Trust Only a Licensed Jewelry Judge for Your
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Make Money Buying Jewelry? Show
Question: I have found a way to purchase quality jewelry at a wholesale price. It comes with an appraisal, and is certified. For example, my first purchase was a genuine sapphire and diamond necklace and earrings set appraised with a retail value of $3,150. I purchased the set for $219.80. I am interested in selling the set for profit. It's going to come in the box, brand new. My question is, for an item already appraised, about how much should I price this? I have a friend who is studying to be a gemologist, who says for this particular set I could probably get around $1500. She said for the most part, if you price it for about half of the retail value, youll probably get it. Does that sound about right?
Answer: I've now been in the Jewelry Industry for 47 years. And, I can tell you this.
You cannot buy a $3100 piece of jewelry for $219.80. If you could,
people like me would have retired years ago! The normal "wholesale"
price for an item that sells for $3100 is approximately half! So, what
you paid would be approx. 80% below wholesale. Wish I could buy for 80%
As to your friend who is studying to be a gemologist.... A gemologist
studies the identification and communication of Gemstones. He/she will
have NO education whatsoever, about pricing in any given area after
studying gemology! One must study appraising to learn values. Making a
blanket statement that you "could probably get around $1500" is
fictional at best.
I'm 99.9% sure that the appraisal of the item for $3100 on the item you
paid $219 for is bogus. One of what I call "I love you" appraisals,
written by some unqualified, unscrupulous person who is being paid by
Please... Jewelry and gemstones of ANY kind (except those purchased for
very high prices), are a terrible investment. If you want to make
money... buy land!
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Is there an Appraisal Checklist? Show
have your jewelry appraisal, you should make sure that the appraisal has
at least the following as a minimum. Insurance companies today are requiring
more of this information than they did in the past. All Jewelry Judge
Appraisal Centers follow these strict guidelines when appraising jewelry
of all gemstones along with their shape, measurements, and weights.
described by the "Four C's" color, clarity, cut, and carat weight.
colored gems described by their color with a recognized description system
detailing hue, tone, saturation, and also clarity and cut.
should be described by their color, luster, nacre, shape, blemishes, and
should be described as to their carat content (14K, 18K, etc.) as well
as platinum and other metal groups.
of construction, craftsmanship, and design.
of the item.
appraiser's name and signature, addendum information, and qualifications
and the purpose and function of the appraisal.
previous jewelry appraisals were those typical one-paragraph, no photo, prefab
reports, it's time to step up to the professional documents supplied by
The Jewelry Judge. It's your best protection in the event of a loss.
Click here to view sample appraisal.
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Why Choose A Jewelry Judge Appraiser?Show
This innovative association of elite jewelry appraisal professionals
extends throughout the United States and Canada and gives you a convenient
way to discover the true value of your jewelry. In most states and provinces,
jewelry appraising is not a regulated or licensed profession. That means
that you, the consumer, have no way of knowing if your appraiser is qualified
or if the document you receive is up to professional standards accepted
by insurance companies. Further, in the case of a loss and insurance claim,
an inferior appraisal can leave you with less than your original item
By visiting a Jewelry Judge Appraisal Center, you can rest assured that
all persons doing your appraisal are fully qualified with gemological
and appraisal training. Our "While You Watch" concept gives
you the opportunity to learn and participate in the appraisal process
from beginning to end. You'll also have the comfort of knowing that your
jewelry never leaves your sight. The appraisal process is fast, professional, providing you with instant results that can be used when insuring your valuable items.
Never have your jewelry appraised by someone who charges a fee based
on the value of your jewelry. This can influence the value to inflated
levels to obtain a higher fee. The by-laws of every appraisal organization
and of The Jewelry Judge state that this is an unethical practice.
A few of the many reasons why Jewelry Judge should be you choice...
- Honest, ethical evaluations of your jewelry.
- Professional appraisers with guaranteed standards of quality and education.
- Detailed appraisal including a digital photographic image of your jewelry.
- A "While You Watch" policy that assures your Jewelry never leaves your sight.
- Immediate delivery of your appraisals for insurance purposes.
- Reasonable rates that are never based on the value of your jewelry.
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What is the Appraisal Process?Show
The Jewelry Judges environment is a private laboratory with only you and the appraiser present. Operating for more than 20 years as the first "While You Watch" Independent Appraisal Firms, we have developed very exact policies and procedures to ensure that your jewelry never leaves your sight.
