Jewelry Appraisals: What to Know


Diamonds may be forever, but jewelry appraisals are, unfortunately, not. Read on to learn more about the appraisal process, and why it it important to keep your appraisals up to date!

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Did you know that there are different types of appraisals? Appraisals can be done for reasons ranging from a need to determine the fair market value of an item, to estate planning or most commonly, a replacement value determined for insurance purposes. Since appraisals for insurance purposes and appraisals for selling are the most commonly requested, we will go over those in more depth.

Appraisals for Insurance

Replacement Value Appraisals:  The most commonly requested appraisals are for “replacement value”. The appraisal will be written with insurance replacement (retail cost replacement) as the guiding factor for insuring an item. The cost of replacing that item if it is lost or stolen with a similar item from a reputable jewelry store, or creating a piece with similar characteristics, is how value is determined for an appraisal of this kind. These may not always reflect the price you paid for the item, especially if it was an older or specialty purchase, as the cost of these pieces can change.

Appraisals for Selling

Fair Market Value:  A Fair Market Value appraisal is created to give an idea of what jewelry could be reasonably sold for, between private parties. An example would be a valuation for charitable donations or estate appraisals. Fair market values often run lower on value estimates than retail replacement values because retail replacement values often reflect the cost to replace the item with a new equivalent rather than a used equivalent.

Now that we have a better idea of what appraisals can be used for, why would you need to update them? You may think that if you get your jewelry appraised after your purchase you are set. However, appraisals are only valid for a limited period of time. The reasons jewelry needs to be appraised every few years include:


  • Jewelry markets can be volatile and prices for certain stones change from year to year. You will want to have up to date information.

  • As the inflation rate changes the values of your jewelry may change.  Again, up to date information is necessary, especially for insurance purposes.

  • Any damage to your jewelry may impact the value. If you are passing jewelry on to beneficiaries and want to divide equitably you will want to verify the condition has not changed.


The Insurance Institute of America recommends that you have your diamond jewelry appraisal updated every 2 years. We recommend updating appraisals at least every 3-5 years for other kinds of jewelry.  If you are insuring your jewelry you will want to check your specific insurance policy to find out how often they require appraisals. It is unlikely they will provide you an appraisal reminder so you will need to keep track!

Sami Fine Jewelry offers Appraisal Clinics in Fountain Hills AZ throughout the year. These events are great for getting your pieces appraised with a very short turnaround time, and helping to make sure that all of your precious jewelry is accurately represented! To learn more about our appraisal clinics, or to have your pieces inspected, give us a call!

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