A piece of jewelry can easily be one of your most valued possessions, whether you chose it yourself or you have antique jewelry pieces that have been handed down from generation to generation. For that reason, it's important to protect your jewelry in cases of loss, damage or theft.
Part of this involves having adequate insurance coverage for the piece, but you should also have it appraised. Not only does this make it easier to find comprehensive coverage, but it also gives you a good idea of what the piece is worth. It is something that is required by insurance companies, especially if you are looking to name specific pieces in your policy. This helpful guide will help you understand the process of a certified appraisal and why it's a good idea.
Benefits of Jewelry Appraisal
Knowing why having an accurate appraisal document on hand is the first step in getting the most out of the process. Check out the top reasons to have all of your valuable jewelry and watches accurately appraised by reading below.
An accurate appraisal document will give you all of the details about the piece of jewelry or watch that you are valuing. That includes its history, the materials used to construct it, and where it was manufactured and by whom. Once you know the condition of the item, you can take steps to make any necessary repairs or upgrades to maximize its value.
Once an appraisal has offered the above details, you will have a better understanding of the item and what it's worth. This is important if you ever need to make a claim on its insurance coverage, but is also helpful for getting a fair price if you decide to sell the piece.
Insuring valuable and expensive items is important for protecting your assets and finances. One of the biggest benefits of jewelry appraisal is that you will have an idea of how much insurance you need for the item. That way you can get fair compensation should the piece be lost, stolen or damaged.
The Best Deal
As mentioned above, knowing what your jewelry or watch is worth helps you get a fair selling price, if you plan to offload it. You will have documented proof of what the item is worth so you can determine how much you'd like to get for it before you make a potential sale.
Peace of Mind
Having a piece of jewelry appraised gives you peace of mind when it comes to understanding its value and protecting it. That's true for any expensive item in your jewelry collection and also applies to luxury watches.
What is a Jewelry Appraisal?
Now that you know why you should get a jewelry appraisal, let's talk about what it entails. It's best to get a reputable appraiser to carry out the process so you can be sure you're getting the most accurate information for your pieces. Your qualified appraiser will examine the following aspects and characteristics of the item being appraised.
- Materials used
- Unique characteristics
- Documents that accompany the piece
- Condition of the item
- How it compares to similar items
Going through the appraisal process means having as accurate and concise a picture of what your jewelry is worth as possible.
Why Do You Need a Jewelry Appraisal
We looked at some of the benefits of an appraisal above, but let's look closer at why getting that appraisal is so important.
Insuring your Valuable Items
In some cases, you may find that a report from an experienced appraiser is required to insure your high-value pieces of jewelry.
Fair Market Value
This is essential information if you are planning to sell a piece of expensive jewelry, such as a diamond engagement ring or luxury watch.
Estate Appraisal and Planning
A report from a professional appraiser is helpful when you are doing estate planning and dividing assets among beneficiaries.
Does Insurance Require an Appraisal?
As noted above, having a report from a qualified appraiser is sometimes required for you to obtain insurance coverage for the type of jewelry that tends to come with a large price tag, such as diamond rings, vintage jewelry and numerous items that are of high value.
Even if you find insurance providers who don't require an appraisal, it's still a good idea to get one. This report describes the piece and comes in handy when valuable items are lost, damaged or stolen.
How is Jewelry Appraised?
The basic answer to this question is that your expert appraiser will use their extensive knowledge to catalog the characteristics and condition of the piece of jewelry in question. Factors that are considered during the appraisal include the following:
- The type of metal used
- The quality of the gemstones that are included on the piece
- How old the piece of jewelry or watch is
- Condition, including wear and tear and any blemishes or damage
- The current market prices for precious metals and precious gemstones
It's a good idea to have an appraisal done on your jewelry, particularly that made from precious metals and gemstones every 3 to 5 years. That's because the market value and retail prices tend to fluctuate, which can impact the overall value of the item. You should also have your appraisal updated if you make any changes to the item, including repairs, which can impact its value.
