People can inherit jewelry for a variety of reasons. It may be a favored keepsake, a way to preserve family heirlooms, or even a gift intended to help in times ahead. However, if you’re hoping to sell recently inherited jewelry, it is critical to know exactly how much it is worth. Multiple aspects of a piece of jewelry, such as its manufacturer and the metals used in its creation, can affect its value. Getting jewelry appraised by a trustworthy source in Orange, however, can be difficult if you don’t know where to go.
It takes more than just going to a jewelry store, as almost anyone can claim to be an appraiser. There are no federal or state licensing requirements to appraise jewelry, and simply working in a jewelry store isn’t necessarily an adequate qualification. Most retailers don’t even have the equipment to properly inspect a gemstone and determine its quality. There are industry groups that require members to meet certain qualifications and adhere to a code of ethics, however. Organizations such as the Accredited Gemologists Association, the American Gem Society, Appraisers Association of America Inc, and others adhere to a shared set of standards for appraisal services. Additionally, the appraiser should be a graduate of the Gemological Institute of America, which ensures that they are qualified to identify and grade gem materials. Appraisers also need to be knowledgeable about the current jewelry market to be able to competently appraise estate jewelry. Fortunately, Watch and Wares employs qualified gemologists certified by the GIA, enabling us to fulfill your appraisal needs.
When properly done, an appraisal should clearly state its purpose, such as estate distribution. It should clearly define and specify the type of value being provided, such as replacement cost, market value, et cetera. It should also specify the date of the appraisal, state any circumstances limiting the performance of the appraisal, describe and depict the jewelry appraised, explain the procedures used to arrive at a value, be signed by the appraiser, and include their contact information.
Above all, it is important to remember that jewelry value is not a set number. It changes depending on the marketplace, global precious metal and gemstone prices, and the current styles and trends. A necklace worth $1,000 in Los Angeles in 2015 might be only $800 in New York City a year later.
There are four major standards when it comes to jewelry appraisal:
- Replacement value: How much it would cost to outright replace the appraised jewelry item with a new one. It is not the value of the jewelry itself, but how much a new item like the piece would cost.
- Estate retail value: How much an item would sell to someone purchasing used jewelry, with “estate” in this context meaning pre-owned or used. A used piece of jewelry will usually be worth less to the general public than something brand new, barring rare or highly sought-after pieces.
- Estate wholesale value: This is the price that a business that sells used jewelry is willing to pay for the item. This will be lower than the retail value because the buyer has to add the cost of business to sell an item and still turn a profit on the sale.
- Intrinsic value: The worth of the raw materials in the jewelry item, such as the metals and gemstones. This is dependent on current market values for said metals and gems, and no value is added for style, condition, brand, market demand, or other factors.
At Watch and Wares, we work to give you a value rate that is not only fair and competitive but also recognizes your emotional attachment to the jewelry in question. We realize that the items people bring to us are often of deeply sentimental value, and in some cases, they are the only mementos they have of their loved ones. We always strive to respect that emotional attachment, both in how we treat our clients and in the rates we offer for the jewelry they bring to us. Additionally, all of our appraisals are obligation-free, meaning you don’t have to sell to us if you ultimately choose not to.
If you live in Orange and would like to get your estate jewelry appraised, consider paying Watch & Wares a visit. Our qualified gemologist can offer an honest and fair estimate for free, and with over twenty-five years of experience serving the Orange County area, we are the best place to sell your fine jewelry. If you’d like to learn more about appraisals or schedule an appointment, call us today at (714) 633-2030.