When someone states that she needs a piece of jewelry appraised, I always ask, “For what purpose?" This isn't because I'm nosy, but rather to learn what type of appraisal is needed, for a single piece of jewelry can have several different values attributed to it. This question is usually followed up with "I really don't need anything in writing; I just want to know a rough idea of how much this ring is worth."
This simple request can actually be quite complicated, and requires a conversation with an experienced jewelry professional. Depending on your specific needs, a formal, written appraisal may be required, but sometimes not. If, for instance, you are interested in selling some of your pieces and would like someone to handle the entire process for you, learn more about my unique process for doing so here. If you need your collection prepared for fair distribution among family members, we can discuss my creating a proper inventory. I am an experienced jewelry advisor who has managed many specific, customized needs for my clients and I can do the same for you.
But let's get back to appraisals. Although I prepared fine jewelry appraisals for more than 20 years, and earned the title of Certified Gemologist Appraiser through the American Gem Society, because I do not own a gemological laboratory, I no longer conduct appraisals. Jewelry appraising is a highly specialized field that requires education, training, experience, knowledge of the many markets in which jewelry is bought and sold, contacts throughout the industry, and staying up-to-date on all of the latest synthetic materials and gem treatments that are introduced every year.
If we determine that you do require professional jewelry appraisal services, I will refer you to a small cadre of local appraisers whom I know and trust. Each has performed jewelry appraisal work for me personally, and I am familiar with their experience, the rigorous appraisal coursework they have completed to obtain their credentials, the instruments they use to conduct gemological testing, and the quality of the documents they produce.You might be surprised to learn that anyone in the state of Missouri can declare him- or herself a jewelry appraiser. There are no educational or professional requirements for jewelry appraisers at all, so buyer beware.