If you are wondering whether you should have your diamond ring appraised, read on. Let’s see how the jewelry appraisal process works, when you should have your ring appraised, and how you should select an appraiser.
What Is a Jewelry Appraisal?
An appraisal is simply an assessment of the value of your jewelry. This service is usually provided by professional appraisers, who issue a document certifying what the piece is worth and detailing how its value was established.
How the Value of Your Diamond Ring Is Appraised
A diamond ring usually consists of one or more diamonds and a body of metal.
The appraiser will establish the value of each of these elements separately.
For example, he or she will evaluate the quality of the stones and estimate how much they are worth.
The appraiser will also look at what metals the ring is made with and how pure they are, and will come up with a value based on this information.
When Should You Have Your Diamond Ring Appraised?
Having your diamond ring appraised makes the most sense when insuring or selling it.
If you want to have your ring insured, the insurer will usually require an official appraisal by an independent professional.
The appraised value will then be used to calculate how much you will need to pay for your insurance policy.
In case you want to sell your diamond ring, you can have it appraised before you offer it to prospective buyers.
An appraisal documenting the value of the piece will give you some idea of how much it is worth.
In addition, such a document will provide you with an additional argument supporting the price you are asking, as long as it is reasonable.
Although you shouldn’t expect to sell your diamond ring for its appraised value (since used jewelry sells at a discount), the appraisal can at least help you negotiate a better price.
Who Can Appraise Your Diamond Ring?
When it comes to choosing a professional to appraise your diamond ring, the best and most common choice is a qualified appraiser.
Look for someone who has been certified by a respected organization such as the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (N.A.J.A.), the American Society of Appraisers (A.S.A.), or the International Society of Appraisers (I.S.A.).
A professional appraiser is trained not only to establish the quality of a piece of jewelry, but also to assign a value to it (something that many gemologists do not do).
Make sure that the appraiser is independent.
For example, you can expect an appraisal coming from a jewelry seller or buyer to be biased.
The appraisal should be done by an impartial third party, and the appraiser should not have a conflict of interest (e.g., by being connected to the vendor selling you the jewelry).
Another important thing to ask about is how the appraisal fees are calculated.
The appraiser should not base his or her fees on the appraised value of the diamond ring being evaluated as that would create an incentive to inflate the value of the jewelry.
Make sure that the way the appraisal fees are structured does not motivate the appraiser to make a biased assessment.
Usually, the fees are based on the time it takes to complete the appraisal as well as how complex the process is.
(For example, a ring made with many various metal components and several different stones may be more complex to appraise than a one-diamond ring with a simple structure.)
Where to Buy a Diamond Ring?
For diamond rings, we highly recommend James Allen (read our review) because it shows real photos and videos for each diamond so you can take a 360-degree look at any stone before having it set in a ring.
For colored diamonds, we recommend Leibish & Co., which specializes in fancy color diamonds (use code JewelryNotes200 at checkout to get a 5% discount).
Also read our Diamond Buying Guide and check out our selection of eye-clean diamonds that we've vetted for quality.