You will be ushered into our appraisal laboratory and, after a short interview to establish the PURPOSE and FUNCTION of the appraisal (IE: retail replacement value for insurance, fair market value for a tax attorney, confirmation of a fair purchase price etc.). The appraiser will begin the appraisal process by first cleaning your item(s) before it is evaluated and check for any needed repairs.
Then, using state of the art gemological software and laboratory equipment, a complete and accurate description of your jewelry is documented. Those diamonds over 1 carat in size require a "Blueprint" Grading Report or a "Diamond Grading Report." After doing our Grading Report, we then will compare our results to any other laboratory report, such as the GIA, EGL or IGI, to confirm that your stone matches the outside report and to confirm the 4-cs. This is also so we can record the Report # on the appraisal for additional identification and to confirm a match between the report and the actual diamond. A digital photograph of the jewelry is then taken for maximum identification purposes and is displayed right on the appraisal.
Finally, we will assign a value based on the "Purpose" and "Function" of the appraisal as noted earlier. Our values will be fully explained at the time of the appraisal. At the conclusion of the appointment, we will give you the completed documentation, and a copy for Insurance, in a protective sleeve for safe keeping. Please feel free to ask any questions during your appointment. We love to talk about jewelry! Our belief at The Jewelry Judge is that buyers and sellers should operate on a fair playing field. Therefore, educating the jewelry buying consumer is one of our most important missions.
We hope this page was helpful in explaining what to expect when you arrive. Please call your local Jewelry Judge lab to schedule your personal and confidential appointment.
We look forward to hearing from you soon.
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How does one become an Appraiser?Show
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
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
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 pros do it. There is 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
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Why Do I Need My Jewelry Appraised?Show
Why do I need my jewelry
1. To obtain insurance for...
- Loss from theft or home break-ins
- Mysterious disappearance
- Travel accidents, theft or hotel break-ins
- Stones falling out or other damage
2. To confirm the value of
a new purchase
- Independence and high ethics
- Honest and accurate evaluations
- Consultants to the consumer
3. For future identification
- Our detailed reports guarantee against switching when left somewhere
- Accurate damage assessment based on any change from the original
- How many items of jewelry do you have undocumented? If lost or stolen, how will you prove you actually owned the item for tax purposes? Professional Jewelry Appraisals are "legal documents" showing the items actually exist, for you, your family and your heirs.
- Fair market evaluation for tax liability
- Valuation for equitable division of inherited jewelry
- Fair market value for equitable division of property
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How can I find a Qualified Appraiser?Show
Appraising is not regulated in most states and provinces.
Therefore, appraisers are not required to have formal education or belong
to appraisal organizations. Many jewelers perform appraisals, and while
they might know the cost of their own jewelry, they are not "qualified"
to do appraisals. At the Jewelry Judge, we require full qualifications
to become a member. Every licensed Jewelry Judge is qualified so you,
the consumer, do not have to search for the right appraiser.
Every Jewelry Judge appraiser must be a graduate gemologist
(GG title) from the Gemological Institute of America or an FGA (Fellow
of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain). This insures knowledge
in the gemological identification procedure that is a part of every
appraisal. In addition, our gemologists continue to further their education
through update classes and seminars. Please note that gemological training
should never be equated to appraisal training, a reason why not all
gemologists are qualified to be appraisers.
Every Jewelry Judge appraiser must enroll in appraisal science
training through any of a number of recognized organizations. You can
individually check with each appraiser to learn more about what programs
each may have completed.
Many organizations offer credentials that the appraiser may
use after their name. So, in addition to the GG title or FGA title,
you may see other initials that appear. Some titles follow but are not
inclusive of every title offered.
A professional appraiser will ALWAYS list his/her qualification with their signature. If you do not see their qualifications after their name, it is most likely that they are NOT professional appraisers. The "Graduate Gemologist" title from the Gemological Institute of America is NOT an appraiser's title!
- MGAMaster Gemologist Appraiseroffered
through the American Society of Appraisers. Requirements include years
of experience, gemological degree, comprehensive examination, and
- CAPPCertified Appraiser of Personal
Propertyoffered through the International Society
of Appraisers. Requirements include years of experience, gemological
degree, comprehensive examination, and background evaluation.
