Jewellery Valuation, Everything You Need To Know
Whether you're wanting to protect the jewellery you own, sell your jewellery or need to value an estate, here at Hatton Jewels we are able to help you find the valuation that is right for you.
Whether it’s your new engagement ring, diamond insurance, a family heirloom or just your collection of jewellery over the years, your jewellery is precious, so it’s important to make sure it’s properly valued.
Our Jewellery Valuation Top Ten Tips are….
1. Establish the purpose of the valuation
Insurance, probate, division of assets or to sell. Each valuation has a different purpose and will provide you with a different value. If you are unsure, an experienced jeweller will be able to advise on which meets your requirements.
2. Check your policy
Depending on your individual policy, some items will be automatically covered under the general contents insurance, often up to around £1500. If a single item of jewellery is below this threshold, you may not need to get the piece itemised on your insurance. Also check your policy protects you against accidental damage to your jewellery. If you have many valuables it may be worth using jewellery insurance specialists, such as TH March as they specialise in jewellery.
3. Expertise is important, ensure they are IRV registered
Your jewellery valuation is a legally binding document for your most treasured possessions, so it should include a detailed description of the item, along with a photograph of your piece of jewellery and an accurate value. To ensure the valuation is as accurate as possible, make sure you take along any documentation that relates to the jewellery, such as Diamond Certificates so the details can be included on the valuation.
As experts in jewellery, the company you choose should have access to a variety of testing equipment for gemmological identification of stones and equipment to screen for lab-grown synthetic Diamonds. The company should also be experienced in examining the item to check there aren’t any recommended repair works required to ensure the piece will be fit to wear and enjoy.
Valuers that belong to associations such as the Institute of Registered Valuers and Academy of Experts will be required to keep up to date on all the latest training and gemmological testing methods, so is usually recommended by insurance companies to look out for these accreditations. In-house valuers are also worth looking out for, as they will not have to send any items away and typically have a faster turnaround.
4. Just want to know how much your item is worth?
Are you simply looking for a diamond ring valuation? This is a question we get asked a lot and unfortunately the answer is not straight forward. There are many types of valuations, each of which would ascribe the same item a very different value. How much you would get if you were looking to sell an item, is very different for how much you would need to insure the same ring for or how much it would need to be declared for probate. It’s important to ask yourself what you are looking to achieve from finding out the value. This can help a professional guide you to the most suitable service.
5. Cutting costs can cost money
The years of experience, qualifications, expertise and professional equipment required to be able to accurately assess and value an item will be reflected in the price of a jeweller’s valuation service. When you are insuring valuable and often sentimental jewellery, you do not want any discrepancies in the assessments made in the valuation to come to light after something has happened to an item, as this can void your insurance.
6. Be prepared to leave your item
It may be heart-wrenching to leave your much beloved item with a jeweller, but to take all the necessary assessments and test all the components, it takes time and will need to be done in controlled laboratory-style conditions to make sure it is accurate. Here at Hatton Jewels, your item is fully-insured with us for the duration of the time it is on our premises.
7. Keep valuation updated
To keep your policy valid, it’s important to make sure it’s up to date. Due to how much the market fluctuates, some insurers may specify how often they require jewellery to be re-valued. It’s generally recommended every 2-3 years. Some companies will provide you with a discounted re-valuation service if they have valued the same item in the past three years, so it is always worth asking.
8. Get your jewellery checked regularly
It’s not just about jewellery being stolen or lost, sometimes jewellery gets damaged. It’s good to get in the habit of getting your jewellery checked, such as the settings, to make sure everything is secure. If you have a particularly valuable piece, it may be stipulated in your policy how often you need to get the jewellery checked by a professional. Insurance companies may also specify for high-value items that the check of the security of the setting and condition of an item of jewellery is documented in a letter by a member of the Institute of Registered Valuers for the insurance to be valid. It’s also great for your own peace of mind!
9. Beware of online insurance valuation services
There has been a recent increase in jewellery valuations completely solely online by photographs, which then produce valuations far from the required standard, mis-identifying gemstones and ascribing the wrong values. Grading is always a requirement for establishing correct values, which is done using a minimum of 10x magnification, so cannot under any circumstance be done through a photograph, however good the photograph may be. Items and gemstones can also not be measured, verified, or laser inscriptions confirmed, potentially resulting in you either paying unnecessary large insurance premiums on an item or not being covered should anything happen to the item, so due to the wild inaccuracy of these valuations, they are no longer accepted by a vast number of insurance companies.
10. Use a company you trust
Always check company reviews and which professional associations they belong to. We understand jewellery is sentimental, so it is important you feel comfortable that they would care for your jewellery and provide you with a great service.