If you inherit antique jewelry, there may be sentimental value attached to it. You may be entrusted with the task of protecting family jewels for future generations. Alternatively, the jewelry may have been left to you as a valuable resource that can help you, for example, with the down payment on your first home.
Of course, just because a piece is old doesn’t necessarily mean it’s financially valuable. It may be a coveted collector’s item today, or it may have fallen out of fashion, diminishing in value. Other factors, such as the price of gemstones and precious metals today, artistic quality, and the particular maker or designer, will also factor into its value.
Regardless of what you plan to do with your inherited jewelry, one of your priorities should be to determine its value, in part so that you can insure it for the appropriate amount if necessary. That means getting a professional appraisal.
How Much Does a Jewelry Appraisal Cost?
The amount of money you are going to spend to get your jewelry appraised will depend on your geographical location, the reputation of the appraiser, and the type of jewelry. An appraiser can evaluate various items including watches, diamond rings, diamonds, metals, pearls, gemstones, and almost any other piece of jewelry.
Also, this cost will greatly depend on the complexity and size of the jewelry. You should plan on spending anywhere between $55 and $140 per hour for a jewelry appraisal. For example, the price for an engagement ring with a few stones will be higher than for a simple wedding band.
In case the jewelry appraiser will not charge by the hour, then they will just charge by the piece. Again, it will depend on the size of the piece.
In some rare situations, the appraisers could charge a certain percentage of the final appraised value.
In the table below you will find the average prices for appraising different types of jewelry. Please remember that these costs are estimative and may be lower or even higher in your geographical area.
|Type of Jewelry||Average Price Range|
|Diamonds (5 carats+)||$632.50+|
|Diamonds (3 to 4 carats)||$287.50 to $460|
|Diamonds (1 to 2 carats)||$115 to $201.25|
|Diamonds (0.01 to 1 carat)||$57.50 to $115|
|Pearls||$57.50 to $115|
|Identifying a Gemstone||$57.50 to $86.25|
|Precious Metals||$57.50 to $143.75|
|Watches||$57.50 to $115|
|Diamonds (2 to 3 carats)||$201.25 to $345|
|Diamonds (4 to 5 carats)||$402.50 to $632.50|
Jewelry appraisal – short presentation
The identification, expertise, and appraisal of diamonds and other jewelry types is a laborious and precise process, which involves a lot of theoretical and practical knowledge, a lot of skill and experience, as well as a series of specific equipment for evaluation.
Jewelry assessments should consider the following: the appraiser’s signature along with their qualifications, the date of the appraisal, the condition of jewelry, the current retail price, the number of gemstones and/or diamonds, the brand name, the metal being used, serial numbers, the number of karats, model numbers, and manufacture.
You will receive a piece of paper with the estimated value of your jewelry, known as the replacement value, once you get an appraisal. Usually, this value is related to insurance claims that will determine how much it would cost to replace the jewelry in case it will be lost or stolen. This report will include facts such as the year the item was made, the type of the item, engraving, what type of manufacturing was done, setting, measurements, and others.
When valuing jewelry, the appraiser should clearly state whether the appraisal value determined is fair market value, replacement value, or liquidation value.
Which are the additional expenses?
The costs would be much higher if you need also legal consultation or the appraiser has to represent you in court.
Depending on the recommendation, most insurance companies/appraisers will require you to get the jewelry appraised every three years. Discuss this with your insurance company or appraiser.
In general, out-of-office appraisers charge a fuel fee that is as high as the hourly rate if they have to travel to your location.
If you need your evaluation report to be expedited faster than the usual turnaround time, you will have to pay an additional fee.
Important things to consider
According to the Worthy.com website, a jewelry appraisal is highly recommended if you want to insure it, but for selling a grading report should be enough. This report will be done by a certified professional in a gemological laboratory that will evaluate the diamond. The particularity of this report is that it will not determine a “replacement” value for insurance purposes, but a market value at that time.
When choosing an appraiser make sure it is, at minimum, an Accredit Senior Appraiser of the American Society of Appraisers. Also, they should be Graduate Gemologist of the FGA or GIA with some years of experience. However, there are no federal or state licensing requirements like there are for real estate appraisers.
Search on the PriceScope.com website to find a qualified appraiser or jeweler in your area. There are multiple listings and each of these includes membership details, phone numbers, years of practice, and many more.
According to most experts, the replacement value is not its real worth. If you were to sell your jewelry on the open market you would get 50% to 60% of this value.
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