While your jewelry likely has a special place in your heart, emotional attachment alone is often not enough. There are many situations where you will need to have a definite, appraised cash value for your jewelry. This may be the case if you are attempting to sell your jewelry, but it is also true if you are planning on insuring it. You may also have jewelry with uncertain origins, such as family heirlooms that have been passed down from generation to generation. Appraisals for pieces such as these can help you to better understand a treasured item.
Whatever your reason for having your jewelry appraised, you may feel as though a single appraisal is always enough. Unfortunately, this isn't usually the case. There are several reasons why you should consider having your most valuable jewelry appraised every several years and why getting a fresh appraisal is a good idea for older jewelry that you have not had appraised recently.
Insurance Requires Recent Appraisals
If you are appraising your jewelry for insurance purposes, then this is the number-one reason to keep your appraisals up to date. When having your jewelry appraised for this reason, be sure to consult with your homeowners insurance policy or rental policy provider. In most cases, policies will have limits set for items such as jewelry, and these limits may be significantly less than your overall coverage. If you find that the appraised value for your jewelry significantly exceeds these limits, it may be time to consider upgrading your policy.
Additionally, receiving the full value for your jewelry in the event of a claim on your policy will generally require a recent appraisal. How recent is recent enough? That depends on your particular insurer, but as a general rule, any appraisal done within the last five or six years is likely fine. If in doubt, contact your insurance company for details.
Appraisals Are Usually Based On Market Values
While certain antique or collector's items may have inherent value, much of the value of a particular jewelry piece is based on the market value of its materials. This means that the appraised value of a specific piece of jewelry will fluctuate as the value of precious metals and gems fluctuates. Having your jewelry appraised somewhat regularly can help you to keep track of what your collection is worth even as the market changes. In some cases, you may be able to get updates like this done without even bringing the piece to the appraiser.
Updated Appraisals Can Resolve Disputes
Although most people rarely have to prove that they own a particular piece of jewelry, the truth is that even high-value jewelry pieces are sometimes difficult to prove ownership for. Unlike a car, you do not have a title for your jewelry or another document which verifies that you are its rightful owner. Appraisals can fill this role, proving your claim to a particular item. If you are having jewelry appraisals done for this reason, it is important to regularly have your items appraised in person. This proves continuous ownership should a dispute ever arise.
For your high-value jewelry or items that you are especially attached to, regular appraisals every 4-6 years can provide cheap insurance against worst-case scenarios as well as up-to-date information on what your collection is worth.