There are a number of reasons why having your jewelry appraised is a good idea. An appraisal is a document that gives vital details about your jewelry items, which are important to know if you plan on insuring it, selling it privately, liquidating assets or settling an estate.
At M.A. Jewelers our highly-trained, and certified, in-house jewelry appraiser will provide you with an appraisal that includes:
- Gemstone identification and quality grades which include the color, clarity and cut. If gemstones are set into the mounting the gemologist will give an approximate weight determined by formula; if they are loose it will be an exact weight.
- The type of metal the piece is crafted of and the quality (the percentage of pure gold, platinum, or silver to alloy).
- Identification of manufacturer when possible.
- Any treatments the gemstones may have received.
- The value (retail or fair market) of the piece.
- A photograph of your jewelry item.
Insuring Your Jewelry
An appraisal is very important if you plan on insuring your jewelry. Most home owners insurance will only cover the theft of a jewelry item. However, if you have your jewelry insured, in most cases, it will cover the cost of the item if it is lost (this includes gemstones that might fall out), stolen, or damaged. Check with your insurance company about the different types of jewelry insurance they offer. It is a minimal fee and is well worth the money should something happen to your item. The type of appraisal you need for insurance is a retail appraisal, that way your policy should cover the full cost to replace the item. These should be updated about every 3-5 years or so.
If you have jewelry that you would like to sell, an appraisal is a good idea for a few reasons. First of all, it establishes credibility with your potential buyer. An appraisal helps the buyer know that you are accurately describing the jewelry and you have the documentation to back it up. You can choose to have the appraised value displayed but you don’t have to do that. However, knowing the fair market value (which is determined by current market prices) will help you decide what your asking price should be. Keep in mind, the price you ask for an item as a private seller is going to be less than an established business can get – but you can ask for whatever you want. Who knows, you might get it.
Jewelry appraisals are necessary for liquidating assets for a variety of reasons; most notably in cases of divorce or when settling an estate. The liquidation of assets is a lot like private sales. People sell their jewelry to get cash that can be used for other things – or split evenly to settle financial issues or obligations. A fair market appraisal is what you need to show the current market value for the item(s) being sold – but if it is necessary to liquidate quickly you may need an orderly liquidation value.
As mentioned above, appraisals are useful for liquidating jewelry assets when settling an estate. This makes it easier to distribute jewelry items. Of course, not all items have to be liquidated to distribute assets evenly. Knowing the market value of items can ensure that everyone gets what they have been promised, even if specific pieces are not mentioned in a will. Having appraisals done before you plan your will, or start to distribute assets, will help you to know the monetary value of certain pieces so you can plan accordingly.
At M.A. Jewelers we have an on-site appraiser. You can call any time to schedule an appointment and we do welcome walk-ins. For most items you can wait in the store for them to be appraised but if you have several pieces, or complex pieces, it may take a little longer. Our appraiser will let you know. If you have any questions, please give us a call.