People often don't think about appraising their jewelry unless they are thinking about selling it. However, you should get an appraisal right after you purchase it and every two years after. There are many different reasons to get jewelry appraised, and here are some important reasons, along with what to look for in an appraiser.
Why You Need an Appraisal
1. Jewelry Store Appraisal May Be Inaccurate
Most jewelry stores will offer an in-store appraisal with your jewelry. When you do this, you are receiving an appraisal from someone who works for the store, and the appraisal is often higher than it should be. It's best to get a second opinion from a third-party, unbiased appraiser. This will give you a much better idea of what your jewelry is worth, and you will know that the appraisal is accurate.
2. Insurance Coverage
Many people don't realize that jewelry is not automatically covered by homeowners insurance. If your jewelry is stolen from your home or damaged in a disaster, you can't just tell your insurance company what you had and how much you paid for it after the fact. Since the value of jewelry fluctuates regularly, the amount of money you receive from jewelry depends on its current appraisal value. You have to have your jewelry appraised, and then you need to list it separately on your insurance papers. If the value of diamonds or gold goes up, you need to get your jewelry re-appraised. Having a re-appraisal will ensure that you receive the amount that your jewelry is truly worth if something happens to it. You don't want to lose out on hundreds or thousands of dollars because the value went up and you didn't get a new appraisal before something happened to it.
3. Planning Your Estate
Planning your estate is another great reason to get your jewelry appraised. If you are putting several people in your will, you might want to make sure that they are all getting items from you that are of equal value after you pass. You can have it all appraised and split the value between loved ones easily. It will also make sure that they know the value of their inheritance. After your loved ones inherit your jewelry, they might be careless with it if they don't understand the value. Someone might not think that the jewelry is real or just not realize how much it is actually worth. If they receive appraisal papers with their inheritance, they'll be able to fully understand the real value of the jewelry, and hopefully, in turn, be careful with it.
What to Look For in an Appraiser
Your appraisal is a legal document, and you want to make sure it's done properly. Before you choose your appraiser, inquire about their education. Find out what type of training they have. If an appraiser claims to be GIA certified, walk away. The GIA doesn't offer certifications for appraisers.
2. Professional Affiliations
Ask the appraiser what type of professional affiliations he or she has. For example, find out if the appraiser belongs to the National Institute of Appraisers or the American Society of Appraisers. These organizations offer education and accreditation for appraisers. If you call, they can also help you locate one in your area that is affiliated with them.
3. Provide References
Ask the appraiser to provide client references. They might have customers list on a form whether they agree to be contacted as a reference or not. If so, the appraiser will have a list of everyone who agreed to be a reference and provide their contact information.
Your jewelry is not only expensive, it has a lot of sentimental value as well. Make sure you take good care of it by getting a jewelry appraisal. It will allow you to get proper insurance for your jewelry and make sure that whoever has your jewelry next will understand its value.