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GIA Graduate Gemologist • Insurance Appraisals • Estate Appraisals • Insurance Documentation
The first step in getting your jewelry protected is having it appraised by a jewelry professional. An appraisal is an opinion as to the authenticity, quality, design and value of a piece of jewelry.
Since it is an opinion, backed and supported by training, equipment and experience, it is important to understand that there can be honest variations between competent appraisals.
Most people commonly believe that the declared price evaluation is the most important aspect of an appraisal. This is not true! Actually, the most important part (and the most protective to you) is an explicit description of the jewelry item, accurately depicting the design, the metal and the stones. Having pictures of the jewelry taken at different angles is an added benefit. This not only helps describe the piece, but also helps you to replace it with one like it, should something happen. If there is a brand name or any patented features included in the design, or a certificate for one of the stones, these should also be noted on the appraisal.
To keep in line with inflation, items are factored and appraised to cover loss or theft for a period of 2 to 3 years. In order to be sure that you are covered for full replacement of your item, you want to be sure to get it updated or re-appraised every 3 years or so. This is a timeframe guideline which is completely determined by the market price of precious metals, gemstones, and labor. We try to value each item with some inflation, but at the same time, we don’t want you to over insure your jewelry and pay a higher premium than necessary.
To give yourself the benefits of the most accurate appraisal possible, heed these points:
Top Five Questions to Ask Your Insurance Agent
Okay, there are really seven questions...
Some insurance companies will require you to get regular inspections of your jewelry to help reduce losses and to alert you of any small problems that may arise from regular wear, such as loose stones, worn prongs, faulty clasps, etc. We recommend having your jewelry checked at least every 4 to 6 months (more frequently if you are hard on your jewelry) so that such things can be identified before they become bigger problems.
Of course, when you have your jewelry checked, you have the additional benefit of having it professionally cleaned and polished, as well.
If you have a security system or safe in your home, be sure to ask your insurance agent whether they offer any type of discounted rate for having these added security features.
Remember to get your appraisals updated approximately every 3 years and re-submit the new appraisal to your insurance company. Don’t forget to keep it insured if you move to another insurance company or change your policy.
Jewelry insurance is easy to forget about and seems unimportant…until the day something happens. Don’t take that risk, especially on jewelry that is worn every day like your wedding/engagement rings.
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