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Appraisals and Appraisal Information


The information below is provided as a guide for understanding appraisals and as a source for finding an appraiser in your area.

Please note that we do not buy jewelry from the public, we do not do appraisals of items for the public, and we do not evaluate items depicted in photos sent to us via email. If you have found an interesting jewelry item and would like to find information on the item or its value, we strongly recommend that you contact a qualified appraiser in your area. Helpful links for finding an appraiser and what to expect are below.



Diamond Reports (Certificates)

All diamond rings that we sell set with a diamond over 1/4 carat (0.25 carat) are accompanied by a Gemological Laboratory Report from an independent laboratory (GIA, EGL, or AGS) as proof of the diamond quality (clarity, cut, color, and carat weight).

Appraisals:

With regard to all other jewelry items, we guarantee everything we sell to be exactly as described, but we do not give "certified appraisals" of our own jewelry items. The practice of self-appraisals, especially at inflated prices over what the customer actually paid for an item is dishonest and not a practice we endorse. For insurance replacement purposes, we highly recommend keeping your original invoice and a copy of the original item page from our website with its detailed description and photo(s) of the item you purchased in your important documents file.

If you need another opinion on your purchase, we recommend that you take your jewelry item to an independent appraiser during the 45 day time period we provide for returns. The best appraiser is an independent appraiser, i.e., someone who is a member of a recognized appraisal society such as NAJA, ASA or ISA, who has received formal training in appraisal science, appraises items for insurance and estate purposes, and one who does not sell diamonds or jewelry.

Receiving Appraisals from Jewelry Stores:

While most jewelers are quite reputable, the majority of jewelers sell new jewelry only, and are NOT trained in appraisal science, and there are unfortunately dishonest ones who will tell you the jewelry or diamond you bought is problematic just because he/she wants to sell you one of his/her own diamond or jewelry items. In addition, most retail jewelers who sell new modern jewelry have NO experience with the period styles, methods of manufacture, and valuation of antique and estate jewelry and are completely unable to provide an accurate value for such items.

It is a good idea to steer clear of jewelers who offer "FREE Verbal Appraisals". An actual appraisal document is just that, a document which sets a basis for value, most often for insurance replacement purposes in the event of a loss. A verbal appraisal gives the consumer no legal documented proof of the specific details about and detailed description of an item which is absolutely necessary for insurance replacement in the event of theft or loss. Jewelers who give verbal appraisals do NOT have the best interest of the customer in mind.

Qualifications to Look for in an Appraiser and Appraisal:

Before hiring an appraiser it is important that you ask about his/her qualifications. Be sure to ask about:

1) Formal Education: Courses or training programs in valuation science and appraisal methodology, appraisal theory, principles, procedures and ethics. (Personal property appraisers are NOT government licensed. Anyone who wants to call themselves a jewelry appraiser can, even if they lack the training or qualifications to appraise.)

2) Professional Memberships: Belonging to organizations such as the NAJA (National Association of Jewelry Appraisers), ASA (American Society of Appraisers) or ISA (International Society of Appraisers) attest to the appraiser's commitment to keeping current on appraisal standards.

3) Gemological Certification: Gemological training is important but is only a part of the education for a jewelry appraiser. Gemology training does not take the place of formal appraisal valuation education.

You can learn more about professional appraisals and find a highly respected trained and accredited appraiser in your area (a member of NAJA, ISA or ASA) here: 

National Association of Jewelry Appraisers  -  http://www.najaappraisers.com/html/find_an_appraiser.html  

American Society of Appraisers  -  http://www.appraisers.org/  

International Society of Appraisers  -  http://www.isa-appraisers.org/ 

A good written jewelry appraisal from an independent appraiser should include the following: 

1) The date the appraisal was done.
2) The name of the person requesting the appraisal.
3) What purpose / function the appraisal will serve - ex: whether the appraisal is for insurance replacement, estate (taxation) or other purposes.
4) A full typewritten description of the item being appraised, complete with weights, measurements, gemstone weights, measurements, color, clarity and all other descriptive information necessary for a complete and accurate description of the item.
5) Large diamonds should be plotted in order to allow for future identification.
6) At least one detailed photograph of the item.
7) The final component is the value conclusion - an explanation of what the value represents, replacement cost, liquidation cost etc., and how the value conclusion was reached. 

Please keep in mind that a genuine jewelry appraisal from an independent trained appraiser will not be free - again, jewelry stores which offer "free" appraisals generally do NOT have the best interest of the customer in mind - they are generally interested in attracting a customer so that they can convince the customer to do something that is in THE STORE'S best interest.