Perhaps you’re buying new jewelry and don’t want to get ripped off. Maybe you want to sell your old jewelry and want an idea of the prices you’ll get on the market. In all these cases, what you need is to have your jewelry appraised by an expert. Receiving an official appraisal will qualify you to receive financial reimbursements for your jewelry from your insurance company.
What is a Jewelry Appraisal?
An appraisal is one form of assessing jewelry. This official piece of paper will describe the assigned value of your jewelry, including the diamond, and other stones in the jewelry. The appraiser will thoroughly inspect your jewelry to determine its market value, including the type of stones it has, the cut, clarity, color, and carat.
It is worth noting that there is a difference between the appraisal and a lab report.
The lab report, known as the International Gemological Institute (IGI) or Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or will grade your jewelry, determining the color, cut, size, and exact clarity, as well as other features like name and market resale value to give you a certified report containing in-depth information about the metal, gemstones, and diamonds. The lab report will also come with an estimated resale price.
A local jeweler’s appraisal will be useful in creating a tax or estate plan, but won’t be useful in giving you precise measurements of the stones used in your jewelry.
Can You Do It Yourself?
The actual appraisal process requires in-depth scientific knowledge of precious metals and gemstones, but you can make a fair estimation by doing some inspection yourself. If your jewelry comes with a lab report with specific details of the cut, clarity, carat, and color, of the gemstones, that should give you a good idea about its resale value in the market.
Real gold jewelry will be marked with a purity stamp in the shape of a rectangle and a number inside, indicating the purity of the gold.
Alternatively, you can use the fire test to check your jewelry. If it turns black under the flame, it’s not gold.
Jewelry Appraisal and Selling Price – How Do They Compare
It is a common mistake to assume that jewelry appraisal and the selling price are the same. Often, the appraisal reflects an inflated value, sometimes as much as double the retail purchase price, allowing insurance companies to charge you higher premiums for your ring.
The truth is, the actual value of the jewelry is based on its immutable characteristics, and the demand for those attributes at a given time. Therefore, getting your jewelry appraised by a certified appraiser does not reflect its true value.
Over time, your jewelry will lose its resale value because of various factors including retail margin, labor costs, and retail type.
All in all, the best way to gain an understanding of your fine jewelry is with a GIA grading report, also known as a lab report. This should give you information about jewelry’s carat, cut, color, and clarity. The market assigns a value to your jewelry based 4 Cs. If you know them, it becomes easier to get an estimated value.