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To Appraise or Not to Appraise

Posted on February 17, 2019 at 3:50 AM

Recently, a customer stopped to ask if we had an appraisal or a receipt including a detailed description of piece of custom jewelry that we had created for his wife several years ago. The reason being, the wife had left the ring in her purse and the purse was stolen from her car. We did have a receipt for the ring, but at the time of purchase, we recommended the customer get an appraisal on the piece which he said he would do at a later date.


So what is an appraisal and what are they used for?


A jewelry appraisal is the process in which a certified Gemologist examines and states a dollar-value for a piece of jewelry.


An appraisal is a document that describes an item and assigns a value to it. The description of the piece will typically cover the visible and measurable facts of the stones, including: the shape, quantity, estimated weight, dimensions, clarity and color. Also included will be the description of the metals used such as silver, gold or platinum. The description will include: purity, color, condition, finish, manufacturing method, weight and dimensions of the piece.


Today, the majority of appraisals are done for insurance replacement purposes. This appraisal reflects the realistic cost of replacing an item in a jewelry store that sells or custom makes similar jewelry, should it be lost or stolen.


However, not all appraisals are equal, or are actual appraisals that can legally be used for all purposes. For example, your jeweler may offer to appraise your jewelry. However, in order for your insurance company to accept an appraisal for replacement purposes, the jeweler must have credentials:


Credentials: the jeweler should be certified by a respected national appraisal organization such as the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers.


Gemological Credentials: A Gemologist diploma from GIA or its equivalent should be the minimum gemological training. Today, GIA is the standard.


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