Three Types of Jewelry Appraisals

March 27, 2017

Three Types of Jewelry Appraisals

Did you know that there are different types of jewelry appraisals that can be done for your valuable pieces of jewelry? Knowing which appraisal method you need is essential.

jewelry appraisal

What exactly does a jewelry appraisal cover?   An appraisal is a document that will describe an item by assessing its quality and assigning a value to that item. The description will cover the visibly seen attributes, its measurements and facts about the item, such as weight, materials used, and markings. Appraisals will also describe features such as gemstone quality, age or rarity of the piece and the overall quality of manufacture and construction. Appraisals are done for many reasons ranging from a need to determine the fair market value of an item, to estate planning or most common, a replacement value determined for insurance purposes.

Appraisals for insurance

Replacement Value Appraisals:  Most appraisals done today are for “replacement value”. The appraisal will be written with insurance replacement (retail cost replacement) as the guiding factor for insuring an item and the cost of replacing that item if it is lost or stolen, with a similar item, from a jewelry store that regularly sells that type of item being appraised and insured.

Appraisals for selling

Fair Market Value:  A Fair Market Value appraisal is done with a mindset of the actual value of an item if it were to be sold between a willing buyer and seller, in a common market that represents the items value in its current, used condition. An example would be a valuation for charitable donations or estate appraisals. Fair market values often run lower on value estimates than retail replacement values because retail replacement values often reflect the cost to replace the item with a new equivalent rather than a used equivalent.

Liquidation appraisals

Liquidation Value:  These appraisals reflect low values due to their situations, such as an immediate need to sell due to divorce, estate liquidations, probate or loan collateral appraisals, etc.   Values can be estimated at wholesale or below wholesale levels.

How to find a jewelry appraiser.

Look for appraisal credentials. A professional jewelry appraiser should be certified or titled by a respected appraisal organization.   You can also look for gemological credentials, such as a Graduate Gemologist diploma from GIA or its equivalent.

There are legal guidelines in place under the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that state intentionally over-valuing an appraisal is considered illegal and unethical by all nationally recognized appraisal organizations. The value assigned to the piece of jewelry should not be inflated beyond what is considered a fair retail selling price.

Appraisals should be update periodically to make sure insurance coverage is adequate to reflect changes in value due to market considerations.


Photo and reference info: AMB Appraisals, Huffington Post, Gemological Institute of America (GIA)

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