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What's your jewelry worth? When to update appraisals?

Feb 03 2015

Laurie Marinelli  Personal Insurance Manager, CPCU, CIC, AAI, AIS

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Many of us have given or received a gift of jewelry as a symbol of our love on special days like these. While it doesn’t necessarily make sense to specifically insure every piece of jewelry you own, it’s certainly wise if you have expensive pieces…especially if you wear them frequently.

When you “schedule” a special piece of jewelry on your home, condo or renter policy, it provides additional coverage outside the regular policy limits. It also covers situations such as losing a piece of jewelry that isn’t covered under a regular policy.

To schedule an item, you usually need to have an appraisal that provides a detailed description and the value. Generally, when you buy an expensive piece of jewelry, you'll receive an appraisal at that time, which along with your sales receipt is sufficient to insure the piece. But, something that we sometimes forget is that the value of a piece of jewelry isn’t fixed. With the skyrocketing price of gold and other precious metals over the last few years, you might be surprised that the value of your jewelry has substantially increased. If you currently have scheduled jewelry, you may find that the insured amount is no longer enough.

A co-worker recently had a gold bracelet repaired that she bought a while ago. She was shocked when they told her how much it’s worth now. It reminded me that I’m overdue having my own jewelry re-appraised and need to follow my own advice.

It’s generally recommended to re-appraise jewelry every four to five years. However, when you see a big increase or decrease in commodity prices, you may need to update appraisals sooner to ensure that your coverage is sufficient. Unless, you’ve done so in the last few years, now is a good time to re-appraise your jewelry. Then, talk to us to confirm proper coverage.

Keep in mind. This applies not only to jewelry but any high value items such as fine art, antiques, electronics, instruments, sports equipment, furs, stamp and coin collections, etc...

Photo: Courtesy of Joy-Den Jewelers

Comments
Total: 4 Comment(s)
MarieC
  I was disappointed that this article didn't say anything about how to find an appraiser, and how much I should expect to pay for appraisals. I have no idea what is the market price for it, and so when I go to a jeweler, I have no idea if their price is fair or not.

Can you please give some suggestions for that? Thanks.
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MurphyInsurance
MurphyInsurance  Marie...we never want to disappoint so here's some additional information. Going back to the jeweler who you bought the piece is one source; however, if you no longer have access to that jeweler, any local jeweler might also provide an appraisal. We've heard of some jewelers charging a nominal fee of $25 to other appraisers charging over $100. A higher appraisal priced doesn't necessarily mean it's a better appraisal. So, it's hard to give you a specific price point for an appraisal, but it's wise to shop around. The key is to deal with someone reputable that you can trust. Some jewelers will ask you to leave your jewelry, while others will prefer that you be present for the process. Ultimately, you want the description to be clear and specific. Certainly, give us a call if you have specific questions about appraisals and what you need.
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Alan G.
  Hello, and thank you for your very helpful post. I do feel it necessary to comment on this quote from your article; "...With the skyrocketing price of gold and other precious metals in the past few years...". In fact, this is not accurate as viewing the chart in the site below will indicate. On February 28, 2010, the gold price per ounce was $1783.88 and on March 6, 2015 it was $1198.60. So in roughly the past 5 years, the price of gold has actually decreased substantially and the lower prices have been relatively the norm. Similar, less than stellar patterns exist for silver at $16.85 per ounce on January 1, 2010 and $16.18 on March 5, 2015.

This does by no means diminish the wisdom of up to date appraisals on valuable jewelry pieces and other high value assets and the inclusion of appropriate riders for inclusion in ones insurance coverage. Accuracy, however, goes a long way when presenting information such as your otherwise worthwhile presentation. AMG

www.jmbullion.com/charts/gold-price/?gclid=CJrdiLCBlMQCFcZZ7AodUQYAow
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MurphyInsurance
MurphyInsurance  Thanks for sharing more specific statistics...we're certainly are open to critique! While our adjective of "skyrocketing" might not reflect the exact ebb and flow of prices in the past 5 years, we're grateful that you can appreciate the intent. Certainly if you look back 10 years gold is up significantly. To share an example, a coworker shared with us that he was at a jeweler getting a watch fixed, and the jeweler commented on his bracelet asking when he got it, which was approximately 15 years ago. He didn't remember what he had paid, but it was under $500. The jeweler weighed the piece and told him that the bracelet was worth multiple times that amount. Once you make the decision to get something scheduled, then the issue becomes ensuring that you aren't over or under insuring it by getting periodic appraisals. Again, thanks for the feedback.
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