Why a piece of jewelry needs a valuation varies: Fair Market value
(what the piece might sell for in a jewelry store); Distress Sale
Value (any circumstance where one is forced to sell). I.e.: divorce,
but no matter what one thinks of one’s ‘ex’; it doesn’t effect the
Ultimately the true value is “auction value”; what someone is
willing to pay in the market place.
It is very simple, in most cases to value diamond jewelry because so
many diamonds are sold every day. The principle value to consider is
the value of the stone.
If it’s simply metal, check commodity prices.
The variables might be if a piece is designed by a well known
jeweler/ designer or if the stone is unusual. So, if there’s a stone
that’s the major component in the valuation.
The overriding principle is comparables.
An analogy would be real estate. if you’re selling a house you look
for a similar house that’s for sale; same number of rooms, baths,
acreage, location, etc. Then factor in variables.
Often I read “go to a GG”. A GG should be able to identify the stone
and the metal. But not always.
Example: a customer of mine took an 18KY ring with an opal from a
place called Mintabie. I cut the stone from rough that I had
purchased. The GG told my customer that the stone was not an opal or
that it was man-made. He/she could have said I don’t know. GG
training (my wife is a GG) trains one to ID stones; but putting a
price on the stone is another matter entirely.
The person who knows the value is one who sells many pieces of
similar jewelry or stones. I participate in many “art fairs” all
retail. A frequent question is “how much is my ring worth?”
Someone sees that I have some inlay opal jewelry and that person
bought an opal inlay ring on a cruise. I try to explain why it’s so
difficult to put a price on their ring. Their eyes roll; they don’t
want to hear that. “Just tell me the price!” I do tell the person if
they’re willing to pay for the appraisal they can leave the ring with
me and I will appraise it. More often than not the person wants to
know that they haven’t been “ripped off”
A Graduate Gemmologist has been trained to identify stones; not to
put a value on either a stone or a piece of jewelry. Not to say that
a GG doesn’t have enough ‘real world’ experience to place a value on
a stone or piece of jewelry. It’s just that that’s not what they are
trained to do.
HTH My caffeine level has seriously dropped.