Why Get Your Jewelry Appraised

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Why Get Your Jewelry Appraised

Jewelry is one of the most expensive and important possessions that many people have, and while you hope you will never happen to you, the sad truth is that many people find that they need to be able to prove the value of their jewelry after it is lost or stolen. Whether it’s a burglary or a damaged wedding ring, you want to know the value of your jewelry so you can report that to your insurance and recoup the cost.

Gemstones and precious metals can fluctuate in price over time, so regular appraisal is important to ensure that you always have the most up-to-date value for your valuables and you don’t risk losing a substantial amount of money if your items are insured for less than their current value.

The Appraisal Process

Sometimes the place where you purchased your jewelry will offer an appraisal on the value, but it’s often a good idea to get a second opinion to confirm the value. During the process the appraiser should also record a detailed description of your items and may even photograph them as well. All of these things help protect you as a jewelry owner from over-insuring items and paying excessive premiums or under-insuring your items and risking financial loss if they are damaged or stolen.

An appraisal report might contain some or all of the following:

  • Contents and exact weights of precious metals
  • Detailed descriptions of gemstones
  • Detailed information about diamonds, including cut, clarity, measurements, finishes, proportions, and carat weight
  • Diagram showing any natural marks or inclusions, for identification purposes
  • Photograph
  • Value of the jewelry based on the appraisal

Protecting Against Risk

The best way to protect against financial loss when it comes to your precious metals and jewelry is to purchase insurance. In order to do so, you will need to have the precise value from a professional appraisal, and you may want to make a note to update the insurance policy after you get new appraisals every few years.

All jewelry appraisers are not created equal, though, and there is no specific oversight in the industry—that means anyone could present him or herself as a professional appraiser. Like many professions, it requires training and skill to become an accurate appraiser, so you can check for things like membership in professional appraisal organizations and ongoing training and certifications to find out if the person is qualified. There are also training programs where a person can become a jeweler, graduate jeweler, lapidary (stone cutter), lapidary artist (gem artist), and graduate gemologist among other titles. Just working as a retail associate at a jewelry store or a jewelry wholesaler does not necessarily qualify a person to appraise precious stones and metals.

Getting your jewelry appraised is an important step to protect it for the long term. Don’t risk substantial financial losses by waiting to get an approval.