The vast majority of jewelry appraisals are for insurance replacement (retail replacement) purposes. This type of appraisal should reflect the realistic cost of replacing an item from a store similar to where it was purchased.
Finding qualified appraisers
You should have your jewelry inspected and your appraisal updated on a regular basis, particularly if you purchase personal property insurance coverage.
With no federal or state requirements for appraisers, use the following characteristics to find an appraiser you can trust with your jewelry.
• Appraisal Credentials: Most jewelers with little or no appraisal training can create a detailed retail replacement document for insurance purposes on the new jewelry they sell. For specialized appraisal documents, use a professional appraiser certified or titled by a national appraisal organization.
• Credentials & Experience: For jewelry containing gemstones, find an appraiser with at least a Graduate Gemologist diploma (G.G.) from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or its equivalent. Also, look for someone who has continuing education credentials and is knowledgeable about the latest appraisal issues.
• Knowledge of Jewelry Manufacture: A qualified jewelry appraiser must understand manufacturing techniques and recognize their contributions to the value of an item.
• High Ethical Standards and Awareness of Legal Obligations: Appraisers should adhere to the highest levels of professional behavior. Consider the appraiser’s professional affiliations, as well as the appraiser’s reputation within the industry.
Insurance replacement appraisal
This appraisal is the type you usually need to properly insure your jewelry against loss or damage. The appraisal price in this instance will give you the approximate cost of replacing the jewelry item or recreating it as closely as possible.
Therefore, the appraisal should take into consideration today’s retail prices, cost for labor, material, creative design and the precious stone market.
These estimated replacement costs are based only on estimates of the quality of the gems (unless specifically stated that the gems were removed and graded). Even if removed, slight differences may occur between grades given by our accredited gem laboratory and those given by other laboratories because gem grading is subjective.
If outside laboratory grades are given, they will be identified by laboratory report and number. We assume no liability with respect to any action which may be taken on the basis of the appraisal.
Limitations of jewelry evaluation
The development of a value for a fine piece of jewelry that already exists involves a judgment on manufacturing techniques, identification and quality of gemstones. That is, naturally, done after the fact, inasmuch as an examination of gemstones is made while mounted. This will tend to mask some important factors that are apparent only before assembly or manufacturing. Gemstone quality variations are very subtle, but greatly changed in value. In cases where diamonds or gemstones are appraised while mounted, these minute variations cannot be judged as accurately; therefore, the tolerance of variation can be quite broad.
Grading mounted stones
In case a stone was graded while still mounted in the jewelry, it must be noted that grading is determined by only limited testing, measurements and observations.
Its approximate weight was determined by Volumetric Calculations rather than an exact weight by scale. The color grade determination was made by comparative and limited observation rather than with more accurate color grading techniques.
The clarity grade was made under conditions that could obscure possible imperfections that otherwise would be seen if the stone was not mounted.
Therefore, the overall grade of the stone is limited to the extent that the mounting prevents weighing and prevents accurate color and clarity grading.
Immediate cash disposal value
Immediate cash disposal value is that price gems or jewelry in their as is condition will bring when exposed to the ready available market place.
Since the ready available market place consists of dealers who buy for resale, immediate cash disposal value is lower than replacement value.