Everything You Need To Know About Jewelry Appraisals

jewelry appraisals

Did you know more than 100 million dollars worth of jewelry gets stolen every year? Make sure you insure your precious jewels and have the proper jewelry appraisals done. Finding an excellent jewelry appraiser is part of the process. 

If you would like help comparing online jewelry stores and appraisers, keep reading.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to find an excellent appraiser. You will also need to know about red flags and when to walk away from a store.

Ready to learn more? Keep reading. 

What Is a Jewelry Appraisal?

An appraisal for a piece of jewelry is when a certified professional inspects a piece of jewelry and determines its monetary value. An appraisal will provide the proof needed for the value and features of a piece. 

You might need to get an appraisal done for insurance reasons.

Certain insurance businesses will ask for appraisal documents.

When looking at a piece of jewelry, the jeweler will look at a few factors. These factors usually get included in the written appraisal. 

You will hear about the pieces: 

  • Measurements
  • Setting
  • Design details
  • Quality and condition of the piece
  • Gemstone characteristics 

The factors will often vary between the different jewelers. But you will receive a detailed examination and a report about the value. 

Replacement Value Appraisal 

Most insurance companies will want a replacement value appraisal done. 

The appraisal will give you the retail replacement value of your jewelry item. This includes the cost of replacing the item if you lose it.

The retail replacement value is the same as the resale value. 

It’s a higher estimate and details how much it will cost to buy a replacement. 

Fair Market Value Appraisal 

A fair market value appraisal will give an estimate of the resale value of your item. It is the price you could receive if you resell the thing, though not an exact value. 

The appraisal will usually have a lower estimate than the replacement value appraisal. 

Liquidation Appraisal

If you want to liquidate assets and need the resale value, a liquidation appraisal is what you should pursue. 

You will understand how much money you’ll receive for an immediate resale, and it’s often lower than the fair market value appraisal. 

What Are the Legalities?

A jewelry appraisal isn’t a regulated industry, and there aren’t particular rules for state or federal licensing. Anyone can advertise as a professional jeweler appraiser regardless of their experience level.

You should take your time finding a qualified appraiser.

What Are Some Common Misconceptions?

Let’s look at some typical misconceptions people have about jewelry appraisals. Some people mistakenly think that their credit card receipt is sufficient to show the value because it reveals how much you paid.

A credit card receipt isn’t actually going to give you enough details. Insurance will usually want a detailed description of the jewelry piece. You will get the description of an insurance evaluation or an appraisal.

Also, you might think that you won’t be able to insure your ring until you finish the detailed description or appraisal. Some insurance companies will actually provide coverage without the finished appraisal documentation.

However, you will need the appraisal when it comes time to begin the claim process.

Some people also think that a five-year-old appraisal will work fine. Yet, the detailed description or appraisal isn’t going to work from a few years ago.

The value of jewelry will fluctuate. To ensure you have the proper coverage amount, you should get the value reassessed every two years. If you think you’ll forget, pencil it into your phone calendar. 

You could also ask the appraiser to call and remind you. 

What Will Insurers Look For in an Appraisal?

An insurance company will take the appraisal and determine the coverage limit on your new policy.

It will help them determine how much to pay out if you submit a claim. When you have a replacement or repair policy, you will need the following details:

  • The type of metal
  • Description of the ring
  • Cut, color, clarity, and carat weight
  • The side stone details
  • Value of the jewelry piece

If your insurer isn’t sure what the ring looked like, how will they know how to replace it with the same proper quality? 

How Do You Get an Excellent Ring Appraisal?

Not every appraiser will have the same set of skills or ethics. To find an excellent appraiser, you should ask the jeweler first for a detailed receipt, insurance evaluation, or appraisal right away.

You should ensure the appraiser or jeweler uses business letterhead that includes the contact information. If your insurer has a question, they can call up the jeweler.

Don’t Delay the Appraisal

Insurance premiums will be based on the value of your jewelry piece. There are situations where the value isn’t the proper amount.

If your ring’s value gets overinflated, you might end up spending more money than you planned to insure the piece. The reverse could occur, as well.

If you’re underinsured, you’ll end up paying out of pocket to replace or repair your jewelry. Insuring your jewelry for its current replacement value is critical. 

You don’t have to insure your ring. But if you’re going to invest money into ring insurance, make sure the appraiser picks the right amount. 

People who create a customized jewelry piece should get an appraisal done. 

Gemological Qualifications 

One way to find a reputable appraiser is to search for an appraiser online. Some appraisers will seek out a gemological qualification

There’s usually an appraisal training qualification listed from the American Society of Appraisers or the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers.

There’s also a list of associations you could find online, and they have a registry of qualified appraisers. 

Get References and Reviews 

Established jewelry appraisers will have a record of satisfied and pleased customers. You can learn more about a company by checking out Yelp, Facebook, or Google sites to see what people say.

Are customers pleased with their business? You should read the three-star reviews because you’ll see where the business underperformed. Make sure you spend time researching the companies before you pick anyone. 

What Are the Costs? 

If you need an appraisal, you will wonder what you’ll end up paying. Appraisers work independently, so there isn’t an industry standard. Yet, there are a few factors that will impact the cost.

The cost will vary depending on the jeweler. It also depends on how complex the jewelry is. An appraiser will usually have an hourly rate and can cost between 50-150 dollars an hour.

For example, the fee an appraiser charges might get based on their skill set. An appraiser who has certifications and education may choose to charge more money.

The fee will also get based on the size of the item. For example, an appraiser might tier their fee depending on the size of a large diamond or gem.

Some appraisers will actually charge a flat fee. An experienced appraiser might know exactly what an item is and will know a fair price. Other appraisers will charge on the hour.

The fee shouldn’t be based on a percentage. Appraisers who base their fee on a percentage of the value of an appraised item aren’t ethical.

What Are the Legal Guidelines Associated With Appraisals?

Sometimes, people will over-value an item, but this is illegal under Federal Trade Commission rules. 

It’s unethical by all recognized appraisal organizations. The value assigned to a piece shouldn’t be inflated beyond a fair retail price.

There aren’t American regulations or laws setting educational standards around becoming a jewelry appraiser. Yet, there are some industry standards.

Customer appraisals should get updated every so often. This ensures you will have the proper insurance coverage. In a rare situation, a sharp increase in availability and price should also be taken into consideration.

The cost to repair an item should be considered. The value stated in the insurance appraisal should include money to cover the appraisal fee. The appraiser will also need to add taxes. 

Finding the Right Jewelry Appraisals

Finding the right professional to appraise your jewelry will take time. You shouldn’t rush the jewelry appraisal process. Find someone who will provide a detailed and accurate description for your insurance company.

You should compare a few different companies before picking someone. 

Would you like to talk with one of our professionals? Contact us today for more information. 

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