5 Tips on Choosing a Jewelry Appraiser

Jewelry is a decorative item that is used to adorn a person. They are usually worn on the body around the neck, ears, nose, fingers, wrist, waist, toes, or feet. They can also be worn on clothes instead of directly on the body. They can include earrings, necklaces, brooches, cuff links, pendants, bracelets, rings, etc.

Jewelry may also refer to durable ornaments. They are made from different materials such as gold, diamond, silver, titanium, pearls, and gemstones such as rubies, jasper, sapphire, jade, amethyst, etc. Other materials include beads, enamel, amber, shells, plastic, and even wood. Its value is often determined by the material it is made from with diamond often the most valuable and the most expensive. Gold is also valuable and is one of the most popular precious metals to use and it is usually measured in carats such as 24, 21, 18, 12, 9, etc.

At times, two different materials may be combined to make the jewelry as in a gold ring fitted with a diamond stone. You can read about all this here https://www.britannica.com/art/jewelry.

Most times, jewelry can be used for a lot of things. Asides adornment, it can be used for insurance, as collateral to get a loan, as an investment and so on. Also, because of how valuable they are, jewelries are usually insured. Before it can be insured or used as collateral, a jewelry has to be appraised to ascertain its value not only in monetary terms but in how much of a coverage value it has.

inspecting jewelry piece

What is Jewelry Appraisal?

Jewelry appraisal involves determining how valuable a jewelry is and comparing it to its insurance value. It is a detailed report describing the item that is being valued and knowing its actual worth.

The document typically describes the weight, color, clarity, size, type of metal, or other materials that the jewelry is made of, etc. This can also be called a jewelry valuation.

Why You May Need an Appraisal

A major reason why people visit outlets like Mimi’s Jewelry appraisal is for proof. Insuring your expensive item and investment against theft, loss, or damage is very important. As part of the process, an appraisal is required so that in case of any of the aforementioned issues, the document will serve as proof of ownership. The insurance company will replace the jewelry at the stated value on the appraisal.

Insurance companies usually recommend that an appraisal should be renewed every few years due to the regular change in the price of diamonds and precious metals.

A jewelry appraisal can also help for selling engagement ring or other pieces when you intend to do

When Can Appraisals Come in Handy?

Appraisals can be useful in situations such as:

⦁ Valuation of estates and taxes
⦁ Divorce
⦁ Liquidation
⦁ Resale

How to Choose a Professional Jewelry Appraiser

Choosing an appraiser can be a little tricky as anyone can present themselves as one.

A big part of the job of a professional appraiser is answering questions from potential and previous clients. You have to be able to ask certain questions to be sure before you give your prized possession or item to anyone. A professional appraiser will not be worried or offended by these questions rather they will readily answer your questions and communicate what they know with confidence.

To help out, here are tips and questions you should consider asking the appraiser.

What Qualifies Them to Be One?

Much like most occupations, appraising requires some form of education as a gemologist and getting tested in valuation, ethics of appraisal, standards, business practices, report writing, and so on to qualify as an appraiser. The person or organization also must belong to a professional appraiser organization, be experienced and they must take re-qualification exams so that they can keep up with trends and changes. All these are good indicators of a professional appraiser.

What Type of Equipment Do They Own and Use for the Evaluation?

Much more than a microscope, a professional appraiser should have different equipment and tools for examining and evaluating your jewelry. You should not accept a report that is not done with a certified master diamond master set. You can ask to see the master set certification copy.

Other equipment to enquire about include a fully corrected 10x triplet loupe, a diamond light, penlight, a binocular 10-60x microscope, a certified gem-set, as well as fiber optic lighting. Others can include a polariscope, a spectroscope, a dichroscope, a refractometer, and many more.

What Areas are their Specialty?

In the jewelry industry, there are different kinds of specialties although a jeweler might know a few things about other specialties, no one can be an expert in all. Some specialize in diamonds, some in pearls, others in precious metals, color gemstones, watches, accessories, jadeite, and so on. You can ask them for what their specialty is to ascertain if they are suitable to appraise your jewelry.

Ask How Much the Evaluation will Cost

An appraisal does not necessarily cost a lot. Fees are usually based on a flat fee per piece or an hourly rate. It should not be based on the percentage or a previously determined outcome. You need to be wary of people who offer to appraise for free or at very low rates. Also, avoid paying contingency fees as these are unethical.

How Will They Conduct the Appraisal?

Professional appraisers will be aware of suitable markets to appraise an item and you will want to know what they will do if they are not qualified to handle or authenticate an item. Will they return it without an appraisal? Will they call a specialist in that area to check it out? If there is a need for another expert to check it, will it have to leave their possession? What happens and who is liable if anything goes wrong while the item is in their possession?

Other questions you may ask can include:

⦁ Are they members of an appraisal organization such as the Accredited Gemologist Association?
⦁ How often do they take and pass a re-qualification exam?
⦁ Can they defend their appraisal in a Federal court?
⦁ What type of lighting conditions will be used for the appraisal?
⦁ Can you stay with the jewelry while they work on it?

These and many questions and the way the appraiser answers will help you to know if you can entrust them with your jewelry. You can check out more questions to ask in this guide http://www.palagems.com/choosing-an-appraiser.


Jewelry is a valuable piece of investment. There is need to appraise it to know how valuable it is. Some professional appraisers can help you do this. You just have to be careful, do your due diligence, and ask the right questions before handing over your precious property to any appraiser.


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