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Frequently Asked Questions

Appraisal

An appraisal is an educated, informed objective opinion of value based on a stated purpose and function. It is independently prepared by an impartial, qualified appraiser, as of a specific date and is supported by the presentation and analysis of relevant market information. It is not a guarantee but is an informed opinion backed up by experience, education and instrumentation.

Sample Report

Insurance claim form

  • Insurance replacement purposes
  • Actual Cash Value for an insured loss
  • Fair Market Value for estate purposes - equitable distribution among heirs
  • Dissolution of commonly held property (divorce)
  • Charitable donation to a public institution, charity or museum (IRS Rules)
  • Liquidation

Legal document

No, but it is admissible as evidence in certain types of court cases.

A written appraisal may support legal documents. It is often used in probate review of estates, divorces, bankruptcies and liquidations.

Qualifications

  • Formal education in gemology & training in the principles of valuation
  • Knowledge of current wholesale and retail prices of gemstones, jewelry and watches including verifiable sales prices
  • Gemological laboratory instrumentation & resources
  • Current education in gemological markets, treatments, methods, and testing

Contact us

Please contact me. We'll discuss your needs and arrange for an appointment at a convenient time.

All of my appraisal work is done by appointment only. If necessary, we can schedule appointments for evenings or Saturdays.

Camera lense

Once we have established the purpose of the appraisal, I can start to examine your jewelry and help you determine which items meet the purpose for which I am appraising. Now I can go to work for you. If you have any questions about what I’m doing during the appraisal process you are encouraged to ask them. I want you to understand the process and the results. Besides, I enjoy educating you about your jewelry.

Part of the appraisal process involves taking photographs of the jewelry which will be included within the appraisal. One thing that I do that most appraisers don’t is that all diamonds over ½ carat in weight will be plotted. Plotting is the mapping of the inclusions within the diamond that serve as that diamonds unique fingerprint.

When I am done appraising your jewelry, I like to go over the report with you so you more fully understand the value and unique features of each piece of jewelry I appraise.

The finished report can be delivered to you either as a printed hardcopy or as a PDF attachment to an email. Your insurance agent would much prefer receiving the PDF copy vs the printed hardcopy. If you’d like, I can forward a PDF copy to your agent at this time as well. Payment is expected when the report is finished. Methods of payment accepted: Cash, check or credit card.

Sample Report

Bring

Yes. I can’t appraise what I can’t see. If you are not able to get to my office, you can send the items to me by mail. I recommend overnight shipping for speed and convenience. Please don’t forget to insure the items for what you feel they are worth. After the appraisal, the items and the report will be returned to you by overnight shipping.

Additionally, if you have any documentation on the items such as previous appraisals, diamond grading reports or purchase documents, please bring them as well.

Cost

My fees are based on either a per item charge, or on an hourly basis. My per item charge is $100; my hourly charge is $200 and I use whichever is least expensive. I have found it to be substantially less expensive when I’m appraising several items for the same person to charge by hour, as I am able to work uninterrupted. As an example, 5 items normally takes about 2 hours, resulting in a fee of $400, or $80 per item. I don’t bill based on a percentage of the appraised value as that is unethical.

Time

An average appraisal takes between 30-45 minutes for a single item. Some simple items can be done in 15 minutes or less, while some very complicated items can take a few hours. I will tell you up front if you have a complicated item and approximately how long it will take and the expected cost of the report.

Frequency

Most insurance companies recommend having your jewelry reappraised every 2 years or so. My recommendation is at least once every 4-5 years. Once I have appraised your jewelry, if you return for a reappraisal within that 5 year time period, the cost of the reappraisal is half that of a new item.

Graduate Gemologist Certification from

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Certified Master Appraiser by

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Certified Gemological Laboratory by

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