There are a myriad of reasons why it’s a good idea to have a current appraisal on your pieces of jewelry. Whether for insurance purposes, knowing the worth or value of your jewelry to pass down to the next generation, settling estate or other financial matters, or even for proving ownership purposes. Whichever is your specific reason, it is most certainly an important aspect of jewelry ownership.
In light of that, let’s take a deeper dive into the world of appraisals and answer some questions you may have and be sure you have the very best information available pertaining to jewelry appraisals.
Is There A Difference In An Insurance Appraisal And An Estate Appraisal?
Yes, there is actually a big difference. An appraisal for insurance should be the current fair market value for the item. This is needed in case the item is lost, stolen or damaged beyond repair and needs to be replaced with insurance proceeds.The value for an appraisal for estate or financial liquidity should be on liquidation value. In other words, what can this piece of jewelry be sold for immediately on the second hand market. These values are computed by taking into consideration the raw materials, the metal and stones, but usually not the labor. If the item is a branded piece like Cartier, for example, the piece may have more value than just the material, based on the brand.
What Should I Look For When Choosing Someone To Conduct My Appraisal?
We emphasize the importance of finding a properly trained appraiser. Unfortunately, the jewelry and insurance industries do not require any specific education and/or training to execute appraisals. Many of the people doing them are only using the knowledge and/or experience they have received from a company they own or work for.
The problem with this is the valuations may be biased or incomplete, lacking gemological training, an understanding of how jewelry is made, and/or a broad scope of formal appraisal education. The jewelry industry offers many options for an appraiser to obtain proper training to conduct an unbiased appraisal. Worthmore Jeweler’s appraisers not only have years of on the job experience, but have also been properly educated on appraisal techniques including necessary tools, how to assign fair values, jewelry fabrication, and gem identification (to name a few). Worthmore’s appraisers are also accredited from AGS (American Gem Society), GIA (Gemological Institute of America), NAJA (National Association of Jewelry Appraisers), and attend required continuing education each year. This, combined with our excellent reviews and superb reputation help us stand apart from the rest.
How Much Does An Appraisal Cost?
You will find some appraisers charge per piece, others charge based on the amount of time it takes them to conduct the appraisal, while others charge a percentage of the appraised value.
At Worthmore, we feel the best way to be compensated is based on a per piece fee. We currently charge $95 for the first piece, and $65 for every piece after. This way the client knows exactly what to expect when coming into our store. We also include lifetime free updates for you to submit to your insurance company. It is important to have your appraisals be current, meaning, your appraisals should be within the last 3-5 years, thereby keeping the value accurately reflecting current market conditions. This also ensures your items can be properly covered in the event you need to make an insurance claim.
The downside of choosing an appraiser that charges by the hour or by the value of your item, is not only do you not know what you are in for, regarding cost, but the appraiser has a vested interest to push your appraisal value as high as possible. This method will not only cost you more for the appraisal, but also create a situation where you are paying inflated amounts to have your items insured, since the insurance cost is based on the dollar value of the piece. If the appraiser is not properly qualified, it may also take them longer than someone else to get the information they need to complete the appraisal, which drives up your cost as well.
This is why we at Worthmore offer a flat and fair rate, as our end goal is to have you leave with the most accurate appraisal, one that you can be confident in.
What Information Should Be Included On An Appraisal?
The first piece of information included on a jewelry appraisal is a full and detailed written description of the item(s). This should include a photograph, measurements of all characteristics of the pieces, metal types, stone types and descriptions, setting styles, and markings (trademarks, metal purity, serial numbers), number of stones, and what the stones are set in.
The tools used to conduct the appraisal should also be included to help substantiate the appraisers findings. The appraisal should also include what type of appraisal it is, (insurance or estate etc) and lastly, the appraisal should include the current value of the pieces.
If you are looking for an appraisal you can trust and take to the bank, so to speak, look no further than Worthmore.
We are proud to offer our customers the highest level of service, and appraisals are no exception. We would be honored to ensure you have the very best appraisal in your hand for every piece of your cherished jewelry, and we mean that in sentiment of heart, but we back it up with knowledge, training, and transparency, which is everything you could desire when it comes to choosing the right appraiser for the job!
We look forward to serving you and answering any questions you may have.