Protect Your Pieces

Jewelry appraisals: what you need to know

By: Terry Schade

Why do I need a jewelry appraisal?
The most important reason for having an appraisal done on your jewelry collection is for insurance purposes. It is heartbreaking to lose a treasured jewelry item to loss or theft, and that heartbreak can be compounded if the items are not insured.

Once you have your initial jewelry appraisal, you should visit with your jeweler every few years and discuss whether or not the appraisal needs updating. Replacement values can fluctuate a great deal due to the variable precious metals market, the diamond and gemstone market and increasing labor costs. So it is important not only to have appraisals, but also to keep them current. The updates should be less expensive than the initial appraisal.

Does my homeowners’ insurance automatically cover my jewelry?
Your jewelry is not generally covered by your homeowner’s policy unless you have your items appraised and scheduled separately. If you are renting, you may obtain a renters’ insurance policy.

What does an appraisal cost?
Fees for appraisals can differ a great deal from jeweler to jeweler and vary depending on the article of jewelry. The jeweler should charge a flat fee based on the amount of time for the appraisal. This fee should in no way be tied to the value of the item being appraised. Most appraisals in our store cost $75 to $150; however, there are exceptions.

There is an old adage: You get what you pay for. You should make sure the appraiser is a graduate gemologist or that there is one on staff who will evaluate the quality of the diamonds and precious stones. The appraisal should be as detailed as possible, and it should include specifics about the jewelry piece, as well as pictures.

So what does the appraised value mean?
The value given by an appraiser is an insurance replacement value. This means you should be able to replace a lost or stolen item at most jewelers for the stated amount. An appraisal for insurance purposes is not a market value appraisal – meaning, it is not evaluating the actual resale value of the jewelry piece.

As always, it is important to find a jeweler you trust. He or she should be able to handle any questions or concerns you may have regarding your jewelry items and your appraisal.

Casa de Oro Jewelers was founded in 1979 by Gene and Dee Schade, and Terry Schade is a vice president and owner. For more information on this topic or any other jewelry-related questions, you may contact Terry Schade at 361-991-7054 or, or visit Casa de Oro Jewelers online at




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