By Trina Woldt, Chief Marketing Officer, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company
Appraisals are an important piece of owning jewelry. They provide important information about your jewelry item, and are the best way to assure you’re properly protected for the full value if you insure the item.
A complete appraisal should include:
- Current retail prices in the regional market
- Cut, color, clarity and carat weight of diamonds and other gemstones
- Type and number of diamonds and other gemstones used
- Weight of the precious metal used in the mounting
- Type and number of gemstones
- Origin of the materials used
- Craftsmanship of the piece
- Manufacturer’s marks including brand name, serial numbers, and model numbers for pieces like watches
Even with a proper written description of your item, it is also important to document what your jewelry piece looks like. If your appraisal doesn’t include a photo of the item, snap one yourself and keep it with your appraisal document.
Finding Qualified Appraisers
While most appraisers do have training in gemstone grading, appraising is more comprehensive than just evaluating the gemstone. A qualified appraiser should have top gemological credentials as well as additional training in appraising.
Your jeweler is a good starting point. When you’re looking to have an item appraised, start the conversation with your jeweler. Inquire about their appraisal services, and what credentials their in-house appraisers have, or where they send items out to be appraised.
If your jeweler doesn’t offer appraisals, or you don’t feel comfortable with their appraisal process, independent appraisers are a great option. These are appraisers who don’t sell jewelry at all and have no vested interest in the outcome of the appraisal.
To find an American Gem Society Certified Gemologist Appraiser, or Independent Certified Gemologist Appraiser, go to: http://www.americangemsociety.org/find-an-appraiser.