Matthew Ashton

Written by

Matthew Ashton

7 minute read

Updated 15th March 2024

A Guide to Jewellery Valuation & Appraisal

Jewellery is more than a fashion accessory; it can symbolise love, commitment and family history. But it can also be a valuable asset, so it’s important to have your jewellery valued by a qualified professional. After an appraisal, you can get a good understanding of your jewellery’s worth and protect it from damage or loss with jewellery insurance.

In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about jewellery appraisals and valuations, including what a jewellery valuation is, how to prepare for one, and the cost of getting specific rings, such as engagement rings, appraised.   

How do I value my jewellery for insurance?

To get a jewellery valuation for insurance, it is strongly recommended a qualified professional appraise it. Ideally, they would be an NAJ or IRV valuer. Once the valuation has been completed, the appraiser will give you a written appraisal report, including a detailed description of your jewellery, its value, and the methods used to determine its value. 

You can then submit the appraisal report to your insurance broker, who will use this information to determine the appropriate coverage for your jewellery.

In this guide, we discuss preparing your jewellery for the appraisal, including what to expect during the appraisal process. 

What is a jewellery valuation?

A jewellery valuation is an assessment of the value of jewellery. It involves a qualified appraiser inspecting your jewellery and examining its features, such as the type of metal, the weight, the quality and size of any gemstones, and the overall craftsmanship. Once examined,  they’ll determine the value and provide you with an appraisal report.  

Jewellery appraisers should be trained, qualified, and have experience that is continually being improved to fine-tune their market knowledge and expertise. The appraiser will also have good knowledge of the current market and be able to determine the value by comparing it to similar items that have sold recently. 

Are a valuation and appraisal the same thing?

Jewellery ‘valuation’ and jewellery ‘appraisal’ are often used interchangeably. However, there is a subtle difference between the two terms. In the context of jewellery, a valuation is typically a less formal assessment of value only. By contrast, an appraisal is a more formal assessment often required for specific purposes, such as obtaining insurance or financing for a high-value item of jewellery. 

What’s included in a jewellery valuation report?

Your jewellery valuation report is a written document respected by insurance companies, estate planners, tax authorities and buyers. A valuation report should include the following:

  • A statement of the purpose of the valuation (i.e. insurance)
  • A detailed description of the item, including the metal type, size and quality of gemstones, weight, and notes on craftsmanship
  • The colour, cut, clarity and carat of any diamonds
  • Photos of the jewellery
  • The date of the valuation
  • The address and name of the appraiser 
  • The address and name of the item owner 
  • The signature of the appraiser 
  • A statement of the value of the jewellery 

You can see an example of a Prestige Valuation valuation here.

Why it’s important to have your jewellery valued

By knowing the value of your jewellery, you are prepared for several occasions, including:

  • Insurance of the jewellery
  • Preparation to sell the jewellery
  • If you require the value when estate planning for taxation and probate
  • Divorce and family separation moments
  • It’s also great to know to satisfy a curious and restless mind

By knowing the value of your jewellery, you have a good idea of the cost if it’s ever lost or stolen and how much it’s worth if you’re considering passing it down as a family heirloom.   

“In the event of a claim, you have to prove that the items existed. Valuations for insurance purposes establish that the pieces existed and state the correct replacement values on that date of inspection”

NAJ

How to prepare for a jewellery valuation

There are a few things you may want to consider before going ahead with a valuation. 

Find a reputable appraiser

Choosing a qualified appraiser is of the utmost importance. Just as it’s important to choose a qualified jeweller when resizing a ring, finding an appraiser that’s reputable and qualified will help ensure the accuracy of the valuation, that the report is professional, and that the appraiser will adhere to a quality code of ethics.

To find a qualified appraiser whom you can trust to give an honest appraisal, you can search the Institute of Registered Valuers (IRV). They have a reliable and trusted community of valuers educated to the highest standards. You could also try the Jewellery Valuers Association, an independent body in the UK and Ireland with a wealth of knowledge and experience in jewellery appraisals. 

Gather all relevant documentation

By bringing any of the documentaon you have on the jewellery to the valuation, you can make the
appraisal process easier by demonstrang proof of the value and ownership. The documentation
you may want to take include:

  • Original purchase receipt
  • Certificate(s) of authenticity, such as a diamond certificate or a gemstone certificate
  • A list of previous repairs or modifications
  • Any document pertaining to its provenance or history

Clean and polish your jewellery

Cleaning your jewellery is optional, however it will help your appraiser make a full, detailed assessment of the piece. You may also want to remove any identifying marks or tags from your jewellery to ensure that the appraiser values the jewellery itself rather than making a judgement immediately by its brand or provenance.

