All apprasals are done in our store. Your jewelry never leaves our store and is kept secure in one of our safes.
Purpose of an Appraisal
An appraisal is a document that describes an item, assesses its relative quality and assigns a value to it. Descriptions usually cover the visible, measurable and analyzable facts about the item (weight, materials, markings). Most jewelry appraisals also describe subjective features such as gemstone quality, relative rarity and overall quality of manufacture. During the appraisal, our expert gemologists will examine your jewelry for loose gemstones, check all the settings, clean and refinish your piece. This document is used to insure jewelry, attach a replacement value, and describe it in detail so, if ever lost, it can be replaced. An appraisal can also be helpful in the case of an estate valuation.
Types of Appraisals
Insurance/Replacement Our most common type of appraisal is Insurance/Replacement. The value on this appraisal is for the creation or replacement of an item in the condition at the time of the appraisal. The majority of jewelry appraisals done today are for insurance replacement (retail replacement) purposes. The point of jewelry insurance is to return the value of the item to the customer. Therefore, insurance appraisals should reflect the realistic cost of replacing the jewelry item in a jewelry store that regularly sells the type of item being appraised. This type of appraisal is used for most purposes of insurance or in the event of a private party sale.
Fair Market These appraisals reflect an actual selling price between a willing buyer and seller, when neither is compelled by time or need to buy or sell in the item’s most common market. Fair market value must represent the item’s value in its current (used) condition. Fair market value is generally required for charitable donations and estate appraisals. Fair market values may run lower than retail replacement values, because replacement values often reflect the cost to replace a used item with a new equivalent. Gerald's Jewelry recommends speaking to an attorney to determine which appraisal is appropriate in the event of value determination on the behalf of an estate.
Liquidation/Estate The appraisals are for the estimated value of an item that can be expected from a short term transaction typically for melt material value and a discounted price on diamonds and gemstones. These values are used for estates in the event of selling jewelry before the financial distribution takes place. These appraisals usually reflect low values because of the situations that create their need. Divorce settlements and some types of estate liquidations may require this type of appraisal, depending upon the jurisdiction where the scenario takes place. Gerald's Jewelry recommends speaking to an attorney to determine which appraisal is appropriate in the event of value determination on the behalf of an estate.
Matt Fikse is our appraiser here at Gerald's Jewelry. Matt is a GIA Graduate Gemologist and is highly qualified to help you with all of your appraisal needs. Matt carries on his family tradition as the third generation gemologist to work the family business here at Gerald's. He has over 10 years of experience in the industry. At Gerald's Jewelers, upon request, we are happy to provide you with an insurance appraisal for any jewelry purchased in our store free of charge. All other insurance appraisal services are available for a flat fee. If you are unsure whether or not you need an appraisal, we are happy to inspect your item(s) at no charge and determine whether or not an appraisal is necessary.
What is Included in a Jewelry Appraisal?
Each appraisal includes complete testing of your jewelry and an appraisal report for your records. The report contains such information as:
The content and weight of precious metals
A detailed description of diamonds and gemstones (carat weight, cut, clarity, color, measurements, proportion and finish)
The appraised value of your jewelry
A color photograph
Descriptions of all testing and methods used to determine specific gemstone characteristics if needed
Homeowner's insurance does not automatically cover jewelry. You are not covered for loss or damage unless you have your jewelry appraised and itemized separately. We will carefully document and photograph your jewelry piece-by-piece so you can have it properly added to your insurance.
How Often You Should Get Jewelry Appraised
The gemologists at Gerald's Jewelry recommend having your jewelry appraised every three to five years. We are happy to consult with you to determine the type of appraisal you need, whether it be for retail replacement, fair market value, or liquidation/estate. The value of your jewelry can fluctuate greatly over time. If it has been a few years since your last appraisal, your jewelry could be insured for less than its replacement value.