Advice for valuing Jewellery

Have you been asked for a jewellery valuation? Do you need to know how much your engagement ring is worth? Or have you ever wondered what makes a rolex so valuable (aside from the sentimental connections of course)?

How much is my Jewellery worth?

How much is my jewellery worth advice

Find out everything you need to know about valuing jewellery, watches and silverware, including how and why we value them, using our consumer guide.

Whether you're looking to sell your jewellery, or ensure adequate insurance, or require a jewellery valuation for probate or family division, this guide is for you.

 

If you're in need of a jewellery valuation, you're in the right place.

Although easier for newer pieces, finding the value of your jewellery like an engagement ring can change depending upon factors including precious material prices including gold and diamonds, how rare or unusual an item is and also the reason why you're having an item valued can impact the valuation. 

 

In this guide:

  1. How much is my jewellery worth?
  2. What is a jewellery valuation?
  3. What is included in a jewellery valuation report?
  4. Why do I need my jewellery valued?
  5. How is jewellery valuation calculated?
  6. What happens if I don't get my jewellery valued?
  7. What happens if I've lost my jewellery?
  8. How often should I have my jewellery valued?
  9. How long does it take to value jewellery?
  10. What will a jewellery valuer ask me?
  11. Can you value specialist jewellery?
  12. Do jewellers charge for valuations?
  13. Can I make a complaint about a jewellery valuation?
  14. Who can value my jewellery?
  15. Why choose an Institute Registered Valuer?

 

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Jewellery Advice: Valuing and Insuring   The NAJ June 2020  337 KB  Download

 

 

1. How much is my jewellery worth?

If you are looking to insure your jewellery, sell it, or if you have the misfortune to require a value for probate following the death of a loved one, you’re going to need an accurate understanding of how much your jewellery is really worth. This means you’re going to require a jewellery valuation.

You’ve come to the right place.

The NAJ’s Institute of Registered Valuers (IRV) is the ‘go to’ appraisal body to find out how much your jewellery, watch or silverware is worth. All IRVs abide by the NAJ's Principles of Best Practice for Valuers.

Find a Valuer

 

 

2. What is a jewellery valuation?

A jewellery valuation is so much more than just a document with a description and a price, it is the result of a process completed by a knowledgeable jewellery appraiser.

A valuation provides a complete description and verification of what the jewellery actually is, this is done in the form of a printed document. It confirms the existence of the jewellery and gives a carefully considered determination of its correct ‘value’ for a particular purpose.

Jewellery valuations can be needed in many different circumstances, for example, if you want to sell your jewellery, or you are insuring your jewellery or reporting on the value of your jewellery to HMRC.

A jewellery valuer will be trained, experienced, and continually work to improve their knowledge and expertise. A valuer will professionally examine and appraise your jewellery, then determine the correct monetary value for the appropriate market, at that point in time, and specified purpose, function, and intended use.

The research, detailed notes and analysis prepared by your valuer ensures that the figures calculated are fully justified, accountable and most importantly, respected and trusted by insurance companies, police and tax authorities, ensuring your confidence in the service.

 

The true value of your jewellery

The research with detailed notes and analysis carried out by your valuer ensures that the figures calculated are fully justifiable and accountable, and less likely to be questioned in the event of a claim. 

 

 

3. What is included in a jewellery valuation report?

Your valuation will be bound in a report. The report means that all the individual items can be clearly identified and replaced without undue hassle in the event of a claim.

Included in your report is:

  • individual detailed and accurate descriptions
  • photographs and assessments of the composition and quality of your Jewellery
  • a clear statement of the purpose of the valuation
  • a covering letter, called a letter of transmittal
  • explanatory notes and limiting conditions you should be aware of when reading the valuation, called notes to the schedule.

All the research and notes created during the valuation process are required to be kept by the Valuer for six years following the work in order to ensure that the valuation process remains fully justifiable long after its original completion.

 

Did you know?

All the research and notes accompanying the valuation is required to be kept by the valuer for six years following the work in order to ensure that any potential claims can be fully justified.

 

 

4. Why do I need my Jewellery valued?

The most common reasons why you need your Jewellery valued are:

  • For insurance
  • Probate
  • Family Division or Divorce
  • To aid in the selling of an item of Jewellery

 

Insurance Jewellery valuation

A valuation for insurance purposes is essential in order to ensure that your jewellery is fully insured at the correct values. In the event of a loss, the processing of your claim will be greatly facilitated by the information within your valuation helping ensure you get back a replacement of equivalent size and quality to that what was lost.

A well-crafted, fully researched and justified Valuation report (like those produced by the IRV membership) will ensure that you have a full list of your valuables and accurate descriptions to present to an insurer for cover.

