■ Are the fine people who sell jewelry items and gemstones
■ It is not necessary to be a gemologist to sell jewelry
■ Most retail jewelers are not trained gemologists or appraisers
■ A jeweler with many years of experience is just that - an experienced jeweler. It does not make them a qualified
gemologist or appraiser.
■ Are trained to identify gemstones
■ They are not trained, or qualified, to appraise jewelry unless they have taken additional classes specifically for appraising.
Registered Gemologist Appraisers
■ Are trained to identify gemstones and proper gemstone grading
■ Have additional training in proper jewelry appraisals
■ Are also trained in evaluating damaged jewelry and gemstones
■ There are no legal requirements to become a jewelry appraiser.
■ Anyone can claim to be a jewelry appraiser. From your jewelry store to the individual who appraises land or homes.
■ Some believe gemologists can do appraisals, but most gemological training programs do not teach appraisal
■ A proper appraisal requires someone that knows gemstones, insurance laws, how to research the true value of
your jewelry items and how to prepare an appraisal document that will hold up in a court of law.
Jewelry store appraisals
■ Most appraisals being written by your jewelry store are used as sales tools, showing the value of your jewelry
piece much more than what you actually paid for it.
■ These "feel good" appraisals are just that. They make you "feel good" about the "deal" you just got on your
new jewelry purchase.
■ Common sense tells us the jewelry store is not going to sell you something that is worth much more than you are
paying for it.
■ Would you sell your diamond ring for $5,000 if it was in fact worth $8,000 or $10,000?
Insurance Company Responsibility
■ The insurance company rarely has to replace an item - or give you a check - for the high price of most of these
"feel good" appraisals. Surprised? I was.
■ Many insurance companies have their own "in house replacement service". This is a great tool for the insurance
company and for you.
■ The insurance company will use this service to replace your item (or give you a check) for the amount of money that
it would cost them to replace your jewelry item. They will not give you a check for the appraised value of your item if the appraisal is not accurate.
What does that mean for you?
■ Higher appraisals = higher insurance premiums
■ More money out of your pocket
■ If your home is worth $200,000 would you pay insurance premiums for $300,000 worth of coverage?
■ If you drive a Chevy would you pay premiums for a Mercedes?
■ I didn't think so. And you shouldn't pay higher premiums on your jewelry either.
How often to update your jewelry appraisal:
■ The insurance industry recommends having your jewelry re-appraised every 2 - 3 years.
■ The market value of your jewelry can change dramatically, as we have seen with the gold market in recent times.
Gemstone and diamond value also changes.
Heirloom Jewelry Pieces:
■ Family heirloom pieces are priceless to us. But they may or may not be worth much in monetary value.
■ Synthetic gemstones have been in the market much longer than you would expect. Synthetic rubies and sapphires
were introduced into the marketplace in the very early 1900's - and they were very popular. Synthetic Alexandrite,
"diamond" pieces made out of "paste", and others have been around for many, many years.
■ Find out the true identification of your heirloom pieces.
Stephanie L. Masché
Registered Gemologist Appraiser
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