If you have inherited a piece of jewelry and are wondering what its actual value could be, then you are not alone. Every year, many people get their inherited items and jewelry but are unsure about the actual price in the market.
To know its worth, people usually take the help of estate jewelry appraisals. Today we will be learning everything you need to know about estate jewelry appraisals, which can help your cause.
What is The Importance of Getting an Appraisal for Estate Jewelry?
You might wonder what could be the reason for getting an appraisal for estate jewelry. There are actually several reasons you should get an appraisal for estate jewelry and those are mentioned below:
- To verify the authenticity of materials: Whether you need to know whether the gemstones in your jewelry are real or lab-created, or if the metal is genuine gold, platinum, etc., you can get it tested by an appraiser. Unintentionally overpaying for products that seem to be expensive but are not valuable is prevented by this measure. Since there are reports of fraudulent activity for fake jewelry, having it appraised by a professional appraisal is a smart choice.
- Asses the actual damage: Even little gemstone cracks or problems with the setting’s structure may drastically lower the stone’s value. Review the appraisals under a jeweler’s loupe and lighting to identify any damage, such as inclusions, cracks, mended breaks, etc., and notify the owners.
- Determine whether repairs or changes add value: Resetting stones on older items to current designs or removing additional stones from antique rings to preserve original designs are two examples of modifications that an appraiser might suggest to boost recognition and pricing.
- To get accurate valuations for insurance: Jewellery owners run the danger of having inadequate loss/theft insurance due to outdated or incorrect evaluations. When determining the current replacement values, appraisers consider things like market pricing, bullion costs, gem values, and more.
- To identify hidden signatures driving costs up: Estate jewelers carefully examine items for elusive hallmarks like Tiffany & Co. or Van Cleef & Arpels, which may increase their value by a factor of two or three. Appraisals take notice of these unique markers.
How to Find a Qualified Appraiser?
When you are looking for a qualified appraiser, you need to look into the following sectors-
- American Society of Appraisers (ASA): The American Society of Appraisers (ASA) website offers an online directory of ASA-accredited appraisers, organized by specialization and region. Expertise is a key factor in selecting estate jewelry appraisers. Choose just those in your state that specialize in assessing vintage and antique jewelry.
- Appraisers Association of America (AAA): To ensure that its members are qualified and uphold standards, Appraisers Association of America (AAA) has stringent criteria. Find local or recommended estate jewelry appraisers by searching online by category.
- Independent appraisal firms: Beyond personal appraisers, look into reputable regional and local jewelry assessment companies. Clients benefit from the wide resources and contacts of multi-appraiser firms. Monitor the frequency of vintage and estate jewelry assessments conducted by multi-appraiser firms.
- Gemological credentials: Credentials in gem identification and evaluation, such as those from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gem Society (AGS), need a substantial amount of study time (hundreds of hours). These show that you have a lot of understanding about jewelry.
- Appraisal methodology: Find out more about the processes involved, the various jewelry analyses carried out, the methodologies used to arrive at valuations, etc. Modernized evaluation methods accurately portray actual value by linking to market statistics.
- Years of appraisal experience: Inquire about the appraiser’s years in the field to obtain their expertise and knowledge of the kind of estate jewelry you need to evaluate (vintage hallmark brands, Victorian period, etc.). Experience of over ten years specializing in the evaluation of estate jewelry is indicative of strong credentials.
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What’s Included in an Estate Jewelry Appraisal Report?
- Images: Several high-resolution photographs will be taken from different angles, along with markings and signatures.
- Measurements: Specific measurements, such as carat weights of diamonds, ring sizes, and chain lengths.
- Materials: Verifying gold and platinum carat weights, purity markings, and authenticity of gemstone.
- Condition Assessment: The recording of any damage, including dings, chips, cracks, and other indications of wear and tear.
- Identification Details: Age estimation, maker’s mark, design period of origin.
- Value Determination: Value at retail and projected value at auction for selling in terms of cash.
- Gemological Testing: Gemstone grading reports and spectroscope analyses might be included.
- Restoration Notes: Estimates for repairs to minimize damage and restore performance.
- Unique Attributes: Drawing attention to unique features that increase collectibles’ worth.
- Comparable Sales: Matches between verified market data and price estimates.
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Variables that Impact Estate Jewelry Worth
The price may vary for various reasons which are put together in the table below to get an approximate idea:
|Causes for Varying Appraisal
|Old mine vs new mine diamonds
|$2,000 vs $5,000
|Clarity and color grades of gemstones
|$3,000 (I1, K color diamond) vs $5,000 (VS2, G color diamond)
|Gold or platinum setting
|$1,500 (10K gold) vs $2,500 (platinum)
|Age and popularity of the style
|$800 (80’s gold filigree style) vs $2,000 (Art Deco style)
|Proof of authenticity and ownership
|$1,000 (no documentation) vs $3,000 (authenticated by grading lab)
|Condition and wear
|$2,500 (many scratches and worn metal) vs $3,500 (mint condition)
|Original design vs custom design
|$500 (if mass-produced) vs $1,500 (custom one-of-a-kind)
|Name brand recognition
|$1,000 (no brand) vs $3,500 (Cartier, Tiffany, etc)
What does what is estate jewelry mean?
For those interested in antique or vintage jewelry, the term “estate jewelry” is a good fit. Items passed down through generations, whether by inheritance, an estate sale, a gift, or the original owner’s sale for resale, are considered vintage.
How to get my estate jewelry insured?
To best protect estate jewelry, add a rider to your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. To include the item in a policy or submit a claim for it in the future, you will need a professional assessment value estimate. Every two to four years, have it checked over for any revisions.
Understanding the appraisal process enables realistic expectations when selling or insuring treasured estate pieces. A qualified appraiser can assess value factors like age, materials, branding, condition, and provenance, instilling trust in appraisals for fair pricing and accurate insurance coverage in case of damage, loss, or theft.