How Does an Appraiser Appraise?
How Does an Appraiser Appraise?

The value of jewelry goes beyond the price tag. A family heirloom, a sentimental gift, or a custom-made piece are a few of the intangible things that add to the value. But insurance companies and estate planners have little use for sentiment. A professional appraisal gives you important documentation, especially if it is lost or stolen. 


How Does an Appraiser Appraise?


Here are some of the steps appraisers take when putting together an appraisal: 

Check for damage and take care of repairs and cleaning 

 The appraiser looks for any signs of damage, wear, or imperfections. Damage is addressed when possible, and your jewelry is cleaned so the inspection can be done accurately and thoroughly. 

 Photographic documentation 

  High-quality photographs are taken from all angles. These images are then cropped and edited to focus in on specific details of your jewelry. Once that is done, the photos are attached to the appraisal to compliment the description and act as visual proof of what the appraiser saw. 

 Test each piece for metal fineness 

 The “fineness” refers to the purity of a precious metal. Metal used in jewelry is always combined with other alloys to improve its strength. This number is often shown as karats or sometimes as a series of three numbers (e.g. 750 or 999). Testing fineness and weight is typically done with electronic testing and using tools like X-ray. 

 Weigh each piece 

  Using precisely calibrated scales, the appraiser will note the physical weight of the jewelry. Different techniques are used for diamonds and precious metals, but this is an important step in assessing the worth of your jewelry. 

Verbal description of each piece 

  This is the appraisers account of exactly what he or she is seeing. This is typically very detailed, identifying distinguishing marks, design, and craftmanship. The information provided helps give a complete understanding of the item’s physical attributes and its aesthetic qualities. 

Gemstone grading and quality analysis 

  Any gemstones that are in the piece are evaluated and graded using strict industry standards. In addition to color, clarity, cut and carat weight, the appraiser is looking for imperfections like cracks and chips. This grading is an important part of the process, particularly for pieces with prominent gemstones. 

 Market research or cost calculations 

  At this step of the process, appraisers look at current trends in pricing and market demands. By comparing your item with similar pieces in the marketplace, it ensures the appraisal is realistic and consistent with known benchmarks. 


When these steps are combined, you get an accurate value of your jewelry if you ever sell it or hand it down in your family. Your insurance company will also have an important document in the event your piece is ever lost or stolen. 


Appraisals are just one of the many services we provide, and we’re more than happy to help out by simply contacting one of our stores.