Class rings are usually made of silver, gold, or another precious metal, which means you may be able to pawn your old class ring or sell it to a jewelry store or online dealer. If your ring is an antique or vintage, you may also be able to find a collector willing to purchase it. However, if the ring is of great sentimental value, you may want to keep it as an heirloom or repurpose it. Below, we detail the different options for what to do with old class rings.
Pawning Your Class Ring
Since most class rings are made of metals like gold, silver, and platinum — and some include gemstones — pawn shops will usually buy them. Once you sell your ring, the pawn shop may offer it for resale or melt it down to use it for the metal value. Before making an offer, your local pawnbroker will evaluate your class ring to determine the type of metal it is made of, as well as the metal purity, weight, and market price on that day.
Sterling silver stamped 999 contains the highest amount (99.9%) of pure silver. Silver stamped 925 is 92.5% silver and 7.5% other alloys, such as copper and zinc. Most class rings are 925 silver; rings made with this amount of pure silver are typically worth around $15. For more information on the value of 925 silver, see our article on how much 925 silver is worth.
Gold class rings are usually made of 10 karat gold, which contains the lowest amount of pure gold that most pawn shops and buyers will accept — about 42%. Depending on the weight of the ring, you can receive up to several hundred dollars for 10K gold (as previously reported).
If you have a silver class ring with silver greater than 925 or a gold ring with more than 10 karats, it will bring a higher amount at pawn. Our previous research lists the items that pawn shops buy, with price ranges.
Selling Your Class Ring to a Jewelry Store
Many major jewelry store chains will buy old jewelry, and some will even accept scuffed or damaged pieces. Individual stores often set their own requirements (including minimum precious metal content, whether or not stones can be included, etc.) and most stores will offer payment via check or store credit.
We previously researched the process for appraising and selling jewelry to jewelry stores; you can find the details, as well as lists of accepted items, in our list of jewelry stores that buy jewelry.
Selling Your Class Ring to an Online Dealer
The following online precious metals dealers accept both gold and silver class rings:
Both of these sites allow you to request appraisal kits, which you will use to mail your class ring to the company. The company will then evaluate your ring and make an offer, which you can accept or decline. If you decline the offer, the company will send the ring back to you. ExpressGoldCash.com and SellYourGold.com both have ratings above 4.5 out of 5 on Trustpilot, at the time of this writing.
Selling Your Class Ring to a Collector
Collectors’ tastes are subjective, and the amounts they may be willing to pay for class rings can vary widely. Antique and vintage class rings, as well as rings from prestigious schools, may be attractive to a collector. Collectors will occasionally place ads requesting specific items in local newspapers or online classifieds, such as Craigslist. You can also try posting your ring on sites like eBay or the Facebook Marketplace — classmates and college friends can be good potential buyers.
Tips for Selling Your Class Ring
Before selling your class ring to a pawn shop, jewelry store, online dealer, or collector, keep the following tips in mind:
- If possible, clean and polish your ring before the appraisal.
- Consult more than one source for an appraisal of your ring’s value.
- Don’t sell or permanently sign over your ring before you know how much you will be paid.
- Don’t mail your class ring (or any other valuables) for appraisal without delivery insurance.
Ideas for Repurposing Your Class Ring
If you would rather save your class ring and keep it as an heirloom, consider one of the following ideas to repurpose it:
- Display it in a shadow box with other keepsakes, such as pictures.
- Wear it on a chain as a pendant.
- Attach it to your keyring.
- Use it as a napkin ring.
- Attach it to a small chain for a ceiling fan pull.