Do I need an appraisal for my fine jewelry?

Do I need an appraisal for my fine jewelry?

An official appraisal is necessary for insurance and estate planning.  Fair market value appraisals indicate the amount a piece would be sold for between a willing buyer and seller.  This appraisal can be used for estate tax determination and division of property in a divorce.  A fair market value can be helpful to fair division of jewelry assets among loved ones.

Insurance replacement appraisals provide you protection for reimbursement in case of loss.  This appraisal will give you a document that describes your item exactly (stone clarity, size, color, quality and value).  By having a relatively recent appraisal, you will be better able to get the lost item replaced with a similar item or receive a settlement from your insurance company. Gems of the same size can have significantly different values so you need an appraisal to ensure your replacement is comparable to the original.

Listed below are the most common reasons to have your jewelry appraised by a professional.

  • Insurance coverage is the most common reason for getting an appraisal. A full appraisal is a detailed document that will assure you of a comparable replacement in case of loss.
  • With the popularity of purchasing jewelry over the internet, an appraisal from an independent appraiser can verify that diamonds and other jewelry match the certification or appraisal that accompany the item. Schedule an appointment to give you an idea of the value and peace of mind.
  • A detailed appraisal is a valuable document to have whenever you choose to dispose of (sell, trade or bequeath) your jewelry.
  • An appraisal is necessary in the event of Estate Settlement, forming a Trust, or Equitable Distribution.
  • You will need an appraisal to claim a casualty loss for your insurance company or uninsured loss for the IRS.
  • You should have an appraisal for division of property in a divorce.
  • You will need an appraisal for tax deduction of a charitable contribution.

Is there a cost to have my jewelry appraised?

Yes. When asking any professional for their appraised value of an item, you should usually expect to pay a reasonable amount for their expert opinion.  How much that amount is can vary from professional to professional.  It’s safe to say that the most important factor to consider when selecting someone to appraise your fine jewelry, is trust.  Work with a professional that you trust to appraise your jewelry.


Diamond Jim is a master jeweler, diamond dealer and precious metals broker of NTR Metals.  Pineforest Jewelry has been a proud member of the IJO for many years.  See more at: Thank you for reading the “Ask Diamond Jim” column and for supporting the North Channel Star Newspaper!