Getting your jewelry appraised is something to think about if you’ve inherited a piece of gemstone jewelry or purchased an engagement ring. Having an independent, professional appraisal not only gives you peace of mind that your jewelry is the real deal (and that you paid a fair price for it), it is also necessary when taking out insurance on your jewelry. Some other reasons for having your jewelry appraised include:
- Selling your jewelry
- Settling an estate
- Dividing property in a divorce
To help you get started, consider these 10 tips for getting your jewelry appraised.
1. Know What An Appraisal Involves
The first step when getting a jewelry appraisal for insurance or other purposes is to know what an appraisal is and what it includes. An official appraisal will be a certificate that states:
- A description of the piece
- The quality of the piece
- The estimated value of the piece
The description should cover factors such as the 4Cs (especially with diamonds), the metal type, and the condition that the piece is in.
2. Ask for Recommendations
When getting your jewelry appraised for the first time, it might be hard to know where to look. The local jewelry store or the online vendor from whom you recently purchased jewelry can probably recommend an appraiser or might have one in-house. If that option fails, ask your friends, family, and people you know with a large jewelry collection as to who they would recommend as being a reputable jewelry appraiser.
3. Read Their Reviews
In addition to asking for quotes on getting your jewelry appraised, be sure to look at each appraiser online and read both positive and negative reviews of their work. This can help you to compare what you’re getting and choose the best appraiser for you.
4. Ask About Their Training and Experience
After you narrow it down to your top two or three options for jewelry appraisal for insurance, it’s a good idea to ask what training and experience each appraiser has for further peace of mind. In the United States, jewelry appraisers have usually taken a training course through an organization such as:
- American Society of Appraisers
- National Association of Jewelry Appraisers
- International Society of Appraisers
Some jewelry appraisers have also studied gemology and worked in various parts of the jewelry industry. All of these factors add to the overall expertise and knowledge of the appraiser.
5. Look for Current Market Knowledge
An up-to-date appraiser will know the current market value of different carats of diamonds, as well as the most common lab-created gemstones and potential look-alikes. Take the chance to talk with the appraiser before getting your jewelry appraised to learn as much as you can about the value of jewelry today and which factors go into shaping this.
6. Choose an Independent Appraiser Who Doesn’t Sell Jewelry
A final tip for choosing an appraiser is to be wary of free in-store appraisals when commissioning a jewelry appraisal for insurance or valuation purposes. Often, a jeweler at a retail store will provide a free valuation of your piece but this valuation might be too low or too high due to conflicts of interest with wanting to beat their competitors on price.
7. Ask about Errors and Omissions Insurance
Even with the most experienced, well-trained appraiser, getting your jewelry appraised always carries a degree of risk. For various reasons, it is possible that your jewelry may be significantly under- or over-valued, and that’s where errors and omissions insurance comes in. Before hiring your appraiser, ask them if they have an errors and omissions insurance plan that will keep you covered if they make a mistake.
8. Have Your Jewelry Appraised Every Five Years
Once you’ve found your appraiser, congratulations! We hope it will be a long and happy relationship. After the first appraisal, you will want to call your appraiser up for a new appraisal every five years or so, as the value of jewelry can rise over time. If you are commissioning the jewelry appraisal for insurance purposes, your insurer will also want an up-to-date appraisal.
9. Knowing When You Don’t Need a Jewelry Appraisal
Getting your jewelry appraised is a good idea for most people with very expensive rings or necklaces. However, those who only have a few entry-level pieces and don’t plan on taking out insurance might not need to get a jewelry appraisal until they start thinking about selling the ring or need a valuation for an estate or divorce settlement.
10. Buy Your Rings from a Trustworthy Source
Above and beyond getting your jewelry appraised, the best way to ensure peace of mind when it comes to your jewelry is to invest in pieces that come from a trustworthy source. At AZEERA, we go above and beyond to give you the fairest purchase experience — from using only the finest conflict-free AAA gemstones to cutting out the middlemen to reduce unnecessary expenses.
Furthermore, we provide a complimentary gemstone certificate with each ring containing a gemstone over 0.5 carats and only use GIA lab-certified diamonds with grading reports provided for any diamond over $500 in value.