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How to Find a Trustworthy Jewelry Appraiser

Published date: July 28, 2017

Find An Appraiser

If you’re like a lot of people, the thought of having to find a jewelry appraiser probably intimidates you. You likely have a dozen questions about the process swirling through your mind, while simultaneously feeling stressed about actually being tasked with finding a qualified and trustworthy jeweler that you’re comfortable taking your jewelry to.

We feel your stress; we understand your worry. That’s why we put together a list of some of the most common questions and answers when it comes to engagement ring appraisals. If you don’t see an answer to your question below, reach out to us at 302-366-7448. We’d love to chat with you!

What Is a Jewelry Appraisal?

An appraisal will assign value to your jewelry that takes all diamonds, stones, and metal into consideration. A diamond grading report, however, only offers details about the diamond.

Why Do I Need a Jewelry Appraisal?

Whether you’ve just picked out the perfect engagement ring or want to know how much a prized family heirloom is worth, you’ll want to have your jewelry appraised. An appraisal is essential to obtain ring insurance or add a rider on your homeowner’s insurance to cover your ring or wedding bands. Some other instances where appraisals are appropriate are:

  • Insurance to cover loss, damage, or theft
  • Estate tax evaluation
  • Value comparison
  • Divorce
  • Collateral
  • Liquidation

When Should I Get My Ring Appraised?

If you’ve just purchased an engagement ring or wedding bands, there’s no time like the present, as they say. You should have your jewelry appraised as soon as you have them in your possession.

How Do I Begin the Search for a Jewelry Appraiser?

If your jewelry store doesn’t have an appraiser on site, we recommend using The American Gem Society to help you find one in your area. You should be sure that you choose someone with credentials in formal gemology education and specialized appraisal training.

What Should I Ask a Jewelry Appraiser I’m Considering?

This is a loaded question, because there is a lot that you should know about your jewelry appraiser. Let’s start by saying that it’s critical to keep in mind that there are no requirements to be a jewelry appraiser. This leads to many appraisers lacking the correct knowledge or tools.

We urge you to ask many more questions than just “how much does an appraisal cost?” After all, your valuable jewelry is worth more in the long run than the small fee you’ll pay to have it appraised. You should ask a jewelry appraiser a variety of questions, which may include the following:

  • Can you offer an estimate fee that is not based on the final appraisal value?
  • Will you supply me with the proper forms from the Jewelry Insurance Standards Organization?
  • What type of education and certification do you have?
  • Do you continue your education on a regular basis? When is the last time you took a requalification course and passed?
  • Do you carry errors and omissions insurance (liability insurance)? (This protects the appraiser if they make an error on your appraisal so that you’ll be compensated.)
  • Are you a member of any other jewelry association or carry any other certifications?

You should feel entirely comfortable with your jewelry appraiser and in return they should be completely transparent with you about their own qualifications and knowledge level. Don’t be afraid to make a few calls to verify their qualifications!

What Should an Appraisal Report Include?

Your jewelry appraisal should include:

  • The Basics: Date of the appraisal, client name, address, and contact information.
  • Statement of Purpose: details of the value being sought, the appraisal objective, and the appraisal function. This should include an explanation of the report’s limitation of use. (An appraisal for insurance purposes can only be used for that purpose, for example).
  • An Explanation of Grading Systems: In plain language, this should clearly explain any grading system used for evaluating diamonds or gemstones.
  • A Statement of Total Value: typically, this is included in the report in a way that it cannot be altered, sometimes a seal is used. This should also include limiting conditions and assumptions, which may detail tasks that the appraiser must estimate.
  • Disclosure Statement: Read the fine print!
  • Appraiser’s Profile or Resume: This should detail the education and experience of the appraiser in writing. Be sure to ask for a copy of this before the appraisal.

How Often Do I Need to Update an Appraisal?

Once you find an appraiser you trust, you should ask them for their opinion on this. However, many appraisers suggest updating your appraisal every 2-3 years. If the appraisal is for insurance purposes, ask your company if they have specific requirements here.

Are You Feeling Overwhelmed Right Now?

We hear you. The process of finding a trustworthy appraiser for your new engagement ring, wedding band, or antique jewelry is quite an in-depth process! But, we promise that all your hard work is worth it to know that you have a proper valuation of your jewelry should it ever be stolen, damaged or lost.

We know this is a lot of information, but we hope that it’s been helpful as you navigate these new waters! Finding a jewelry appraiser you trust can be time consuming, but it is definitely time well spent in the end.

If you have any questions about the jewelry appraisal process as a whole, please Visit Janvier Jewelers today or call 302-366-7448. With over 3 decades of experience under our belts as the largest engagement ring and wedding band supplier in Delaware, we can offer you a wealth of knowledge when it comes to jewelry appraisals.