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Frequently Asked Questions 2017-12-15T12:29:48+00:00

Who needs a jewelry appraiser?

The most common reason an individual may need a jewelry appraisal is to obtain insurance coverage. An appraisal should also be obtained before selling a piece of jewelry, and also confirming the value of a piece of jewelry recently bought. You will also need an appraisal for estate liquidation purposes and for a tax deduction if making a charitable donation.

Can’t my jeweler appraise my jewelry?

While many jewelers are very knowledgeable about the product they sell, when choosing an appraiser you will want to go with someone who can provide a professional unbiased opinion. The buyer/seller relationship does not exactly allow for unbiased neutrality. Your jeweler has a vested interested in selling you product, and this may cloud their ability to give an impartial analysis. Just about every insurance company requires an appraisal from an independent appraiser, so using an appraisal from a retail jeweler masquerading as an independent appraiser may result in having a claim denied.

On the other hand, your jeweler may be your best source of locating an independent jewelry appraiser. Several jewelry manufacturers and retailers work directly with Houston Jewelry Appraiser to ensure the most convenience for their clients. Before newly purchased items are picked up from the jeweler, they are sent to the Houston Jewelry Appraiser office to be appraised. This eliminates the sometimes stressful time in between purchase and insuring that can sometimes occur.

How can a jewelry appraisal save me money?

Since it is common for retailers to put a value on appraisals of their own jewelry that is higher than the jewelry could be replaced for, it is important to have your jewelry professionally appraised. An independent jewelry appraiser will provide an accurate (not inflated) appraisal. This means that you will not pay too much for replacement insurance. For more information on this subject, you can read out article: Replacement Value: When less REALLY is more.

How much does insurance for jewelry cost?

In general, insurance will cost $10 for each $1,000 of jewelry value per year. So a $6,000 ring would cost $60 per year for a homeowner’s insurance rider. However, you would need to speak to your insurance agent for specific costs on your policy. Houston Jewelry Appraisal recommends going with a company that specializes specifically in insuring jewelry, such as Jeweler’s Mutual.

How often should I have my jewelry appraisals updated?

Updating your jewelry appraisals every three years is usually adequate. However, valuable items should be updated more frequently. Prices of diamonds, precious metals, and colored gemstones often change from year-to-year and may fluctuate up or down depending on market conditions. It is important to be sure that you are fully protected in the unfortunate event of a loss. Appraisal updates are inexpensive and critical for keeping your jewelry appropriately covered.

What if I don’t want a written appraisal, just an opinion on the value of my jewelry?

A 20 minute consultation is available free of charge if you would just like to have your piece examined and identified. Depending on the complexity of your piece and any information you are able to provide, we may be able to give you a ballpark monetary value of its worth during this free consultation. If extensive testing and carat weight calculations are required, a formal written appraisal may be required to obtain a estimated value.

Do I need to leave my jewelry with Houston Jewelry Appraiser in order to get it appraised?

Items are ready to be returned to the client at the end of each appointment, and the printed appraisal is usually ready for pick up the same day. So clients typically do not need to leave their jewelry items. Of course, clients are able to make arrangements to leave their jewelry and return after the appraisal is completed. If you choose to leave the item for cleaning and polishing, the item may need to be kept overnight in our safe, fully insured, and located in our high security office

Do I need to bring any documentation with my jewelry?

Yes, please bring any receipts or certificates relating to the piece you want appraised.

What is the difference between an appraisal and a lab report?

Put simply, lab reports analyze gems, while appraisals give them an estimated value based on qualities revealed by the
analysis.

Gemological labs like GIA, the Gemological Institute of America, analyze gems and document information about them
including, but not limited to, the cut, color, clarity, and carat weight of a stone. When going through a reputable lab such
as GIA, the gems are analyzed using state of the art equipment and go through a very thorough process, but at no point
in the process are they assigned a perceived monetary value. Beyond that, labs usually analyze loose stones, as it results
in the most accurate measurements possible.

The main focus of an appraisal, besides identifying a piece of jewelry, is to give an estimated value of what it is worth.
While the process of appraising includes analyzing a piece, the presence of a lab report always increases the credibility
of an appraisal.