What is an appraisal? Should I have my jewelry appraised? These are two questions that many clients and customers frequently ask me. So, here is my take on appraisals.
An appraisal is only an opinion as to the authenticity, quality, design, and value of a piece of jewelry. Since it is an opinion, backed and supported by training, equipment, and experience, it is important to understand that there can be honest variation between competent appraisals.
Most people seem to believe that the declared price evaluation is the most important aspect of an appraisal. This is absolutely not true. Actually, the most important part (and the most protective and advantageous to the customer) is an explicit description of the design, the metal, and the stones.
I believe that you should have your jewelry appraised for two reasons:
1) On the purchase of new jewelry, assure that you have the appropriate coverage for replacement in case of loss or theft.
2) In view of continuing inflation, it is a very good idea to have all of your jewelry appraised every two or three years.
Once again, remember that the most reliable appraisal is an opinion based on knowledge gained through education and very specific training, backed by technical equipment and further reinforced by experience.
In order to give yourself the most accurate appraisal, heed these points:
1) Do not try to save money on an appraisal. For a thorough professional evaluation, expect to pay a fair fee. Fees are typically based on an hourly rate. Do not cut corners, you always get what you pay for! The more intricate and detailed the jewelry obviously the more time needed to examine it.
2) Do not rush for the appraisal. Give the appraiser adequate time to carefully examine every facet of your jewelry.
And remember, appraisals do not represent an offer to purchase or replace your jewelry. Appraisals determine the PRESENT DAY MARKET VALUE of your jewelry. One last tip, always ask for references and to view the credentials of your appraiser. Most likely, your insurance company can provide you with several names for appraisers, if not, go online and search for accredited appraisal firms in your area. Protect your investment!
Enjoy your treasures!