There are lots of different reasons that you may want to have your jewelry appraised in Canada. Perhaps you want it appraised so that you can sell it, maybe you want it appraised for insurance purposes, or maybe you simply want to know the value for your own interests.
Whatever the reason, there are some important things that you should know about jewelry appraisal and its associated costs before you start.
What is a Jewelry Appraisal?
Why don’t we start by defining what a jewelry appraisal actually is? When you have your jewelry appraised, you are determining how much it is worth at that particular point in time.
To make this determination, the appraiser (or person doing the appraisal) will do an in-depth evaluation of its quality and then write up a report to justify the value that they give.
Each appraisal report should include:
- An in-depth description of the piece including colors, measurements, weights, and grades
- A statement as to whether or not the piece is treated or not; and which types of treatments it has been given (if applicable)
- A statement as to whether any gems are natural or synthetic
- The name of the manufacturer
- A photograph of the item
- The date and purpose of the appraisal
- The type of metal and karatage of the jewelry piece
- The appraised value of the jewelry
- A signed statement from the appraiser
The Three Different Types of Jewelry Appraisals
If you don’t know a lot about jewelry, it may come as a surprise that there are actually three different types of appraisals you can get:
- Replacement Value Appraisal
If you are looking to get an appraisal for insurance purposes, you’ll be requesting a Replacement Value Appraisal. In the event that something should happen to your jewelry, this will tell insurance companies how much it will cost to replace it.
Replacement Value Appraisals are generally higher than other appraisal types, mostly because it will cost more to replace than its actual appraisal value at the time.
- Fair Market Value Appraisal
If you’re looking to sell your jewelry, you would ask for a Fair Market Appraisal. These appraisals are created based on everything listed within your appraisal report, but also takes the condition of the jewelry piece into account. To put things simply, the Fair Market Value Appraisal is how much your jewelry is worth at the current time.
- Liquidation Appraisal
If you don’t have time to sell your jewelry to the open market, you’d then ask for a Liquidation Appraisal. These appraisals are given when you need to sell your jewelry immediately, say, to a jeweler or to a pawn shop.
Because the estimates and sales for liquidation appraisals are immediate, they are usually significantly less than any other type of appraisal. In other words, you are making a faster sale in exchange for a lower payout.
How much does it cost to have my jewelry appraised?
There’s no “one size fits all” answer to this question. In fact, appraisals can vary greatly depending on who your appraiser is and the type of appraisal you are expecting. Most appraisers work independently, so there’s not really one set standard for pricing. Rather, it’s up to the individual appraiser.
With that being said, most appraisers will charge a flat rate or by the hour. In terms of hourly rates, most appraisers charge between $50-$150 per hour. Flat rates are usually based on the estimated amount of time that they expect the appraisal to cost.
Other things that are taken into account when it comes to cost include the experience and training of the appraiser, the size of the item, and the type of appraisal being done. Obviously, the more experienced and knowledgeable the appraiser, the more you are likely to pay for their expertise.
When you’re having jewelry appraised, you’ll want to be very careful that you don’t get scammed. There are some conflicts of interest that you should be aware of when selecting your appraiser.
Firstly, if the appraisal fee is “based on the cost of the item”, find a different appraiser. This is a huge conflict of interest and it’s likely that the appraiser will tell you an increased value of the item just to receive a higher payout.
Also, beware if your appraiser attempts to buy your jewelry from you. In this case, they may give you a decreased value of the item in order to get a good deal on the jewelry for themselves.
For these reasons, you always need to be careful when selecting your appraiser. Select someone who is knowledgeable, educated and certified, and who has received good reviews. You can always check on the Better Business Bureau to ensure that they have not received any complaints.