Hustedt Jewelers Jewelry Appraisals
Getting your jewelry appraised can be intimidating, but if you're trying to insure or resell an important piece, you want to know its true value. At Hustedt Jewelers, all our appraisals for both insurance and estate purposes are performed by a Graduate Gemologist. The following guide can help you better understand jewelry appraisals and clear up any misconceptions.
What Is a Jewelry Appraisal?
A jewelry appraisal is both a process and an official document.
The process of jewelry appraisal involves a certified professional examining an item and determining its monetary value.
The appraisal document describes the piece of jewelry, its current quality, and the value as assessed by the jeweler who examined the piece. Many appraisals also include subjective descriptions such as the jewelry's relative rarity, gemstone quality, and manufacture quality.
What Factors Does a Jeweler Look for During a Jewelry Appraisal?
The key details your appraisal document should reflect include:
- A description of the piece.
- The type of metal.
- Gemstone information, including cut, color, clarity, and carat weight.
- Any side stone information.
- The stamping percentage on platinum.
- Any treatments such as heating, dyeing, bleaching, or surface coating.
- The overall value of the piece.
Why Do I Need a Jewelry Appraisal?
Many appraisals are conducted for insurance purposes. Insurance is meant to cover the replacement value of an item. Therefore, jewelry appraisals must reflect the accurate retail cost of replacing a piece of jewelry in a typical jewelry store.
In many cases, jewelers appraise the merchandise they sell in stores. When you purchase a new piece of jewelry, you may receive an appraisal document for insurance purposes. In general, insurers recommend that you renew your jewelry appraisal every few years since the costs associated with gemstones and precious metals fluctuate.
If your item is ever stolen or lost, your insurance company will use your jewelry appraisal document to determine how much money you're owed.
Why Are Jewelry Appraisals Important?
Since jewelry insurance premiums are based on a piece's value, having an incorrect value filed with your insurance company can mean one of two of the following:
- If your item's value is underestimated, the replacement money your insurer provides after filing a claim won't be enough to cover the jewelry that was lost, damaged, or stolen. You'll be responsible for the out-of-pocket expenses required to replace or repair your item.
- If the value is overinflated, the amount of money you pay to maintain your insurance coverage (your premium) will be more than necessary. Essentially, you'll lose money by overpaying for your jewelry insurance.
Even though you may own an expensive piece of jewelry, you're not required to insure it like you would a house or car. However, insurance is still a smart move to protect an item you've invested much money and sentimental value in.
Should I Have My Jewelry Appraised If I Want to Sell It?
Getting any jewelry that you intend to sell appraised is a smart idea because an appraisal gives you a better idea of each piece's accurate replacement value. Potential buyers may also be more likely to purchase an estate piece if it comes with a document detailing its estimated diamond weight, color, and clarity rating.
An appraisal document is especially useful for online customers. Buying jewelry sight unseen can be a gamble, but having an official appraisal document can alleviate fears associated with buying jewelry items online. As a result, online sellers are encouraged to offer jewelry appraisals. Not only does an appraisal give the customer an incentive to buy, but it also makes you look more professional as an online retailer.
Keep in mind, however, that a jewelry appraisal does not tell you a piece's resale value. Rather than indicating a price point at which you can sell an item, a jewelry appraisal reflects an item's replacement value if the piece is ever lost or stolen. You should consider the item's appraisal value and add your profit margin based on current competitive retail prices when pricing jewelry for resale.
Do I Need a Jewelry Appraisal If My Credit Card Receipt Shows How Much I Paid?
Credit card receipts simply don't provide enough information about your piece of jewelry. Insurance companies require detailed descriptions that define the item's brand, color, size, and other identifiers. The appraisal also reflects the item's current value and any treatment that has been applied. In some cases, an appraisal will include a photograph, although many appraisers will leave this step up to the customer.
Depending on who conducts your appraisal, sales tax may or may not be included. Including sales tax is a highly debated step in the jewelry appraisal business, but proclaiming it for insurance purposes isn't a bad idea. If your appraiser doesn't include sales tax in the official document, you can show your credit card receipt or store receipt to your insurer who can then determine whether to reimburse you for the added sales tax.
How Can I Be Sure I'm Getting a Reliable Jewelry Appraisal?
At Hustedt Jewelers, our experienced Graduate Gemologist completes all our appraisals. While we take pride in offering highly accurate appraisals, we want to make sure you get a reliable appraisal even if you can't visit one of our locations in Bloomington or Gibson City, Illinois.
For starters, ask your jeweler for an appraisal the moment you purchase an item. This step will save you the hassle of going back later.
Be sure that the jeweler or appraiser completes the appraisal document on official business letterhead. The letterhead should include the business name (or individual name, in the case of an independent appraiser) and contact information.
Before getting an appraisal, request the jeweler or appraiser's credentials. You can learn more about qualified appraisals by visiting the American Gem Society, Gemological Institute of America, or the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers.
What Questions Should I Ask When Getting an Appraisal?
We recommend asking your jeweler the following questions:
- How much does an appraisal cost?
- Are you a Graduate Gemologist?
- How often should I have my jewelry appraised?
- How much will replacing or repairing this piece cost today?
- How much experience do you have appraising jewelry?
- How long will this replacement cost be accurate?
Don't run the risk of leaving your jewelry improperly insured. Contact Hustedt Jewelers for more information about our jewelry appraisal process.
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