Prices in this industry change often but they aren’t always going up. Back in the early 2000’s, the jewelry industry had a major upheaval in terms of margins they made. Gone were the high markups. With the competition they faced on the internet, the brick and mortar stores were forced to lower their margins. That is why you have seen so many stores go out of business. It has also had a direct effect on values. If you have appraisals or receipts from the late 90’s to the early 2000’s, you may find that the replacement values on your jewelry may be lower today that it was back then.
This is why you need to have your items appraised every 5-7 years. You don’t want to be paying high premiums when you don’t have to.
You also need to make sure the appraisals are being done by a professional. They must be a Graduate Gemologist and have an understanding of appraisal theory.
Unfortunately, there are no regulations on who can do appraisals in the jewelry industry. Going to someone who says they can appraise your jewelry because they have been in business a long time doesn’t make them qualified. You need a person with the education and experience to make sure you are getting the right kind of appraisal.
The first question I would ask you is: What do you want to do with the appraisal? Here are just a few scenarios that you should look at before you leave your jewelry for an appraisal.
- If you really want to just sell the item, then you don’t need an appraisal. You want an offer to purchase your jewelry. There is a vast difference between an insurance value and a value to sell the item.
- If you want to insure it, then you will need a Replacement Value. This is the value it would cost to replace that item with like kind and quality in a retail store. It isn’t the “fictitious” value some jewelers may tell you the item is worth, while they sell it for 20% to 50% off. Don’t let them give you an inflated value because it will only cost you more in insurance premiums. It’s worth what stores are actually selling it for.
- If you are a lawyer or executor for an estate, you will need an Estate Appraisal which uses Fair Market Value. Fair market value is that price at which a property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under compulsion to buy or sell, and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts.
- If you want to divide up property evenly among a group of people, you will need a Division of Property Appraisal. This will also use Fair Market Value.
- If time is of the essence and you need to know what the immediate liquid value is, you will need a Liquidation Appraisal. The Liquidation Value is based on the immediate sale of said items.
There are a lot of appraisals I have seen over the years where there is very little description or it isn’t accurate. If those items ever get lost or stolen and you wanted to replace them, you probably will not get what you had.
I was one of the first Certified Gemologist Appraisers with the American Gem Society in Connecticut. I studied and understand appraisal theory. I oversaw the largest jewelry appraisal department in Connecticut and I have a strong reputation for fairness, honesty and accuracy. If I had to estimate, I have done over 15,000 appraisals in my career. I have also been an expert witness in many court cases for defense attorneys and for the state attorney’s office.
Fees are based on an hourly basis and I promise that I will stand behind my appraisals. If you need 1 or 2 items done immediately, you can contact me to see if I can accommodate you. Professional appraisals do take a little bit of time and should not be rushed.
What do you get with an appraisal from DW Gem Services, LLC?
- Expert description of settings including specific details
- Sizes and qualities of all diamond and colored stones
- Accurate values. Valuation of each item is determined after extensive research of comparable items in the market.
- Color photograph
Please feel free to contact me for a free consultation.