How To Choose A Jewelry Appraiser You Can Trust
If you are looking to sell a wedding ring in Boca Raton or sell any kind of inherited diamond for that matter in Boca Raton and the surrounding area, one of the most important things you can do even before you find a buyer is to find a good diamond appraiser.
Finding the right one won’t be easy. It’s not like the real estate business where all of the real estate agents are officially licensed. No, just about anyone can claim they are a diamond or jewelry appraiser. But just because someone says they work in the jewelry industry as an appraiser does not mean they know what they are doing.
That is not to say that the jewelry business is the Old West and anything goes. There are still organizations out there that give exams to test competency in these things. You just have to learn to ask the right questions when trying to find a diamond appraisal in Boca Raton.
Here are some questions you should consider asking and thngs you should consider before hiring an appraiser.
1. Are you a member of a professional appraiser organization?
There are a number of trade organizations that will help people test their appraisal skills and stay up to date with the latest industry trends.Being a member isn’t required but it can give the customer peace of mind to see a certificate from such an organization. That will let the Boca Raton buyer or seller know that the appraiser at least put some effort into it and isn’t just some quack off the street.
2. When was the last time you took a recertification exam?
Again, jewelry industry appraising is not licensed like real estate for example. But you should make sure that even if the appraiser has taken a course or two, that they are up to date with the latest practices and they’re skills haven’t grown rusty.
3. Is this appraiser a diamond specialist?
A jewelry appraiser and a diamond appraiser are not one and the same. Diamonds have many different features that need to be analyzed. Does your appraiser know the difference between natural vs. synthetic diamonds? What about modern cuts versus old cuts or the latest ways to enhance a diamond, such as fracture filled or laser drilled?
4. Make sure the fee is hourly and not based on the outcome.
A shady practice in the appraisal business is to charge the customer for a total percentage of the worth of the diamond after it has been appraised. This could lead to the appraiser giving a higher estimate than what the jewelry is really worth, just so they can get a bigger cut. The fee should be a fixed hourly wage and the appraiser should also give the customer an idea of how many hours it will take to complete the job. Get everything in writing before letting the appraiser start the job.
5. Make sure the appraiser’s set used to test diamond is graded.
A good appraiser has a set of 5 diamonds that are graded by a professional institute and can be used for color grading. This is usually called a Master Set. Some appraisers use different kinds of sets for their work, but you should make sure that the diamonds they use are a master set before you agree to let them do the work.
6. Understand what the different values on an appraisal mean.
When you receive an official appraisal from someone, it is customary to include different numbers on the final report given to the customer. The numbers will vary based on if the appraisal is for getting the diamond insured or getting it ready for sale. If attempting a sale, the number you will receive is usually cash value. Please note that this is not the purchase price of the diamond, but rather the estimated value of the piece of jewelry today at market rate. It’s a starting point for your negotiations if you are going to sell the diamond.
Replacement value and Agreed value come into play if you intend to get the diamond insured. Replacement value is what the insurer will pay you according to its current market value at time of loss. Agreed value means that you and the insurer will agree ahead of time what will be received in the event of loss.
7. Expect a full report, not just the value of the diamond.
A good appraiser will give the customer a detailed report on how they came to their conclusion. The treatment used for the appraisal to determine its value should be outlined. Other notes should include whether the diamond is natural or synthetic, what type of setting it has, a photograph of the item, any known defects found during the appraisal and ideally, the option for omissions insurance.
8. What is omissions insurance?
A good appraiser knows that they are not perfect. Mistakes can be made during the appraisal process, no matter how good the appraiser is. Omissions insurance is the industry’s way of describing what is essentially liability insurance. It states that if an error was made during the appraisal process, the insurance will cover the perceived loss so that the customer is compensated for the correct amount of the diamond. More importantly from the appraiser’s point of view, it means the customer won’t go after the appraiser directly for the money.
9. Beware an appraiser that tries to buy your diamond.
A good appraiser should not buy the jewelry that they appraise. This could lead them to giving a lower estimate for the jewelry because that is the amount that they want to pay for it before they try to turn around and resell it. You should know up front if the appraiser buys jewelry or not and you should steer clear if they do. If an appraiser suddenly offers to buy your diamond after the appraisal, even if they don’t typically buy diamonds, you should be wary. Stick with an independent appraiser who has no vested interest in the cash value of the diamond.