For many people, jewelry has a sentimental attachment. You may have gotten it as a gift from someone special or it could be a piece that's been passed down through many generations. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't also know the value of the items. If something were to happen, like a robbery or a fire, most home or renter's insurance does not actually cover the full value of jewelry items. If you want to make sure you're fully covered than you need to have an appraisal done on all of the items that you want fully insured and then get a special policy for them.
There are three functions of an appraiser. The first is to act as someone who can identify the items that you bring them. If you're father got a pair of cuff links from his parents and passed them down to you, he might not have documentation to say where and when the item was made. While helping to determine the value of the item, this information is usually also very interesting when you're bringing in older pieces. Whether it's a brooch or a ring, it's nice to hear the history of family heirlooms.
Second, they are going to value the item. When you're choosing an appraiser you should make sure that they are a member of the appraiser's union and that they are willing to put in the proper research to find out the actual value of any item that you bring them. If you have any documentation of the piece than you definitely will want to bring this with you to the appraisal. Like when determining the value for a house for sale, the more information you can offer the appraisal, the more accurate their final assessment will be.
Lastly, the appraiser acts as a witness to the existence and state of each of the items that you bring them. Should something happen to your jewelry you will have documentation that you did in fact own it and can be properly compensated with your insurance. Beyond just jewelry, if you have any belongings, from an antique chest to signed autographs, you should make sure that it is properly documented and insured.
Like with real estate or gold bullion prices, the value of your jewelry will change over time. Your insurance policy might require that you have each piece appraised every five to ten years. It is your responsibility to remember to do this. Most insurance companies will not go to the trouble of reminding you.
If you enjoyed our article, you may also be interested in reading this article entitled "Protect What's Yours"