By Tracy Steverson, Tracy’s Fine Jewelry
We all survived 2020! I heard someone say the other day that a year from now we’ll get out our winter coats and reach in our pockets and pull out a face mask and laugh at how crazy 2020 was. As we cautiously walk into 2021 we should find something positive that we can bring into this new year, like a hug from someone in our bubble, or the sparkle of a favorite gem, perhaps?
January is usually a month of resolutions and awareness. Why not resolve this new year to take care of both yourself, and your jewelry? Most of us wear our jewelry to symbolize something, whether it’s a marriage, an anniversary, or possibly a loved one, remembered with a treasured heirloom. It’s worth taking a moment to think about upkeep for these special mementos before a stone wiggles loose, or a clasp breaks. Let January be the month you do some jewelry maintenance – make an appointment for a jewelry checkup, and get those prongs secured before you part ways with an irreplaceable diamond.
This is also a good time to think about appraisals. A jewelry appraisal is typically the item’s retail replacement value. The retail replacement value will be inflated and is much higher than the resale value of your jewelry. This is mostly due to the fact that the appraisal is an estimate of how much it will cost you to replace your jewelry at the current market price as opposed to the selling price of used jewelry. There are several factors that are considered to reach that price. Insurance premiums and market fluctuations will impact that number, as will the fact that an appraisal should be good for six to ten years, and needs to take into account how the cost of replacing that item might increase with time.
Look for an appraiser well educated in the current value of jewelry, diamonds, and gemstones. The pieces should be photographed, listed in detail, and an individual appraisal done on each. The weight of the item, the gemstone, and diamond weight should be noted, along with any unique details. The cost of an appraisal will vary depending on the detail and the amount of diamonds and or gemstones in your item. The average price should run between $75 to $150 per item. Appraisals can be time consuming, so consider calling ahead for an appointment and be prepared to leave your items with the appraiser. When large diamonds are involved, it’s a good idea to have the diamond certified by a Graduate Gemologist or a gem lab. Once you receive the appraisal, you can have your items insured. Speak to your insurance company about a separate rider for these items on your insurance policy, which can often be discounted. Most jewelry stores can also recommend some outside sources if you need any assistance.
Having your items appraised gives you a sense of security in the event your items are lost or stolen. In these uncertain times, an appraisal is a small price to pay for peace of mind.