What really happens at a jewelry appraisal

Some of you have asked about what really goes on in a jewelry appraisal so here are 5 things that you can expect. And even though I keep referring to “jewelry,” your appraisal can include watches, silverware and silver pieces, and other heirlooms.

It’s recommended that jewelry appraisals are updated every 3-5 years. Why? Well, consider this: in 2000, the price of a troy ounce of gold was $279.11; in 2020, it was $1,769.64, according to statista.com. That little gold bracelet you bought 30 years ago for $150? Bet it’s worth a lot more now. But a professional appraisal’s the only way to know for sure.

Before your appointment

1.Tell me about it: When we talk, I’ll ask some questions, like how many pieces you have and what you want the appraisal for (insurance or estate). We’ll set up the appointment and I’ll give you an estimated fee so you can review and accept it. Before we meet, I’ll ask you to collect all your jewelry paperwork, like diamond certificates or reports; clean your jewelry if possible (to save time); and write down any questions you have.

At your appointment

2. Your gems don’t leave the room: I perform the appraisal in front of you, either at your home or in my office. If you want, you can leave during the appointment and pick everything up later in the day. I estimate about 30 minutes per item.

3. You’re welcome to watch: If we’re meeting at your home, I bring all of my instruments (including a white tablecloth to get true color readings). I have all of my equipment at my office in Newton. During the appraisal, there’s nothing you have to do, but clients find it interesting to see all of the examinations that go on to determine a piece’s worth.

4. Take a closer look: Jewelry appraisals contain standard information, including these items:

  • Your name, the date, and the intended use of the appraisal (insurance vs inheritance)
  • Description including any distinguishing characteristics, grades of clarity, color and cut, measurements and weight.
  • Manufacturing information: Who put together the piece, how the workmanship rates, number of karats, type of metal, etc.
  • Photograph to verify that the appraisal document corresponds to the piece.
  • Estimated value based on the marketplace.
  • Signature and embossing seal for authenticity

5. Ask away! I love my work and I love answering questions from my clients. This is your chance to find out about how old a piece might be, how to take care of it, and what that “mystery stone” really is. If you’re thinking of selling, I can guide you through the process. With all of my studies and experience, I’m a walking encyclopedia of watches, silver pieces, and jewelry.

Appraiser with microscope

Ready to find out what you have? If you have questions or are ready to set up an appointment, contact me at 617-304-0174 or at [email protected]. Let’s get this journey going!

Brilliantly yours, Aimee

About Aimee Berrent

Aimee M. Berrent is the owner of A Matter of Brilliance and a GIA Graduate Gemologist. She offers appraisal services such as jewelry appraisals, diamond appraisals, and estate appraisals within Massachusetts and all over the East Coast.
Aimee has over 25 years experience in the jewelry trade, and received her Graduate Gemologist (G.G.) in Residence diploma from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in Santa Monica, California, and is a member of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA).
Aimee has advanced training in jewelry appraisal theory. She frequently attends jewelry conferences and takes courses to stay on top of current gemological advances and appraisal training.

Aimee Berrent

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