Diamond Drop Earrings
Enameled Diamond Pocket Watch
Circa late 19th Century
Diamond Engagement Ring
Independent qualified appraisers are the recognized authority in the gem, jewelry and coin industry. They do not work for a store, they DO NOT BUY, SELL OR BROKER. Working within the jewelry and coin industry or at an auction house does not make one an appraiser. Unfortunately, due to lack of regulations, individuals with little or no appraisal education represent themselves to the public as appraisers. Appraising is a profession, just like a doctor, lawyer, or CPA.
Independent qualified appraisers are highly qualified through formal education, rigorous testing and continuing education. We provide not only expert insurance appraisals, but appraisals for the more challenging assignments such as antique and vintage jewelry and rare coins. Highly qualified appraisers are relied upon by the courts for Expert Witness Testimony, Litigation Support and are the only appraisers recognized by the Internal Revenue Service.
How do you know if the appraiser is a professional?
Ask. All too often the only question asked by consumers when looking for an appraiser is: "HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE?" The question you should ask is: "WHAT QUALIFIES YOU TO APPRAISE MY PROPERTY?" The appraiser should not be offended by the question, but rather welcome it. Here are some questions you should be asking:
What is an appraisal?
An appraisal is an educated, informed objective opinion of value based on a stated purpose and function. It is a written statement, prepared by an impartial qualified appraiser, as of a specific date and supported by the presentation and analysis of relevant market information. Appraisals for insurance are done in the present. This means that the value is written for the date of value stated in the appraisal.
Requirements needed when selecting a professional jewelry, coin and watch appraiser.
Anyone who is appraising jewelry, coins and watches should be able to tell you when and by whom they received their formal training, what appraisal association certifications they possess, if their laboratory is certified for diamonds and gemstones and by what organization, and how long they have been appraising.
How much does an appraisal cost?
Professional appraisers charge for their services based upon an hourly rate or a per-item fee, never by a percentage of the appraised value.
Our fees are based on the amount of work necessary, the complexity of the items and the required research which is necessary to complete a fully comprehensive report, or for a contracted amount based on an estimate of the time involved. We are more than happy to provide an estimate at the time you set up your appraisal appointment. For your piece of mind all fees will be firmly established at your appointment before the appraisal is performed.
Your appraisal will include a detailed description of the item(s) of jewelry, which includes gemstone identification, color and clarity grading, measurements, their calculated weights, plotting diagrams for major gemstones, quality and condition assessment of the mounting, metal testing, as well as numerous digital photographs. Our appraisals are accepted by all insurance companies.
We ask our clients to bring all documentation available; such as previous appraisals, sales receipts and grading reports along with the items being appraised.
I have an appraisal from the store where I purchased my item....why do I need another appraisal?
Unfortunately, people use the "free appraisal" provided by the seller to get insurance coverage. Or worst yet they give their sales receipt. They rely on their insurance agent to inform them if the documentation is sufficient. A "free appraisal" from the store where you purchased your item is nothing more than "documentation of purchase" and commonly have inflated prices. This is nothing more than a marketing tool. They frequently lack critical information needed by your insurance company if you make a claim. Should you submit an appraisal to the insurance company in which either the grades or values are knowingly inflated or intentionally misleading; you may be guilty of fraud or conspiracy to commit fraud and may be prosecuted or have your claim denied. Remember you policy is a legal document.
Why should I use a professional numismatic appraiser when a local coin dealer can tell me how much my coins are worth?
Coin dealers are only interested in one thing; buying low and selling high. Only a independent professional numismatic appraiser who has training in the evaluation and valuation can write a comprehensive appraisal report. We can recommend what coins, if any, should be sent to a professional grading service. This is particularly important if the coin is considered rare or uncirculated. A professional, independent numismatic appraiser represent his clients, while a coin dealer only represents himself.
The short answer is NO. If you are desiring a fast, quickie, cookie cutter, one-hour while you wait appraisal you will not find it here. These appraisals are based on computer modeling programs that incorporate cookie cutter, one size fits all pricing models. These "quickie" appraisals are known to lack adequate evaluation, description and market research of the item being appraised. This is especially true for custom made, one of a kind, designer, antique or vintage items as well as all Fair Market Value appraisals.
The bottom line is this... You could have a very serious problem when making a claim with a "low cost, one-hour, while you wait appraisal". You want an appraisal written by a independent qualified appraiser who takes all the necessary steps to insure you receive a well written qualified appraisal. You need an appraisal that, if necessary, will hold up in court.
How often should I update my appraisal?
Appraisals for insurance are done in the present. This means that the value is written for the date of value stated in the appraisal. Appraisals are time sensitive. Values change over time. Therefore, it is highly recommended you re-appraise your items every 3 to 5 years. Once we have appraised your item, when you return for a re-appraisal of your original item, within a 5 year period, the cost of the new appraisal is at a reduced price.
Are you worried about leaving your cherished items? No problem, we embrace your concerns and prefer to have you present while your items are being appraised. Your items will never leave your sight. We want you to fully understand your items and encourage you to ask questions.
How do I arrange for an appraisal?
Please contact us by phone or email. We will discuss your needs and schedule an appointment at a convenient time. To ensure the privacy and security of our clients, all appraisals are performed by appointment.