What is a jewelry appraisal? It’s a document prepared by a jewelry professional that states an item’s authenticity, quality, design, and value. The appraisals we provide note the metal type, gemstone specifications, hallmarks, and time period.
How do you know if you have something of significant value?
Clues that you might be sitting on a big-ticket bauble (say, a diamond tiara from the 1920s) include hallmarks (a loupe or a magnifying glass will help you see them better), receipts, repair invoices, and store packaging that dates from the time of purchase. You may also have heard stories about the piece from the original owner or have family letters that refer to it. These “breadcrumbs” can help us assess whether or not the item warrants a formal jewelry appraisal.
Who needs a jewelry appraisal?
Diamond engagement rings should be appraised for insurance purposes—in the event of loss or theft, you’ll want to be able to replace it with a ring of comparable value. Aside from engagement rings, there are two common scenarios that would necessitate acquiring a jewelry appraisal.
You are the owner or the executor of an estate and your lawyer has advised that you must divide up the inherited jewels equally among heirs.
The only way to do this fairly is to have the pieces professionally appraised. When we do appraisals in situations like this, we provide the client with hardcopies of the appraisal and digital copies that can be e-mailed to the fellow heirs, and we keep the documentation on file for three years. We’re not involved in dividing the assets—that task falls to the executor and the lawyer they have retained to assist them in allocating the estate. Keep in mind that the number we land on when noting value will be what is known as the Fair Market Value, i.e. what a buyer would pay for your heirlooms should you choose to sell them. We’re happy to handle any resale transactions on your behalf.
You have an item of considerable value and want to protect your investment.
21C Designs will research and work with our contacts to authenticate your item and assess its current value. The jewelry appraisal we provide will allow you to insure the item for the proper amount at replacement value.
What does a jewelry appraisal cost?
It varies. At 21C Designs, we charge per item, depending on the complexity of the jewelry and the amount of research we’ll need to conduct in order to prepare the jewelry appraisal.
How to get started
Get in touch with us to discuss next steps as each client’s needs are different. You can bring your jewelry to our studio, or we can provide prepaid, insured labels shipping labels so that you can easily send the goods to us for review. After review, we schedule a call or an in-person meeting, and everything can be done virtually if needed.
How we’re different
The magic of working with 21C Designs is that we can discuss the jewelry redesign possibilities that your jewel presents—for example, we can pop out the diamonds of an heirloom engagement ring and work them into a diamond bar necklace or bangle bracelet. Be sure to check out our Instagram for jewelry redesign ideas so you can see how we transform clients’ heirlooms into modern, wearable keepsakes.