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Jewellery Appraisals

Components of many jewellery pieces trade on global markets. As a result, they are subject to significant fluctuations in their value over time. Changes in gold prices, the dollar, laws and taxes can all impact the value of your precious pieces.

In a worst-case scenario of loss or theft, it’s vital that you have regular, accurate jewellery appraisals. Insurance companies – like their counterparts around the world – need up to date opinions on the quality, design, authenticity and replacement value of the jewellery covered by your policy. By making a point every two to three years of scheduling jewellery appraisals, consumers can rest assured that their insurance coverage truly reflects the current replacement cost of their valuables.

And if you should forget, don’t worry. Your insurance company will be more than happy to remind you.

If you still have them, you can bring along copies of your most recent jewellery appraisals. Couples should also take any relevant certificates that relate to their items. While many people think that declared value is the most important aspect of an appraisal, obtaining a proper description of jewellery design and components (metal and stones) is crucial for establishing an accurate valuation.

For example, GIA (Gemological Institute of America) certification for the centre stone of your diamond can be very helpful for jewellery appraisals. Jewellers may have difficulty obtaining an accurate weight for your stone once it’s in the setting, whereas the GIA document gives them a precise figure for the stone itself. As well, the reflection of the metal around the stone makes it hard to properly identify the color, so the GIA form is also helpful in that regard.

If you have a chance, get your jewellery cleaned and checked by a jeweler prior to the appraisal to obtain a more accurate reading.

There’s a lot to be said for sentimental value, but a decent appraisal value never hurts. So it’s understandable that going into jewellery appraisals, customers often have the same question: “Is it worth more now than what I paid for it”? It’s hard to say, since retail markups can vary to some degree. In most cases, your jewellery will appraise at higher than your original cost, but keep in mind that the appraisal value isn’t necessarily the value of the piece if you were to buy it over the counter. The latter would have to reflect the time involved for a skilled goldsmith to design a new piece from scratch, rather than the cost to simply replace your existing item.

Also, the high price of gold in 2012 equated to higher jewellery prices, so you may see a slight decrease in today’s jewellery appraisals. Couples should bear in mind that this doesn’t mean the piece itself is less valuable, just that the dollar value has declined somewhat. But it’s still just as special to you and your loved one as it was the day you bought it. If you’re the pragmatic type, remember that a lower value also means lower insurance costs, so even a reduction in gold prices has a silver lining.