When my grandmother passed away last year, she willed me her engagement ring. It’s beautiful, and I wear it on special occasions, but it recently dawned on us that I have no idea as to where the ring came from, how old it is, or how much it might be worth. To me, of course, the ring is priceless. My parents think I should get it appraised, but I don’t know if it’s worth it, since I have no intention of selling it. Should I get it looked at? And how would I even go about it?
It’s touching that your grandmother wanted to leave you such a personal piece. Even though you don’t want to see the ring, your parent are right; it would be a good idea to get it appraised. A wonderful way of honoring your grandmother’s memory and showing how much the gift means to you would be to insure the ring as well as learn more about it -- an appraisal is a logical first step.
An appraisal is simply an assessment that determines the value of your jewelry. It is usually conducted by a professional appraiser, who will give you a document detailing how much your item is worth, and how the value was established.
A diamond ring consists of one or more diamonds and a circular body of metal. Professional appraisers have the expertise and leverage necessary to distinguish the value of these separate elements. With an eye for what constitutes a high quality diamond ring, they can provide an estimation of quality and worth. Having established from what metals a ring is made, their judgment on purity can be used to accurately establish value.
It’s true that people looking to sell jewelry need to get an appraisal just before offering to prospective diamond buyers. With a certified valuation of your ring, purchasers can buy in confidence. Sellers can use the value to decide on a listing price for their jewelry, which may change with negotiation.
In your case, though, you probably do want to insure your grandmother’s ring. You’ll need an appraisal to help carriers determine accurate insurance quotes and premiums. Most insurers require an official appraisal by an independent professional, which they use to devise an appropriate insurance policy.
By selecting a qualified appraiser who has been certified by a reputable organization, you can be more confident in their judgment. The most highly respected establishments are:
- The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (N.A.J.A)
- The American Society of Appraisers (A.S.A)
- The International Society of Appraisers (I.S.A.)
If the appraiser is independent, you’re more likely to get a fair and unbiased value assessment. This means you’ll want an impartial third party, because they won’t have a conflict of interest, unlike like someone who is connected to the vendor to whom you’re selling. It’s useful to ask how fees are calculated, too. If the jeweler calculates their fees based on the value of the diamond, this creates a conflict of interest, in which they have an incentive to inflate your diamond’s value. Respected appraisers will base their fees on the time taken to approve your diamond, or how complicated the process is.
An appraisal is an easy way to show care for your grandmother’s ring. You’ll be able to insure it, and you will be able to share her story every time you wear her jewelry.