This means that in the event of a loss, you are not dependant on your memory or the potentially unsatisfactory decisions of a loss adjustor who does not know you or your jewellery.

Your Jewellery Valuation is also helpful to ensure that you are properly covered, neither over, nor under-insured, so you can acquire a replacement as near as possible to the lost item.

You may be paying too much insurance.

Your jewellery valuation could help in the way of bringing your insurance premiums down if your jewellery has been ‘overvalued’ in the past. This is one reason why we recommend getting your jewellery valued regularly.

 

Probate Jewellery Valuation

A Probate valuation may be required following the death of a loved one to provide a figure on which Death Duties or Inheritance Tax can be calculated.

Thus, is to ensure so that you will not pay more tax than you need to and HMRC is fully and accurately informed of the value of the estate.

 

Family Division or Divorce Jewellery valuation

In the event of a divorce, a family division valuation will establish the true value of your assets so that they can be fairly divided between parties. This is particularly important when the division includes other forms of value.

Remembering that at this difficult time the IRV valuer acts impartially to ensure the figures reached can be fully justified to all parties.

 

Jewellery valuation to sell

The reason you should get a valuation when you are planning to sell an item of jewellery is for you to be fully informed regarding the potential realisable values that could be achieved. The independent and unbiased assessment can reassure you that when you sell it is for a fair and mutually acceptable price. Valuers can often also help with advice on the best places to sell your items.

 

 

5. How is jewellery valuation calculated?

The valuation can be described as the sum of all its parts it can also be described as a figure generated from market-based research of the item as a whole. It may or may not include allowances for defects or wear and tear depending on the nature of the valuation completed.

To ensure consistency and to maintain the highest standards of accuracy a Registered Valuer will record at a minimum 12 mandatory pieces of information for every item.

Every aspect of the item needs to be scrutinised, assessed, identified, measured, weighed, photographed and finally valued.

The appropriate market has to be meticulously researched in order to arrive at the correct monetary value, regardless of whether it is a low-value item, an item with great sentimental value to the owner, or a very highly prized, rare, and unusual piece.

 

6. What happens if I don’t get my jewellery valued?

 

 

7. What happens if I've lost my jewellery?

The first risk is that you may not have the items fully insured, the next issue is that you may not be offered what you consider adequate compensation for your loss.

You may find you are unable to get your jewellery, watch or silverware replaced with an item of comparable size and or quality, without having to put some additional money into the purchase.

Or indeed you may find the items lost are not covered by your insurance policy at all.

A till or sales receipt may be of assistance as could photographs or a list of all your possessions created by you prior to the loss.

There is, however, no real adequate alternative to a professional valuation that provides all the necessary information and reassurance that an insurance company needs to properly insure and to settle a subsequent claim following loss.

 

What if my Jewellery is under-insured?

If you are under-insured this will invariably affect your claims settlement adversely. A lot of people assume that their insurance companies just increase their cover by the rate of inflation each year – making the cover adequate for your jewellery, watch of silverware.

Whilst this may be the case with some insurers it is certainly not universally practised.

Therefore, we frequently encounter situation were your actual cover is insufficient.

Additionally, exchange rates, precious metal and gemstone price rises often outstrip the rate of inflation so your cover – gap further increases leaving you potentially further under insured.

 

What happens if I’ve lost my jewellery?

Don’t panic. A qualified and experienced valuer such as a Member or Fellow of the IRV can offer you a Post Loss Assessment of your goods.

Even though an item may be worn daily until it is lost, most people find it difficult to describe the item exactly from memory, especially when it comes to factors relating to quality

Also, even though it may be covered under a household insurance policy, you may not be able to convince the Loss Adjuster that it existed and what the true value was.

 

 

8. How often should I have my Jewellery valued?

Inflation and increasing material prices and exchange rates mean that we’d always recommend having your jewellery valued regularly, at the very least every three to five years.

Your insurance company may specify how frequently your jewellery needs to be revalued and the settings and condition of the item assessed, so it’s always important to check your policy.

If your Jewellery is a new purchase, often your till receipt from the point of purchase will initially be acceptable to the insurer.

However, where items have been purchased under different circumstances, a valuation from an Independent Registered Valuer is likely to be required by the insurer. Typically, these circumstances include:

  • special offers
  • purchases in a sale
  • especially well-negotiated discounts
  • holiday purchases.

Therefore, it’s worth considering having your jewellery valued as soon as you have purchased it, by an independent valuer.

 

Did you know?

The replacement value of your jewellery, watches or silverware in the UK may be different from that in other countries.

 

 

9. How long does it take to value jewellery? 

The task of appraising and valuing an item of jewellery is time-consuming.

Each valuer will work at their own speed and by arrangement with you.

Some will offer a same day while you wait for service on some items while others will require longer and may require you to leave the items with them while they carry out the research.

