The Jewelry Box Blog

Jewelry Appraisal vs Selling Price

Jewelry on top of $100 bills

Are you curious about selling your used jewelry, but aren’t sure of your piece’s current value, or how to fairly price it for potential buyers? Or perhaps maybe you are interested in getting jewelry insurance to protect your pieces from threats like damage and loss. Whatever your reasoning is, understanding what an appraisal is and how to interpret one can be extremely beneficial to you as a jewelry owner. Let’s shed more light on the significance of jewelry appraisals, how they work and how they compare to selling and retail prices.


What is a jewelry appraisal? 

A jewelry appraisal is a professional assessment of your piece's value based on multiple different factors, including quality, craftsmanship, materials, and current market conditions. You can think of it as a detailed report of your jewelry piece. An appraisal provides an objective evaluation, typically conducted by a qualified appraiser, who examines the piece thoroughly to accurately determine its worth. Appraisals include detailed descriptions of the jewelry, including gemstone specifications, metal composition, and any accompanying certifications.


Why get a jewelry appraisal?

Obtaining a jewelry appraisal offers several advantages. Firstly, it helps you establish the accurate value of your jewelry, providing peace of mind and assisting with insurance coverage decisions. Secondly, appraisals can be useful when selling your jewelry, as they can help provide a starting point for negotiations and ensure you receive a fair price. Lastly, an appraisal helps verify the authenticity and quality of your piece, which is especially valuable for high-value or antique jewelry. If you’re unsure how much you should be paying for an appraisal, we’ve got you covered here.


How do I interpret an appraisal? 

Interpreting a jewelry appraisal requires understanding the components within it. This may seem complicated, but not impossible. Appraisals often include information about the jewelry's characteristics, including details like the type of metal used (e.g., gold, silver, platinum), the gemstones present (e.g., diamonds, rubies, sapphires) and their qualities (e.g., size, color, clarity).  

The appraisal will also include information like your piece’s market value, or the estimated price your jewelry could sell for in the current market conditions, and its appraised value, or the final estimated value of your jewelry as determined by the appraiser. The appraisal will also mention the qualifications of the appraiser, indicating their expertise and credibility in evaluating jewelry and of course, the appraiser's signature and date of the appraisal. Getting familiar with these details will enable you to make informed decisions based on the appraiser's conclusions. 


Jewelry Appraisal vs. Selling Price: 

It's important to differentiate between jewelry appraisals and selling prices. While an appraisal estimates the value of your jewelry, the selling price represents the amount you are likely to receive when selling it. The selling price considers factors such as the condition of the jewelry, market demand and the buyer's negotiation skills. It is important to remember that the selling price can be lower or higher than the appraised value.


Should you get an appraisal before selling your jewelry? 

Yes, getting an appraisal before selling your jewelry is highly recommended. This is because an appraisal provides you with an accurate understanding of your jewelry's value, empowering you during the negotiation process. Armed with this knowledge, you can confidently set a fair selling price and avoid undervaluing your precious pieces. 


Jewelry Appraisal vs. Retail Price: 

Generally, you’ll find that retail prices in jewelry stores are higher than the appraised value due to additional costs associated with running a business, such as overhead expenses, marketing, and profit margins. On the other hand, appraisals reflect the actual value of the jewelry itself, rather than the price you would pay at a retail store. 


Different Types of Appraisals 

Several types of appraisals cater to different needs and purposes. Here are some common types of jewelry appraisals:

Insurance Appraisal: An insurance appraisal can help determine the replacement value of your jewelry. It's used for insurance coverage and helps ensure that you receive adequate compensation in case of loss, theft or damage. Insurance appraisals typically reflect the retail replacement cost, which means the amount it would cost to replace the jewelry with a similar item from a jewelry store. 

Estate Appraisal: Estate appraisals are conducted for estate planning, tax purposes, or probate. They assess the value of jewelry pieces inherited or intended for distribution among heirs. Estate appraisals are usually based on fair market value, which considers factors like current market conditions and comparable sales. 

Resale or Fair Market Appraisal: This type of appraisal is relevant when you want to sell your jewelry. It estimates the fair market value, which is the price a willing buyer and seller would agree upon in an open market. The appraisal helps you set a reasonable selling price and provides confidence in negotiations. 

Donation Appraisal: For charitable contributions, a donation appraisal determines the fair market value of jewelry donated to a non-profit organization. The appraised value helps you claim a tax deduction based on the charitable donation. 

Each type of appraisal serves a distinct purpose, so it's best to work with a qualified and experienced appraiser who can guide you in obtaining the most appropriate appraisal for your needs. For a list of qualified appraisers, check out American Gem Society, the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers or Gemological Institute of America


Should you get an appraisal before insuring your jewelry? 

Absolutely, yes. Obtaining a jewelry appraisal before insuring your precious pieces is crucial. An up-to-date and accurate appraisal is the best way to make informed decisions about your jewelry in case of loss, theft, or damage. Remember, a professional appraisal helps equip you with the necessary information to make informed decisions when it comes to your jewelry. 
If you’ve already had your jewelry appraised and are ready to get it insured with comprehensive coverage from a trusted insurer, click the button below to check your rate.




Contact Us

If you have a media-related question, please email us at [email protected].

About Jewelers Mutual Group

Jewelers Mutual was founded in 1913 by a group of Wisconsin jewelers to meet their unique insurance needs. Later, consumers began putting their trust in Jewelers Mutual to protect their jewelry and the special memories each piece holds. Today, Jewelers Mutual continues to support and move the industry forward by listening to jewelers and consumers and offering products and services to meet their evolving needs. Beyond insurance, Jewelers Mutual’s powerful suite of innovative solutions and digital technology offerings help jewelers strengthen and grow their businesses, mitigate risk, and bring them closer to their customers. The Group insurers’ strong financial position is reflected in their 37 consecutive “A+ Superior” ratings from AM Best Company, as of November 2023. Policyholders of the Group insurers are members of Jewelers Mutual Holding Company. Jewelers Mutual is headquartered in Neenah, Wisconsin, with other Group offices in Dallas, Texas and Miami, Florida. To learn more, visit