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A Simple Guide for Getting a Great Jewelry Appraisal

You have a beautiful custom designed jewelry piece, and you decide to take out some insurance on it, just in case. Unfortunately, the insurance company requires an appraisal for the correct value of the piece, and you’re not quite sure where to begin. Here are the basics for getting a proper appraisal in Michigan and what to look for in the appraiser.

Where Is an Appraiser Found?

One of the easiest ways to get an appraisal is to go to jewelry stores and speak to the jewelers there. Many of these individuals will be trained in proper appraisals. If the jewelry store staff doesn’t have the appropriate training, they may know of a place where you can have an appraisal done. You may also choose to look into some of the various appraisal associations available to you. These associations will generally hold their members to certain ethical and professional standards, so you can rest easy knowing that they’re providing the best service possible.

What to Look for in an Appraiser

The first thing you should be sure of is that the appraiser has gemological and appraisal training, as well as a thorough understanding of the process of making jewelry. Always inquire about the education and experience of the appraiser you are considering using. For example, a diamond is appraised differently than a generic wedding band. Find an appraiser with experience that suits your needs.

There are many questions that you should ask the appraisers. Do they have insurance to cover the jewelry while it is in their possession? Do the appraisers have experience in the type of appraisal they have to write for you? What information will be included in the appraisal? You may also ask when the appraiser last took a recertification exam. This ensures that the appraiser is up to date and knowledgeable about all current standards of appraisal.

Additionally, make sure you agree with the appraiser’s pricing. Flat hourly fees are generally better for you. This is because you can quantify the total amount you are going to be spending. Some appraisers will charge you based on the outcome of the appraisal rather than an hourly rate. This encourages some individuals to appraise the piece for a higher amount than it is actually worth so that the appraiser can make a bit more money. If you do choose an appraiser who charges based on the outcome, it should be an appraiser that you trust.

A ring with sapphire and diamonds.

What the Appraisal Should Include

Your appraisal should include the date of the appraisal, as well as your name and contact information. It should also have a statement of the purpose of the appraisal. Be sure that it includes a clear and understandable description of the item being appraised. This should include the value of the item, any limiting conditions, any disclosure statements or fine print, and the appraiser’s signature. The appraisal should also list the appraiser’s qualifications and the names of any individuals who may have assisted with the appraisal process.

The End Result

This guide should allow you to find and get jewelry appraisals in Michigan. If you’re unhappy with the appraisal, bring it up with the appraiser you used. If you feel like that does not help resolve your issues, contact any professional associations he or she belongs to and see what steps should be taken. Finally, the appraisal may not be equivalent to what was spent on the piece. It may be more; it may be less. Before getting angry or excited, speak with the appraiser to see why that may be.

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