Home Buying Ordering FAQ Products

 We are often offered estate items accompanied by written appraisals. Many folks feel that the appraised value is the price they should receive for the item(s). SomeKerr nouveau sterling belt deduct ten percent or so, feeling that should be enough profit margin for the dealer. Maybe so, but since we sell at about half of appraised value, the fallacy of that thought becomes quite apparent. We hope the following information (portions used with permission and by courtesy of Charterhouse Co.) will prove helpful in your selling decisions. We have included a few of our recent purchases.


   Platinum and emerald braceletAn appraisal is a written record of the identity, design, quality and value of an article. You probably have an appraisal on jewelry or objects of art that was requested by your insurance company.

  The identification and description of the items in such appraisals are often helpful in selling, but the evaluation is not.

What Appraised Values Represent

   An appraised value for insurance is an estimate of the retail replacement price. It covers the cost of making or obtaining an exact duplicate of your item, including the wholesaler's and retailer's profits. 

   Amethyst, diamond and gold cufflinksAn appraised value is not the amount you would receive if you sold the item. In fact, an insurance value is usually significantly higher than the actual cash value. In many cases, it is quite a bit higher than the retail price you paid. Ever wonder about the ads that guarantee a piece of jewelry to appraise at least twice the price paid? 

   Appraisals frequently ignore the condition, age and, most importantly, the marketability of the items. If the dealer can't readily sell it, he/she is not going to pay much for it.

How Appraisers Appraise

   It is a jewelry industry policy to appraise nearly every item at its duplication cost. This assures the customer that the item can be replaced if ever lost or stolen. 

   This practice, however, doesn't usually take into account that jewelry styles change and items wear from use. In other words, it tends to ignore the fact that jewelry can depreciate, and often does. 

   Jewelry is made of silver, gold or platinum and is usually set with precious stones. These components will always have some value, but frequently the piece of jewelry which contains them has gone out of fashion or has limited appeal; thus reducing the selling price. 

   Few people question the appraiser when he/she appraises older jewelry at the price of new. Many people are surprised at the high value, but who argues with sudden riches? They knew that the items had cost considerably less and thought the values exaggerated.

High Appraisals from the Early 1980's

   Sterling and enamel revival pinJewelry, gold, silver and diamonds were at record highs in 1980. If your appraisal is dated about that time, the values may be significantly inflated by today's standard.

Antique and Period Jewelry is Worth More

  If the design of your item falls into the classifications of antique or period jewelry, then it could be worth more than when originally purchased. 

 Perception of Price is Critical

   18K PW, platinum WW, 18K bracelet, 8mm pearl necklace, diamond ring, ivory figure pin, green garnet-amethyst-yellow sapphire pin, etc.The price we pay depends on objectively determined factors: quality, size, rarity and marketability of the item. In other words: if we can sell it, we'll probably buy it. Not every item of jewelry can be sold; some pieces are so worn, have limited appeal, or are just so  undesirable that they're only bought for scrap. 

   If an appraisal has imparted an unrealistic idea of value, a customer will never sell. No one will be able to meet his or her expectation. On the other hand, we buy nearly everything that is offered to us by people who have a correct understanding of the value of their items.










Last updated on 20 Aug 10