Many people wonder whether they should get their jewellery appraised. Is it worth it or just a waste of money?

There are many reasons why you may need a jewellery appraisal and there are also many different types of appraisals, such as for insurance purposes, donations or estates to name a few. These appraisals all serve different functions so it is important to discuss your specific needs with your appraiser.

The most common type of appraisal is for insurance purposes. This type of document is done so you can obtain specific scheduled insurance on an item. Your policy protects you against most perils such as theft, loss, fire, etc. and your insurance company will need an up-to-date appraisal report in order to compensate you adequately.

Another important point to consider is the accuracy of your appraisal. You want to make sure that your gemstones are described in detail, including facts such as size (in carats and millimeters), colour, cut and clarity, inscriptions if any and certificates if applicable. This information will protect you from getting a lower grade gemstone if you were to make a claim. Your insurance company can only rely on the information that is provided to them.

The value of your jewellery on the appraisal report is extremely important. An appraiser’s job is to make sure you receive enough compensation to replace your piece of jewellery without compromising quality and craftsmanship. For example, if your item is custom designed and handmade by a reputable designer/goldsmith, you don’t want a replacement that is manufactured and kind of looks like your item.

On the other hand, you don’t want an inflated appraisal either because you will be paying higher premiums than what your actual needs are.

One last point to consider is to make sure your appraiser is a gemmologist and not a knowledgeable sales person. A gemmologist has the education, knowledge and equipment to identify and grade your stones properly, thus giving them the appropriate market value.

Your jewellery appraiser will be able to tell you what type of appraisal you should get based on your needs or if you need an appraisal at all. You may need a detailed inventory report that includes photographs and descriptions of your items (not all appraisers offer this service). Be sure to ask a lot of questions until you are comfortable leaving your jewellery for appraisal. Some places will send your jewellery away, others will do it in their own shop.