Jewelry Appraisals – What You Should Expect


A good jewelry appraisal should have a picture of the item, describe its settings with a total weight, list each diamond greater than 0.40 carat separately, and summarize smaller diamonds.

Jewelry appraisals are to help you know what your jewelry is, help insurance companies know what you have, and give you an idea about the value.

Jewelry appraisals are important for a few reasons. First, they help the consumer identify their jewelry. Second, they establish a base for your jewelry premiums. Note that most insurance companies based your premiums off that amount but will not pay it out in the event of a loss, which does not make sense to me. Third, they are documents which remind you of the details of your item. You should not memorize the color and clarity of your diamonds – keep them written down on an appraisal.

Two types of jewelry appraisals exist. The two types are essentially the same but will list a different amount. First and most common is a document with a listed replacement price. That price is often inflated to cover increased future prices as well as taxes. That document is for insurance and should be signed by a jeweler. That signature from the jeweler is important is it verifies that he/she saw and touched the actual item.

The second appraisal is for selling an item. It is the type of appraisals offered at SellMy.Jewelry instantly. This amount is a cash offer for the jewelry you have.

Every jeweler or educated jewelry appraiser has a different format or look to their appraisals. However, the details they include should be consistent. First, every appraisal should include a detailed description of the item. It should state the metal type and weight as well as design elements in the metal that make the item unique. If the piece is from a special designer, that should be noted. Next, it should describe the diamonds and gemstones including the weight and quality. With diamonds above 0.40 carat, the appraisal should have a weight in carats, shape, color and clarity following the GIA scale. If the diamond has a certification, the appraisal should note that with the corresponding number and inscription if included. Diamonds below 0.40 carats will mostly be listed together. They will have a quantity, total weight, color and clarity. If your piece of jewelry has a gemstone, there should be a weight or size as well as some marker of quality. For example, an appraisal will describe a ring as having an “oval 8 x 6 mm amethyst”. Also, the appraisal should include a picture. It helps when identifying an item and remembering what it looks like if you do lose it. Any good jewelry should include one. Essentially, the goal of the appraisal is to be able to reproduce the piece.

A few notes:

  • Jewelers love to charge someone for an insurance appraisal when they are looking to sell their jewelry. The jeweler makes money and leaves you with a sheet of paper. DO NOT GET AN INSURANCE APPRAISAL ON JEWELRY YOU WANT TO SELL.
  • When you buy an engagement ring, make the company include an appraisal. It is only proper. Some will try to charge you. If they do, tell them you are buying your ring elsewhere.

written by Joseph Dolginow

September of 2018


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