The Importance of a Credentialed Appraiser
Did you know you don’t have to be licensed to perform a jewelry appraisal? There is no ‘watch dog’ agency to administer any kind of licensing on the state or national level. Anyone can call him- or herself an appraiser. It is up to consumers to look into the qualifications and experience of their appraiser.
The consumer may not understand completely the bias that exists when it is the same person both buying and selling jewelry, and also, doing the appraisals. When consumers rely on appraisals performed by individuals who may not have the proper credentials, training and expertise required– they could be jeopardizing how well covered they may be in the event of loss or theft of their valuable item(s). Your insurance coverage may only be as good as the quality of the written report and the qualifications of the appraiser. The more thorough an appraisal report, the better your insurance protection is for your valued items. Look for an appraiser with a high level of education, continuing education, experience, product knowledge and a commitment to his or her clients. Be very careful of phony titles!
Beware of inflated appraisals. Most often, these do nothing more than cost you in premiums. Some retailers give you an appraisal with your purchase, which is quite often much higher than the purchase price. Case in point: A client paid $8,600 for an item, but had an appraisal for $25,000! Do you honestly believe the insurance company will give the client $25,000 for a ring that is probably worth no more than what it was purchased for? Human nature and our egos want to believe we made a great deal. “Why should I bother to have it appraised?” “Look at the deal I got!” The reality is that a more informed consumer will get the best deals. Take some time and educate yourself and let your professional independent appraiser be your expert.
Proper Gemological Laboratory Equipment
The proper laboratory equipment is imperative. Require that your appraiser have a fully equipped gemological laboratory meeting industry standards set by NAJA, AGS and ASA. Settle for nothing less than a set of at least five ideal cut natural diamonds. CZ masters will not do! In order for us to qualify as an American Gem Society ICGA lab we are required to have our master set pass through the AGS lab and be accepted as a master set. You cannot use just any diamond with a GIA report as a master. Some appraisers list their master set as G-J-L-M…no way is this sufficient! The L & M stones are just an inexpensive way of meeting criteria. To do a proper appraisal, you must also have higher color comparison master diamonds. This is an expensive tool that we cannot do without.