Just like antique furniture or a rare coin collection, fine jewelry may be one of the very few items you own that should be appraised by a professional.
Indeed, there are many reasons you should seriously consider having your fine bracelets, brooches, and earrings inspected by an expert.
Let’s look at the reasons why jewelry appraisal in Bucks County—or anywhere else, for that matter—is such a crucial aspect of owning fine jewelry.
When Insuring Your Jewelry, Appraisals Are a Must
Because so many pieces of jewelry can be so valuable, it would be foolish not to have your finest and most expensive pieces insured. But insurance companies, as many of us are no doubt well aware, won’t simply cut you a reasonable check if an item in your collection is stolen or goes missing. In fact, an insurance underwriter generally won’t even finalize the jewelry schedule on your policy without a written appraisal from a well-known and trustworthy appraisal professional.
Many policy holders assume that a verifiable sales receipt for the piece in question will be enough to prove a piece’s value to an insurance agent. But that’s not the case. Partially because the value of fine jewelry fluctuates from year to year, policies are written and claims are paid based not on the price you paid for an item, but rather on its actual appraised value.
Are You Sure You Have the Right Policy?
In some instances, a potion or even the entirety of your collection will be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. But don’t make the mistake of banking on that being true in your situation. You may need something known as a “valuable items endorsement,” or you may even need a completely separate policy altogether.
It’s crucial that you understand which portion of your collection is covered by which policy. It’s just as important, however, to understand that no matter the policy, your premium will be based on your jewelry’s value, which only an appraiser can officially declare.
What Else Will An Appraisal Accomplish?
Aside from giving you the assurance that you’ll be paid a proper claim should your fine jewelry ever go missing, appraisals also include important details about each of your items.
Any professional jewelry appraisal in Bucks County should include the following:
- Each item’s current retail price in the Greater Philadelphia jewelry market
- Specific details describing the craftsmanship of each piece
- Any visible maker’s mark or manufacturer’s mark, including serial numbers and model numbers if applicable
- The cut, color, clarity, and weight (in carats) of any gemstones
- A listing of any precious metals used in the piece’s mounting, along with each metal’s weight
- The specific origin of the item’s other materials
- An individual photograph of each piece
How Often Should a Jewelry Appraisal Occur?
If you’re new to the jewelry appraisal process, you may be surprised to learn that some insurance carriers require any fine jewelry they’re covering to be reappraised roughly every five years. Even if your particular policy has no such requirements, you would nevertheless be wise to follow the five-year rule.
Appraisal updates are really the only way to be certain that your jewelry is being insured at its current value. Because market prices of various jewels and precious metals tend to rise and fall with some regularity, and because certain styles of jewelry go in and out of fashion, any particular item in your collection could be worth more or less one year than it was the year before.
On one hand, you don’t want to be paying inflated premiums for a piece that’s lost much of its value. And on the other, you’ll want to be sure a piece that’s gained significant value is being insured at a high enough rate—or at least a rate you’re comfortable with. Your insurance agent or underwriter should be able to explain your policy’s appraisal guidelines, so be sure to ask.
The Jewelry Appraisals We Offer
At Doylestown Gold Exchange, we always offer free jewelry appraisal services if you’re just looking for an item’s approximate value.
If you’re interested in professional-level jewelry appraisal in Bucks County, we invite you to pay us a visit. We are a reputable family-owned and family-operated outfit with a certified graduate gemologist as one of the business’ three partners.
If you have a particularly complicated or potentially valuable item and would like a professional jewelry appraisal, please call us or stop in so we can take a close look at your items, and discuss the pricing structure for any work we might need to do.
After all, you never know what might be collecting dust in your basement or attic at this very moment. Even if you’re not entirely certain whether a particular item may be something priceless, wouldn’t it be better to know for sure?