The resale market for diamond engagement rings is booming, as the pandemic causes divorce rates to spike and has become a ‘make-or-break’ moment for couples

As many aspects of the retail industry struggle to stay afloat amid the coronavirus, one sector is suddenly booming despite the economic recession: the diamond engagement ring resale market.

Supply and demand for engagement rings has been on the rise at luxury resale sites like The RealReal and online auction marketplaces like Worthy — a consumer-to-business service that connects high-end sellers to wholesale buyers.

According to data provided to Business Insider by The RealReal, engagement ring consignments rose by 47% in May and June compared to the prior two months, as the pandemic put couples to the test — prompting some to call it quits while others tied the knot.

“Quarantine has meant make-or-break for many relationships,” Trish Stevens, category director of fine watches and jewelry at The RealReal, wrote in a statement to Business Insider. “While we’re seeing an influx of people purchasing engagement rings, we’re also seeing more people consign them.”

According to an analysis conducted by Legal Templates — a company that allows users to create and track legal documents — the number of couples seeking divorce between March and June increased by 34% from the same period in 2019.

Steven Schneider, COO and chief revenue officer at Worthy, said that like The RealReal, his company has seen a rise in both supply and demand for diamond engagement rings in recent months as the pandemic drags on.

“What we’re seeing is items that came from broken relationships, whether that’s divorce or failed engagement, and those tend to be typically whatever was in style two or three years ago,” Schneider said, noting that the company has received an influx of princess cut diamonds and custom designs.

According to Schneider, luxury jewelry resale sites have also proved helpful in recent months to fill the dearth of new gemstones reaching the market — as a result of the coronavirus halting work at major mining sites around the world.

“A lot of the demand that might otherwise be filled with new diamonds out of the earth is being filled now with items from the secondary market, which we’re a primary source for,” he said. “The flow of new goods into the diamond market has definitely gone down, which makes secondhand that more important for our buyers.”

Source: Business Insider

Image Source: Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

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