A jewelry appraisal should be a straightforward and evidence-based process in which a trained professional recognizes the market value of an item based on its quality, age, brand, uniqueness, or manufacturing technique. Equally as important is the scientific grading of a gemstone based on measurable qualities like the 4 Cs (cut, clarity, color, carat). When taking an important piece of jewelry to an appraiser in order to assess its worth, it is important to know what to expect.
- Make sure the appraisal includes the weight of the precious metal and a gemstone(s) assessment. An appraiser needs to understand both the value of the precious metals and the gemstones in the piece of jewelry. An appraisal should include an evaluation of the quality of the metal and the gemstone.
- Expect the unexpected. Just because grandma said the item was worth a lot of money does not mean that your appraiser is lying about its relatively low monetary value. Market prices in jewelry fluctuate. Also, grandma might have herself been misled as to the actual value of the piece. On the other hand, some people are pleasantly surprised when they appraise a piece of jewelry they believed was worth very little that turns out to be a high quality item worth more than expected.
- Second opinions. If you do not like what the jewelry appraiser has to say, feel free to get a second opinion. There are a lot of different methods of appraisal and some techniques or approaches may yield different results. Also, there might be some issues that an inexperienced appraiser will miss. Experienced appraisers may know more about the brand and history of antique items versus other appraisers.
- Accuracy. Whether you are selling the item or assessing it for insurance purposes, your goal in jewelry appraisal should always be accuracy.