Jewelry appraisal is an exciting and fascinating subject, and more people than you might think need a professional appraiser. And don’t think that it’s only the very rich who need to evaluate the most valuable jewelry. You can be one of those people without knowing the evening.
Why evaluate jewelry?
Most people believe that inheritance is the number one reason to evaluate their jewelry. Legacy appraisals reflect about 30% of customers, but inheritance appraisals are more than insurance appraisals – much more. About 60% of all written assessments in the United States are for insurance purposes only. Evaluating for your favorite engagement ring or your grandma’s watch is crucial to getting your insurance for potential loss or theft. Without accurate records on file, retribution is almost impossible.
Liquidation is another reason people see an evaluator. It is very common for siblings or family members to inherit jewelry collection together. In most cases, they have little or no knowledge of the value of each item. One member of the family prefers to keep the jewelry for emotional reasons while the other wants to sell it all, cash out and leave. Very often, this business is done within a family in exchange for cash or other inherited assets. That’s when the evaluator comes. Based on the valuation of the liquidation value, jewelry can be exchanged or purchased without risk of excitement within the group of heirs.
Evaluation process and evaluator
Assessment is a sophisticated, interesting and highly scientific process. A good appraiser will have a lot of art experience and a lot of knowledge about jewelry history, jewelry materials, gemstones, manufacturing and design. Industry-leading appraisers are also very familiar with coins and watches. A recognition as a graduate gemologist by the American Gemological Institute is important in selecting an evaluator. Furthermore, membership of the American Gem Society, the American Gem Trade Association, or the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers may be a good sign that the appraiser is qualified and trustworthy.
The first step any evaluator will take for free is a brief review of all your items. Each piece of jewelry does not warrant a written assessment. Consumers should consider that a well-done assessment always takes 25 to 45 minutes. Accuracy is the key to this business, and if you pay $ 50 to $ 100 for a high professional statement, you can expect the right paperwork.
Be aware: a handwritten assessment made in just a few minutes will not be accepted by your insurance company. Most of these cheap assessments will not come with proper photo documentation. They rush these tasks to get you a small fee, but not even the price of the appraisal paper. An accurate assessment work is characterized by a rigorous process of evaluating and verifying the current situation.
It is important to understand that there is a big difference between written assessment for the purpose of insurance or liquidation and assessment of jewelry buyer. There is a different way to calculate the price of a jewelry buyer, because they need to take a timely resale into consideration. Those who own a loupe and digital scale can evaluate a very basic jewelry at home. The digital scale is especially important, since most gold jewelry (excluding mounted diamonds) is priced based on its weight. A good working digital scale Can be ordered for just a few dollars and can do the job just fine.
The material is usually the first thing that needs to be investigated and verified. The type of metal can often point the evaluator in the right direction. Symbols such as “18K” or “950” may indicate high-end jewelry; Signs like “9K” or “375” indicate that something was made in Great Britain; And signs like “10K” or “416” indicate that the manufacturer is trying to save money on used materials. Unfortunately, just because a certain symbol is present does not mean that it is a valid stamp. The last decade has been shaped by many, many imitation jewels from Asia and South America. Easy to mark with any metal, any jewelry, any stamp. This is why many buyers pay good money for some pretty worthless pieces. Fake is something but unusual, and a professional appraiser will own the right equipment to test your item. Activate and request the use of an X-ray machine to determine the metal quality during the evaluation process. If an evaluator has an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, you know that the one you are working with is on the latest technology in the field.
If you find that an evaluator is working with acids to test the metal of an item, you may question the ability to work with high-end jewelry. There is nothing wrong with acid testing in general. In fact, people have been using nitric acid since the Middle Ages to test the authenticity of gold. It was and still is a very common way to test gold, but it is not the perfect way to test fine jewelry. For an acid test the evaluator will need to scratch a stone ornament and then apply the acid to the friction to see if the piece is acid tolerant. It takes a good deal of pressure to scratch through the potential coating for a proper test. This can damage the jewelry, resulting in an unwanted repair.
Once the material, quality, and designer or manufacturer is verified, any diamond, colored stone, or pearl can be examined in the evaluating part.
Diamonds, colored stones and pearls
Diamonds, colored stones and pearls can be very valuable. It is important to know that the secondary market for jewelry has changed a lot in the last five to ten years. Although the price of average and low quality small stones has decreased significantly, large high quality stones have become more expensive. Another thing to consider is that the diamond market has been hit by a new trend: diamonds made by labs. Chemically, natural and lab-made diamonds are exactly the same, but because natural mined diamonds are rare, they are more valuable than stones made in a laboratory. Lab-made diamonds and colored stones had and still have a huge impact on everyday jewelry. Consumers of low-cost jewelry, who are more budget-conscious, will not mind saving some money when buying gemstones. As a result, the prices of small diamonds and gemstones came under tremendous pressure. Making gemstones in a laboratory is fairly inexpensive. The most expensive part is cutting that stone. Fortunately, India is well known for their fancy diamond and gemstone cutting. They do a great job of getting India based wages.
An experienced jeweler will have the necessary tools to check if your stone is from a natural source. Using state-of-the-art technology and examining gemstones under a microscope, the evaluator should be able to tell without a doubt whether your stone has been excavated. This is a very important step, as there is a huge price difference between earth-mined diamonds and lab-made diamonds.
After evaluating the origin of your diamond, the evaluator will determine the famous “4Cs”: carat weight, color grade, clarity grade and cut grade. No one factor is more important than the others; It is a combination of the four characteristics that determine the value of your gemstone.
Branding and crafts
Depending on the brand, the designer can also be a significant value factor. Jewelry made by Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Graff, Van Cleef & Arpels, and many more is the most sought after and most expensive. It takes a very good evaluator to identify duplicates, because duplicates are getting better The “high-end” counterfeit may even come with an original box and counterfeit documents. Sometimes they’re making real gold with real diamonds. But an experienced evaluator knows the small difference between an authentic part and a fake. Make sure your evaluator specifies the authenticity of your piece. Some appraisers try to be vague by saying that a piece has “guessed” this or that brand. Carefully review your assessment before you approve it.
Do I really need an evaluation?
Whether you need a written assessment depends on your personal circumstances. It is important to know that sensitive value cannot be insured for theft or loss. Many people tend to over-insure their jewelry because of their own emotional value Makes them guess a high financial value. But no insurance will pay for this loss. If you own very expensive jewelry without proof of ownership like a detailed purchase receipt, you must evaluate the jewelry. For some insurance programs you need to get an evaluation and update it frequently.