Like most people, you’ve probably had your engagement ring or diamond jewelry appraised for insurance. A piece of jewelry can be a large expense, and an appraisal ensures that your valuables were responsibly and appropriately covered. But now you’re getting ready to sell and wondering how an appraisal can be used when selling your diamond jewelry.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide to understanding appraisals. This covers everything from the purpose of an appraisal when selling your diamond jewelry to what you can expect in terms of a cost to get a ring appraised.
The Purpose of Getting a Ring Appraised
Most people invest in an appraisal for insurance purposes. If you’re considering getting your jewelry appraised and what the cost of a diamond appraisal would be, the reason for doing so should always match the intent. For instance, if you’re getting an appraisal for insurance purposes, it should state the diamond jewelry’s retail value. An appraisal conducted for reselling purposes, on the other hand, should instead state the resale value.
Some retailers like Blue Nile and James Allen will cover the cost to get a ring appraised with the purchase of diamond jewelry, which can be used for insurance depending on the provider. The appraisal should not, however, be used as a price benchmark when getting ready to sell the diamond jewelry. Since these appraisals are supplied by retailers, they are reflective of retail prices rather than resale value. In fact, since they are used for insurance or replacement purposes the jewelry is often appraised for a value above their actual retail price. Thus, appraisals are not indicative of the price you will be able to get in resale or wholesale markets.
What Does the Cost of a Diamond Ring Appraisal Cover?
A jewelry appraisal is simply a valuation of a piece of fine jewelry based on the opinion of an expert who has thoroughly inspected the piece. An appraisal should cover detailed information about the entire piece of diamond jewelry, inclusive of an assessment of the diamond’s 4Cs (cut, color, clarity, carat), a description of any gemstones or other side stones, the metal type, weight and style of the jewelry setting, brand names, metal stamps or other identifying marks on the jewelry such as an inscription on the diamond or band.
The cost to get your ring appraised will typically range from $50 to $150, depending on whether you have a simple, single-stone ring or a more ornate design. A thorough appraisal includes laboratory work to inspect and gather facts about the piece, market research to compare similar pieces, and the writing of the actual appraisal.
The cost of a diamond appraisal should never rely on the value of your ring because that gives the appraiser incentive to estimate your ring as having a higher retail price than it really does. To avoid an appraiser that will try to take advantage of you and your lack of expertise, make sure to find one that is approved and certified by a well renowned gemological institute such as the American Gem Society (AGS), the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA), or Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Someone with one of these certifications will typically provide appraisals with the most reasonable and reliable value.
No matter how you decide to go about it, it’s important to take out an insurance policy on your ring. Before you absorb a wedding or engagement ring appraisal cost, however, figure out what your insurer needs from you, as many will require a receipt but not a formal appraisal for a piece worth less than $5,000.
Is a Diamond Appraisal Worth the Cost?
A jewelry appraisal is a process for providing a value for a piece of diamond jewelry, while a diamond grading report is an assessment of a diamond’s attributes such as cut, color, clarity, carat, fluorescence and more. While they are related concepts, the two processes are completely different and used for separate purposes.
Grading reports are objective, conducted in controlled laboratory environments, with evaluations by multiple gemologists. They are considered more reliable when assessing a diamond’s true quality, which will have an impact on the value. Because the market value is dependent on the diamond’s grading, a grading report will help you understand the diamond’s 4Cs & fluorescence and determine estimated resale value.
Appraisals tend to be more subjective than a grading report, mainly because it is based solely on the single opinion of the appraiser. So though they are professionals and possibly gemologists themselves, their reports are not as reliable as a diamond grading report because they are wholly singular and largely subjective. With this in mind, a diamond ring appraisal cost can seem superfluous, especially if you have to also pay for a grading report. When it comes down to it, a grading report is a more accurate depiction of the gem than an appraisal.
Is an Appraisal a Helpful Tool When Selling Diamond Jewelry?
Appraisals can act as a guide when selling diamond jewelry and help buyers provide an accurate initial value based on the diamond’s attributes outlined in the appraisal. But buyers will not – and should not – provide an offer based on the appraisal’s stated value. Their offer will more likely be provided based on the characteristics of the diamond and jewelry. Thus, the cost of a diamond appraisal could be deemed unnecessary as the appraisal itself is useless in this case.
A diamond grading report is the most accurate and objective tool you need to determine the market value of a diamond or diamond jewelry. It will also be more useful to the buyer who is trying to fully understand the exact attributes of the gemstone, which is often the most valuable component in a jewelry piece.
Selling Your Diamond Ring Doesn’t Have to Incur an Appraisal Cost
If you’re in a situation where you’re looking to sell a piece of diamond jewelry, a diamond buyback service like Mondiamo doesn’t require you to take on the cost of a diamond appraisal. Instead, our expert gemologists inspect the piece themselves, evaluate it through a grading report, and provide a Final Cash Offer that we think best represents its current resale value. We do all the leg work for you and maximize the value of your jewelry while also saving you the diamond ring appraisal cost.