What are the Qualifications of a Professional Appraiser?
When you are shopping for an appraiser, don’t hesitate to ask for their credentials. What qualifies them to evaluate your jewelry? What are their specialties? How much experience do they have? The designation GIA (Gemological Institute of America) or “Graduate Gemologist” does not necessarily imply appraisal training. Look for appraisal organization designations from organizations like the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. The USPAP encompasses training in market research, ethics, and appraisal reporting compliance standards.
What is the Appraisal Based on?
The market value of metals and precious stones changes on a daily basis which is why is it important to know what your appraisal is based on. The value of your jewelry is different than the ‘price’ of your jewelry. A price implies the cost of an item while the value might be higher because it fluctuates with market values. Make sure to ask your appraiser about how recent market research affects the value of your jewelry. You wouldn’t sell your home for less than it is worth. Just like property values, precious metals values are also based off economic values that are always changing. This is why most insurance companies require jewelry appraisals at least every three years.
Most insurance companies require specific documentation for coverage. This documentation is a very detailed report of your piece as well as the methods the appraiser used to arrive at their conclusions. A certified jewelry appraiser will utilize industry standard wordage to accurately describe and evaluate your jewelry. Depending on the reason for the appraisal, the wordage may be different. Estate appraisals, for example, are subject to governmental standards when it comes to the definition of value. Appraisals for insurance purposes must take into account the cost of replicating a particular piece by a professional jeweler.
When you are shopping around for jewelry appraisals in Michigan, make sure to do your research and consult the experts.