Here you can find answers to some frequently
How do I select a jewelry appraiser?
Under current law, no licensing or particular qualifications are required by
the government for jewelry appraisers.
There are many titles, some of which require extensive training, and others with
few if any requirements. Always ask what testing and training the appraiser has
undergone to achieve the title. Titles and qualifications to look for are:
Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA)
of the American Society of Appraisers. Their advanced designation in Gems and
Jewelry is Master Gemologist Appraiser®.
The jewelry appraiser should also
be a Graduate Gemologist (GG) of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA),
or an FGA of the Gemological Institute of Great Britain. A gemological
degree grants assurance that the individual can identify and grade gem
materials. However, it does not by itself provide the training necessary to
be a proficient jewelry appraiser.
Ideally, the appraiser should also
have a background in the jewelry market.
Be sure that the appraiser has a
GIA graded Master Set of genuine diamonds for color grading. A CZ set is not
What do you appraise?
I appraise all jewelry, gemstones,
watches, bullion coins, U.S. coins and silver flatware.
Do I need an
Yes, I work by appointment only.
Where are you located?
I am in Walnut Creek near the
intersection of Treat Boulevard & Bancroft Road.
How does an appraisal
work? What is the process?
When you make an appointment, I will send you a confirmation e-mail containing
driving directions to my office. You may sit in my office and watch me appraise
your jewelry, or you may leave it with me and return for it later. When I have
finished inspecting, describing and photographing your jewelry you can take your
jewelry home. I may need additional time to research values and prepare your
appraisal report, but you and your jewelry do not have to be present for that.
When the report is complete I will send it to you in a PDF file. You can then
print as many copies as you like. You can also send it to your insurance agent
or other appropriate user by e-mail.
I will clean your jewelry, point
out needed repairs, and test the metal for content and karatage (fineness of
I will test your gemstones
authenticity, measure their size, estimate their weights and grade and plot
the stones as appropriate.
I will photograph your jewelry.
I will prepare the appraisal
document as appropriate to its purpose and intended use.
Do you do on-site
Yes I do, but I charge by the day for work outside my office, as I can’t book
other appointments on that day. Most people do not need a full day of my
services and find it more economical to visit me in my office.
What does an appraisal
I charge by the hour, so the cost of
your appraisal will depend on the number and complexity of the pieces you wish
to have appraised. When you call me for an appointment, I will ask you to
describe your items. At that time I will be able to give you an estimate of the
time required. You can see my hourly rates by clicking
Note: A professional appraiser should charge for services by the hour, by a specified amount
per piece of jewelry, or for a contracted amount based on an estimate of the time
involved. Keep in mind that time will be spent on market research and appraisal writing
after the laboratory work is done. In no event should you deal with an appraiser who charges a percentage of value of the
Do you sell jewelry,
diamonds, watches, etc?
No, I do not. I am an independent appraiser, and do not want to compete with
jewelers who, after all, refer many of their clients to me. I do advise buyers
when they are making a purchase.
Do you buy jewelry?
No, I do not buy jewelry from the public, but I do help people sell their
How can you help me
sell my jewelry?
To most people selling jewelry, I
provide a quality analysis document that the seller can use in the selling
process. For example, if one were selling a diamond ring on eBay, it can be very
helpful to have a professional evaluation of the color, clarity, cut and carat
weight of the diamond. I will tell the seller what the piece should sell for,
but I recommend leaving the price off the document. If your prospective buyers
see an appraisal with a recommended selling price of $5000, they will
probably offer $2500 at most. I will provide you with photographs, which you can
use in your offer to sell. I will also get a provisional offer to buy from one
or more jewelry dealers. You will know for sure that you should not accept an offer below the
dealer’s provisional offer.
What if I can’t get as
much as the dealer’s provisional offer?
I would be glad to accept the jewelry on consignment and sell it to the
dealer on your behalf. You would sign a consignment form authorizing me to ship
the item for a firm offer. I will take responsibility for it and ship it
overnight, insured to the dealer. Usually I have a firm offer within 2 days. If
you accept the offer, you will receive a check from me as soon as I am paid by
the dealer—usually within 10 days. My consignment fee is 10% of the realized
What if I don’t want to
sell the jewelry myself? Can I just consign it to you?
Why is it important to
know the purpose of the appraisal?
Every appraisal is for a specific purpose. If you want an insurance appraisal,
you need to insure your jewelry for enough money to buy a replacement from the
type of store you typically shop in. You do not want your Tiffany engagement
ring replaced at Joe’s Pawn Shop.
If you need an estate
appraisal, there are government regulations that specify the definition of value
that must be used. There are many types of appraisals and the purpose determines
the definition of value. See a more through explanation at my
I conform to professional standards that require all confidential information I
receive in the course of an appraisal be kept private and not disclosed to third
parties without your consent. The only exception is if disclosure is required by
force of law.
I do not sell my mailing
list or the email addresses of my clients, and send out only occasional notices
when I think they would be beneficial to you—such as a reminder to update your
What payment methods do
I accept cash, check or PayPal. You can use your credit card to pay me through
PayPal, but I am not set up to accept credit cards directly.
How do I prepare jewelry for mailing?
Most jewelry mailed within the United States is sent by insured registered mail.
The US Postal Service has special requirements for packaging such packages. To
illustrate how to prepare your package for mailing, I have posted special
instructions. Click here to see instructions for Packaging Jewelry for