How Much Does an Engagement Ring Appraisal Cost?
Appraising jewelry is done for varied reasons, including insurance, estate and fair market value appraisal, or cash liquidation purposes. For an engagement ring appraisal, or any jewelry appraisal for that matter, it is important to make sure that the job is done precisely by a skilled and certified appraiser in order for the jewelry item to be accurately assessed for its true worth. The reason that this is such an important process is that there are so many imitation jewels and metals that it is hard to determine the genuineness of a piece of jewelry without extensive knowledge and the right tools.
How much does it cost?
- On average, plan on spending about $50 to $200 per hour for the professional’s time spent in appraising an engagement ring. No more than an hour should be needed for this process unless there are special circumstances involved. However, even if the appraisal only takes 30 minutes, you will most likely still be charged for a full hour of time.
- Aside from paying an hourly rate, other companies may charge a percentage of the final value, which could be one to three percent. For example, if the piece you are having appraised in worth $3,000, you may be charged $30 to $90 for the appraisal.
- According to TheKnot.com, ring appraisal services can cost $50 to $150 an hour. Jewelers will either charge a flat rate or perform appraisal services on an hourly basis.
- At Jewels by Stacy Appraisals, jewelry appraisal services cost $180 per hour and will include an accurate documentation of the jewelry and its appropriate value.
- The cost of appraisal fees at Baxley Jewellers in Carrollton, Georgia, usually starts at $50 to $75 for most jewelry types.
What is going to be included?
- During an appraisal process, an engagement ring is first cleaned and then checked if it needs repairs. The metal is then tested for content, fineness, and authenticity. After the size is measured, its weight and grade are then assessed. Subsequently, the stone is plotted as appropriate. Afterwards, the ring is photographed to aid in identification and replacement. The appraisal documents are then prepared. Typically, a full written description of the item is provided along with a fair estimate of retail replacement value. The appraisal process may take 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the jewelry appraiser. If the task requires further research, the job will take longer to complete.
What are the extra costs?
- Jewelry items that require additional research to verify their authenticity and value usually incur additional charges.
- Sending an engagement ring to a jewelry appraiser also incurs additional fees, the cost of which depends on location and shipping method used. Because of the high value of the jewelry, you will probably want to purchase the insurance on the package.
Factors that influence the price:
- Expertise. Jewelry appraisers who are known in the field and hold licenses and certifications may charge higher rates due to their formal training in reputable schools, level of expertise, years of experience, and accreditation with industry associations.
- Labor. A jewelry appraiser may perform appraisal services on an hourly basis or will work on a flat rate. Many who charge by the hour emphasize the time spent on market research and appraisal writing based on an evaluation, particularly complex appraisal jobs.
- Complexity. Engagement rings and jewelry items in general have different structures and compositions. The complexity of an item being examined plays a part in the cost of an appraisal. More complex jewelry items require more time needed to conduct the evaluation, which means higher appraisal costs.
Tips to know:
- Make sure that the appraisal of the engagement ring is done in your presence.
- Ask about the warranty that comes with the appraisal. Some appraisers provide a 90-day warranty against defects in material or workmanship.
- Avoid appraisers that charge very low rates or those who base their appraisal fees on a percentage of the ring’s appraisal price or value.
- The ideal qualifications to look for when choosing a jewelry appraiser include the following: accreditation with the American Society of Appraisers; holds a gemological degree; and has a background in the jewelry industry. Likewise, the appraiser should ideally have passed The Jewelers Board of Appraisal review.
- Choose a jewelry appraiser who has had extensive years in the business and comes highly recommended by past and previous clients.
How can I save money?
- Look up several jewelry appraisers online and compare the rates they offer for appraisal services. Opt for one that offers rates well within your budget. If there are local appraisers in your area, get in touch with them through phone and find out about the services they offer and the costs involved. Before doing business, be sure to verify the authenticity of the company and their reputation by looking them up with the Better Business Bureau.
- If you are just curious and do not need an “actual” amount, some jewelers can often give you a guesstimate for free.