How much does a jewellery appraisal cost?

The cost of a jewellery appraisal varies depending on several different factors, including:

  • The type of jewellery being appraised
  • The complexity of the appraisal
  • The experience and qualifications of the appraiser
  • The location of the appraiser (on site at your house or in store at the jewellers)
  • The total count of jewellery items being appraised
  • Whether you’re being charged per item or as a percentage of the overall value collection

Typically, jewellery appraisals in the UK can cost anywhere from £50 to £200 per item, with the cost increasing depending on the number of items you want to be valued together. Qualified appraisers will have a list of prices that outline the cost for: 

  • The one-off fee for a bound report: typically £70 – £100 
  • One standard item: typically £50 – £100 
  • Grouped standard items: typically £100 – £150 
  • One item containing one diamond of individual wt 1.00 carat: from £75, increasing depending on the increase in carat and complexity
  • One premium item: from £100 
  • Premium watches: from £100 

For collections of jewellery or high-end bespoke items, you’re better of speaking with a qualified appraiser for a quotation. Stanhope work with exclusive appraiser and can recommend if required.

How much does a diamond ring appraisal cost?

As mentioned above, the cost of a jewellery appraisal can vary greatly, and the same applies to the valuation of a diamond ring. A diamond ring appraisal generally starts at £65 for a 1-carat diamond, increasing to £200 or more, depending on the carat and cut of the diamond.

For example, a simple appraisal of a solitaire diamond ring with a standard cut and clarity grade will likely cost less than a complex appraisal of a three-stone heirloom ring with a custom cut and high clarity grade. 

How much does an engagement ring appraisal cost?

The same factors apply to an engagement ring, as they can come in all shapes and sizes. The appraisal cost will change according to the complexity and grade, with the cost typically ranging anywhere between £65 and £200. A qualified appraiser will be able to give you an estimate before you progress with the valuation. 

Read our guide on engagement rings to get a better understanding of how to approach valuing an engagement ring. 

What to expect during a jewellery valuation and appraisal

It’s good to know what to expect during an appraisal, so here’s an outline of what an appraiser might do:

  1. Ask you for information about the jewellery: This may include the purchase date, purchase price, location of purchase and any documentation you have to hand.
  2. Inspect the jewellery: The appraiser will examine the jewellery carefully to assess its condition, quality, and authenticity, using specialised tools such as a loupe.
  3. Identify and describe the jewellery: The appraiser will identify the composition of the jewellery.
  4. Determine the value of the jewellery: The appraiser will use various techniques to determine the value of the jewellery.
  5. Write an appraisal report: The report will include a detailed description of the jewellery, its value, and the methods used to determine its value.

The entire valuation and appraisal process can take up to 2-3 days to complete a thorough report, however, this time can increase up to 2 weeks if you’ve got an increased number of items or if the jewellery is a complex piece, such as a large gemstone engagement ring. 

“A high-value home or stand alone jewellery policy will cover your jewellery items on a like for like basis, up the value specified on the cover schedule. Having up to date appraisals for your items means you’ll be placed in the exactly same position prior to loss”

Matthew Ashton

How to cover your jewellery with insurance after an appraisal

Once you’ve gone through the appraisal process, you’ll be able to use the valuation report to get jewellery insurance that covers the rightful value of the item. The insurance company will then review the information you have provided and provide you with a quote. Once you’ve accepted the quote, you will need to pay the insurance premium and your jewellery will be covered. 

Get the best protection for your ring with Stanhope’s premium jewellery insurance

Stanhope is a trusted name in jewellery insurance, offering comprehensive coverage for engagement rings, wedding rings, luxury watches and more. Our comprehensive policies cover accidental damage, theft, and loss, helping protect your precious items in unexpected circumstances. 

Get in touch with a Stanhope advisor today to discuss your jewellery insurance, and answer any of your questions on what we may need from your jewellery valuation. Either get in touch via our online insurance form or by calling us on 01730 776012

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Written by Matthew Ashton

I started working in the insurance industry in 2004. Four years later, I left to focus on theological studies, working as a youth worker and then as a ministry director in Seattle, USA. When returning to the UK, I had an opportunity to work for the late Andrew Marchington. I joined his firm as a sales advisor when it had around ten staff members. Within three years, I was Head of Ops with a staff team of over 30 people. After a chance encounter in 2019 with Rachel Living and Will Cooper, I co-started Stanhope to build a high-value home, luxury watch, and jewellery broker synonymous with trust. I love being with Donna, my wife, and four kids when not working, cramming in the odd row, or running when I can. I am fortunate to love what I do and consider it a blessing to grow the Stanhope brand.

Matthew Ashton

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