How Much Is It Worth?
What is an Appraisal?
An appraisal is a professional appraiser's opinion of value. The preparation of an appraisal involves the knowledge, experience, and professional judgment of the appraiser. The professional jewelry appraiser traditionally utilizes three separate approaches to valuation - sales of comparable jewelry, the cost of making a reproduction of the jewelry, and in rare cases, an estimate of the income producing potential of the jewelry. Typical situations where an appraisal is needed are: Insurance; Purchase advice; Estate Distribution; and Sale of property. An appraisal has three main functions, all of them important to you.

First, the appraiser is an identifier. Your jewelry must be identified as to the materials, workmanship, condition and any other elements affecting its value, and then evaluated in quality in relation to all other similar property. A detailed description is especially important in insurance appraisals, since in case of a loss the appraisal will form the basis of your claim. Most people have replacement policies, which give the insurance company the option of replacing the jewelry rather than making cash payment. Therefore, the detail and accuracy of description in the appraisal is paramount.

Second, the appraiser is a valuer. A value must be assigned to the jewelry that is appropriate to the purpose of the appraisal. Value is always specific to a certain date and a specific purpose. When an appraisal is done for insurance purposes, the insured value is used to calculate the amount of premium.

Third, the appraiser is a witness to the property. The appraiser can attest in a court of law that the jewelry existed at a certain point in time, and that it was in a certain condition.