associated with the diamond. This could include purchase receipts, insurance papers, etc. Including paperwork could increase your offer value.
  3. Know the origin. The pawnbroker may ask you how you came to own the diamond.
  4. Research the value online so you have a basic idea of how much it is worth.
  5. Get multiple quotes. Shopping your diamond around to many pawn shops can help increase the amount of money you get. Use the Pawn Shop Map tool to find pawn shops near you.
  6. Ask for store credit. Many pawn shops will give you a higher offer when you choose store credit.

Do Pawn Shops Buy Lab-Grown Diamonds?

Lab-grown diamonds are relatively new, so not all pawn shops may accept lab-grown diamonds. You should contact the pawn shop ahead of time and ask them if they accept lab-grown diamonds.

Pawn shops usually buy anything of value that can be resold. Many high-quality lab-grown diamonds sell for several hundred to several thousand dollars.

Ask your pawn shop ahead of time if they accept lab-grown diamonds. You can increase your offer value by including the original paperwork.

Always be honest when you sell your diamond to a pawn shop. Never try to represent a lab-grown diamond as a natural diamond. Misrepresenting a diamond can be classified as a fraud in many states.

Lab-Grown Diamonds

Lab-grown diamonds, also called synthetic diamonds, are now commonly available in most jewelry marketplaces. The lab-grown diamond trend is relatively new, and many large players like De Beers are entering the lab-grown diamond business. causing both interest and concern about lab-grown diamonds and whether gemologists or gemological labs can identify them.

Synthetic diamonds are produced in factories, and recent technological advancements have resulted in high-quality synthetic diamonds that closely resemble natural diamonds. In fact, now it is very difficult to detect the differences between lab-grown diamonds and natural diamonds. Often experts need specialized equipment like electron microscopes to tell the difference. Some experts note that lab-grown diamonds can appear too perfect.

Lab-grown diamonds are not the same as cubic zirconia (CZ). Lab-grown diamonds have the same chemical and physical properties as real diamonds, while CZ does not.

Natural diamond crystals are typically created deep within the earth and they are brought to the surface by volcanic eruptions. Lab-grown diamonds simulate this environment using the high-temperature (HPHT) and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) methods.

HPHT Diamond Growth Process

  • A diamond seed is placed in a specifically designed press.
  • The growth chamber is heated to 1300-1600 °C with pressures above 870,000 pounds per square inch.
  • The molten metal dissolves the high-purity carbon source.
  • Carbon atoms precipitate on a small diamond seed crystal, and a synthetic diamond begins to grow.
  • The diamond is cut and polished.

CVD Diamond Growth Process

  • Diamond seed crystals are placed in a diamond growth chamber.
  • The chamber is filled with carbon-containing gas.
  • The chamber is heated to about 900-1200°C.
  • A microwave beam causes carbon to precipitate out of a plasma cloud and deposit onto a seed crystal.
  • Diamonds are removed every few days to have the top surface polished to remove any non-diamond carbon before being put back in to grow.
  • The diamond is cut and polished.

Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Better Than Real Diamonds?

Today’s lab-grown diamonds are high-quality and much cheaper than natural diamonds. For budget-conscious buyers, lab-grown diamonds can offer great value. Lab-grown diamonds can be a better choice for many buyers.

Pros & cons of lab-grown diamonds

  • Cheaper - Lab-grown diamonds can be purchased for 80-90% less than natural diamonds.
  • High quality - Lab-grown diamonds closely resemble real diamonds.
  • Growing popularity - Demand for lab-grown diamonds is growing quickly.
  • Lower resale value - Lab-grown diamonds are not as valuable as natural diamonds.
  • Uncertain value forecast - High-quality lab-grown diamonds are relatively new. The future prices of lab-grown diamonds are not certain - prices could decline in the future.

What’s The Most Expensive Diamond In The World?

The British royal family owns the most expensive diamond in the world - the Cullinan II. The royal family has one of the most impressive jewelry collections in the world consisting of pearls, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires.

Queen Elizabeth wearing a crown with the Cullinan II diamond

Queen Elizabeth wearning crown with Cullinan II diamond
Source: The Sun

The giant diamond, sometimes referred to as the First Star of Africa, was discovered in South Africa in 1905. The raw weighed an incredible 3,106 metric carats before it was cut. The raw diamond was cut and produced nine large diamonds (referred to as Cullinan I, II, III... to IX). Many of the Cullinan diamonds were added to the British Imperial State Crown.


Diamonds are popular items at pawn shops. Pawning and buying diamonds is relatively easy - we recommend using our map to find local pawn shops near you.

If you want to learn even more about diamonds, we recommend visiting the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The GIA manages industry standards for rating and evaluating diamonds.

New Posts

Pawn Shop Map
Selling DVDs & DVD Players To Pawn Shops
Many pawn shops still buy and sell DVDs and DVD players. Learn how much money pawn shops will offer.

December 23, 2022

Pawn Shop Map
Guide To Start A Successful Pawn Shop: Learn What It Takes To Open A Pawn Shop
Pawn shops are an essential part of the economy. Learn how you can start a profitable pawn shop in your local region.

December 23, 2022

Pawn Shop Map
Oculus Pawn Shop Guide: Buying, Pawning & Selling Oculus VR Headsets
Pawn shops buy and sell Oculus virtual reality headsets. Learn how to get the most money when you sell or pawn your Oculus.

December 23, 2022

Pawn Shop Map
Selling Silver To Pawn Shops: Learn How Pawn Shops Value Silver
Use our silver value calculator to estimate how much pawn shops will pay for your silver.

December 23, 2022

Pawn Shop Map
Selling Gift Cards To Pawn Shops: Convert Your Gift Cards To Cash
Pawn shops often buy gift cards from large retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Target, and other stores.

December 22, 2022

Pawn Shop Map
Selling Tattoo Machines To Pawn Shops: Learn About Which Tattoo Guns Pawn Shops Buy
Tattoo machines can be worth up to several hundred dollars at pawn shops.

December 22, 2022

Pawn Shop Map
Pawn Shops Featured In Movies, TV Shows, Music & Games
Popular media often feature the pawn industry. Read why pawn shops are a popular topic.

December 22, 2022

Pawn Shop Map
Data Privacy & Information Protection At Pawn Shops
Learn how pawn shops protect your identity when you sell and pawn your items.

December 22, 2022

Pawn Shop Map
Xbox Pawn Shop Guide: Buying, Pawning & Selling Xbox Consoles
Pawn shops buy and sell Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Xbox games.

December 21, 2022

Pawn Shop Map
Selling Weights & Exercise Equipment To Pawn Shops: Learn Which Equipment Pawn Shops Buy
Weights and exercise equipment can be worth several hundred dollars at pawn shops.

December 21, 2022


💬 Be the first to leave a comment

Pawn Shop Map logo

Find Local Pawn Shops & Deals


© 2023