The estimated value that an appraiser assigns to jewelry pieces is based on his or her independent and unbiased opinion. Appraised value refers to how much an item currently is worth in a particular market area and not on how much it cost when you bought it. Therefore, it's important to hire an experienced appraisal professional who is trained to give you an objective but accurate opinion of your jewelry's value. You also need to consider how much that appraisal will cost you.
Check an appraiser's credentials to ascertain that the person is a qualified professional with expertise in appraising jewelry. Ask for a resume and look to see if it lists ongoing continuing education, accreditation or certifications, and membership in a professional appraisal society, such as the American Society of Appraisers (ASA).
To become an accredited member of ASA, an appraiser must:
- Complete academic courses in appraisal principles, procedures, and ethical standards
- Have full-time appraising experience (the level of accreditation awarded depends on the number of years of appraisal experience)
- Prove competency in the field by passing examinations in valuation theory, ethics, and at least one specialty (e.g., jewelry appraisal)
- Have appraisal reports peer reviewed and approved
Because an appraiser should have the experience and knowledge to back up his or her opinion of the value of the jewelry pieces you want appraised, inquire whether he or she has been tested in methodology training. You also want to know if an appraiser is current on any recent changes in appraisal standards.
Ask beforehand how an appraiser charges for his or her services. Since it's unethical for an appraiser to charge a fee that is a percentage of the jewelry's final appraisal value, jewelry appraisers generally charge:
- A fee for each item of jewelry they appraise
- A flat rate
- An hourly fee
- A half-day or full-day fee
The cost for an appraisal can vary depending on the appraiser's experience and expertise in the field, the time invested in research, the number of pieces appraised, and the reason why you need an appraisal report. Including photographs in the appraisal report can add to the appraisal costs. To avoid misunderstandings about fees, get a written contract stating for what services and in what manner the appraiser will charge you.
The appraiser's report should comply with Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) – a document that outlines the appraisal standards and appraiser qualifications for all kinds of appraisal services, including personal property like jewelry.
Following completion of the appraisal, the written report the appraiser provides should describe in detail the pieces of jewelry that were valued; indicate the appraiser's qualifications; include the appraiser's signature; and state the purpose for the appraisal report. For example, you may want to have your diamond and gemstone jewelry appraised for adequate insurance coverage in case a piece is lost or stolen.Share