Investing in jewelry is no laughing matter. Thus, for many jewelry owners, appraisers play a crucial role in finding out whether they were able to buy jewelry from a seller they can trust. Here’s a handy question guide from appraisal experts in Utah.
“What equipment will be used to/Under what conditions will you evaluate my jewelry?”
Ask about the kind of equipment they use for appraisal (pro tip: a microscope just won’t cut it). Ask about specific lighting conditions as well – for colored gemstones, for example, anywhere between 5000° and 5500° Kelvin is optimal.
“How will the appraisal be conducted?”
Ask if the appraiser is knowledgeable about the appropriate market for your item. In addition, determine if they’re fully qualified to appraise your jewelry, or if they’ll be contacting an expert to help them out. Raise subsequent questions about ownership, liability, and insurance in case something goes awry.
“How much do you charge?”
If they tell you they’ll be charging based on the value of your jewelry, refuse immediately. That’s not right, and it opens up tons of avenues for you to get cheated. Instead, the appraisers should charge based on either a “per assignment” or “per hour” arrangement.
“Do you adhere to the guidelines of any particular organization?”
It is much easier to trust the assessment of appraisers who abide by a set of rules imposed by a body. Not only does this mean a more efficient process, it also makes them significantly more trustworthy.
“Do you have a sample of a completed appraisal?”
Find out how your finished appraisal would look like – ask if they’ll be colored, and if the negatives will be available after printing.
An independent appraiser – one who isn’t selling the same kind of jewelry – is less likely to be trying to profit from you through underhanded means, such as giving an inaccurate appraisal to get you to buy “authentic” jewelry from them.