Preparing for An Appraisal

Sorting through rings

You may need to find the value of your jewelry for many reasons. From selling jewelry to finding the value out of curiosity, it is important you find a jeweler that has the proper credentials and motives. In recent years, diamonds and other gemstones are becoming more costly and it is even more crucial to have them appraised properly. Here are a few things to consider when getting your jewelry appraised.


An appraiser should have some training or knowledge in trading and selling gems. Unfortunately, it is not mandatory to have a background in gemology, so it is very important that you ask the following questions in order to find an appraisal of your gem.

  • Are you willing to defend this appraisal in a court of law?
  • Do you have any references (past clients or colleagues) that can be contacted?
  • May I have a copy of your professional profile?
  • What equipment do you own and what will be used to evaluate my jewelry?
  • What are your fees?
  • How will you conduct the appraisal?

Be sure that your appraiser or jeweler is using the proper form as per your desire. There are different forms for different purposes. From purchasing to insurance, each form has a different use. Choose the correct Jewelry Insurance Standards Organization form from the following:

  • JISO 805—Jewelry Sales Receipt for Insurance Purposes.
  • JISO 806—Jewelry Document for Insurance Purposes
  • JISO 78—Jewelry Insurance Appraisal—Single Item.
  • JISO 79—Jewelry Insurance Appraisal—Multiple Items

The Appraisal Process

Before you hire an appraiser, it is important to know what you will be involved in. We always recommend asking the appraiser what will be involved before the process begin to make sure you are comfortable with the processes of your appraiser. An appraiser should start by identifying or authenticating the gem in question. If not already provided by an appraisal, the appraiser will evaluate the weight, grade and measurements of the gem. The color grade should be determined in comparison of other gemstones. The gemstone will be examined to find the species and variety. There may be a variety of tools that your appraiser will use to better find the value of your gem. Some tools include:

  • Microscope
  • Polariscope
  • Refractometer
  • Thermal Conductivity Sensor
  • Long-Wave/Short-Wave lighting

The appraiser will then use that information to find the value of your gemstone.

Now that you know what will be involved in an appraisal process, it is important to prepare your jewelry for the appointment. You should perform the following procedures:

  • Clean Gem – An appraiser will, of course, clean your gemstone to be able to see precisely the gem’s condition, but you can save your jewelry time and cut the cost of your session.
  • Inspect Gem – If your gem is already set in jewelry, make sure that the jewelry is in the best condition it can be. The appraiser is obligated to point out any problems or repairs, and it will be documented. It will save you time in the long run to have your jewelry in pristine condition
  • Gather Documents – If you have previous documentation of your gemstone, it is important to gather them together before the appointment. Search for the following documents to make your appraisal session as successful as possible:
    • Sales receipts
    • Warranties
    • Diamond or gemstone certificates
    • Old insurance summaries listing the jewelry
    • Old appraisals
    • Letters, etc. with facts relating to the jewelry or its history

It is important that you have an appraiser, find the true value of your gem or jewelry. Hiring a jewelry appraiser can help insure or sell your gem easily and quickly.

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