You just purchased an incredible engagement ring, commemorated a special occasion or inherited family heirloom jewelry. Now what? Is your prized possession properly protected? Unfortunately, the answer is probably going to be no. We prepared on overview on a few educational and beneficial items you should consider upon having your jewelry appraised by a qualified professional. Since you have taken the time to choose the perfect piece of jewelry, or will purchase some fine jewelry sometime in your life, we strongly recommend you take the time to read this article to protect your purchase.
Having jewelry appraised may be a little difficult, because there is confusion about the jewelry industry regarding who is certified, licensed or qualified to give you an appraisal. Working within the jewelry industry by buying and selling jewelry does not make one an appraiser. Appraising should not be treated as an inalienable right that comes with the job of selling jewelry. Appraising is a profession, just as a licensed lawyer, doctor, real estate agent, or CPA, where one must be educated and tested.
It is difficult to determine whether the quality assessments of one jeweler will be as stringent and precise as the judgments of other jewelers if there is no certificate present; that is, not all jewelers may agree about the quality of a diamond. This is why diamonds have been graded by either an in-house certified gemologist or at the labs themselves. Having a Graduate Gemologist of the GIA and also a Certified Gemologist of the AGS provides customers with the knowledge they need to understand more about their investment. Having these letters behind a name, much like a doctor has M.D. following his name, he grades our diamonds to the same standards as the GIA and AGS do in their facilities, only he is right in our store!
However, please keep in mind that not all organizations are equal! Not all organizations requirements are at the same levels and standards. First, you must ask the appraiser how their designations are earned. Some retailers give titles for just paying their dues! Ask them what their level of membership is within the organization and how they earned that level of certification. You will also want to ask how often they have to retest to maintain their level of membership and what the testing involves. Some retailers “grandfather” their members. Grandfathering means that they pass one test and never have to be retested on new changes, techniques or certifications. Most organizations retest its members at least every five years to ensure that they stay current and up to date in regards to changes within the profession.