Have you ever watched a TV show like Storage Wars or American Pickers? If so, you probably are familiar with this scene: someone stumbles upon an old jewelry box with a diamond ring, and their eyes grow big. They can’t wait to get the ring valued by an estate jewelry appraiser to see just how big their score was. After the commercial, we see the jewelry appraiser tell them that the replacement value of the ring is $25,000!
Viewers at home say to themselves, “Jackpot! Wow, what a find!” And the show plays along and encourages this illusion of a huge jackpot find. Why is it an illusion? Because in reality, the diamond ring they found is worth only a fraction of that amount. Let’s learn why.
Estate Jewelry Appraisers Offer 2 Two Types of Appraisals
What these television shows don’t tell you is that jewelry appraisers offer two types of estate jewelry appraisals: one involving replacement value; the other involving resale (or market) value.
A replacement value jewelry appraisal tells you the cost of the estate jewelry if you were to walk into a jewelry store today and buy the item new.
A resale value jewelry appraisal is the price that item would fetch if you were to try to resell your estate jewelry to another person or business, such as an estate jewelry buyer.
When an estate jewelry appraiser conducts a resale value appraisal, they must take into account factors such as fashion trends, market demand, condition of the item, and most importantly the mark-ups that the jewelry has undergone in its market journey from low manufacturing wholesale price to high retail price (or replacement value). After all these things are taken into consideration, it is easy to understand why the resale value is going to be much lower than that of the replacement value.
In the case of our reality show star with the $25k valued ring, the reality is that they might only get around $6,500 for it when trying to sell it to another buyer on the resale market.
Why is the Estate Jewelry Appraiser Misleading Us?
Why do estate jewelry appraisers give such misleading quotes on these popular TV shows? Well, it’s not really the jewelry appraiser’s fault. They undoubtedly have been asked to provide a replacement value appraisal by the show’s producers, because the higher price makes for better television.
However, if you inadvertently receive the wrong jewelry appraisal in the real world, it can be crushing to discover that something you thought was worth tens of thousands of dollars is only worth a fraction of that amount.
Be aware that upwards of 90% of jewelry appraisals are for insurance purposes. When estate jewelry appraisers provide appraisals for homeowner’s insurance, for instance, they always are going to give you the replacement value. This is because insurance companies need to know how much your piece of estate jewelry will cost to replace if there was a robbery, a fire, etc.
How to Choose an Estate Jewelry Appraiser
While it is important to understand the difference between replacement and market value jewelry appraisals, you should also know how to go about getting an accurate market value appraisal. First off, when choosing an estate jewelry appraiser for your fine jewelry, you want to be sure you deal with someone who is a both a qualified gemologist & and an experienced fine jeweler.
There are basically two types of qualified gemologists among estate jewelry appraisers: the first is someone who has graduated from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). This person is referred to as a “Graduate Gemologist” (or “G.G.”) and is credited as having developed a high level of proficiency.
The second type of qualified gemologist is a well-experienced jewelry professional and estate jeweler who has acquired the same knowledge through many years of hands-on experience as a dealer of diamonds, gemstones, and fine jewelry. Besides these credentials, you also want to check the estate jewelry appraiser’s experience and their reputation to be certain that they have a mastery of not only diamonds, precious gemstones, and fine jewelry, but also of the current resale market.
Once you have found an estate jewelry appraiser whom you trust, it is important that you communicate very clearly the type of jewelry appraisal you wish to receive. As mentioned, jewelry appraisals for insurance purposes are the dominant type, so you could receive a replacement value appraisal when your actual intentions are to try and sell your estate jewelry. That clear communication can make all difference in understanding your estate jewelry’s true worth.
If you would like to sell jewelry for cash or obtaining and estate jewelry appraisal, Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers provides immediate and generous cash offers on all types of gold and platinum estate jewelry. It is a quick and secure process that begins with entirely free estate jewelry appraisal, with no obligations whatsoever.