Diamond Appraisal - What You Need To Know

October 19, 2022

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What to know when getting your diamond appraised

There are different reasons that you want to appraise your diamond jewelry.  Whether you just purchased or are given a new diamond ring, you might want to have it appraised for insurance due to its high value.  Or you just want to have an appraisal done to know the Fair Market Value of an inherited diamond item.

Whatever the reason is, you should learn about the process of diamond appraisal to gain confidence in what you are about to do.  I hope this article will have the answers to all of your questions.

Firstly, it is best to search for an independent jewelry appraiser that does not sell diamonds.  That jewelry appraiser should be a GIA Graduate Gemologist and belongs to prestigious organizations for jewelry appraisers such as ASA, and AGA to have proper and professional training about diamond and methodologies of appraising. 

You can request to watch while your diamond jewelry is being examined.  During the examination, the jewelry appraiser will inspect the diamond, identify it and check if there is any lab report existed.  Usually, there will be an inscription at the girdle of the diamond if it is graded by a laboratory such as GIA, AGS, EGL, or IGI.  However, there is not always an inscription if the lab work was done a long time ago when the laser inscription technology hasn't quite been developed yet.  It’s not necessary that it’s always helpful when your diamond has a lab report, it only helps when the lab report came from a reliable source.  GIA is the most credible and legitimate lab when it comes to gemology so if your diamond has a GIA lab report, you can be reassured about the accuracy of its grading; thus, the appraiser can base her opinions of the grading and valuation on it.  She still needs to confirm if the diamond in your jewelry matches the diamond in the lab report by checking the inscription, dimensions, and grading. 

If your diamond jewelry does not have a lab report, the appraiser will take more time to grade the 4Cs: color, clarity, cut, and carat weight of the diamonds, and yes the process repeats for any other diamonds in the jewelry.  Diamonds over 1 ct should be plotted.  For melee diamonds (small diamonds that are under 0.25 ct), the gradings can be given as a range, for example: VS clarity (VS1-VS2), or G-H color, Excellent-Very good cut, weigh from 0.005-0.01 ct. 

The appraiser continues to assess other characteristics and components of your jewelry, such as metal, and method of manufacturing… not just the diamonds.

After the examination, you can go home with your diamond jewelry.  The appraiser then does market research and analysis to reconcile with a conclusion of the valuation for your diamond jewelry.  Depending on the intended use of the appraisal, there will be different types of value, hence, different market levels.  Whatever the type of value is, Replacement Value, Fair Market Value, or Marketable Cash Value, a credible opinion of valuation should be evidence-based on substantial facts derived from adequate research.  The market should dictate the value, not the appraiser.  The appraiser should only report the market. 

A comprehensive appraisal report should include a thorough description of your diamond jewelry, and a conclusion on valuation.  An appraisal report done correctly will be accepted by third parties like insurance companies, the IRS, and the court...  It will save you from a lot of troubles that can possibly happen in the future.  

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