With so much conflicting information available on the worth of a diamond, establishing the value of your stone can feel like a daunting task. One of the most common questions we come across is “how much i...
Jewelry Appraisals Explained: What They Are & What They CostAugust 23, 2017 - Jewelry Articles
If you are looking to have your jewelry appraised, trying to understand insurance appraisals or considering selling your jewelry, then this article is for you.
Let’s address some of the most common questions:
- What is a jewelry appraisal
- What is the difference between a jewelry appraisal and a diamond certificate
- Where can I have my jewelry appraised
- How much does a jewelry appraisal cost
- What does the insurance value on my jewelry appraisal mean
- Should I get my jewelry appraised
- Is a jewelry appraisal necessary to sell my jewelry
- How can I sell my jewelry without an appraisal
What is a jewelry appraisal?
A jewelry appraisal is the process of a jewelry professional (either a gemologist, watch or jewelry expert) assessing your pieces and allocating a monetary value for insurance purposes (i.e. future insurance claims).
For a diamond item (such as an engagement ring), it will typically include information such as the 4 C’s of the stone (carat weight, cut, color and clarity grades) the weight of the entire piece and metal.
Jewelry appraisals are a great starting point when you are looking to get a price quote for your modern or antique jewelry, as it typically details the key characteristics that will help a buyer establish a price. However, it is important to note any monetary value on the appraisal is inflated for insurance purposes and therefore can be misleading. This means your appraisal value is not your jewelry’s secondhand value nor is it the amount you originally paid.
What is the difference between a jewelry appraisal and a diamond certificate?
While a jewelry appraisal provides you with key information, it is not the same as a diamond certificate. Diamond certificates are issued by highly respected grading laboratory such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and they provide far more accurate gradings. Jewelry appraisals, on the other hand, are simply one jeweler’s opinion, who may or may not be a GIA trained gemologist.
Note that while appraisals will allocate a value to your jewelry, the GIA or any other known grading laboratory will not. Diamond grading laboratories only go as far as grading your diamonds to help you understand the quality of your stone and help sell your item in the secondhand market.
Where to get jewelry appraised?
Some retailers provide their customers with the jewelry appraisal upon purchase. You may also go back to a jeweler that provides jewelry appraisals, these typically are done for a fee. If you are unsure where to go, The American Gem Society (AGS) can help you look for a credible jewelry appraiser in your area.
How much does a jewelry appraisal cost?
It normally costs around $100, but some jewelry appraisers charge by the hour, so it is advised to ask for the minimum cost before deciding to commit.
Be aware that because jewelry values can fluctuate over time, insurance companies require that you have your jewelry appraised every two to three years. They will never take your word for its value nor is showing the receipt be enough proof that your jewelry is indeed valuable.
What does the insurance value on a jewelry appraisal mean?
Any monetary value on an appraisal is not an indication of how much your item is worth. This is not the retail price or how much it is worth on the secondhand market. It is a highly inflated value.
Why? Because it allows insurance companies to charge high premiums.
Should I get my jewelry appraised?
For insurance reasons, yes: if you own fine jewelry that you are looking to insure, then it is recommended to have your jewelry appraised. Should your jewelry be reported lost or stolen, the stated value in your jewelry appraisal document could help you recover the insurance amount. In such situations, the same document may also help in identifying the declared lost or stolen item.
A list of when a jewelry appraisal is important:
- Insurance Reasons
- Tax (Gifting) Purposes
- Estate Agreements
- S. Customs Problems
- Property or Legal Distribution
Is it necessary to get my jewelry appraised in order to sell it?
No: if you are selling your jewelry, a jewelry appraisal is a great starting point but it is not necessary.
Why it helps: It attests to your jewelry’s authenticity, condition, quality, and design. All of this information will help a diamond or jewelry buyer give you a price quote without seeing it in person.
Of course, to receive a final price, a buyer will still need to see the item in person. This is because:
- They will need to see the current condition of the piece
- They need to see if they agree with the gradings provided by the jeweler who issued the appraisal
Once again, most appraisals are done by jewelers who are not necessarily gemologists, so the gradings provided are simply their opinion.
How can I sell my jewelry without a jewelry appraisal?
If you do not have any paperwork on your jewelry, there are a few ways can get the relevant information on your item:
- Schedule an appointment to meet WP Diamonds’ experts in person
- Visit a local retail jeweler and ask for a rough idea of any precious metals, carat weight, color grade and clarity grade (they can typically give you a verbal appraisal free of charge)
- Use our Diamond Weight Calculator to establish the carat weight of any diamonds and WP Diamonds can then provide you with a free and fully insured shipping label to send your diamond item in
If you are looking to sell your jewelry, at WP Diamonds we have a team of professionally trained GIA gemologists available to value your pieces. We offer a quick and secure process with no hidden fees. Accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating, you know that you are working with a reputable company.
With free and fully insured shipping, sending your items in for valuation is at no cost to you. Should you choose to refuse our offer, we return your items once again free of charge. You also have the option of an in-person valuation at our New York office located on Fifth Avenue.