Did you know that typical homeowners or renters policies often do not provide effective coverage for your jewelry? They’ll protect what most policies cover, which is theft or fire, but the coverage limit is likely not enough to fully cover the cost to repair or replace one piece of fine jewelry if you need to. What about other occurrences that may happen while you’re at home, like dropping a diamond earring down the drain or chipping a gemstone on a countertop? Do you have the appropriate jewelry insurance?
Wearing jewelry to complement an outfit is often a fashion must. We try not to leave home without it! Even when traveling, we want to bring a few special pieces along for the trip, especially engagement rings and wedding bands.
Whether traveling for business or pleasure, there are some hazards to be mindful of when traveling with fine jewelry. Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group has a how-to guide on how to avoid such hazards and to give you peace of mind during your journey. Click here to read their article.
When you become engaged, you have so much to plan for! It’s a healthy mix of love, excitement, and anticipation for what has yet to come. And now that you have purchased the engagement ring, do you have plans to insure it?
Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group has created an informative (and fun) flowchart to help you decide whether to insure or not to insure. Click here to learn more!
By David Craig Rotenberg, ECGA (AGS), GG (GIA), CSM (NAJA), CAPP (ISA)
Jewelry appraisals are important documents that are required for insurance valuations, the settling of an estate, determining the value for tax deductions for charitable contributions, for casualty loss evaluations, or perhaps the division of property in a divorce.
The appraisal is simply a means of factually communicating what a piece of jewelry is worth. It’s the item’s value assessed by quantitative and qualitative aspects as determined by a skilled professional appraiser. This individual should not only understand the science of valuation, but should be able to properly communicate the background on exactly how he or she arrived at that assessment.
Insurance appraisals are used by insurance companies to determine exactly what cost is required to replace an exact piece of jewelry in the current climate in the event of theft or loss. The appraiser provides a full evaluation of the item, including a detailed description of quality and special nuances of the item. While each insurance company may operate differently, most won’t simply accept purchase receipts since the determined “value” is the key when writing a policy or reimbursing a claim.
It is especially important to have an experienced appraiser when appraising for tax purposes. When someone dies, jewelry must be categorized to determine fair market value in regards to inheritance tax as applied by the IRS. Fair market value is a different determination than replacement value, which you obtain for insurance purposes. In terms of a divorce, an appraisal might be required to help determine equitable distribution of property. Jewelry is part of the “estate” and needs to be categorized for tax purposes.
After you contact a jewelry appraiser, they will sit down with you and review the items you want to be appraised. The condition of an item is extremely important; a broken watch from the 1960s, for instance, might be valued like a typical flea market item while a vintage Rolex in great condition from the same time period would be appraised at what it would bring on the second-hand market. Diamond rings normally have laboratory reports evaluating their quality. New jewelry that is being appraised for insurance purposes should be accompanied by receipts from the store where purchased so the appraiser can refer back to the original jeweler if there are questions.
David Rotenberg in his workshop.
David Rotenberg gives an item a closer inspection.
Finding a Qualified Jewelry Appraiser
You can contact the American Gem Society (AGS) for a list of certified appraisers in your area. Certification by the AGS indicates that the individual is not only a certified appraiser, but also an expert gemologist. The AGS is one of the oldest nonprofits dedicated to consumer protection in the industry. A certification will usually be displayed in the appraiser’s workspace—this certificate required a lot of time and effort and the appraiser will want to show it off!
Other reputable organizations include the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA) and the American Society of Appraisers (ASA). Some people ask if it’s necessary to obtain two appraisals; in most cases, this shouldn’t be necessary, especially if you’re confident you’ve gone to a qualified appraiser.
Over the Years
Before the 1980s, there wasn’t a lot of formal appraisal education and a jeweler might simply assess an item for what they might sell it for in their own showcase. The average jeweler didn’t have a lot of resources—an item might be sold based on what someone told them it was worth.
With the founding of the International Society of Appraisers (ISA) in 1979, appraisal education became more of a studied science. As gemology education blossomed, jewelers were able to conduct research, compile pricing information and attend continuing education as they used their new-found gemological skills for buying and appraisal purposes. Transparency is critical—an appraiser must be able to thoroughly explain how they arrived at a value.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
David Craig Rotenberg is an AGS-certified gemologist appraiser and one of a handful of CAPP (Certified Appraiser of Personal Property) appraisers in gemstones, contemporary jewelry and antique and period jewelry. He is a member of the Jeweler’s Vigilance Committee Appraisal Bar, has studied with the American Arbitration Association, and is past president of the AGS’s Jewelers Education Foundation, founder and past president of the Delaware Valley Keystone Guild and founder and past president of the Delaware Valley chapter of the International Society of Appraisers. Recognized by the Technical Advisory Service for Attorneys (TASA) for his expertise, he is part of the Jeweler’s Vigilance Committee’s appraisal organization and has conducted jewelry appraisals for the U.S. Treasury Department. Most recently, he completed a global leadership program at Harvard University School of Business.
In addition to offering his appraisal services to customers at David Craig Jewelers in Langhorne, PA, David has appraised multi-million dollar inventories for the federal government and many banks. He has conducted evaluations for a large variety of complex estate and bankruptcy matters and fraud investigations. He also operates an AGS-accredited gem lab at David Craig Jewelers.
Like your favorite pair of shoes, a perfect fitting ring is comfortable and reliable. Having an ill-fitted ring fly off at an inopportune time—like down the drain at a public bathroom or through the wooden boards of a pier— is not something anyone wants to have happen!
Will insurance cover resizing your ring? It’s information you ought to know! Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group answers this question. Click here to read their article.
You’ve heard about lucky brides getting a 5-carat diamond ring. Just how large is that though? What do five carats look like?
Download the Diamond Carat Size Chart by Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group. It will give you a visual comparison of ideal cut diamonds in the ten most popular shapes. It also lists the actual diameters of each diamond. Click here to download your own copy!
Today, we are lucky to have the ability to insure both our meaningful and much-needed valuables. Who would have thought that one day, we would insure our phones!
This same rule-of-thumb (or rule-of-ring-finger, in this case) should be applied to an engagement ring. From the day it’s purchased, to that special moment it’s placed on your beloved’s finger, anything could happen.
We’ve all seen those nightmarish videos of an engagement ring dropping into the ocean, falling off a bridge, or being left behind in lost luggage. But who is supposed to handle the engagement ring insurance: the bride or groom?
What is the purpose of insuring your fine jewelry? If your ruby earring went down the shower drain, an heirloom necklace disappeared from your dresser, or you accidentally cracked the center stone of your engagement ring—that’s when having jewelry insurance will bring you peace of mind. It’s good to know you’re protected!
This informative article from Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company will give you a clear idea as to what their jewelry insurance policy covers. Click here to read more!
Until the day transporters—like those used in Star Trek—become a reality, sending our valuable items over a great distance still requires shipping. How can this be done safely, discretely, and with peace of mind?
We’ve found the best advice comes from the loss prevention experts at Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company. They’ve provided eight steps to take in order to ensure your items arrive securely and intact. Click here to read their article, How to Ship Jewelry, According to Loss Prevention Experts.
When it comes to receiving a ring—whether you are newly engaged, celebrating a birthday, toasting an anniversary, or treasuring an heirloom—you’re probably not thinking about insurance.
When you procure something so precious, for peace of mind, you should consider protecting it. An important step to insuring your ring is to have it appraised.
In the following article, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company covers the most common misconceptions of ring appraisal, tips for getting a good appraisal, and why they are so important. Click here to read more.