Common Jewelry Appraisal Myths

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There are several myths regarding jewelry appraisals. These myths can lead to misunderstandings or unrealistic expectations.

For instance, many customers need clarification about how much their jewelry is worth. Others believe that the value of a piece will never go down. The truth is that jewelry values do go down, but there are several reasons why this may occur.

The Appraisal Is the Same as a Certification

A jewelry appraisal is not the same as a certification. Remembering this is especially important if you want to have your pieces insured. An insurance appraisal details the *retail replacement value or cost of replacing a piece if it is lost, stolen, or damaged. An insurance company will use this document to settle your claim.

For instance, jewelry appraisals in Los Angeles will include a detailed description of your item and photographs. It will also note a gem’s weight, material, markings, and quality. A certified appraiser will not inflate the value of a piece to gain a sale or insurance coverage.

Inflated appraisals may work as a sales tool at the time of purchase, but they are a ticking time bomb in the case of an insurance claim. Inflated appraisals may also be grounds for legal action against a jeweler or appraiser. This is why working with a highly-rated appraiser who has completed professional appraisal training and testing is essential.

The Appraisal Can Be Used as a Sales Tool

As a property and casualty insurance adjuster, I have been called to serve as a consultant and expert witness for high-value jewelry disputed claim cases. The common denominator in these cases is inflated appraisals that retail jewelers issued as sales tools.

According to Gold ‘N I Jewelers, a professional appraiser will conduct a comparative market analysis (CMA) by researching and analyzing recently sold comparable jewelry pieces to determine their overall values. They will also examine the craftsmanship and design to consider their contributions to the value of the piece being assessed.

Lastly, appraisers will never purchase the jewelry they are appraising, which is considered a conflict of interest. They will only provide a fair and honest valuation of the evaluated jewelry. This information can be used for various purposes, including insurance replacement appraisals or other sale-related reasons.

The Value of Jewelry Continually Grows Over Time

Many people purchase jewelry because they like how it looks, but savvy investors want to ensure their pieces hold or even increase their value. This requires buying jewelry made with precious stones and metals that are rarer than average, which in turn increases their resale value.

Intricate and well-executed designs created by renowned jewelry houses or designers also significantly boost a piece’s worth. Similarly, provenance and history of ownership add to the value, as do gems and metals sourced from specific locations. Durability and wearability can also boost a piece’s worth, as can the absence of flaws and damage.

However, certain factors can make an appraisal inaccurate. For example, disclosing all repairs and restorations to an appraiser is crucial because replacing original components can diminish a jewelry’s worth. Additionally, requesting a ‘plot’ of a diamond is an excellent safeguard against the ever-favorite tales of stones being switched with lesser quality ones during the appraisal process.