[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Jonathan’s Diamond Buyer, our sister site, is learning their ABC’s of diamond, gold, watch and estate jewelry selling.  We are also going to learn our ABC’s.  Ours are going to be on the diamond and custom diamond jewelry industry. Sergio started off with appraisals, and I figured I would start in the same place, because an appraisal for the person who is buying a diamond or jewelry is different than appraisals for the person who is selling their diamonds or jewelry.

Appraisals – What are they good for?

The reality is that appraisals are only good for one thing, and that is for insurance purposes.  Your insurance company needs an appraisal from your jeweler or a certified appraiser to be able to place a replacement value on your jewelry or diamond in case of loss.  They then charge you a premium every year to cover that jewelry in case of loss. Then if your jewelry or diamond is lost or stolen, they will give you the replacement cost from that appraisal.

Appraisals – When do you get one?

When you buy a piece of jewelry that has value it is always smart to ask your jeweler to supply you with an appraisal so you can get your piece insured.  You will not necessarily get one unless you ask.  If you have a piece of jewelry that is estate or antique, you might want to pay to have an appraisal done, especially if you are keeping that piece of jewelry.

We suggest you get your jewelry appraised every 5 years or so.  The value changes due to the flux in the market of gold prices and the prices of gemstones.  It’s important to keep it up to date because many insurance companies now have gemologists on staff that will actually appraise value your jewelry if it is stolen and you might not get what you thought if you haven’t had it appraised in a while.

Appraisals – Who would do them?

Your jeweler will provide appraisals for you free of charge, and if they don’t, you need to find a new jeweler.  For instance, we will appraise anything you bought from us for as long as you own the piece for free.  We do not offer appraisals on jewelry we did not make you and most jewelers I know don’t do that either.

If you need to get an appraisal and don’t have a jeweler, we recommend you look up the ASA or the American Society of Appraisers, which is the most elite group of appraisers, and find someone local in your area and give them a call.  This is a service you will pay for, but you will also know that you are getting someone who knows what they are talking about, which is crucial when you are talking about the value of your jewelry.

Appraisals – Why would I get one?

There are three reasons why you would get an appraisal. 

  1. Insurance purposes.  You need to place a value on your piece so that it is insured for the correct amount.  Remember this is the replacement value, not the resale value, the amount you paid for it or what the piece is worth.
  2. Authentication purposes. If you need to authenticate your piece or make sure the diamond you have is yours. For instance, if you took your ring to get cleaned and you think the ring you got back might not be the same diamond, then you would want to take your ring to an independent appraiser (call the ASA), and have them authenticate the diamond for you.
  3. To see if you got a good deal. If you need to get an appraisal to see if you got a good deal then the bottom line is you didn’t do enough research, and you shouldn’t waste your time getting an appraisal.

Appraisals – What do the numbers mean?

In a nutshell? Nothing. Those numbers are just for your insurance company and perhaps they stroke your ego. Do I sound like a broken record yet? I hope so, because I can’t say it enough. The appraisal is only useful for the insurance company and replacement value if there is loss.

Let me explain how we do it here as a wholesaler. When you buy a diamond from us, you are getting a better deal than you would if you bought from a chain or retailer.  The reason why is our overhead and costs are lower up front and on the back end, so we can then bring the product to you at a lower price.  We then write out your appraisal based on a formula where we add on about thirty percent for insurance purposes.

Why don’t we write out the retail cost for insurance?  Because it costs you more money if we do.  In other words, you will pay a higher insurance premium every year if your appraisal has a retail number on it.  The money you will get back will still be more if your ring is lost or stolen, we hope you will still come back to Jonathan’s to replace your ring and you will be able to buy an even better ring because you are still buying wholesale.  But, we also don’t believe in over inflating the price of what we are selling, costing you money in the end that you probably won’t get back because how often do we actually end up using our insurance premiums?

It’s not about ego.  That piece of paper that says the replacement cost of your piece of jewelry or diamond…. no one sees it but you and the insurance company, so does it really matter what it says, as long as you can replace the piece of jewelry that was lost with something that is equal or better?


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