What to Know When Getting Your Jewelry Appraised

The best way to find out how much your jewelry is worth is to take it to an appraiser. Whether you need to find out for insurance purposes, for your own curiosity or to sell it later, jewelry appraisal will help you understand what kind of value your pieces possess. If you’ve never had jewelry appraised before, however, you might not know what to expect from the process. Here’s what to know when appraising jewelry in Mill Valley, CA.

Types of appraisals

There are three broad categories of appraisals:

  • Liquidation appraisal: This type of appraisal is based on an immediate need to sell, such as when you’re getting divorced or liquidating an estate. The prices tend to be lower based on the timing. If you can afford to wait, you might be able to get more for your jewelry.
  • Replacement value: The retail replacement value of jewelry is based on how much it would cost to get another piece just like yours, rather than hinging on selling used jewelry to buyers. This type of appraisal is mostly used for insurance purposes, and the value tends to be higher than fair market value.
  • Fair market value: Finally, fair market value appraisals cover what you can expect to get from your jewelry if you sell it. The appraisal is based on the condition and quality, and tends to be lower than a replacement value appraisal, yet still higher than liquidation.

What you can expect to pay

Appraisers work independently, which means there’s no across-the-board standard for their fees. The fee could be based on the hour, the size of the jewelry, their specialized expertise or a flat fee. Watch out for appraisers who charge a percentage of the appraised value—that’s unethical, and they’re likely to artificially inflate the value as a result. Move on to another appraiser right away.

Appraiser training

It’s important that you work with a credible appraiser, especially if you plan to use the appraisal in a court proceeding (such as divorce or probate). To that end, find an appraiser with gemological training. A Graduate Gemologist (G.G.) should be the bare minimum, but pay attention to their specific specialties. You’ll also want to hire an appraiser who is certified by the American Society of Appraisers or a similarly credible organization.

Finally, check their online reviews or call the Better Business Bureau. A long history of complaints or glowing reviews should help you determine whether this is the right appraiser for you.

What your appraisal report should include

Your appraisal report should include basic details like date, name, contact information, purpose of appraisal and a photo of the piece. It will also include a detailed description of your jewelry, notes on the gemstones and setting, a statement from the appraiser (if they need to explain anything) and their determination of value.

Now that you know what you need to know and expect when getting your jewelry appraised in Mill Valley, CA, visit Collectible Coins & Jewelry to get started. We look forward to assisting you!

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