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What is an Appraisal? 

It should be understood that an appraisal in not an all inclusive document but, rather that there are many specific types of appraisals suited for specific needs. To avoid potential misunderstanding, misuse, or abuse of any appraisals, four of the most commonly utilized appraisal types are noted below with a brief explanation of what they represent.

Insurance Appraisal 

An insurance appraisal is desirous by a client who wishes to insure their gems or jewellery against loss or theft with the appraisal reflecting the retail cost incurred to replace or reproduce any gems in like quality and jewellery mountings in like manufacture and degree of craftsmanship but in brand new condition. Such costs or values are estimates of the averaged current market prices at which the appraised items may be purchased in an average fine jewellery store and do not necessarily reflect the price at which the appraised item may be purchased from any one jewellery store in particular. Of paramount importance is such an appraisal is the accurate and detailed description in that the insurance companies insure the jewellery items not their value – monetary value being a mathematical figure by which one’s premium can be calculated.

Estate Appraisal 

An estate appraisal is utilized under a number of different circumstances and hence may represent different market values depending upon the actual dispensation of the estate item(s).  The estate appraisal, though, is always based on the fair market value which, as defined by Treasure Regulations. “Is the price at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell and both having reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts”.  The prices noted in such an appraisal are, therefore, estimates of the current fair market value of the items in their present condition-they do not represent replacement values of similar merchandise.​

Collateral Appraisal

A collateral appraisal is utilized when a party wishes to offer his gems or jewelry items in lieu of cash for business transaction.  In that a lender is generally unwilling to potentially wait a lengthy period of time before the item(s) can be sold at a retail fair market value-a collateral appraisal must, therefore, reflect the price said item(s) can be readily converted into cash in the near future.  This limitation of time necessitates the calculations of value to be based on the fair market value at a wholesale level with jewelry mountings being evaluated purely upon the intrinsic smelted cash value of the precious metal based on the prevailing market base price of that day.


Antique Appraisal

In that antique jewelry (items of 100 years or older) and “vintage” items (pieces of more recent manufacture) cannot be actually or exactly replaced in today’s market, calculations of value based on the estimated cost incurred to replace said items in newly manufactured condition would be inappropriate. Therefore, with the exception of gemstone evaluation, estimates of value for antique or “vintage” jewelry items is a reflection of the averaged cost incurred to replace said items of similar condition, motif, and degree of craftsmanship subject to the availability of said items (and their similar) in the marketplace.

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