Diamond Appraisals, exactly what are they? Dissecting the jewelry appraisal

Diamond Appraisals seem to be following me wherever I go these past few days.  Lately I have been working with clients who either are using their appraisal incorrectly, or who do not have one at all.  I have written a blog similar to this before, but it seems time for a “refresher”.

When it comes time to sell a diamond, for whatever reason, individuals usually have two pieces of information at their disposal and use them to determine the sale price of the piece– an insurance appraisal, and an original receipt.  Some people have neither, or just one of the two.

In the case of an insurance appraisal, typically clients use this document most often as a way to determine the value of the piece they have.  It is import to be clear on what the value on the appraisal represents, because a lot of people do not really know.  This value represents a retail replacement value of the piece, and does not adequately depict the pieces’ re-sale value.

For example: Lets use a diamond ring that has been appraised for $5000.00. The $5000.00 represents the amount the insurance company will cover the piece of jewelry for in the event it   gets lost, stolen, or needs to be replaced.  The appraisal does not mean that the person could sell their piece for $5,000. In fact, if you look at the fine print on most appraisals, there is usually a sentence that says, “this value is for replacement purposes only and the writer does not agree to purchase the piece for this amount”, or something along the same lines.

It is also important to keep in mind that an appraisal is really the opinion of the person writing the appraisal, and may not be 100% accurate. People who do not have the appropriate education or experience in grading diamonds and jewelry often write appraisals. Individuals who are certified in the trade, known as Graduate Gemologists, should be the only individuals to write jewelry appraisals.  This is the only way to really be sure the grading and evaluation of the jewelry is at least close to accurate.

It is my recommendation that all diamond jewelry should have an insurance appraisal, and be covered by a person’s insurance.  Diamond jewelry is extremely expensive compared to its relative size.  You can purchase a decent used car for the same amount a lot of diamond pieces are appraised for.  In order to make sure that you have an appraisal that is accurate and complete here are my recommendations:

Have the diamond piece independently appraised – Do not have the same jeweler who sold you the jewelry also appraise it.  It is in the jeweler’s best interest to appraise the piece for more than you purchased it for to make it appear like they gave you a great price.

Make sure the person writing the appraisal is qualified to do so – Ask the establishment if the person writing the appraisal is a Graduate Gemologist.

Do not over pay for an appraisal – A professional, complete and accurate appraisal should only cost between $100-$200.


Keep in mind that MJ Gabel always offers free advise, evaluations, and consulting.

If you are not sure if your appraisal is accurate, we would be happy to take a look for you. Knowing the piece you have, and its true re-sale value is the best way to guarantee your ability to sell it properly.  If you need of an insurance appraisal,

MJ Gabel Graduate Gemologists would be happy to write one for you. Our typical cost is between $75-$125. Have a look at our website for a complete list of our services

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