Simply put, a jewelry appraisal is when a certified professional examines your jewelry in order to state it’s dollar-value for purposes of resale, insurance, or tax purposes. Technically, there are 27 different types of appraisals that can be performed, each with their own end goal in mind; when appraising your jewelry, make sure that your appraiser knows exactly why it is you would like to get the value.
When you arrive to have your jewelry appraised, you should be given a clear explanation of the process at hand: what the jeweler is looking for, what grading process and measurements will be used, etc. Unless you have to, there’s no reason to even leave the store during this process; a reputable jeweler should allow you to watch as your jewelry is appraised.
After this, you should receive a seal or statement of value by the appraiser with a certificate designating the official purpose, followed by any questions you may have for the appraiser. The same process can be repeated for all of your jewelry and can usually be done by the same appraiser, as long as they’re properly certified.
Why Should I Have My Jewelry Appraised?
Because this seems like a potentially costly and time-heavy process, many people might wonder: is a jewelry appraisal necessary? The answer is a resounding yes.
By far, the best and most important reason to have an appraisal done on your jewelry is for insurance purposes. As the scene above illustrates, when a thief comes into your home and steals your belongings, the insurance company will need an up-to-date appraisal value in order to compensate you for the loss of goods. Contrary to popular opinion, the insurance agent will not accept your own opinion on the value itself, no matter how long you have been their customer.
There are a few other reasons to get a jewelry appraisal done:
1. Your Homeowner’s Policy May Not Cover Jewelry. Most people are under the assumption that homeowner’s insurance covers everything inside the house, door-to-door. While that may be true with some policies, it’s worth taking a second look to verify. Some policies actually require an appraisal in order to form a base level assessment of the value before issuing coverage.
2. The Value Might Have Changed. If you inherited jewelry from a family member, or it’s been several years since you originally purchased the jewelry, chances are the prices of your jewelry have changed. The price of gold in 1973, for instance, was around $112 an ounce; at the start of 2018, that price is closer to $1300 an ounce. If your valuation is still based on what the price of these objects was 40 years ago, that’s the value your insurance company will go off of when they write the check for your damages.
3. Appraisals Provide Verified Proof of Value. If a theft occurs, the insurance company sends out an adjuster to verify the details of the robbery. They may talk to your friends, obtain a copy of the police report, or anything else needed to see exactly what the damages are and what the value is. You may have a vintage Rolex that was stolen and valued at $50,000, but if none of your friends knew you had it and there’s no record of its existence, your insurance may decide that your claim is invalid and refuse to cover it. A proper appraisal gives definitive proof of your assets at hand.
4. Sales Receipts Won’t Suffice. The cold reality of any jewelry appraisal is that it doesn’t matter how much you paid for the piece in the first place, it matters what the actual value is. The same goes for appraisal values at auctions: if a certain piece is only valued at $100,000 and you paid $500,000, the value, if it’s stolen, will be the former instead of the latter. Most auctioneers will require a proper appraisal in order to determine a starting bid if you plan on selling the piece.
At Quick Jewelry Repairs, we offer a variety of appraisals that won’t break the bank. After we provide you with an appraisal, you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your valuables are safe. While you may not be able to restore the sentimental and emotional value that comes with many pieces of jewelry, primarily when it comes to family heirlooms, but every step taken towards securing your valuables as well as knowing its value.