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 CAT is a modular programme of study with a self-learning approach that teaches the basic theories, methodologies and good working practices needed to become a competent jewellery valuer. 

Some would call this valuation science, but basically it teaches the theory of how to value. In fact, a lot of the theory and methodologies that will be taught could almost be applied to valuing anything at all.  However, we do need to stress that the programme absolutely does NOT qualify a candidate or student to become a jewellery valuer. 

During this programme, the CAT student will learn to understand and appreciate the basic approaches to determine value, the forces that create, diminish and/or influence value, as well as how to seek, find and interpret comparables. The various components (or elements) of the written valuation will be fully explained, which will include how to write a skilful and succinct descriptive narrative to support the value conclusion determined.

However, it should always be remembered that these are theoretical guidelines only and valuers cannot ever be reliant on theory alone. Even if the recommendations contained in this programme are adopted to the letter, values determined could very often prove to be inaccurate and, therefore, cause all sorts of problems. 

Valuing a piece of jewellery, or a gemstone, essentially utilises the same basic principles as valuing almost anything at all and in this programme the student will learn how this valuation science is applied to jewellery valuation to achieve consistently accurate values. 

Whilst valuation science is the foundation on which to build, this is just the start of the aspiring valuer’s long journey in achieving their eventual goal of becoming a professional jewellery and gem valuer. CAT is one of the pre-requisites of joining the Institute and guidance on further study necessary to acquire the additional skills to become a jewellery valuer is given in the conclusion of the programme of study.

Who should enrol on this programme?

The programme is suitable for anyone with a desire to learn best valuation practice. 


Students can enrol on this self-learning programme at any time.


It is proposed that the programme should be completed within seven months to one year. The maximum time a student has to complete the assignments is 24 months.

Course Content:

Three detailed modules of study support the syllabus.  They are:

Module 1: The Basic Principles & Concepts of Gems & Jewellery Appraisal Theory 

This module teaches the student the basic principles and concepts behind valuation science as it applies to jewellery appraisal. This will include:    

  • The Basic Principles and Concepts of Appraisal Theory
  • The difference between price, cost and value
  • Analysing prices to determine value
  • The purpose, function and intended use of a valuation
  • Different valuation approaches.
  • The different types of valuations
  • Different market levels for different types of valuation

All areas of this module will be the subject of examination.

Module 2: Theoretical Methodologies, practices & Issues Specific to Jewellery & Gem Valuation

In this module the CAT student will further develop their theoretical knowledge of matters specific to jewellery and gem appraisal and learn the practicalities of producing professional valuations that are consistently accurate.

  • Take-In Procedures
  • Worksheets
  • Provisional Appraisal Procedures
  • Mandatory Appraisal/Cataloguing Procedures
  • Researching and Recording Gem and Metal Prices for the Cost Price Approach
  • Researching and Recording Gem Prices,Metal Prices and Comparables for the Market Data Approach
  • Guide to Mark-Ups
  • Descriptions
  • Recording the Details (Factual Data, Judgements and Assessments)

Module 3: Commercial, Legal & Ethical Matters

In this module the student will learn the commercial aspects of running a successful jewellery valuation business and the legal and ethical matters that have to be considered

  • Commercial, Legal and Ethical Matters
  • Commercial matters
  • Technology
  • Security
  • Legal matters
  • Insurance matters

Many elements of this module are for information only and, therefore, will not be subject to examination.

Each module contains sample/information documents.


In order to assess their self-learning each student is required to complete seven assignments which will be assessed by an assigned advisor who will provide feedback. No more than two assignments can be sent in any one month and ALL assignments must be completed three months before the exam date. The advisor will advise the student when they are ready to take the examination.


There will be a final written theory examination. This will normally be held once a year in October in London. Students will not have to actually value any pieces of jewellery during the examination; it will be geared to test a student’s theoretical knowledge of HOW to value.

NB: the assignments do not count towards the examination result.

Study Pack:

Study materials for each module will be provided in PDF format.


The Certificate of Appraisal Theory will be awarded to those students who reach the required standard in the examination. Qualification in the examination DOES NOT entitle the student to place any initials after their name.


The course is £1025.00 + VAT for Members and £1250.00 plus VAT for non-members.

This fee includes a memory stick containing the three modules, allocation of an advisor (whom the student can email or telephone on a limited basis if they have any queries regarding the modules or assignments) and one attempt at the examination.


© 2017
The National Association of Jewellers
Head Office: Federation House
10 Vyse Street
Birmingham, B18 6LT, UK

London Office: 45 Britton Street, London EC1M 5NA

Birmingham Office: 0121 237 1110
London Office: 020 7613 4445
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