What exactly does an appraisal mean (jewelry)

I just bought a gold bracelet marked down 75%.

I just heard on the TV a company that will sell you a diamond guaranteed to appraise at twice the value, from which they sell it to you.

QVC often discounts 75% on gold.

Obviously if it can be discounted that much it was never worth that to begin with.

Also an appraisal can’t be what it is worth as why couldn’t I go buy the jewelry and resell it for twice its worth. Obviously I coudn’t.

So what is an appraisal for?

Generally appraisals are done so that when someone steals your jewelry, you can wave a signed piece of paper at your insurance company until they give you the cash. Besides that, there are other reasons you need to know the value of an object. It could be a major asset in a divorce proceeding. It would matter for estate taxes, or charitable donations, etc.

The one thing you don’t use an appraisal for is to sell the jewelry. Wave that piece of paper at a jeweler and demand he pay you that price for your precious object, and he may never stop laughing.

:::thank you, god(of your choice), for putting this one into my lap:::

I make my living by looking at jewelry and diamonds all day which people are trying to sell. We buy jewelry/diamonds from the public. We are the among the largest volume buyers in Northern Ohio, perhaps the largest. So I feel than I have some expertise here.

Here is the bottom line: Markdowns, sales, all is cotton candy.

Currently, we, and all retail jewelry stores can purchase new 14K gold chain of many different styles for about $8/gram. Some fancy stuff costs more. We resell it for about $15-16/gram. We double our money. In the jewelry biz this is as low as you can go.

Most commercial jewelry stores sell gold chain for $20-50/gram. The average jewelry store sells you things at a 3 time markup over cost. And that is your price after all sales/discounts. You are paying 3x cost. Chain, diamonds, rings, etc. And 3x cost is average. We see 5x cost and more from the “department store” jewelry counters.

There ain’t no SantyClaus

A typical seller comes into out store and says “I know what my ring is worth. I took it to a jewelry store and they said is was worth $2000.” This means that their diamond ring would sell for this price in that jewelry store. Nevermind that I can buy that ring wholesale for $700. If I needed it. But my offer to buy their ring to put into stock will probably be about $500-600. And guess what, we are the highest actual cash buyers in our region.

The worth or appraisal of an object can fall into four different categories:

  1. A half carat diamond solitaire ring with a clarity/color of VS/H will have an insurance replacement value of $2000-2500.
  2. The diamond above costs you $2000 in a typical jewelry store. Bottom line. After all is said and done.
  3. We sell the same diamond ring for $1300.
  4. We can order the same diamond ring, wholesale, for $800.
  5. We will pay you $600 to purchase it for cash outright. And that is the best real offer you will get.

Oh wait!. That’s five categories. But you get the idea.

So in my example of what I paid I did get somewhat of a deal

In Samclem’s example a ring bought retail at $2,000 would be sold back at $600. 600/2000 = 30% and since I got 75% off I only paid 25% so that is a good deal.

But what I don’t get is what is the appraisal for? Why would the insurance company pay you $2,000 on a diamond that would not cost that much to replace?

Markxxx You didn’t get a deal. Your bracelet was marked down 75% of some incredibly rediculous high retail price that never existed.

The bottom line is, how much did you pay per gram for your bracelet? I told you I can buy gold chain for $8/gram. I bet you paid net $20 or more for you bracelet. I will almost guarentee you that you paid three times cost or more for your bracelet.

And insurance companies are slowly becoming more sophisticated. They have had agents writing policies for years in a sloppy manner. This is changing. An example–

You paid $279. for your bracelet. They gave you a retail replacement appraisal for $750. You gave this to your insurance agent and are paying a premium on that value. You lose the bracelet. You contact the agent and say you lost it. The agent says they will replace it. But you would rather have the money 'cause your car just took a poop and you need the bucks. But your agent says, “read your policy, we will replace your bracelet.” You say, " I’d rather have a check. I don’t want the bracelet replaced." Your agent calls us, we tell him we will sell the insurance company a replacement bracelet for $175. He calls you and offers $175 cash settlement. You’re **cked. Your highly-inflated retail replacement appraisal ain’t worth jack-shite.

I meant to say, Markxxx, that you paid $20/gram or more for you bracelet. Take it to a jewelry store and ask them to weigh it for you in grams. Then divide your $279 purchase price by the number of grams. You will then have a basis to know whether you got a deal or not.

It would cost that much to replace it, since they assume you’d be shopping for the same thing, at the same type of store.

I’m really glad you asked this question (the OP). It seems some people think of jewelry as “an investment” and baby, it isn’t. This especially crops up when people are shopping for engagement rings (for many, their first big jewelry purchase–maybe the only one).

In light of the opinions of the jewelers/gemologists in here, I’d think you could probably come out better by putting your jewelry at auction (on-line or real-world) with a rock-bottom reserve of $50 or so more than a jewelry store’s offer. Especially if you add into the description that the piece was appraised at such-and-such a value.

Get the money before you ship, though.

Sorry to make it worse, but . . .

You get “replacement cost” or “replacement” only if you homeowners/renters insurance is for replacement (the higher level). Otherwise, you get “depreciated value”, which is to say “even less”.

Sorry 'bout that! :stuck_out_tongue:

“You can’t win. You can’t even break even. And you can’t get out of the game.” (Author unknown)

What about 18K or 22K gold. What is the wholesale cost per gram?

I prefer 18K but I couldn’t find a men’s bracelet made in 18K in a store. I don’t quite trust the net or something I can’t look at.

My wife’s engagement ring cost me $3000 even. They started asking for $3500, that was more than I had intended to spend, we ended up in the middle. It appraises at $4400, but the insurance will only pay for what we paid for it for the first year we own it.

I can’t remember how big the diamond is (somewhere between half a carat and a carat) but the clarity is good and it alone appraised at $4400. I’ll find out when I get home, I guess, as well as how big the other two diamonds in the setting are. Still haven’t got her a wedding band yet, and I better hurry, as the longer she thinks about it the more elaborate she wants it to be. 8^)