Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. Am I required to have an appraisal?
A. Unlike car insurance, jewelry insurance is not required by law. However, there are many reasons to have your pieces insured.
In addition to the insurance-related risks mentioned above, there are a few other compelling reasons to get a jewelry appraisal:
It substantiates proof of ownership in case your jewelry is ever stolen and recovered by police.
An up-to-date appraisal keeps a record of the current value of your piece, in case you wish to sell it in the future.
Q. What qualifications should someone have in order to perform a professional appraisal?
A. First of all, someone would have to be a Graduate Gemologist of the Gemological Institute of America. In addition, they would have to be affiliated with institutions that require their members to be educated in the field of appraisals and gemology and renew their memberships by passing required examinations. Some of these societies are the American Gem Society (AGS), the International Society of Appraisers (ISA), and the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA).
Q. Can I bring in jewelry or diamonds I purchased from another source for a written appraisal?
A. Absolutely. Although we are in the business of selling fine jewelry and diamonds, our appraisals are totally independent and based on the highest level of ethics and professional standards.
Q. Can you prepare the appraisal for my jewelry while I wait?
A. In most cases, yes—especially by appointment. In some cases, it would be recommended you leave certain pieces that need further research in order to prepare a more accurate and objective report.
Q. Do you have to take the stone(s) out of the mounting to perform the appraisal?
A. Absolutely not. We use instruments and calculation formulas to estimate the size and weight of all mounted stones.
Q. How much will my appraisal cost?
A. Our fees are based on the complexity of each piece. Although we will do our best to give you an estimate over the phone, we highly recommend you make an appointment to come in with your jewelry. This way we can give you a more accurate and realistic assessment. We will also advise you which pieces should be appraised, and which ones should not. This consultation is always complimentary.
Q. Do I still need an appraisal if I have a laboratory report from the Gemological Institute of America, the European Gemological Laboratory, etc.?
A. Yes, because these laboratory reports do not include a dollar value. We also help you to interpret the information contained on the report and confirm it does, in fact, match your diamond. Insurers also need more information about your jewelry than just the stone information.
Q. Do I need to have my appraisals updated?
A. Since jewelry values fluctuate, the Insurance Institute of America recommends you have your jewelry appraisal updated every two years. Jewelry insurance premiums (the amount you pay annually to maintain your coverage) are typically based on the value of the jewelry so what would happen if that value was incorrect?
If your ring’s value was overinflated, you could spend more than necessary to insure your piece. Or, the reverse could mean you’re underinsured and may incur additional out-of-pocket expenses to repair or replace jewelry that becomes damaged or lost. Insuring your jewelry for its current retail replacement value is vital to repair or replacement.