Do I Need a Jewelry Appraisal?

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If you have recently purchased or inherited a piece of fine jewelry, or if you are thinking about selling a piece of jewelry, an appraisal can be helpful.

If you aren’t sure what an appraisal is or if you need one, we think you’ll find this post most helpful.

Let’s dive right in…

What is a Jewelry Appraisal?

A jewelry appraisal is the process of examining a piece of jewelry to determine its value. This is completed by a certified professional who states a dollar-value based on certain criteria.

Replacement Value Appraisal

An appraisal with retail replacement value is most common type of appraisal used for insurance purposes. It is important to note, that values can differ from place to place, so it is not uncommon to see inconsistencies between appraisers based upon their analysis of the market.

The purpose of this type of appraisal is to ensure that you are compensated fully, should your item become lost, damaged, or stolen. The insurance premium you pay is based upon this retail replacement value.

You should also be aware that the insurance company won’t automatically cut you a check for the amount of the appraisal should something happened – but they must help you get the same quality of item lost, so you are considered covered.

Comparable Replacement Value Appraisal

Like the Replacement Value Appraisal, this type of appraisal is commonly created for vintage or antique pieces, and other items that are no longer available.

Fair Market Value Appraisals

Fair Market Appraisals suggest the selling price between a willing buyer and seller when there is no urgency between the two parties to buy or sell. Fair market value represents the item’s value in its current used condition.

Immediate Liquidation Value

These values are low and are determined to facilitate the
speedy liquidation of assets.

There are also other reasons that an appraisal might be needed.

Estate Planning

An Estate Appraisal is used to determine payment of the inheritance tax or for fair division of the estate property among the designated heirs. The estate appraisal is based on the Fair Market Value as specified by Treasury Regulations.

Settlement of Assets

A Divorce Settlement Appraisal is used in the administration of the shared estate and verifies the fair market value of items purchased as collective property.


Jewelry that is part of a bankruptcy may require an appraisal. Values of fair market appraisals reflect the selling price between a willing buyer and seller when there is no urgency between the two parties to buy or sell.

Tax purposes

When donating jewelry to a charitable organization or public institution, the donor may be entitled to a tax deduction. According to the IRS, an official appraisal is required for items or a group of items exceeding $5,000.

If you don’t have an appraisal but are still interested in consigning jewelry with us, that is not a problem. We understand that sometimes people are not sure what they have. In these cases, our Graduate Gemologist will be happy to sit down with you and review your items with you.

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