Diamonds have long been the most sought-after gemstones on the market, which makes them a valuable commodity. However, not all diamonds are created equal. For this reason, jewelry professionals offer appraisals to separate high- and low-quality pieces. If you’ve never utilized this style of service before, you are probably curious about what it entails as well as how to determine if you need it. Fortunately, this guide holds all of the answers. Whether you’re preparing to sell your jewelry or are simply curious about a family heirloom, here’s everything you need to know about diamond appraisals.
What Is a Diamond Appraisal?
Many gemstone and jewelry owners wonder, “What does ‘appraisal’ even mean?” In short, an appraisal is a process in which an item’s value is assessed based on the current market. In terms of diamond appraisals, this means that the process is focused on the value of the diamond itself. In other words, how much you could potentially ask for when selling it. Since demand is always changing, an appraisal will help you identify the current market worth to eliminate the guesswork.
Although the process of evaluating a diamond is similar across the board, jewelry appraisers can reach different values based on their experience and skill set. As a result, it’s imperative that you choose an appraiser that’s well-versed in diamond evaluations. Opting for someone that simply works in a jewelry store or behind the counter at a pawnshop puts you at risk for receiving an inaccurate value.
There are also different outcomes from the appraisal process based on your goals. If you want proof of the value for insurance purposes, you’ll need an appraisal that highlights the jewelry’s retail replacement value. If you want to sell the gemstone or ring to a particular outlet, they can provide an appraisal for the purpose of resale.
Why Diamond Appraisals Are Important
There are a variety of reasons you should request a diamond ring appraisal. Most commonly, they’re used when insuring jewelry against theft, fire, and other losses. Without an appraisal value, you won’t be able to purchase jewelry insurance.
Although homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policies cover items like jewelry, most insurance companies set a limit on the coverage amount. If your gemstone or ring is valued higher than their limit, you’ll need to purchase additional coverage to ensure it is protected in the event of a disaster or theft. A diamond appraisal is necessary for this process so that you not only know how much coverage you need, but you can also provide proof to the insurance company.
Diamond ring appraisals are also valuable when you intend to sell. Far too often, owners end up selling their jewelry for substantially less than it is worth simply because they’re inexperienced. A diamond appraisal from a qualified specialist will ensure that you know the value of your piece so that you can enter negotiations with the upper hand.
What’s Involved In the Ring Appraisal Process?
Valuing diamond jewelry isn’t as easy as inputting information into a ring appraisal calculator. Jewelry appraisers evaluate a variety of different factors to come up with an accurate number as to the item’s worth. For diamond ring appraisals, they consider both the gemstone as well as the ring as a whole.
When it comes to the diamond, the appraiser will focus their attention on the 4Cs:
- Color: Color equates to purity in the diamond world, so the less color a gem has, the higher it is valued.
- Clarity: Any presence of naturally formed inclusions or blemishes reduces a diamond’s clarity ratings.
- Cut: The cut of a diamond refers to its reflective properties. A higher valued gem will display an eye-catching, bright sparkle-effect when exposed to both natural and artificial light.
- Carat: The carat, or weight of a diamond, is also an important factor during the diamond appraisal process. An appraiser will estimate the gem’s weight if it is part of a ring.
After determining the value of the gem, the appraiser will turn their attention to the rest of the ring. For this aspect, they’ll consider four main components: the setting, band material, age, and designer.
The arrangement, condition, and details of the ring as a whole can increase or decrease its overall valuation, depending on the design quality and overall aesthetic it provides. The material used to create the band will also affect the appraisal because every metal is priced differently on the market. Platinum and gold are two of the most valuable metals while silver typically fetches less. Regardless of the material, if the band is severely damaged, it will decrease the ring’s worth.
Finally, the appraiser will consider the piece’s age. Older rings may fall into special categories—vintage or antique, depending on the year they were crafted. Such labels are popular among collectors, and can dramatically increase the ring’s worth. However, these characteristics also limit the potential market size due to specialization, so you may have to wait longer to complete a sale.
How Much Does a Jewelry Appraisal Cost?
The cost of a diamond ring appraisal depends largely on your plans. If you’re obtaining a ring appraisal solely for insurance purposes, then you’ll need a certified appraisal. In such instances, the cost will vary based on the jewelry appraiser you choose. On average, you can expect to pay between $50 and $150 for the service.
If your goal is to sell your jewelry, then you have two main options: sell it on your own or go directly to a jewelry buyer. To sell it on your own, you will need an official value certification from an appraiser to provide proof to buyers. You will also likely need to list it for sale online to reach your desired audience, which comes with additional costs.
Instead of attempting to sell an item on your own, you can work with a company that specializes in buying diamonds and diamond jewelry. In this case, the buyer will complete a jewelry appraisal to value the piece for free. Next, they’ll make you an offer based on what they’re willing to pay. The offer is typically slightly less than market value, but you get to bypass the additional marketplace and PayPal fees. Plus, you don’t have to wait for a buyer as they’ll pay you upfront. In most cases, this option is the most cost-effective choice.
How to Get a Ring Appraised
Now that you understand more about the value and process of diamond appraisals, you’re probably wondering, “How exactly do I get a ring appraised?” To get an accurate value on your diamond ring, you need to work with a professional jewelry appraiser. Although most jewelry stores offer appraisal services, many of them simply base their value on bare minimum factors.
If you’re ready to obtain a diamond appraisal for resale value, our skilled team will assist you with the process. Our team of certified diamond buyers utilizes their extensive knowledge and experience to ensure each seller receives the most accurate appraisal value. Request a quote today by filling out our online request form or schedule an appointment at one of our five New York City locations.