Everything you need to know about jewelry appraisals in 1 article! A jewelry appraisal is a document you may receive from an online jewelry appraiser that describes your jewelry. What, When, Why, Where, Who and How.
- What is an appraisal?
By definition, an appraisal is a legal document that assigns value to your entire piece, taking into account the precious material, the design, setting, and market trends. But what is the difference between appraisals, GIA reports, and a receipt?
|Appraisals||GIA (or similar) reports||Purchase receipt|
|Type of document||Legal document||Laboratory grading report usually traceable to its source||The point-of-sale document, like a receipt or purchasing agreement|
|When can I assist it?||Anytime||Before the jewelry sale||At jewelry sale|
|Grading level||Complete item (precious metals, stones, and the design, craft, branded margins, 1st life)||Usually grade the diamond or main stone in your ring (or another jewelry item) according to cut, carat weight, color, and clarity (the Four C’s). These are most commonly done on traditional white diamonds.||The price that is set by the retailer or wholesaler – typically only provides a one- or two-line description|
|Pricing level||Replacement value of a piece of jewelry – providing a legal replacement value.||GIA reports do not assign a monetary value.||Retail value: The price that is set by the retailer or wholesaler|
- When is the best time to get an appraisal?
Each piece of jewelry has a market value that fluctuates based on a number of factors, including the materials it contains. A professional assessment examines these factors and uses them to assess the current value of a piece. Precious metals, diamonds, and gemstones have changed greatly in recent years. If your last appraisal is over five years old, you may not have sufficient value in your current coverage to replace a lost or stolen jewelry item:
- Before purchase: When prospecting for a jewelry piece, you may need an appraisal to get to know the real value of what you wanna get.
- When you buy your jewelry and need to insure it
- If you have to sell your jewelry: Divorce, estate sales, and other unexpected life events may mean that you have to liquidate your assets. Be prepared for the unexpected by knowing ahead of time what each item is worth.
- You may discover you have a collector’s item: As we previously mentioned, values can fluctuate. However, in the life of some pieces, events occur that can dramatically increase their value. You may have special items that hold their value due to a highly recognized and valued brand, such as Tiffany or Cartier. A professional appraiser will be knowledgeable of hallmarks and identification stamps that can indicate a true collectible. You may discover that the unusual ring left to you by your great-great-grandmother is more unique and precious than you realized. Note that if you have received something like this in its original packaging it could be even more valuable, so hang onto those boxes.
- Why would everyone need an appraisal?
You may need to appraise your jewelry for a specific reason, or not. I guess to understand why you would need to appraise your jewelry, you may need to find out what are the different prices you see online:
- Replacement value is the amount that your insurance company would have to pay to replace your asset (a piece of jewelry) should anything happen to it.
- Make sure that the item that they purchased was correctly represented by the selling party: When purchasing from retailers with very low overhead, the price you pay may be lower than market value.
- It substantiates proof of ownership in case your jewelry is ever stolen and recovered by police.
- Insurance purposes: Even if your homeowner’s insurance covers your belongings, you’ll probably need to prove its value. This is where an appraisal comes in. The appraisal helps the insurance company insure the full retail price so it can be replaced in the event that it is lost, stolen, or damaged.
- Fair market value is based on what price a willing buyer and seller would agree upon. This type of appraisal is used for estate settlement, tax liability, and other legal matters.
- This type of appraisal is done in the case of a private sale, liquidation, estate settlement, divorce settlement/dissolution of marriage, tax liability, and collateral. These prices are determined by the current market value and condition of the piece. It is generally lower than what the retail value would be.
- An up-to-date appraisal keeps a record of the current value of your piece, in case you wish to sell it in the future.
- Comparable replacement value is the replacement value but for items no longer available. This is often used on estate pieces and antiques.
- Where can you go for an appraisal?
Usually, appraisals are done at a physical laboratory or jeweler. At ExJewel, we value appraisals done digitally so no need to go to a jeweler or a laboratory. Technology today has permitted us to assist with the pricing while staying at home or at your shop.
- Who is the best option to assist with your appraisal?
Traditionally, to get an accurate assessment of your pieces, you should always take your jewelry to a certified jewelry appraiser. This person is a gemologist, but not every gemologist is qualified for appraisals. At ExJewel, we created this tool to help appraisers around the globe estimate their jewelry stock at ease. You can start to appraise your jewelry while at home! Once you upload your jewelry information onto our platform, our algorithm compares your photo (using photo recognition) and your answers (the form you filled up) to 5 million others we gathered over the years. On this day, we count over 20+ sources, from mining companies to big online suppliers. Thanks to our A.I. technology, we can surely say that our appraisal is very accurate, 90% more accurate than a traditional one. Our algorithm constantly fetches for new macro and micro trends. On this day, we count more than 125 trends. Our algorithm makes sure to update your jewelry price once you upload them again.
- How much will an appraisal cost?
A jewelry appraisal may cost around $100 or a percentage of the value of the item (generally, 30%). It can be offered as a free service if and only if you decide to sell your jewelry at auction:
- Fees should never be based on a percentage of the value. Any fee that is based on a percentage is considered unethical because incentive exists to inflate the value to collect a higher fee.
- On average, hourly rates range from $50 to $150, but it depends on the complexity of the piece. There’s laboratory work involved to inspect and gather facts about the piece, as well as market research to compare like pieces and the actual writing of the appraisal.
- A competent professional appraiser will charge for services by the hour or a flat fee per piece.