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Local Business

Five things to know about jewelry appraisals


Are you in need of a jewelry appraisal? Here are five things Theresa Murphy, owner of the Joliet-based Newstar Jewelers, wants you to know about the process:

1. Check credentials

Appraisals should be written by someone with proper training, such as a Gemological Institute of America (GIA) graduate gemologist, an American Gem Society certified appraiser, or someone with similar credentials.

2. Appraisal times can vary

Depending on the intricacy of the piece, an accurate appraisal can sometimes take up to two hours.

“First the piece needs to be inspected, then cleaned and the stones need to be measured and evaluated,” Murphy said. “The approximate weight of the stones will be determined along with the color and clarity if they are diamonds. Gemstones will have approximate weight and color hue, tone, and saturation verified.”

3. Expect a detailed report

Some appraisals will be more detailed than others, but all should include a detailed description of the piece, size, shape, and type of the stones and weight of the item.

“Pictures are great to include also,” Murphy said. “Most of the time a piece is being appraised for insurance purposes so if the piece is lost, having a detailed description and a picture would help the jeweler recreate the piece for you.”

4. Appraisals vary by purpose

There are different types of appraisals. The most common are retail appraisals, which are for replacement value of the item. You can also have an estate value appraisal done, which would be the value you may expect to receive if you were going to sell it yourself.

5. Keep appraisals up to date

Appraisals usually need to be updated every five to seven years, Murphy said, depending on insurance company policies.

“When they are written, there will be a pad added onto the price to account for inflation,” she said. The pad can vary from appraiser to appraiser. Some may only use 10% while others will be as much as 40%.

Newstar Jewelers : 2417 W Jefferson Street : Joliet, IL 60435 : 815.741.8502 :