There are many reasons you might need a jewellery appraisal. For example, you might want to sell a piece of jewellery and would like to be sure you are getting a fair price.

Or you might be updating your home insurance policy and want to ensure that your valuable jewellery and watches are adequately covered. Or maybe you are considering donating a jewellery to your local museum and need to know how much you can claim as a tax relief. 

For each of these scenarios, you need a professional appraiser.


Surprisingly, there are no government-issued or state license requirements for personal property appraisers in the United Kingdom and most other counties such as the United States.  When placing a value on your grandmother’s jewellery or the painting hanging in your living room, anybody can say that they are an appraiser. 

In a field with no degree and no licenses, membership in an appraisal organisation is one of the most important credentials to look for when choosing a personal property appraiser.  Anyone that holds themselves out as an appraiser should be trained, tested, and certified through one of these three professional personal property appraisal organizations:

International Society of Appraisers (ISA)

Institute of Registered Valuers (IRV)

Academy of Experts

Each of these organisations holds its members to a standard of ethics. Choosing an appraiser with membership in an appraisal organisation is one step towards ensuring your appraiser is distinguished for his/her professionalism, knowledge, and expertise.

Additionally, your appraiser needs to be trained and tested in the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).  This is a set of guidelines published by the Appraisal Standards Board of the Appraisal Foundation and regulated by the US Congress. These guidelines serve to promote and maintain a high level of public trust in appraisal practice by establishing requirements for all appraisers.

You should also look for an appraiser with a formal jewellery education and experience in the jewellery market.  An appraiser should be highly trained and have an extensive education and training in gemmology and appraisal studies.

Of course, it is also important to mention a few things to avoid when choosing an appraiser.  Never hire an appraiser whose fee is based on percentage of the value of the item appraised.  This is unethical. Be sure that your appraiser does not have a personal interest in your collection.  Professional appraisers are unbiased and will never offer to buy anything they have appraised nor will they appraise anything they intend to buy.


In order to expedite your upcoming appraisal, there are several things you can do to prepare:

Decide which items you want to have appraised.

Ensure that items located in the safe, basement, closets etc. are open for view.

Put all things of like kind together such as flatware, crystal, and dinnerware services.

Make sure there is adequate lighting.

Gather any receipts, sales slips, or earlier appraisals and place them near the appropriate items. Jewellery boxes are of great importance as well. Make certain to have them available for the appraisal meeting.

Gather any historical information or family history that relates to the items being appraised. This might include articles or books that refer to the artwork, exhibition catalogues, family letters, conservation/restoration reports, or names of family member from whom the work descended.

If there is a will, please ensure that all items specifically bequeathed in the will are available for inspection.


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