Various Aspects of Gem and Jewelry Appraisals

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By James Greene ©

Jewelry owners have a special place in their heart for their diamonds and other types of jewelry items.  Many of these items are sentimental and not just for show.  No matter for what reason you love your jewelry, there may come a time when you need to have that special item appraised.  Diamond and jewelry appraisals provide jewelry owners with a way to find out the true value of their jewelry.  A true gem and jewelry appraisal contains the following features:

  • Independent and impartial written statement
  • Prepared by a professional appraiser
  • Defines the value of the item
  • Factors in the current state of the gem and jewelry market
  • Gives a precise description of the item. (The most important factor)

Two Types of Appraisals

There are in fact many distinct types of appraisals.  The first has to deal with replacement of the diamond engagement ring, platinum necklace or any other type of jewelry for insurance purposes.  Many individuals get their jewelry insured these days to protect it in case it is lost or stolen.  Once you inquire about an insurance policy to protect your diamond engagement ring or other jewelry item, your insurance provider will request that an independent appraisal be done on the jewelry item.  The purpose behind such an appraisal is to determine the value of the item should it be lost or stolen and the exact value of the diamond ring or emerald necklace will let your insurer know how much to charge you for an insurance policy premium.

This type of appraisal is quite specific in nature.  It will go into great detail so that the exact value can be determined in the beginning and a value can be placed on the item just in case it is necessary to replace the item or reimburse the insured in the future should the diamond engagement ring go missing.

Another type of appraisal which can occur with your diamonds and other jewelry items is a fair market value (FMV) appraisal. The FMV appraisal is a specialized type of appraisal and should be undertaken only by those that have the appropriate training and many years of experience. This is often the type of appraisal which needs to be performed for legal issues such as probate or divorce as well as for collateral and other purposes.

Steps Taken During an Appraisal

A jewelry appraisal is usually undertaken in a similar way every time no matter what jewelry appraiser you go to.  When the diamond engagement ring or other jewelry piece is brought in to the appraiser, he/she usually takes the following steps to put an appropriate appraised value on your item:

  • Weights, measurements and detailed descriptions are taken down.
  • If the jewelry piece is a gemstone, the item is graded, measured, weighed and identified.
  • Acid tests and electronic tests are performed on metal content pieces.
  • The 4 C’s (cut, color, clarity and carat) are identified on diamonds.
  • Characteristics of gemstones may be diagramed.
  • Color photographs may be taken of the diamond, diamond ring or jewelry item.
  • Appraisal definitions, such as for fair market value, or retail replacement appraisals, will be noted.

Tips to Keep in Mind

Before taking your diamond engagement ring or other sentimental item in for an appraisal, it is a good idea to keep the following tips in mind.  First, use a qualified, honest and reputable appraiser. One who has been trained in personal property appraising, and has a minimum of 5 years experience. Secondly, ask any questions pertaining to the appraisal so that you get exactly the type of appraisal you want and are comfortable with the process.  Lastly, ask about the cost of the appraisal up front so that there is no confusion in the end.  Keeping these tips in mind will help the appraisal process go smoothly overall.


  1. Lungile Nyandeni says:

    i have got an emerald that needs to be appraised, kindly forward me your contact details.
    warm regards
    Lungile nyandeni

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