The recent increase in gold and diamond prices has prompted many jewelry owners to get their stones and jewelry appraised professionally. For some people, it’s for insurance concerns. Others simply want to know what their jewelry is worth this year.
Village Jewelers has received an influx of customers and clients seeking to get their jewelry professionally appraised, and we’ve found that many people are getting their gems analyzed for the first time. Therefore, they have many questions about the appraisal process, care and cleaning of their gems, and even the value differences in different plating.
Here are a few of the most common jewelry appraisal questions we get:
What is the Difference Between White Gold & Yellow Gold?
They are both the same in their elemental properties (both are classified as gold), but their composition is not the same.
Typically, gold comes out straight from the earth in a bright yellow color. This is gold’s base appearance. At some point, white gold was also this color. But to temper the brightness of the yellow color, white gold is mixed with a white-colored alloy. Therefore, white gold is mixed with a whiter alloy, while yellow gold can be considered somewhat purer.
What Does “Karats” Mean for Gold?
Yellow gold jewelry will almost always be an alloy. Gold in its purest form is a soft metal. Therefore, it’s not as durable as people would like a piece of jewelry designed to last for years to be. Because of this, gold is mixed with copper, zinc, and even nickel. This makes it stronger, withstanding scratches and bumps.
In the USA, karats measure the amount of gold found in a gold alloy. The higher the karat, the purer, and the more percentage of gold there is in the alloy. This is how you get the 10kt, 18kt, and 24kt ratings.
How Often Should I Appraise My Fine Jewelry?
There is no strict rule as to how often you should appraise your jewelry. Some people let a few years go by, while others prefer to do it every year. Typically, getting jewelry appraised every four to six years should keep your papers updated on the actual cost of your valuables. But it’s also a good idea to get them appraised when the market is undergoing extreme changes, such as now.
Why Is Appraising Fine Jewelry Important?
Jewelry is often appraised for insurance purposes. The majority of insurance companies worldwide want an updated and well-documented appraisal from a professional jeweler. This allows them to determine the true and accurate cost of the jewelry in your possession and then insure it accordingly.
Another reason to appraise your jewelry is to keep track of your assets. Your jewelry’s cost can affect it, especially if you have a lot of genuine stones and gold. If you plan on giving some of this jewelry to family members as part of your estate in a will, they need to be appraised for that as well.
How Long Will an Appraisal Take?
The appraisal can take anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour per piece. If you have a lot of jewelry, it may take some time to appraise it. Karat gold jewelry may have a shorter appraisal duration than jewelry with stones, as the appraiser must first analyze the size, shape, clarity, and other features of the stones.
Always Use Qualified & Certified Fine Jewelry Appraisers
By seeking out jewelry appraisers with complete credentials and titles from national appraisal organizations, you can ensure that you’re getting the most accurate prices for your jewelry. Their skill and training allow them to thoroughly vet and verify the quality and authenticity of your pieces.