Has it ever crossed your mind to appraise your jewelry? Why not? You appraise your home, cars and other valuables. Certainly, when you purchase jewelry like a wedding ring or fine jewelry, an original appraisal should come with your purchase. At Mark’s Diamonds, all of our in-store and online purchases come with an appraisal.
Hopefully, you’ll never have to make a claim for lost or stolen jewelry on your homeowners insurance policy, but if you do, you want an up-to-date and accurate appraisal. An appraisal is “a qualified professional opinion of the authenticity, quality, design, and value of a piece of jewelry.”
Here are several good reasons why you should get a current appraisal for all your jewelry:
- Appraisals are extremely important in the insurance process when it comes to determining a value for the jewelry item. Most homeowners policies have a jewelry limit, so you need to appraise all of your jewelry to ensure you are covered. If your jewelry value exceeds the limit, you may need a valuable items endorsement or even a separate insurance policy.
- You must have proof of your jewelry’s value. Sorry, but the insurance company won’t take your word for it. The insurance insists on a written, professional appraisal. Unfortunately, a sales receipt is not sufficient; insurance companies do not consider purchase price (unless very recent) as a legitimate measure of the value of the jewelry. When it comes right down to it, it really doesn’t matter how much you paid way back when—it matters what the jewelry is worth today. This is true whether they are issuing you a new policy or paying a claim. Regular appraisals can help you prove an insurance claim.
- Many insurance companies require you to have an updated appraisal. Just remember that market prices of diamonds and precious metals fluctuate, so it changes the value of your jewelry. Certain types of collectible jewelry ebb and flow in demand, so that also changes the value.
If you’ve never received a jewelry appraisal, the process can be a bit daunting. Just remember that the value you are quoted by the appraiser is based on the market for the specific stones or metals in your jewelry, as well as the appraiser’s industry experience. The appraiser’s experience is crucial for receiving the most accurate quote for your precious pieces.
Naturally, you want an accurate appraisal so that you can get top dollar for your jewelry. It is important to do business with a reputable company with integrity in the industry and a history of professional service and honesty.
Not every jeweler is created equal, and many do not have qualified appraisers trained in both gemology and valuation theory.
At Mark’s Diamonds, we are proud to have an industry professional like Sandy Kounalis, our certified onsite gemologist. When you bring jewelry in to have it appraised, Sandy will assist you in the appraisal by performing an in-house grading and appraising that is usually done the same day (depending on the number of pieces you need to be appraised). We appraise everything, including diamond rings, earrings, gemstone pieces and watches. Sandy can schedule appraisals by appointment for estate jewelry estimates and/or pre-owned items. Sandy is extremely knowledgeable about styles and evaluation of period jewelry. Once completed, the appraisal will arrive via mail in seven days.
Still unsure? Here are some things to look for in the appraisal process:
- An appraiser should have membership in one or more industry regulating organizations, like The Better Business Bureau, The Jewelers Board of Trade, Gemological Institute of America, and/or the American Gem Society.
- A clear description of the grading process that will be used.
- A fixed, final total value of your jewelry.
- An appraiser who is welcoming and who will answer all of your questions.
- A straightforward fee that is flat and not based on a percentage of the value of your jewelry. Appraisers should never charge you based on a percentage of the jewelry value.
- A final written appraisal document which will be used by the purchaser to submit to an insurance company for protection against theft, loss, and damage or to file a claim.
No one likes to think about their jewelry being stolen, damaged or destroyed, but it can happen. An appraisal can certainly provide the declared price evaluation, but there are many other tidbits of information that are important to this process, such as a description and accurate depiction of the jewelry. When it comes to your estate jewelry, having an appraisal is important from a value and insurance standpoint. However, having detailed information about your estate jewelry can turn a valuable piece of jewelry into a priceless family heirloom. That’s why Mark’s Diamonds is here to assist you throughout the appraisal process, for insurance and for peace of mind.