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Well it’s about that time of year again. The air gets crisp, the leaves change colour, you pick out a nice juicy turkey, and carve pumpkins. But it’s also the time of year when you get your jewellery appraised. Jewellery appraisal is probably one of the things we don’t really think about doing, until your jeweller recommends it, or when you frantically run around the house in search of your engagement ring vowing to never tell your husband that you have lost it, and you will just get it replaced… He’ll never know the difference! Right?
S o w h y h a v e y o u r j e we l l e r y a p p r a i s e d ? Aside from the obvious (you lose it), what if you run over it, flush it, it slips off swimming in Lake Okanagan, …or, what if you get robbed!? There are just too many “what ifs” to just let your investment and likely your most sentimental possessions sit without an appraisal, and without insurance. We’ll talk about insurance another day. But you need to have proper appraisals to insure your jewellery. You insure your home and vehicles, campers and boats…why not your jewellery? Think about it. If you add up the watches, the gold chains and earrings…and then add the diamonds on top of that….you probably have a significant investment. Without accurate and up-to-date appraisals, you may not have the correct insurance on these valuables.
I have been in the industry for a long time and have seen many very good appraisals. I’ve seen people really benefiting from having an appraisal done on their jewellery items. But I have also seen poorly done and/or inaccurate appraisals and, because of them, people getting ripped off.
W h a t i s a b a d a p p r a i s a l ? Imagine you purchase an engagement ring and you paid $5000 for it. You get an appraisal stating its replacement value is $10,000. Initially you might be thinking “WOW! I got a killer deal! This ring is actually worth $10,000!?!” Well no… not necessarily. That ring is worth what you paid for it, assuming there was no l e g i t i m a t e a n d s i g n i f i c a n t m a r k d o w n on the item. Remember that the insurance premiums will be based on the appraised value. So an over-inflated appraised value means higher than necessary insurance premiums.
Appraisals are more about the quality of the jewellery than the value. If you have an insurance claim against lost jewellery, your insurer will require the q u a l i t y of the piece more than what it was worth the day it was appraised. Market values on gold and gems change constantly. What they need to know is what you had…specifically. Your jeweller can help you assess current market value of the lost piece, based on the qualities stated in your appraisal.
Exaggerated appraisals are more often for the purposes of exaggerating the quality. If you T H I N K you are comparing apples to apples at the time of purchase by comparing two appraisals, you may be mislead into believing which jeweller is providing you value. Some very large appraisal organizations are notorious for appraising diamonds as much as seven steps above what is accurate!! If you are relying on appraisals to assist you in a purchase, or to help protect you when buying or claiming insurance, it is imperative that you are relying on one done by a r e p u t a b l e source!
So how do you avoid a bad appraisal? You do your research and you go to a reputable jeweller to get an honest and accurate appraisal. Check out the reputation of the jeweller and the credentials of the appraiser. If the amounts on your appraisal and your purchase price vary greatly, find out if the market values have fluctuated, and if the quality grading is consistent.
At European Goldsmith we have been using the same GIA certified gemologist and appraiser for 18 years. We trust him explicitly and know that he abides by the USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.) We know that our appraiser utilizes a methodology and a plan of action when performing an appraisal. This includes mastering gemology, understanding how the market functions, identifying each item for appraisal, collecting data, analyzing, drawing a conclusion, reporting results and is able to clearly communicate all information to our clients.
Our appraisal clinics run twice a year once in October ( N E X T W E E K ! ) and again in April. Our GIA certified appraiser comes in from the coast and spends two days with us each time, more often than not booked solid. Please contact us as soon as you know you will need your jewellery appraised so we can be sure to confirm an appointment time. For contact information click here.