These terms are synonymous for diamonds that have been previously worn, set in jewelry, or have been used for another purpose. A diamond purchased from a retailer and later resold can be considered second-hand diamond. The same diamond removed from a setting may become recycled in the sense that it will be used for someone else’s jewelry or diamond ring.
Diamonds are the hardest substance known to man. They have been here long before us and will be here long after we are gone.

A diamond begins as rough stone mined from the earth, then sold to diamond manufacturer to be cut, polished, certified, and then sold in the global diamond market. Diamond are then traded through a network of diamond dealers and brokers, which often ends up on the hands of the end-user but may reenter the diamond market again in the future.

It is common for second-hand and recycled diamonds to enter the diamond market more than once as it is a cyclical market. Diamonds are recycled regularly as they are worn for a period of time and then sold back into the market for many reasons.

Selling secondhand or used diamonds are often a result of a divorce. Or the sellers wants to upgrade their diamond for larger size and needs to money to buy a new diamond.
Recycled diamonds often enter the second-hand diamond market as sellers need to liquidate their assets in need of money or capital for another financial purpose.
Unfortunately, financial problems are often a main reason for the sale of a diamond to the second-hand market. Bankruptcies will often require the sale of diamonds or jewelry of an estate to satisfy other debts to the individual’s debtors.

Diamonds passed down through inheritance regularly enter the market as they become no longer relevant to the beneficiary.
Many sellers see the benefits of the financial gain in selling their diamonds rather than the beauty of having keeping a diamond or gem.

Jewelers and dealers often accumulate unused inventory and an excessive amount of diamond jewelry which may have become outdated and hard to sell. These pieces are regularly recycled, as the metal from the jewelry is refined (i.e. melted down) and the diamonds are removed and reset into newer jewelry designs.

Pawnbrokers and jewelers who buy from the public often purchase large amounts of jewelry set with smaller diamonds known as “melee” and compile large lots of small breakout diamonds. They then sell these lots of smaller diamonds to dealers who specialize in buying melee goods for the manufacturer of new jewelry.

It not uncommon for second-hand diamonds to have older cuts requiring them to be re-cut to improve the proportions or “make” and later reenter the diamond market as a “new” diamond.
Just because your diamond may be considered used or second-hand doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value. It may require some re-cutting or re-polishing and then submitted to a diamond laboratory for new report. This all part of the estate diamond market process in recycling diamonds, making a used diamond new again.

An experienced diamond buyer can evaluate and help you maximize your selling price. Please contact The Diamond Trade regardless of the condition of your diamond. We buy used, broken, and damaged diamonds often. We understand how to evaluate and repair damaged second-hand diamonds and see their potential that other buyers may not.