Q: "Do you have a certified gemologist on site?"
This is the very first question I would ask a jewelry store, before considering purchasing a significant piece of jewelry from them. With any major purchase, be it an automobile or real estate or jewelry, I want to know the organization I'm doing business with has the knowledge, experience and credibility to do a GREAT job, not just a good job.
A: "You bet! Our on-staff, full-time gemologist has 20+ years of experience and is GIA certified."
Within the jewelry business, appraisals are a specialty that truly separates "the men from the boys." Most jewelry stores will ship your jewelry out to a certified appraiser, which involves the risk of losing your precious keepsake or wedding ring.
At William's Custom Jewelers, we appraise your jewelry right in our Salt Lake City showroom, which means we are faster, and less expensive, than any appraiser in the Wasatch Valley. Often you'll have your jewelry back the same day, and we'll mail you the laminated, formal appraisal within a couple of days. This saves you a trip back into the store!
For most items, the cost for a formal, laminated appraisal is $60. Give us a call or drop by today!
Here's a sample appraisal, followed by some descriptions of what an appraisal is for and the different kinds of appraisals:
• $80 Per Item
• 2 Carat Center: $90
• 3 Carat Center: $100
What is an appraisal?
A jewelry appraisal is an evaluation by a trained expert (hopefully) of the quality, weight, workmanship, and value of your piece of jewelry. Most often I do appraisals for insurance coverage but there is another type known as estate appraisals. Whereas an insurance appraisal is the replacement cost of a new piece of jewelry, the estate appraisal is the price that can be received if you need to sell the item. Obviously this is much lower than the Insurance appraisal.
Who should I have do my appraisal?
You should have your appraisal done by a trained Gemologist. Many jewelry stores have "appraisers" with little or no training or credentials. This is dangerous. The small details of an appraisal are critically important, because the insurance company will replace the item described in the appraisal. Nothing less or more ... importantly, nothing more.
Is a higher appraisal better?
Usually not, and here’s why. The insurance companies have accounts with jewelry wholesalers and can buy at or near wholesale prices. If you lose a piece of jewelry and file a claim, the insurance company will replace it with the same or similar piece of jewelry. If you ask for cash instead of the jewelry, they will pay the amount they can replace it for, not the appraised value. So an inflated appraisal means you, pay more in premiums but receive nothing more when filing a claim. An accurate average-retail appraisal does the trick.
I have a Gemologist diploma from the GIA, the governing body of gemstone research and evaluation here in the US and abroad. I also have a B.S. degree in geology. I have been doing appraisals for over fifteen years and subscribe to several publications to keep up with current information and techniques of gemstone enhancement and synthesis. I’m happy to look at your jewelry for no charge to help you decide if an appraisal is warranted