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Jewelry Appraisal FAQ

Does it matter who I have perform my appraisals? Is it important?

A gemologist is trained in the identification and grading of gemstones, treatments, enhancements, synthetic or “lab-grown” gemstones, the history and sources of gemstones, the beliefs and legends attached to gemstones and many other things. They are NOT trained to assess value beyond very rudimentary levels. A qualified appraiser, on the other hand, must be a Graduate Gemologist and, on top of that, must have a tremendous amount of additional training and first-hand experience working in the industry in order to understand the many factors which affect value.

Some jewelers are highly trained and professional. Many are not. A few are gemologists. Most are not. Most are simply merchants who happen to sell jewelry of one type or another. Few are trained appraisers with the highly specialized education necessary to understand what is referred to as "value assessment theory".

Why would I need an appraisal for my jewelry items?

First and foremost: To protect yourself in the event of a loss. Should your jewelry be stolen, lost, or damaged beyond repair, an accurate and current appraisal is a MUST in order to assure that your insurance coverage is accurate and sufficient to replace the covered items as best possible. Outdated, improperly documented or poorly written appraisals won’t help you much should you need to file a claim with an insurance company.

Secondly: If you are establishing a trust or are involved in estate planning, knowing the values of items could drastically affect your thinking and how your trust and/or will might be written. This, in turn, could radically affect your heirs, after your passing, and the way your assets are distributed. In short, proper appraisal documents and documentation could play extremely important roles for a smooth transition of your personal property to your heirs and the elimination of much stress and strain during an already very difficult time for your family.

Is your Jewelry 100% covered when you have a jewelry appraisal?

With proper documentation, the piece can be restored or replaced. Some insurance companies require appraisals be done every two years.

Check your policy to make sure you are properly insured.

How to Find a Trustworthy, Knowledgeable Jewelry Appraiser?

Appraisal Credentials
A professional jewelry appraiser should be certified or titled by a respected national appraisal organization like the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers. With no federal or state requirements for appraisers, it is crucial to ask for credentials.

High Ethical Standards and Awareness of Legal Obligations
Appraisers should adhere to the highest levels of professional behavior. Consider the appraiser's professional affiliations, gemological education, and the appraiser's reputation within the industry.

The Legal Guidelines
Intentionally over-valuing items on appraisals is considered illegal under Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and unethical by all nationally recognized appraisal organizations. Most appraisals we see are over-valued, and therefore worthless.

What tools are used by a professional jewelry appraiser?

  • Leica hi-def Trinocular microscope with camera and special gaming computing for micro-photography
  • OGI Scannox HD for diamond proportions
  • AGS ASET (diamond light performance)
  • Dino-light camera
  • Refractometer
  • Diamond master set
  • 5500 degree kelvin light box
  • Legal for trade scale
  • Polariscope
  • Refractometer
  • Dichroscope
  • Spectroscope
  • UV light source
  • Leveridge gauges and calipers
  • Chelsea filters
  • Diamond and gold testers
Our accredited lab has over $60,000 worth of equipment and its all useless unless its used by a professionally trained and formally educated gemological appraiser who continues their education annually with a professional appraiser organization such as the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA).