“An appraisal is a description and valuation of property. The value stated on the appraisal is the opinion of the appraiser based on his/her research and experience.”(GIA)
The most common need for an appraisal is for insurance purposes. That way if your jewelry is lost, stolen, or broken it can be replaced. Appraisals are also needed to know the fair market value to sell a piece, estate planning, or just so you know what your piece is worth. If you just want to know what your piece is worth you don’t need a written appraisal however, you could just get a spoken one.
If you are just starting out and want insurance for your jewelry we recommend a company named Jewelers Mutual. Jewelers Mutual is the company who insures our store and is now holding personal policies. They cover loss, theft, damage, and disappearance in the country and out of the country! You can get a free quote from them and compare it to other policies.
We do appraisals in our store so your piece never leaves the premises and goes into the locked safe every night it is here. Whoever is appraising your jewelry should have a good understanding of how jewelry is made and since we do all our repairs in house our appraiser understands the process.
When an appraisal is being done on your jewelry, you want it to be in the best condition possible so if some prongs need tipped or straightened, something needs sized, or the piece just needs cleaned, we will recommend it be done before the appraisal. That is part of why appraisals take so long to complete. If something needs repaired that needs to be completed first. All of the pieces need to be properly cleaned and possibly rhodiumed if it is white gold, before the appraisal is completed. The stones also need to be thoroughly examined and graded if we don’t have grading reports for them.
An appraisal report should include:
- Date of the appraisal
- Client’s name, address and contact information
- Statement of the purpose of the appraisal
- Detailed and understandable description of the item being valued
- Value of the item(s)
- Statement/explanation of limiting conditions and assumptions. (estimated weight for mounted stones)
- Disclosure statements
- Signature of the appraiser
- Appraiser’s qualifications
- Names of anyone who assisted in either the evaluation or valuation process
Appraisals are important to have for your treasured jewelry and you should always understand what is said in the appraisal you are given.