When booking in a piece of jewellery for valuation, it’s always best to ask how long the process will likely take.

 

 

10. What will a jewellery valuer ask me?

Once your valuer has established the purpose and intended use of the valuation the valuer will ask you for relevant information about the item. This will include any previous valuations you may have, gemstone and diamond reports or certificates, till receipts or other relevant documents.

The valuer will also ask you for any instructions on how you’d prefer they assess the item, in order to ensure the valuation that best suits your requirements ensuring due diligence.

If you are unsure as to which type of valuation best suits your requirements, your valuer will happily discuss further. Sometimes items of jewellery can surprise even the most experienced of valuers and may take longer to value than originally expected.

 

Did you know?

As part of the Valuation Report, the notes to the schedule will encompass 12 mandatory appraisal and cataloguing requirements for jewellery, watches and silverware.

 

 

11. Can you value specialist jewellery?

Jewellery, watches and silverware with particular provenance, certain antique items, unusual design, specifications and sought-after designers/makers may require more specialist knowledge. 

This means that an IRV may need to defer and complete additional research in order to come to the conclusion of an accurate value for you.              

‘Specialist’ items will usually need an individual quote arranged beforehand with the individual valuer, but you can search the IRV directory by specialisms as well as talk to all IRVs for recommendations.

 

 

12. Do jewellers charge for valuations?

Yes, of course they do. Jewellers and registered valuers who offer an expert valuation service invariably must charge for their time expertise and use of equipment and supplies it is their living. The charges can vary depending on the valuation purpose, the type and complexity the work involved and the expertise and experience of the valuer.

We would recommend you contact at least three valuers to understand not only costs but also what you’re actually getting as part of the valuation service offered, as well as finding the most appropriate and experienced jewellery valuer for your jewellery – ensuring they also work to the industry standards.

Charges and fees generally reflect the time it takes to analyse and research the jewellery and is, of course, a genuine reflection on the professional undertaking your valuation. The business costs involved in handling, insuring, caring for the items, and production of the document will also be incorporated.

 

Did you know?

In order to become a registered valuer currently, you must have been in the jewellery trade for at least 5 years, hold an internationally recognised gemmological qualification, an accredited Diamond grading qualification, and have completed the NAJ’s Foundations of Appraisal Practice programme.  

 

 

13. Can I make a complaint about a valuation?

If you have a problem or query about a valuation, we would recommend you first contact your valuer, as there may be a simple explanation or misunderstanding that your valuer can quickly resolve to your satisfaction. Many issues can normally be resolved at this level.

If not, apply to us, the National Association of Jewellers for support and advice. We offer a free mediation service to all jewellers and registered valuers that you find on our Find a Valuer and Find a Jeweller directories.

Find a Valuer

Find a Jeweller

 

 

14. Who can value jewellery?

Technically, anyone can express an opinion on value. You could pretty much walk into any high street jeweller and get a ‘value’ of your jewellery, watch or silverware.

However, the Institute of Registered Valuers (IRV) is the recognised industry standard for insurance and legal scrutiny, giving you confidence and assurance in any opinions given by members or fellows of the Institute.

Your jewellery valuer must be able to identify gemstones and synthetics. They need a clear knowledge of all the precious metals used in the making of jewellery, and how to identify them, together with an understanding of the methods of jewellery manufacture and how to recognise and evaluate the difference between them.

Wide knowledge about the history and development of jewellery design is also essential to be able to identify the age of a piece.

A member or fellow of the IRV has all these qualities, and you can find your nearest valuer through the Find a valuer tool on the NAJ website.

 

 

15. Why choose an IRV?

They have the ability to competently, accurately and reliably value an item which takes years of studying and training to acquire.

Moreover, an IRV also recognises when they need to consult their network on an item they are not familiar with. This is further evidence of the professionalism expected of the members and fellows.

 

The Institute of Registered Valuers (IRV) is the UK’s leading authority of jewellery, watch and silverware appraisers who maintain exacting standards, and are regulated by the National Association of Jewellers.

All IRV Valuers are bound by, and commit to, the Institutes Guidelines for Best Practise - maintaining exacting standards with an ongoing Continual Professional Development programme, and experience regular Professional Reviews.

Every single IRV has verified and proven credentials, qualifications and experience within the jewellery trade, ensuring accurate and accountable Jewellery valuations.

Our expertise goes beyond simple knowledge of gems and jewellery; it includes comprehension and judgement, knowledge and ability as well as insights and skills gained through years of training and practice.

You can learn more about what it takes to become a valuer on the NAJ website, by searching ‘becoming an IRV’.

In the unlikely event of a query or concern Members and Fellows of the IRV benefit from free independent complaint mediation, handled by the National Association of Jewellers.

Find a Valuer near you