What You May Not Know About Jewelry Appraisers

by Admin 15. November 2013 17:04

Did you know that there are no requirements for jewelry appraisers?  There is no governing agency.  There are no educational or experiential requirements.  Pretty surprising these days with so much being regulated. 

In order to appraise, one needs to be able to identify, as well as value.  Identification is a process of deductive reasoning through observation and testing.  Sounds pretty boring, doesn’t it?  It’s actually more fun than it sounds, because we’re working with pretty and valuable items. 

Looks can be deceiving and can make a large difference in value.  I used to do jewelry replacement training for insurance adjustors for a major insurance company.  I would bring in a tray of red gemstone rings.  That usually got their attention… particularly the women!   The attendees generally assumed the gemstones were rubies, and were surprised to learn there were pink tourmaline, red spinel, a couple varieties of garnet, a pink sapphire, and only one ruby.  This is proof that education is so important. 

However, just because someone is a Graduate Gemologist from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), doesn’t mean they know what the different value levels are, or how to utilize them.  For example, although the descriptions will be the same, an appraisal for an article for an estate is a completely different value then what it should be insured for. 

Correspondingly, just because someone has been in the jewelry industry for decades without the formal education, doesn’t mean they cannot value.  But, they may or may not be able to identify materials, treatments etc. 

Credentials or not, it is important to look for someone who has the knowledge and skills with which they may identify as well as value what you have, to help protect you in the event of a loss.


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