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Frequently Asked Questions

How does one become an appraiser?

Before going into your questions... Appraising is by far the best profession in the world. Very lucrative and really a lot of fun if done the right way.

This is a very common question. To become an appraiser takes up to five years in the jewelry industry. One should first enroll in the GIA or FGA courses to become proficient as a Gemologist. The G.G. or F.G.A. titles are a must. One can be an appraiser without this education, but not an appraiser of Gems and Jewelry.

One must get into the retail Jewelry industry as soon as possible. And, although it's difficult, the retail business is the one industry you can learn everything about the business; from method of construction to setting and from birthstones of the month to opening watches to replacing batteries. To be an appraiser, one must know it all! So... while you are learning about Gemology, you are also learning about the industry.

Somewhere along the avenue to become an appraiser, you must join one of the Appraisal Organizations and start your appraisal education. To be an appraiser of Gems and Jewelry, one must be a Gemologist AND a Certified Appraiser.

Certification involves education from one of the appraisal organizations such as the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA); the American Society of Appraisers (ASA); or the International Society of Appraisers (ISA). You can also enroll in the Master Valuer program which is a course, but not an "appraisal organization" as the others are. The combination of a Gemology degree and an Appraisal Certification qualify you to be a Certified Appraiser.

I highly recommend an internship with an established Certified Appraiser to see how the pro's do it. There's so much more to becoming an appraiser then just the titles. Knowing the ins and outs... the problems we handle, the valuation itself are just as important. The internship will give you the hands on experience to build an appraisal practice.