How Valuable Is Your Bling? Things You Need To Know Before Getting A Jewelry Appraisal

If you have been gifted with a fine piece of jewelry, one of the first things you will want to do is to have it appraised. This is not done because you want to know how much the person giving it to you spent, but because you will need this to make sure you have it insured. An appraisal is also a valuable document to have in case anything should happen to your jewelry in the future, or if you ever decide to sell it or even place it as collateral for a loan. Not all appraisals are the same, and neither are the appraisers performing the work. Here are a few things you should look for.

How To Choose An Appraiser

Although your favorite jewelry store may have an appraiser on staff, not everyone who works in a jewelry store is capable of giving you an appraisal. Ask your appraiser if they are a Certified Gemologist Appraiser, or an Independent Certified Gemologist Appraiser. If they are, you can rest assured your appraisal will not only be done right, but will contain all of the components you will need in the future. 

Choose an appraiser who will provide you with an estimate fee up front that is not based on the final appraised price of your jewelry. This fee may be determined by one of the following ways:

  • By the total carat weight of your stones. This is most often seen in diamond jewelry, with smaller stones costing less to appraise than larger stones. 
  • The company may simply charge by the hour. The amount of time involved is often directly dependent on the number, size, and quality of your stones. 
  • Other companies may simply charge by the piece.

Look for an appraiser who is willing to provide you with an appraisal report that includes a description of the type of grading system they used in laymen's terms. An explanation of their system in technical terms does not do you any good if you are unable to understand it once you leave the store.

You will want your appraisal report to clearly reflect the value of your jewelry in a manner that cannot be altered or changed. This will protect the integrity of your appraisal in the future.

Choose an appraiser who is willing to give you the time you need to ask any questions which may arise out of the appraisal of your jewelry. Look for someone who has the time to sit down with you to review their appraisal, and make sure you are comfortable with the documentation you will be receiving.

What Your Appraisal Should Contain

For your appraisal to provide you with the information you need, there are certain components it should contain. Some of these are as follows:

A Complete And Thorough Description - Your appraisal is almost worthless if it does not clearly describe the jewelry that the appraisal has been performed on. The description should be thorough enough that you would be able to identify the jewelry from it. Your description should include:

  • Item
  • Size
  • Cut
  • Color
  • Clarity
  • Number of stones, and more

The best appraisals will also include a picture of your piece of jewelry.

The Value

The Insurance Replacement Value of your piece is what it will cost to replace it if it were ever lost or stolen. While the Estimated Retail Value, list price, or manufacturer's suggested retail price is what it is suggested that your piece be sold for if it is new. Your appraisal should reflect the Insurance Replacement Value of your item. No one knows what the jewelry market will look like in the future, and your jewelry may have more, or even less, value than it has now.

Any Treatments Your Jewelry Has Received

If anything has been done to your jewelry outside of cutting and polishing the stones to improve the appearance of your jewelry, it needs to be included in the appraisal. For example, most rubies and sapphires are heat treated to improve their appearance. Although this is standard practice, it needs to be included in the appraisal. 

This is just the basic information that you should expect to appear on your appraisal. Your document may include more information depending on who performs your appraisal and the type of jewelry you have appraised.  

For more information, start contacting jewelry appraisal experts in your area.