If you have a lot of jewellery like rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings, you might be curious about their value, especially when they are family heirlooms. But getting an appraisal can be stressful, especially when you have to give away your precious jewels to an appraiser. Here are some tips to help with deciding if you need an appraisal and how to choose a good appraiser.
Do you need an appraisal?
Jewellery appraisal is not necessarily beneficial in every case. If you know that your jewels have low value or if you don’t mind not knowing about their current market price, then don’t bother with an appraisal. However, here are two cases when an appraisal is useful
● If you’re trying to insure your jewels. With jewels of high value come a risk of theft and loss. If you want to insure your jewels against those, you should know their current market value by getting an appraisal. It will help your insurer set a proper price for the insurance.
● If you’re trying to sell your jewels. We hope that you never have to sell your jewels, but sometimes, economic conditions force our hand. You should get an appraisal before putting your jewels on the market to make sure that you get a fair price. Don’t just accept the offer from the corner pawnshop.
In these two cases, knowing the real value of your jewels is a definite advantage. You should get a professional appraisal to make sure you get proper insurance or proper compensation for your jewels.
How to choose an appraiser
To ensure that you get a proper appraisal for your jewels, you should follow these tips.
● Check the appraiser’s credentials. These should include a degree in gemology as well as certification from a recognized gemological institute such as the Gemologist Institute of America. They should also have received specialized training in appraisal and valuation from a recognized appraisal organization.
● Check if they follow the USPAP code. The USPAP (or Uniform Standard of Professional Appraisal Practice) sets out a code for practicing appraisers, not matter their specialty. Even though jewellery appraisers are not required to follow this code, it’s a good sign if they do.
● Check their main occupation. Some appraisers may only do appraisals part time while working as a jeweler for a store. You want to choose a full-time, professional appraiser whose only practice is to evaluate the value of jewels.
● Check references. Ask for references before confiding your precious jewels to any appraiser. Ask not only client references but also those from banks, trust companies and law firms. If a bank trusts them, you can too.
● Check fees. Professional appraisers charge by the hour or by the piece, not by percentage.
If you’ve determined that you need an appraisal, then follow these tips to choose a professional appraiser.
Jewels are always a great match to flowers when given as Valentine’s Day gifts, but maybe you can also bring a bouquet to your appraiser to thank him or her for the good work?