January 18, 2010

Jewelry Appraisals Decoded

Posted in appraisal, birthstones, diamonds, engagement, gemologist, gemstones, gold, jeweler, jewelry, rings, rose diamonds tagged , , , , , , , , , at 6:19 pm by rosediamonds

Perhaps you received an extravagant new piece of jewelry for Christmas, or you are in the midst of Spring cleaning.  Jewelry appraisals continue to confuse people.

An appraisal is:

A written statement, independently and impartially prepared by a qualified appraiser, setting forth an opinion of defined value of an adequately described property, as of a specific date supported by the presentation and analysis of relevant market information.

An educated, informed objective opinion of value based on a stated purpose and function.

There are two main types of appraisals.  One is for insurance replacement.  Each insurance company differs, but the value stated determines the coverage amount on your jewelry as well as the premium you pay for insurance.

Because the description is used in order to replace the piece, it is very important that the descriptions be extremely detailed and specific as far as quality of manufacturing and gemstones.  The value stated in insurance appraisals is for retail replacement cost for a new version of the piece.

The second type of appraisal is for Fair Market Value (FMV).  Fair Market Value appraisals can be used for a variety of purposes, including liquidation, collateral, divorce settlement, investment, estate/probate, and charitable contributions.  The value stated in a fair market value appraisal is a “liquidation” value if you had to sell it.

The best way to determine which of these fair market appraisals is right for you, is to tell your appraiser what you intend to do with the piece, or the reason why you want to have it appraised.

What happens during the appraisal?

  • Each piece of jewelry will be weighed, measured, and described in detail.
  • Gemstones will be identified, graded, measured, and their weights calculated.  Most appraisals do not require gems be removed from settings, so carat weights and measurements are limited by the mounting.  A notation on the appraisal will appear.
  • Metal content will be determined via a series of acid tests/electronic tests.
  • Diamonds will include a detailed description of their color, clarity and cut.
  • The internal characteristics of the stone will be diagrammed upon request.
  • Enlarged color photographs are available if needed for insurance claims and identification.
  • The definition of Fair Market value or retail replacement value will be included.

Appraisals do not guaranty jeweler buy-back, and there are unsavory dealers in the industry that are not trained to evaluate gemstones and diamonds.  These dealers often over-inflate the value of the jewelry to satiate their client’s sense of value.

I suggest discussing any concerns with your appraiser before you leave your jewelry in their care.  A qualified appraiser will be able to answer any question you might have and customize the appraisal to your needs.

Rush appraisals while you wait are available at an additional fee with an appointment.



  1. Suzzie VanHeusen said,

    I have a 24 karat gold ring that I have had for 52 years, that I need appraised also I have a charm bracelet that I have had 50 years.I am wanting to have these appraised and see if I can sell them.

    • rosediamonds said,

      Hi Suzzie,

      Thank-you for your message. Yes, we can do an appraisal on your items. You may drop them off at any time at our Republic Rd. location

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