Our initial consultation is usually by phone. We will discuss what jewelry item(s) you are looking to have valued, and then will determine the type of valuation that is appropriate for your needs. We will further elaborate about proposed costs based on the scope of work, as well as discuss contracts and administrative details. After this consultation, should you want to proceed, you should begin to gather any relevant information about the jewelry items (i.e. gemological laboratory reports, prior appraisals, known provenance, receipts, invoices).
You will bring your jewelry to be evaluated in our private, secure office for inspection/evaluation. In certain cases, based on the quantity and complexity of the pieces, the inspection might be able to be performed while you wait. In the case that the evaluation will need to be done over a period of time due to the quantity of items, you will immediately be provided an intake acknowledgement with an inventory spreadsheet enumerating a brief visual description each item, along with photographic documentation of the items taken into our possession. Your jewelry will be safely stored in our vault, and will be insured while on premises (with limits to be discussed). In certain instances we may be able to come to your location to perform the inspection.
The jewelry will be lightly cleaned with care according to accepted cleaning guidelines and methods that will not harm the type of gem material present in the pieces. Each piece will then be carefully photographed, weighed and measured; with metal type/purity and gemstones identified. The gemstones will be measured, counted and estimated for weight (when possible), any relevant markings will be noted, and the gemstones evaluated for color and overall quality. All general attributes of the jewelry item will be described.
A narrative description of each item will be provided based on the information ascertained from the inspection. The valuation will be based on research that is relevant to the appraisal type, which will likely be either through the sales comparison and/or cost approach methods. The sales comparison method utilizes sales data of similar type pieces, with relevant adjustments, to derive a value for the subject piece. The cost approach is based on either finding similar wholesale manufactured examples, or pricing out each individual price component of a piece, for instance: the precious metal weight, workmanship, gemstones, and labor - and then applying a retail markup which is commensurate with the market type in which the item is typically sold, or where it was purchased.
While generally recommended, with certain gemstones a gemological report may be required in order to properly value a certain item. We can do all the necessary unmounting and remounting work if required by the laboratory, as is necessary for the GIA certification of diamonds. Colored gemstones do not need unmounting, and are generally sent to AGL laboratories, which is located in our building. Particularly important for the valuation of Sapphire, Emerald and Ruby, the laboratory will determine a geographic origin and presence/level of treatments, which greatly affects the gemstone's value. Please provide us any gemological reports or report numbers that you may have (from our list of approved reputable gemological laboratory sources), otherwise we can assist you in attaining these reports.
We charge an hourly rate for our appraisal services based on the evaluation, research and cataloguing time. Additional fees will apply for jewelry work or laboratory report expediting. All fees will be discussed during the initial consultation, and we will provide a maximum estimate of time that the appraisal project will take. While more complex pieces generally take more time, our fees are never based on the value of your items, but rather by the amount of time it takes to perform the appraisal.
As a Certified Master Appraiser member of NAJA, we are bound by the rules, regulations, ethics and standards of this highly-respected organization, which include: strict confidentiality, and compliance with The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). NAJA is the only nationally recognized appraisal organization that is solely devoted to the jewelry sector.
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