How to Value Jewellery Inherited From a Loved One
The jewellery you inherit may hold special meaning because of the person who gave it to you. It may fall to you to ensure the safekeeping of family relics for future generations or to distribute them as part of the deceased's estate. It's also possible that the jewellery was a gift meant for a larger goal, such as a college education or a down payment on a house.
However, economic profit is not the only parameter for evaluating whether or not an item is antique. There is a chance it has gone out of style and is no longer desirable as a treasure. Several other aspects can also determine the worth, such as the market price of gemstones and precious metals at the time, the level of craftsmanship displayed, and the individual maker or designer involved.
Despite what you intend to do with the jewellery you received, one of your first goals should be to evaluate its worth. The mentioned step is essential for many reasons, including that, if necessary, you will want to insure it for the appropriate amount. Hence, to get insurance, one must first undergo an assessment by a qualified professional.
What You Should Know
Getting an appraisal should be high on your list of priorities if you've inherited any jewellery that could be of significant value.
The best place to start looking for an appraiser is to get in touch with one of the significant associations that requires its members to maintain ethical standards.
Values of gems and precious metals change over time, so it's a good idea to appraise your valuable jewellery regularly.
What Exactly is a Jewellery Appraisal?
An appraisal is a written report that defines an object, rates its quality, and determines how much it is worth. Typically, a description will include information that can be seen, measured, or analysed (weight, materials, markings).
However, jewellery appraisals are different from grading reports for precious stones. The beauty of the gemstones and the quality of the craftsmanship are only two examples of the subjective aspects frequently discussed in jewellery appraisals.
Most appraisals are conducted for insurance replacement (retail replacement) purposes. Insurance's primary function is to reimburse the insured for their loss. Therefore, insurance assessments should accurately indicate how much it would cost to replace the item in a jewellery store specialising in that style.
Most seasoned jewellers in retail can provide insurance replacement appraisals for the new items they sell, provided they have completed at least some formal appraisal training. They might even be able to provide insurance appraisals on unique jewellery they don't sell if it's comparable to what they sell. However, jewellery appraisals for alternative uses or of a higher complexity level demand outstanding education and experience in the field.
Where to Look for a Qualified Jewellery Appraiser
Anyone, whether they operate a jewellery store or not, can say they are qualified to assess jewellery. Unlike real estate appraisers, who must get licences from the federal government and individual states, Jewellery appraisers are exempt from such requirements.
To sum up, it is primarily up to you to decide if an appraiser is qualified to evaluate the heirlooms you've inherited. Since working in the jewellery industry isn't enough to make someone an appraiser, you'll need to do more than just visit a local jewellery store.
Moreover, most jewellery stores also lack specialised equipment and a gem lab to evaluate a stone's authenticity and quality. For this reason, an appraiser who is well-versed in diamonds may be necessary to assess a ring.
Nonetheless, many trade associations have strict eligibility requirements and ethical standards for their members. In alphabetical order, all the sites listed below will help you find a neighbourhood appraiser.
- Accredited Gemologists Association (AGA)
- American Gem Society
- American Society of Appraisers
- Appraisers Association of America
- Appraisers International Society (AIS)
- Association of Independent Jewellery Valuers
- International Society of Appraisers
- Jewellery Judge
- National Association of Jewelry Appraisers
Remember, the appraiser should have the appropriate credentials and be a graduate gemologist (GG) with the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). A gemologist is a trained professional who knows how to recognise and evaluate gemstones.
However, this level of education is insufficient to work as a jewellery appraiser. In conclusion, it is also crucial for an appraiser to be familiar with the state of the jewellery industry.
What to Expect from the Jewellery Appraisal?
The American Society of Appraisers (ASA) states the following as requirements for a reliable appraisal:
- Specify whether you're looking for a fair market value (for taxes), a replacement cost (for insurance), or a liquidation price (for bankruptcy or business dissolution).
- Describe precisely the subject property that you are going to get appraised.
- Outline your steps to arrive at your estimate, like a review of similar sales.
- Describe the experience and training of the person conducting the appraisal.
- Get the appraiser's signature on the document.
Knowing the worth of the jewellery you inherited will help you get a reasonable price if you ever decide to sell it. Therefore, having a trained expert determine the value of family relics is significant. Get in touch with one of the aforementioned leading industry organisations to get the contact information for an appraiser in your area.
Moreover, feel free to grill prospective appraisers with questions like "What experience do you have in appraising jewellery like this?" Due to the high level of expertise and specific tools needed for the task, the associated cost is likely to be high.
Depending on the appraised items, you might anticipate spending between $71 AU and $107 AU for each item or $71 AU to $214 AU each hour. However, given the volatility in precious metal prices, it's essential to have regular evaluations done so that your insurance remains accurate.
Jewellery Appraisal FAQs
How can I receive an appraisal for my Antique Jewellery?
Let's say you have good reason to believe the antique jewellery you have is worth a lot of money. If that's the case, you should contact a reputable auction house for an estimate of its worth, such as Sotheby's. On the flip side, you can use the BBB (Better Business Bureau) to identify trustworthy antique jewellery appraisers in your area.
How can I determine the worth of my collection of Vintage Jewellery?
To determine whether or not it possesses monetary value, you can have it evaluated by a qualified and respected appraiser who specialises in vintage items.
Do Jewellery stores offer cost-free Jewellery Appraisals?
That's usually the case, but not always. A trusted jeweller in your area may provide a complimentary appraisal if they believe they can make a sale to you. Upscale auction houses that provide this service are Southby's and Christie's. Sotheby's is the place to go if you have a piece of jewellery you think is precious. You send them an email containing an image of the necklace and as much descriptive information as possible. But keep in mind that this is only a rough approximation.
What is the going rate for getting Jewellery Appraised?
It is dependent on who is doing the appraising. It may cost as low as$71 AU or as much as $214 AU for a single item.
How can I locate a trustworthy Jewellery Appraiser?
To get started, inquire with close friends and family about who they have utilised previously. Learn more about local appraisers by checking out the websites of the American Society of Appraisers and the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers. We suggest Peter Michaelson in Australia.
What is the role of a Jewellery Appraiser?
An appraiser in the jewellery business assesses the value of a piece of jewellery. However, evaluating the worth of a piece of jewellery, whether modern or antique, is not as easy as glancing at it and saying how much it's worth.
How to get my jewellery appraisal?
If you're a regular customer at a local jeweller, gold or diamond exchange, or retail store, you might be able to get a free evaluation. However, while jewellery appraisal might be helpful for insurance or tax purposes, its value is typically higher than what you would spend for the same item in a jewellery store.
Do I need to get my Jewellery Appraised?
Getting jewellery insured typically requires a professional jewellery appraisal. An accurate appraisal is mandatory to file a successful jewellery insurance claim in the event of loss or damage. Furthermore, two additional reasons people get assessments for jewellery are resale and tax/estate planning.
How long does it typically take for an Appraisal of Jewellery?
The time it takes to get your jewellery appraised depends on many variables. However, appraisals typically take between 2 and 4 days to complete. This is because there are numerous steps that the jeweller or appraiser must take before the appraiser can create the final paperwork.
Can I get my Ring Appraisal?
Ring appraisals can be done in most jewellery retailers. You can easily find a ring appraiser working in many retail jewellery establishments. Appraising your jewellery in front of you is a service many jewellery stores offer; all you need to do is call ahead and make an appointment.