Jewelry Appraisal: Why You Should Evaluate Your Pieces

Updated May 3, 2021
Goldsmith examining piece of jewelry with a magnifying glass

Jewelry appraisal falls under the same category as annual eye exams and routine car inspections in that it has a reputation for being superfluous, but it's actually quite important for people who possess authentic jewelry to seek out an appraisal. Check out the reasons for why you'd need to get your jewelry appraised and take a look at what to expect when you do.

Jewelry Appraisals Aren't for Everyone

The purpose of a jewelry appraisal is for an expert to estimate the worth of the individual elements and materials used in one of your accessories; therefore, if you only have costume jewelry, there's no reason to have it officially appraised. However, any jewelry that has semi-precious or precious metals, gemstones, and accoutrements should be evaluated by a professional.

Reasons to Get a Jewelry Appraisal

Not everyone's going to need to sign up for a jewelry appraisal tomorrow; since they do cost a fee, you want to make sure that you've got a good reason for wanting to have a professional assess your pieces. Here a few of the specific reasons which call for a formal jewelry appraisal:

Jeweler examining diamond using magnifier

Insurance Coverage

A majority of homeowners' insurance policies can be adjusted to include coverage for individual items within the home that are worth protecting. Antique jewelry or luxury jewelry can be added to your policy, but most often your insurance provider will want a documented appraisal to prove the piece's value before insuring it for that amount.

Future Sale

Even if you're not currently planning on selling your jewelry, getting an appraisal completed will let you sell your pieces with ease if that time ever comes. This way, no potential buyer can contest the value of your pieces and you'll be able to sell your pieces for their full worth.

Replacing Broken or Lost Pieces

All jewelry lovers will confess that they've lost or chipped a stone once or twice and that they've scratched some of their favorite pieces purely by accident. Anything that you frequently wear is at risk of being damaged in some way, but a jewelry appraisal can act as protection against these mishaps. By knowing the exact cut, carat weight, composition, color, and so on of whatever's broken or lost in your favorite jewelry can help you guide an expert in what it is you're looking to have replaced. Take the guessing game out of jewelry repairs using a jewelry appraisal.

A Jeweller is Repairing a Diamond Ring

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If you've found a wonderful piece of jewelry from an antique store or gotten an heirloom passed down to you, you might not be sure about what exactly the jewelry's made out of and what's its value is. Getting those pieces appraised is really useful in helping you learn more information about the pieces that you currently have in your collection. You might find out that your great grandmother's ring is worth enough that you want to get it insured.

What to Expect From Your Jewelry Appraisal

Generally, jewelry appraisals cost between $50-$150 depending on the appraiser. A certified appraiser will asses your pieces' cut, clarity, color, carat weight, and other appropriate features in order to give you an estimate value for every piece. If you're only having a single piece appraised, the turnaround time on the appraisal should be incredibly short. If you're having an entire collection appraised, you can expect the turnaround time to be much longer. Once you receive the proper documentation, you should store these certified documents in your records since insurance organizations or retailers may ask for them depending on the situation.

Types of Appraisals

It's important to know that there are three specific types of jewelry appraisals which aim to provide you with different information, and the type you'll want to get will change depending on your situation.

  • Replacement Value Appraisal - This value estimates how much it'll cost you to replace your jewelry outright.
  • Fair Market Value Appraisal - This value estimates what you can probably sell your jewelry for given the current market.
  • Liquidation Appraisal - These values reflect a need for an immediate sale, such as instigated by a divorce or estate liquidation - meaning they'll be significantly lower than their fair market value.
Man Appraising Jewelry in Shop

Where to Get Your Jewelry Appraised

Make sure to do your research when you're picking out a jewelry appraiser; after all, you're paying them for their expertise, and you want to verify that they have the experience and education to know what they're doing. Check to make sure that they've graduated from some type of gemological program and that they belong to a recognized appraisal association like the American Society of Appraisers or the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers. You can use organizations like the National Association Jewelry Appraisers group or the American Society of Appraisers to help you find the right person for the job.

Jewelry Appraisals Provide Security for Your Jewelry

While no one wants to lose their grandmother's wedding ring or grandfather's necklace, accidents happen. The sentimental value of such a loss can never be restored, but having an accurate, professional appraisal and appropriate insurance coverage can help cover some of the monetary losses. So, the best way to take care of the fine jewelry that you love is to get it appraised.

Jewelry Appraisal: Why You Should Evaluate Your Pieces