Insurance Appraisals

Let us help you with insuring your precious jewelry items.  When insuring your jewelry we provide the proper documentation required by insurance companies stating a current replacement value.  

We carefully inspect, clean and photograph your jewelry, provide a detailed description, and assign a replacement value based on current retail pricing for the jewelry being insured.  A GIA Graduate Gemologist will grade the gems according to the standard of the Gemological Institute of America in order to properly price it based on the current market; then weigh the piece to help calculate the impact of current precious metal prices on valuation.  We will consider all tangible aspects of the jewelry leading to a fair retail replacement value.  

Appraisal FAQ’s

Q: What is the purpose of the Appraisal?

A: The document we provide is geared for purposes of insuring the item being appraised. The item will be described in detail, the elements of the item, it being measured, weighed and photographed and an insurance replacement value stated. This is so that an insurance company has a basis for understanding what it is you are insuring and the retail value.

Q: What is the difference between Insurance Value and Retail Value?

A: Basically the same for the intend purpose of this writing. Retail value is what one would expect to pay for a new item from an authorized dealer. To replace the item insurance companies require that a piece be insured for retail value.

Q: What is the difference between Market Value and Retail Value?

A: Market Value could be defined as the going rate for an item on a secondary market, such as auctions or ebay. Retail value is what one would expect to pay for a new item from an authorized dealer.  

Q: Should I bring my prior appraisal with me when having jewelry appraised?

A: Yes. We will use the prior appraisal as a guideline however your jewelry will be measured and industry accepted formulas used to arrive at Carat weight to verify the original data.

Q: Should I bring my diamond report/certificate with me when having jewelry appraised?

A: Yes (please bring a copy or we can make a copy for you). We recommend that you always retain your original diamond report. We will check the measurements against the diamond report to verify accuracy. We will note on your appraisal the type of diamond report, diamond report number and if the gemstone is inscribed.  

Q: If I am getting an appraisal update do I need to bring my jewelry in?

A: Yes. As part of the appraisal process we must physically inspect the item being appraised.

Q: How long does an appraisal take?

A: We strive to have wedding sets back to the client in 24-48 hours. Other jewelry items we typically complete in one week or less.    

Q: Is an appraisal useful if I wish to sell my own jewelry?

A: Perhaps. The appraisal will state the Retail Replacement value. While an appraisal will describe the piece itself and assign a retail value, a buyer on the secondary market may have a different approach to determining how much they will pay for an item.

Q: When insuring an item is it an advantage to have a high value stated on the appraisal?

A: No. Insurance Premiums are typically based on the Replacement value. The higher this number the higher the premium which will be charged. We will assign a fair retail price based on current market trends  

Q: How often should I have my appraisal updated?

A: Every 3-5 years is a general rule of thumb however keep in mind price fluctuations in gold and gemstones do impact the retail price of jewelry.    

Q: What questions should I ask my Insurance agent when insuring my jewelry?

A: A part of an insurance agent’s duty is to inform one of products they offer to make sure coverage is at the desired level. Ask the questions which will offer you and your agent the ability to properly determine the correct level of coverage necessary.  

It is our experience that a large percentage of our clients, prior to a loss were under the impression that the insurance company would write them a check for the amount the jewelry was insured, based on the appraisal’s Replacement Value. This is not typically the case. Clients may be offered a replacement from the Insurance Company’s in-house inventory.   Refusing this option a cash offer may follow, typically significantly less than the appraisals stated “Replacement Value”. While replacement jewelry being supplied by your insurance Company is not an inherently bad thing it can be problematic if the item lost was a custom handmade piece of jewelry. What is important is to understand what is covered and how the reimbursement is to be made prior to a loss.  

While this is not an all-inclusive list here are some good questions to get a conversation started:

  • In the event of a loss how will the ring be replaced? A new identical piece of jewelry? A similar piece of jewelry? A check?
  • In the event of a loss who will replace the ring? A personal jeweler of my choice, a jeweler selected by the Ins. Co. or will a new piece be supplied by the Insurance Company’s in-house jewelry store.
  • What is my coverage if my jewelry is damaged? An example question is what if my engagement ring center diamond ring is chipped?

The goal of this particular answer to a FAQ is to highlight the importance of a conversation between you (a jewelry owner) and an insurance agent before a loss. Your agent can only help before an event occurs, so take the time, ask the questions and make sure you are comfortable with the level of coverage selected.