Sunscreen, chlorine, and travel are the quintessential elements of summer that put fine jewelry at risk. But now that the sun is setting on summer, it’s time to give your precious gems and metals some extra attention.
A critical step in protecting and preserving the value of your jewelry is getting an updated appraisal on a regular basis. In fact, if the most recent appraisal of your jewelry took place five or more years ago, it’s time to get a new appraisal.
You may be asking what a jewelry appraisal does for you. The obvious answer is that an appraisal sets a value for your jewelry. And with today’s roller-coaster values for gold, platinum, silver and gemstones, knowing what your jewelry is worth can save you heartache later if your jewelry is lost or stolen.
The appraisal provides basic information most insurance carriers need to offer coverage for your jewelry. The updated value, along with the detailed description provided by an appraisal, will help smooth your settlement process if you were to suffer a loss.
Another appraisal benefit is having an updated assessment of your jewelry’s condition. Over time, prongs, clasps, settings and even stones can become loose or damaged. The review of your jewelry by a professional can help mitigate a possible loss by drawing to your attention any minor damage so an item can be repaired.
Now that I’ve convinced you to get a jewelry appraisal, who should you go to and what should it contain? The first choice for your appraisal should be a jeweler you trust. They should have the credentials necessary to do an appraisal, such as a Certified Gemologist® (CGA) or an Independent Certified Gemologist® Appraiser (ICGA) from the American Gem Society, and/or be a member of one of the appraisal societies that dictate ethical appraisal practices. You may already have a grading report from AGS Laboratories or another lab. These reports are used to verify the quality and authenticity of gemstones or diamonds, but do not establish value.
Your jewelry appraisal should contain:
Your name and address
Type of jewelry
What is the jewelry item made of?
What type of gemstones are used?
How are the stones graded?
How is it designed or fashioned?
Condition of the item being appraised
Current precious metal values
Manufacturer, origin, or designer
Purpose of the appraisal (example: for insurance purposes)
Credentials of the appraiser
Signed and dated by the appraiser
Phillip Bosen is the Director of Business Development at Von Bargen’s Jewelry and the only Certified Gemologist Appraiser in Vermont.
Photo Courtesy of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company
by Jessica VandenHouten, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company
Did you know that your jewelry may not be covered for its current value?
Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company offers an option to protect your treasured jewelry with their Perfect Circle® Jewelry Insurance coverage. Given how easily a loss may occur, coupled with the financial expense of replacing the piece, insuring your jewelry for its current retail replacement value is important.
Your jewelry is likely worth more now than when it was purchased.
With an increased risk of loss and theft during the holidays, now is the time to visit your local AGS jeweler for an updated appraisal or evaluation. Then adjust your coverage limits accordingly.
Without yearly jewelry inspections and re-evaluations, you run the risk of being underinsured and incurring additional out-of-pocket expense for repair or replacement in the event of loss or damage.