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Timing on an appraisal


#1

I have a client wanting to know “on the average” how long do you
think it takes for some to do an “average” appraisals for an
engagement ring.

There are two types:

A. When the ring with center stone has known available.
That being a cert for the diamond with a tag that has weights for
side stones, etc.

B. When the same ring is brought in off the street by a customer and
there is no “known” data on the center diamond or ring.

They are doing a time comparison on appraisal times.

Any help is appreciated.

David Geller


#2

Appraisal type B would take half and hour to an hour. Type A would
take about half an hour or less. That’s based on our times where I
used to work as a jewelry appraiser.

Elaine Luther
Chicago area, Illinois, USA
Certified PMC Instructor
@E_Luther


#3

David,

A) If the stone has a cert., etc.: If this is a ring that a
customer brought in for appraisal, I still need to verify that the
stone matches the paperwork. I still test the karat of the mounting
even if it is stamped. After all, this is my appraisal, and my
responsibility if I get it wrong. A simple solitaire diamond, or one
with a couple of side stones, should take about 30 minutes. If this
is a ring that was made in our studio, and I sold the stone, I have
already verified the accuracy of the that I am putting
on the appraisal, so it may take about 5 minutes less time. The
majority of the appraisal time is simply writing a detailed legal
description of the ring. When doing this, I try to imagine what a
lawyer would do to my appraisal in court.

B) If there is no known on the ring or the stones, I
expect to spend about an hour on this. The ring usually has to be
thoroughly cleaned first, and I have to describe any wear and
damage, as well as a description of the stones and metals. There
will usually be some research involved.

I will only do appraisals on jewelry that I am familiar with. My
gallery specializes in contemporary “designer " jewelry, so I can
usually identify the artist or designer. Not so with antiques. I
send these to a specialist. I also no longer use the term
"appraisal,” preferring to call this a “Retail Replacement
Valuation.” This means that I am declaring the value of the item at
the cost of replacing it in my store. I am not implying that this
would be its value at another store. This has eliminated a lot of
headaches. It also saves me from being in the awkward position of
assigning a value to my competitor’s jewelry. If I know who the
designer is, but I don’t carry their work in my gallery, I simply
contact the designer to find the suggested retail price. Jewelry by
a designer like Michael Good or Steven Kretchmer has a value far
beyond the cost of the materials. Aside from the craftsmanship, they
are also copyrighted and cannot be duplicated or replaced by anyone
except the original artist.

Appraising has become far more complicated in recent years. Your
expertise on the appraisal can also expose you to liabilities. You
can purchase insurance to protect you against financial loss in the
event of a lawsuit, but you cannot insure against the damage to your
reputation. “Designer” jewelry is my niche, and I stay inside it
very comfortably.

Doug Zaruba PS: The Repair Handbook is GREAT! We are still learning
how to use it effectively, but it has already paid for itself within
one month.
THANKS.


#4

Dear David, It will be cold day in hell before I take anything for
granted when doing an appraisal. Because a customer has some paper
that asserts that any of the customer’s stones are previously certed
cannot possibly fly with me. Why would I take someone else’s word
for something when I am creating a legal document that could come
back and slap me in the face ? Furthermore, who knows what has
transpired since the asserted certification has taken place ? It is
very easy, even for some lay persons, to switch stones. Ron at
Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.


#5
It will be cold day in hell before I take anything for granted when
doing an appraisal. Because a customer has some paper that asserts
that any of the customer's stones are previously certed cannot
possibly fly with me. 

I absolutely agree. I wanted to clarify that in my previous post on
this topic when I referred to the center stone having already been
graded, I was thinking of the way we used to work in the lab. Some
regular clients could have a stone they were showing to a client
graded loose, then, after it was sold and mounted, they would bring
back the ring and we would have the info. from our earlier grading.

I was shocked when a home appraiser didn’t measure my house, and
simply re-used the previous guy’s measurements. (No, it wasn’t the
same guy, not even the same company.)

Elaine Luther
Chicago area, Illinois, USA
Certified PMC Instructor
@E_Luther