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Practice Management > Diversity and Inclusion

Understanding Jewelry Appraisals

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An appraisal is the diamond owner’s best friend when jewelry is lost, damaged or stolen. But, not all appraisals are the same.

For insurance purposes, wealth managers should advise a “replacement cost appraisal,” which can differ from other types of jewelry appraisals, such as a “fair market value appraisal” and an “estate appraisal.” A replacement cost appraisal is a formal opinion of a jewelry item, offered by a certified gemologist. Competent appraisers evaluate and verify the authenticity, design, quality and monetary value of the item.

When they’ve done their job effectively, the appraisal should contain the following information:

  • A detailed description
  • Shape and cut of the stone, including measurements and weight
  • Proportions
  • Finish, including polish and symmetry
  • Color Grade—diamond coloration is based on a scale of D (colorless) through Z (yellow). Since colorless diamonds allow the most light to pass through, they are the most radiant and the most highly valued
  • Clarity Grade—almost all diamonds contain small traces of non-diamond crystals called “inclusions.” Most inclusions are not visible to the naked eye and require magnification for viewing. Diamonds with no inclusions are quite rare and extremely valuable. The diamond clarity scale ranges from FI (flawless) to I3 (imperfect because of eye-visible inclusions); and
  • Estimated replacement value.

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