Does Engraving Devalue A Ring? Facts Checked


A friend of mine recently asked me the question if engraving a promise ring devalues it afterward.

Great question. 

As someone who researches and writes rings, including engraved jewelry, I decided to give an ultimate answer to all of you. 

Here is what I had to say briefly.

Generally, rings do devalue after personalization. However, there are exceptions. Ring customization of an engagement ring for example can hold its value, if that jewelry is made of high-quality materials and stones like silver, gold, respectively ruby, sapphire, or 3-carat+ diamond. 

Find out below how you can retain a jewelry ring value or even appreciate it. But first, let’s quickly discover what causes the devaluation and ways to prevent it where applicable.

How Jewelry Rings Devalue After Purchase (And How To Fix That!)

  • Wearing off,  of a wedding ring over time, can decrease its material value (real price)
  • An engagement ring or the likes devalues once it leaves the jeweler’s door, just like a brand-new car (perceived value)
  • Plain promise rings without precious stones like popular ruby or sapphire depreciate
  • Low diamond classes (carats) if any may cause a ring to suffer low price evaluation
  • The jewelry market doesn’t favor second-hand rings in general (seller’s market)

All is not lost though. Here are steps you can take to slow down the depreciation or even halt, and in some rare cases even reverse it to a high jewelry value appreciation after purchase.

How to Increase Custom Ring Value Over Time

  • Don’t wear the precious ring. Sounds weird, but that’s what investors do to keep the jewelry value high
  • Buy the highest jewelry ring quality only (e.g. 3 carat plus, clarity, 18K gold,  emerald stone)
  • Use jewelry cleaner and protection box before and after wearing it
  • Gold and diamond market prices may influence the value towards you, if lucky
  • Spot the next fashion accessory trend with high demand/low supply (e.g. Art deco jewelry, Millennials minimalistic necklaces etc.)

After these above-mentioned facts, you may now be wondering:

Which Ring Type Is the Best To Hold Value Over Time?

The best ring for the person of your life to buy is the one that fits the above criteria in terms of jewelry appreciation tips.

To be more specific:

If your goal is to purchase a personalized promise ring that increases in value, for example, then make sure that the jewelry piece is of the highest quality concerning material.

Meaning, e.g., sterling silver, 18K gold, and a precious gemstone preselection (emerald, ruby, or Ceylon sapphire).

Note, the above, will not guarantee you a higher price automatically. In fact, the opposite may happen.

What it can do though, is to slow down the depreciation because the truth is that there are too many factors that determine the retail price of an engraved engagement ring. Or any other occasion piece of jewelry for that matter.

Whatever someone else tells you, he’s trying to sell or fool you. What kind of ring you buy for your boo or yourself (yes, self-love is on the rise too), may depend not just on economics, but taste, quality, and price.

Most precious jewelry cost thousands of dollars. Once you leave the jewelry store, those thousands tend to diminish in value immediately. 

Do Designer Jewelry Rings Keep Value?

Another aspect of jewelry worth considering and often misinterpreted is that if you buy brand jewelry from companies like Bulgari or Cartier the value of your ring, favorite necklace, or unique earrings remains high years after you bought it.

This could not be further from the truth.

The value of such jewelry is subjective and these expensive fashion brands live by projecting value that is not reflected by the secondary market unless it’s a special design.

Designer jewelry loses value just like your Tesla or Ferrari next door, except if it is driven by a celebrity or in the case of jewelry worn by a superstar.

In this instance, you have to pay upfront thousands and thousands of dollars regardless of the quality of that bling-bling ring. You simply pay for the name, not the stone, metal, or design.

It doesn’t have to be that way, especially after this infamous pandemic, you may not have that cash.

The solution is therefore maybe to buy a decent, however affordable (engagement) ring for her or him, that may over time decrease in dollar value, but increase in sentimental value.

Can All Metals Be Engraved — And what happens to the value?

The truth is not all metals can be engraved into a ring. The metals that can are the common types of jewelry like silver, gold, and platinum.

Moreover, lesser-known metals like tungsten are also engravable and are becoming more and more popular as well as valuable with jewelry customers in North America and worldwide.

Metals that do not imprint on rings so well are those of rough surfaces and should be avoided. The market value of each metal is by no means affected by the ability or disability of being imprinted on.

With that in mind, you may now rightfully ask.

How Much Does Ring Engraving Cost?

The cost of engraving a ring start from as low as $20,00 or a bit less to as much as $10,000 and more, depending on different factors (without the actual ring price, just engraving).

These factors are:

  • Is the ring pre-owned or brand-new
  • What type of metal is it (see above)
  • What exactly is customized (character length, longer, pricier)
  • Who engraves (offline or online retailers may differ strongly)
  • How long it takes to personalize ring

As you can see, ring customization in itself may determine the price you need to pay. Online jewelry retailers do provide the better option in terms of pricing, at least in my research.


Traditional jewelry stores have high overheads, due to rent, stock, employee, and double transportation costs.

On the other hand, online retail jewelry stores have the advantage of keeping a wide range of stock online for you to view while offering reasonable value, though some people still prefer the good old guys around the corner.

What to keep in mind is that personalizing jewelry is like creating jewelry by yourself.

At least for the one who receives it, it will be a present like no other. This in itself is, in my humble opinion, the true value of an engraved jewelry gift.

Where Can I Buy A Valuable Engraved Ring?

The best places to buy a custom-made ring used to be offline. For good reason. Proximity to your beloved customer.

Pros and Cons of Engraving a Ring Offline vs Online

A big plus of engraving a ring offline is that you can try on the ring on your finger and see with your very own eyes if this may be the one. Although of course, if you want to surprise her or him, you need another strategy, right?

With the new normal, we’ve all discovered now the beauty of ordering things online, not just chit-chat on social media.

There are additional advantages of buying your jewelry on the internet.

  • Ordering your favorite jewelries online is today easy, safe, and fast. 
  • You don’t need to visit the crowded jewelry store where they speak like on a funeral.
  • Usually more variety to choose from in terms of metal and type of jewelry

On the other, offline jewelry stores have these disadvantages:

  • Possible traffic jams just to get a special ring at the right jeweler
  • Reduced selection to choose from due to limited space
  • Overall time spent at the goldsmith, engraving not even included

Moreover, many online jewelry retailers offer a variety of affordable rings that will make him, her or them happy long after the gift’s been presented. 

You can order any time you like, 24 hours a day. Online jewelry often offers great value and speed of delivery, many times free shipping, though ring personalization may take a few days in both offline and online options.

In short, the traditional way of buying jewelry from promise rings to birthstones for mom and much more has definitely still its benefits.

Nonetheless, this is increasingly being challenged by the convenience and value-added pricing of the modern way of doing fashion business over the internet.

What doesn’t change? — Put a ring on it

Firstly, the need of making someone you love and care about happy with something of eternal value commands of buying a ring to put on her finger (or his for that matter).

Secondly, if you want to share your feelings without words or money that is easily exchangeable, then personalized jewelry is a timeless gift to strongly consider.

Lastly, engagement or friendship rings do keep their value because they come from you and they are engraved with names, initials, or dates you both love to keep in memory for good.

In this way, rings do hold their value after personalization, even if it’s just sentimental and not in dollars measurable.

Bill Dominic

Bill is an art history and business graduate. Moreover, he loves to test, compare, shop jewelry & fashion items for his 5 sisters, girlfriend, nieces when not enjoying a great novel.

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