Importance of an Appraisal
Appraisals of jewelry are a very important component for protecting your valuable assets. Ideally jewelry should be appraised every five years so that accurate values can be established.
An accurate appraisal of jewelry should at a minimum include a detailed description of the items, an assessment of their workmanship, measurements of all their stones, their color, clarity, & carat weight. Provenance of an item can dramatically escalate an item’s value.
There is no task more frustrating than going to your jeweler & attempting to describe a piece of jewelry that was stolen, especially if the item was uninsured. Unfortunately a great number of appraisals do not include a picture of the jewelry. They are extremely vague in their descriptions and over-inflated in their values. Not having a photograph of the jewelry makes it nearly impossible to identify. A client has to rely on their memory of the item, then communicate their recollection to a person who has no idea of what the item was.
Attempting to appraise an item based on a photograph can cause more harm than good. It is impossible to accurately measure a stone, or set a diamond’s color & clarity by looking at a photograph. Photographs distort color & give the viewer an inaccurate view of the item’s color. An appraiser has no way of knowing based on the photograph whether the item is still in existence. The best way to have jewelry appraised is to let the appraiser physically work with the item. Some people are uncomfortable leaving their jewelry with someone that they do not know. They will want to stay in the store with their pieces. Often they are curious as to the tests and procedures that an appraiser conducts, & they like to be included in the process. It is difficult for a customer to wait for an hour or longer while their items are evaluated. Time is valuable.
My style of appraisal recognizes that a client’s time is valuable & limited. I recognize that a level of trust needs to exist between the appraiser & the client, & that travelling to an unknown store does not engender that trust. My service will travel to a client’s residence, office, or financial institution, and appraise their jewelry. The client can either stay & observe, or they can leave the appraiser in a trusted environment & carry on with their affairs.