Getting the best price for your diamond requires a little work and a little knowledge.
Get three bids from various jewelers or pawnshops. Include at least one smaller, less well-known store. "The people who are the most visible often pay the least," said Tom Bianchi at Edina Diamond Center. Check the yellow pages under "diamonds" or "diamond buyers."
Call ahead, describe your stone, and ask if the buyer is interested. Some jewelers have rooms to discuss the sale if you want privacy. Bring the certificate or appraisal if the diamond has one.
Ask about a buyer's qualifications and experience. A graduate gemologist degree requires six months of training in residence. An experienced gemologist might find a buyer who will pay more.
Consider selling a 1 carat or larger diamond separately from the ring and take each to a specialist. Enviro-Chem in Rogers (763-428-4002, www.enviro-chem.bz), for example, has consistently paid the most for gold in my price comparisons.
Ask a jeweler to show you the price of your diamond on the Rapaport sheet, which is a weekly price sheet used by diamond dealers. Sellers can expect to get between 40 and 75 percent of that price.
Check a retailer's history with the Better Business Bureau at www.thefirstbbb.org or call 651-699-1111.
Finally, try selling on Craigslist if you want more. Meet potential buyers at a bank or at a jewelry store, where most jewelers will verify for little or no cost that it is a diamond.