Yes, you absolutely should have your jewelry appraised. Here’s why.
An appraisal documents the value and key details of a piece. It doesn’t matter how you got the piece – maybe you’re planning to buy an engagement ring and pop the question, making a jewelry purchase for yourself or someone else, or you’re inheriting a piece of jewelry, like a diamond bracelet. No matter what the scenario, if you are giving or getting a valuable piece of jewelry, you need to know its value. Buying a piece of jewelry without an appraisal is like buying a pre-owned vehicle without a CARFAX certificate. You simply need proper documentation on your jewelry, which for many people is among their biggest purchases, after cars and homes.
Why is it important to get a jewelry appraisal?
There are several reasons why it makes sense to have your jewelry appraised:
- You want to have a jeweler make sure your newly purchased ring, necklace, bracelet, etc. is in prime condition. If your item is not evaluated and appraised properly, you may risk it becoming damaged or lost due to a loose prong or other defect not immediately obvious to someone who isn’t professionally trained.
- It’s not expensive to get an appraisal! Most jewelers charge anywhere from $75-$125 for an appraisal. This cost is absolutely justified when you compare it to the value of your jewelry piece.
- Documenting the true value of your diamond engagement ring and other pieces of jewelry can help you avoid disputes about the value of those pieces down the road if you ever need to make an insurance claim. If it’s a new purchase, getting an appraisal can be an additional way to validate your ownership.
- If you ever lose or damage your piece of jewelry, you will need a detailed description of it so that your jeweler will be able to get or create a replacement that is as close to the original as possible. Imagine losing an item, not having proper documentation, and your jeweler telling you there’s not enough information to properly replace your jewelry. With a good appraisal, the jeweler would have the details they need to replace the piece.
- Insurance! Most insurance companies require an appraisal to insure your jewelry. If your insurance company doesn’t need an appraisal, I would encourage you to look for a new insurance company. When you know the specific details of the piece of jewelry and its appraised value, you will get an accurate insurance quote. Otherwise you could end up underinsuring the piece and risking out of pocket costs to replace it, or you could overpay for insurance (year after year) if the appraisal has an inflated value.
Do I need an appraisal to get jewelry insurance?
In most cases, yes! At BriteCo, we require an appraisal for several reasons. First and foremost, we verify (on your behalf) that all of the information is accurate and accounted for. Secondly, we want to make sure that you’re completely covered in the event of a loss. Third, it’s really important to give you an accurate insurance quote for a jewelry policy, and to do that, an appraisal is necessary. At BriteCo, we work directly with your jeweler to completely streamline the appraisal and insurance process. This way, you get all the complete and accurate information you need in your appraisal, and your insurance quote is exactly the right amount based on the appraised value, so you won’t have to spend any extra time or money. You can learn more about BriteCo’s super-convenient process in our “engagement ring insurance just got a whole lot faster and easier” blog.
Be very wary of any insurance company that will write you a policy without getting an appraisal and validating that the information is correct. It may seem easy on the front end but could well be a disaster when a claim occurs.
How much does a jewelry appraisal cost?
A jewelry appraisal can cost anywhere from $50 to $150, depending on the appraiser. In general, the average price of a jewelry appraisal is $75-$100. Some appraisers charge a flat rate per piece, while others will discount if you have numerous items needing to be appraised.. This may be especially helpful if you have a large estate you’re valuing. In rare cases you may find an appraiser charging per hour, but we don’t necessarily recommend this. It’s more difficult to figure out what your cost will be, up front.
Does it matter where I get my appraisal done?
Yes, who does your appraisal is very important. Your best bet is to find a trusted local jeweler with the skills and experience to properly appraise your item. The good news is that there are many qualified jewelers in communities all over the country. If you need a recommendation, just shoot us a message at www.brite.co and we’ll be happy to connect you with one of our trusted retail jeweler partners.
So there you have it! We absolutely recommend getting an appraisal on any piece of fine jewelry. Whether it’s your grandma’s brooch, an engagement ring, or a simple pair of diamond stud earrings, it’s worth spending a little extra to gain lasting peace of mind.
Article By Dustin Lemick, CEO of BriteCo