Just what is an insurance appraisal? That is a question we receive many times from our customers. Basically, it is a written description of an item, which includes a detailed report of the material, design, identification and quality of the gemstones. This report also includes an estimated cost to duplicate or repair this item should it become damaged or lost and is then submitted to your insurance company to protect you by attaching a rider or floater to your home owner's or renter's insurance policy. Other types of appraisals are described below.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is the preeminent non-profit educational organization in the United States. Both of our appraisers are GIA educated and trained in the identification and quality analysis necessary to perform an accurate report. As well, we are an IJO Accredited Gem Lab. When doing our appraisals here at Michael's Jewelers and Gemologists, you are our client and we discuss each aspect of the printed document with you and answer whatever questions you may have regarding your appraisal. Another factor in performing the appraisal is the estimated cost on replacing your item at that time. We have mentioned expertise, but another necessary tool is the experience and knowledge of knowing how the piece was designed and created, as well as the present cost of replacing each step of the manufacturing process. All of these qualifications are necessary to provide you and your insurance company with as much information about your piece as is necessary to re-create it.

There are basically several types of appraisals, an insurance replacement, an esate or inheritance appraisal, a liquidation appraisal and a verbal appraisal. The insurance appraisal is what was described above.

The estate or inheritance appraisal is a cash value of an item, based on what a willing buyer and a willing seller would agree to without a forced sale. An estate appraisal is based on the premise that the collection is to be dispersed or liquidated . Since it does not take into consideration selling costs, age, or current prices for labor or creative design, this type of appraisal is normally lower than appraisals for replacement cost.

The liquidation appraisal is a cash value of an item, based on selling the item at a forced sale at that moment in time, which is generally the lowest cost figure.

The verbal appraisal is generally just information the client would like to receive about a certain piece -- is it real or fake? How much can I sell it for?

Remember, someone working in a store that sells jewelry does not necessarily have all of the above qualifications or experience. Ask questions about who is doing your appraisal, how they are doing your appraisal and are they GIA trained. So, stop by our store, meet our appraisers and ask your questions.

*Please note: We do not do appraisals on newly purchased items from other stores. Appraisals are usually done same day or next day. We can not do appraisals while you wait. The fee for an appraisal is $75.00 for the first piece and $50.00 for each additional.

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