What Information is Included with the Appraisal?
Make sure your appraisal contains all of the relevant information. If you feel anything is missing, be sure to alert your jewelry appraiser so that it can be added to the report as soon as possible. The following items should be part of your report:
- Name and contact data for the item's owner
- Date of the appraisal
- Purpose of the appraisal
- A detailed description of the item, including weight and other measurements
- Notes on the stones on the piece
- Type of setting
- Type of metal
- Appraiser qualifications
- Color photo of the item taken at the time of the appraisal
- The value of the piece of jewelry or watch
Your appraisal may contain additional information, but should not be missing any of the key items listed above.
How Much Does an Appraisal Cost?
This will vary based on where you go and the time it takes to complete the appraisal. The final cost is determined by the labor required to asses the item. Expect to spend between $50 and $150 per item.
Where Can I Get a Jewelry Appraisal?
It's important to find a reputable appraisal service to assess your piece. There are two options:
A jewelry store is a good place to get an appraisal because you will have access to a variety of types of appraisals and can count on an impartial report that doesn't influence the jewelry store. It's a good idea to research this option, as it can be more expensive than other choices and it may take time until an appraiser is available.
These appraisers are not affiliated with a jewelry store and don't have any investment in the task, other than giving you an accurate picture of the value of your piece, particularly tor insurance purposes. Asking friends and family for recommendations is a good way to find a good appraiser.
Types of Jewelry Appraisals
As you've probably figured out, there are a variety of reasons to have an appraisal done on a piece of jewelry or watch. Check them out below.
This is done to determine the retail replacement value for a piece of jewelry, which is the amount you will be compensated if it's lost or stolen.
For estate tax purposes, having a value for your jewelry is important. This could be different than the fair market value or retail replacement value, which depends on the type of assessment being carried out.
You'll choose this type of appraisal to find out the current market value of your jewelry. This is the amount you could list the item for if you want to sell it.
What Makes a Good Jewelry Appraiser?
Look for the following qualities when you choose your jewelry appraiser:
- The person should be qualified and experienced in appraising the type of jewelry you have.
- Offers competitive and affordable fees for the service.
- Tells you the purpose of the appraisal and the value you will find out about.
Type of Jewelry That Can Be Appraised
Virtually any piece of jewelry can be appraised, so finding someone who specializes in the pieces you own will help you get an accurate picture of its value.
An engagement ring appraisal will tell you the history and the value of the ring and provide peace of mind if you lose it or its stolen.
If the piece contains diamonds, find an appraiser who is a graduate gemologist, which allows them to accurately value the item, based on weight, clarity, color and cut.
Pearl jewelry differs from other types, so look for an appraiser with experience in the field. That includes knowledge about market value and condition, as well as quality of the pearl.
Look for an appraiser with experience with the specific make and model of watch you have. Be sure to provide as much information about it as possible for an accurate value.
This type of appraisal will take longer, as there are multiple pieces being examined. Be sure you include all of the items you want valued, as well as any paperwork that goes with them.
Appraising antique jewelry can be more difficult than other types so look for someone who has knowledge and experience so that you can get an accurate value.
Factors That Determine Value
These are things that play a role in how much your item is worth:
- Type of metal
- Quality of gemstones
Appraisal Report or Certificate?
An appraisal report is a document that tells you what a piece is worth. A certificate proves its authenticity. Only appraisers can do an appraisal, but both appraisers and jewelers can issue a certificate.
As you can see, there are a variety of reasons to have your jewelry appraised. Doing so is a responsible step for protecting your assets and finances at the same time. Make sure you keep the appraisal up to date. That way, each time you wear your favorite items, you can enjoy them that much more.
At Stein Diamonds we offer fair and accurate appraisals of jewelry and watches. You can also trade in or sell your watch to us.