What’s it Worth?
This is the most frequent question asked an appraiser. “I just want to know what it’s worth”. Since there are different values for a piece of jewelry, i.e., Retail Replacement for insurance purposes, Fair Market Value for Estate, Probate, Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Liquidation which may have several iterations depending upon the circumstances, the appraiser will need to know the purpose of the appraisal. The appraiser will ask questions:
Is this for Insurance, Estate or Probate, Divorce or Bankruptcy? These require full written appraisals. Are you considering selling your item and just want to have a consultation as to options available and probable selling price? This may be just a short meeting so the jewelry can be examined. You have inherited jewelry and you would like to know which pieces should have full insurance valuations. You have inherited jewelry that is to be split among family members that does not need a full written estate appraisal, however, a distribution listing for family members would be helpful.
Please advise your appraiser why you need a valuation enabling them to suggest the best options for you.
How do we get started? Where do we meet? Do I leave my jewelry with you?
After an initial discussion by phone or email, we determine what type of valuation(s) is/are required. An appointment is scheduled at our office, your, office, home or bank. When we meet please bring any certifications that you have, old appraisals and receipts from purchases. If you don’t have any of this paperwork, don’t worry we’ll proceed.
Your jewelry is with you at all times. You may sit while the work is done and watch the process. When the notes and details are complete, you leave with your jewelry.
What is the appraisal process?
While you meet, Ms. Lawch will take images of your item(s), notes about the description, weights, dimensions, identify gemstones, take notes on the quality of the stones, note any repairs needed or previously made, count each stone, and evaluate the condition of each piece. If this is an informal consultation for an informal valuation, you may leave with enough information that additional appraisal work is not required.
Should a formal written appraisal be required, then additional time after you leave with your jewelry will be required by the appraiser to compare your item(s) to similar ones, complete research and report preparation. Timing for the completed report will be discussed during the initial call/email with additional and any changes after reviewing the jewelry.
Do you charge for appraisal work?
We charge for consultations, informal valuations and full written appraisal reports. Our fees are hourly which is considered by the major appraisal organizations as one of the most ethical ways to charge for appraisal work. We are pleased to discuss our fees with you.
Why Should I Engage A. A. Benjamin Ltd. for my Appraisal?
An appraisal is a formal document that needs to be completed by a professional appraiser. Ms. Lawch is a Graduate Gemologist from the GIA, an Accredited Member of the International Society of Appraisers with more than 25 years of experience. She is accepted by the IRS for appraisals. She has extensive appraisal background working for attorneys, banks, insurance companies, auction companies following the methodology of appraising and is USPAP compliant. Your valuations are important, and should be handled respectfully, discreetly, in a non-biased way. We look forward to working with you and meeting you.