- NGJANational Gem and Jewelry Appraiseroffered
through the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers. Requirements
include years of experience, gemological degree, and background evaluation.
- Registered Master Valueroffered
through a recognized appraisal educational program developed by the late Anna
Miller. Requirements include gemological degree and comprehensive
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Why should I insure my jewelry?Show
Warning: Your jewelry may be under-insured or over-insured...
Examples. Compare the prices of these items from 1990 to 2000. Prices
are approximate retail for an average quality one carat solitaire diamond
engagement ring and for a one carat average quality single stone emerald
Did you know that:
- Almost all insurance companies have the option of replacement of the item. If a piece of jewelry is lost, most insurance companies DO NOT give you money. It is their responsibility and obligation to put you back into the position you were in BEFORE the loss. Because insurance companies do millions of dollars a year in jewelry replacements, they can purchase the item for much less than a consumer.
- The majority of retail jewelers will sell you an item for one price and then appraise it for a much higher price, telling the consumer that the higher value is for insurance. But, if your insurance company is a replacement company, who benefits by a high appraisal? The Jeweler, because you are led to believe that you are paying a greatly reduced price; and, the Insurance Company who will collect their premiums upon the value stated. There is no benefit to the consumer in accepting a highly inflated value appraisal.
- Most insurance companies will only pay up to the covered amount
so if the current value is higher, you are under-insured and will
have to pay the difference.
- Most insurance companies will only pay the current replacement value
so if you are over-insured you are paying unnecessary premiums.
- Most insurance companies will not ask for updated appraisals on
a regular basis, so it is up to you to regularly have your jewelry
inspected and reappraised to reflect current markets.
- Most homeowner insurance policies have a dollar amount of coverage
for unscheduled property such as jewelry, but there are limits and
they cover theft onlynot mysterious loss or damage.
When making a claim on properly appraised and scheduled jewelry:
- If the policy is a replacement type policy, the insurance company
may have the option of sending you to a replacement center of their
choice. Remember, you should have the replacement checked by your
local Jewelry Judge appraiser to verify that the quality is acceptable
based on the original appraisal.
- You may have the option of using your own jeweler, especially when
original designs or copyrights are involved. Even then, you have the
right to have the replacement verified for quality based on the original
- If you choose the option of cashing out rather than replacement,
the type of policy will dictate how the cash-out offer works. With
an Agreed Value or Actual Cash Value policy, you will receive a check
in the full amount of the insured value. With a Replacement policy,
you will receive either the insured value or the actual cost that
the insurance company would have to spend to replace the item, whichever
is lower. Since insurance companies are volume purchasers, they often
receive a discount, so be prepared to be given a lower offer than
the insured amount. Your Jewelry Judge appraiser can assist you in
determining if the cash offer is fair.
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What are Full Service Appraisal Centers?Show
It's new. It's an idea that's long overdue. At last there's a place that
you can take your jewelry for an accurate, honest, impartial appraisal.
The Jewelry Judge is a full-service appraisal center staffed by fully
qualified gemologist/appraisers. All appraisals are done for you "While
You Watch" so you will have the comfort of knowing your jewelry will
never leave your sight.
Enjoy a cup of coffee and relax and learn in private comfortable surroundings.
For most assignments, the document for insurance is delivered to you as
You can rule out any surprises because our fees are never based on the
ultimate value of your jewelry. Fees are per item or by the hour and will
be discussed with you up front before proceeding with the appraisal. Rates
are very reasonable for the quality we provide.
you identify yours?
With a digital photographic image of your jewelry and a grading report
on all major diamonds, the chances of recovery are greatly increased in
case of theft. Detailed reports make recovery easy.
leave your appraisal to guesswork
Appraisal valuations can vary on the same piece of jewelry even by qualified
professionals. How can you be suer the valuation you receive is accurate?
Let us be the judge.
leave home without it.
Planning to travel? Take along a Jewelry Judge Jewelry
Passport. This miniature copy of your appraisal comes in a convenient
travel size folder including a digital photographic image. It looks like
a passport and can be used as proof of prior ownership to avoid unnecessary
Don't wait until it's too late. Approximately once every minute and a
half, a robbery occurs. The only way to insure replacement of your valuable
items is with an appraisal. Make it a Jewelry Judge appraisal.
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