Items of jewellery tend to be amongst many people’s most prized possessions, whether they’re family heirlooms, wedding rings or antique treasures with personal significance. Many pieces have a high sentimental value to their owner, but the monetary value of jewellery can also be very important when it comes down to sorting insurance or selling a piece you no longer want.
People choose to value their jewellery for both personal and legal reasons, and several different types of valuation exist because of this. The process of getting a piece valued is simple, but it’s important that you choose a trusted valuer who will give you a thorough and accurate breakdown of how much your jewellery is worth, particularly if you’re requesting a jewellery valuation for insurance purposes.
To help answer any questions you might have about the valuation of jewellery, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide explaining everything you need to know about how to get jewellery valued.
What is a Jewellery Valuation?
Jewellery valuation is the process in which a piece of jewellery is analysed to form an accurate description of what the piece is and verify how much it is worth. A document is produced detailing how its value has been arrived at, which will depend on the current market, the piece’s age, its function, purpose, and how it is going to be used.
Why Do I Need a Jewellery Valuation?
There are several reasons why you might choose to get your jewellery valued, from seeking reassurance that you have bought a quality piece to finding out how much an inherited heirloom might be worth. One of the most important reasons that you should get your jewellery valued is because it’s a key part of the insurance process, and not having a valuation could affect an insurance claim if a piece is ever lost or stolen.
If you own a particularly valuable piece of jewellery it’s worth noting that many insurance companies won’t reimburse you for a missing item unless you can give them an accurate valuation of how much it was worth. The most reliable form of proof, other than a receipt of the original purchase, is a jewellery valuation, which is why it’s so important that you get your pieces valued. The chances of loss or theft are usually low, but getting jewellery valued offers you peace of mind just in case the worst does happen.
Jewellery valuation may also be required in the case of a division of assets, or if a piece of jewellery has been passed down the family by a relative. If you are planning on selling a piece of jewellery, you may also want to get it valued so that you have a good idea of how much the item is worth, and can ensure you get a good price for it.
How to Get Your Jewellery Valued
There are several different ways that you can get your jewellery valued, some more reliable than others. To get an accurate valuation of your jewellery, you will need to approach an expert offering valuation services and pay for your piece to be assessed, which is usually done in person. Online jewellery valuation is now also offered by a number of different companies, which is ideal if you live somewhere rural or don’t have any jewellery valuers nearby.
Some jewellers might be able to give you a rough estimate of the value of a piece if you just show it to them, but this will not be exact and also won’t be enough if you need to make an insurance claim. The best course of action is to get your piece professionally valued by a trusted and qualified expert, to ensure an accurate valuation that will come with all the necessary documentation.
Where to Get Jewellery Valued
There are several different options when it comes to choosing where to get your jewellery valued. These are:
The retailer you purchased the piece from
Most jewellery stores, whether they are a high-street chain or an independent retailer, will be able to offer you a jewellery valuation when you purchase a piece. Depending on the size of the business, this might be done in-house or they might outsource the task to a trusted expert, which can sometimes be a timely process.
If you are getting your piece valued with the intention of selling it then you should be aware that a small portion of jewellers might not give you an entirely accurate value, hoping to buy the item from you and make a profit when they sell it on. This is a rare occurrence, but it is worth bearing in mind when you are choosing where to get a piece valued.
A jewellery valuation day
Many high-street jewellers offer valuation days where members of the public can bring their jewellery and watches in to be assessed by an independent valuer. This is a good way to get a trusted valuation without having to find an expert independently, and the valuation process is usually quite quick.
Some jewellery valuation days can be very popular, so it’s worth checking if you need to make an appointment on the day or if you can just turn up when it is convenient to you.
An auction house
If the piece that you are looking to get valued is an antique then you may be able to get a jewellery valuation done at an auction house that deals specifically in antique furniture and jewellery. Auction houses, particularly ones that deal with older pieces of jewellery, often have an in-house expert who can value your jewellery and give an accurate idea of how much it would sell for.
This option is only really useful if you are trying to sell a piece of jewellery and want an idea of how much it will be worth. It’s unlikely that you will be offered a proper jewellery valuation service that comes with the documentation needed for insurance, but if you’re only looking for a price for your piece then this isn’t an issue.
A qualified jewellery valuer
The best place to get jewellery valued is an independent valuer who is a member of the Institute of Registered Valuers (IRV); the leading authority for jewellery valuation in the UK. The standards they use to value jewellery are regulated by the National Association of Jewellers, so you can be sure that your piece will be analysed by an expert and that the process will be thorough.
Many valuers will list whether they are accredited on their website, or you can use the IRV’s index to search for valuers that have been approved by them.
What to Expect from a Jewellery Valuation
A professional jewellery valuation will follow a specific set of processes that include cleaning, measuring and weighing your piece to determine its value. Your jewellery will also be photographed to provide an accurate record of what the piece looks like, and these photos will be included in your valuation document.
Most high-quality jewellery valuations will include the following information in the final document you are given:
- A covering letter
- The determined value of the jewellery in the current market
- A detailed description of the piece
- Colour images of the jewellery
- An insurance qualification for you to give to your insurance provider
Some valuations will also come with a glossary that includes information about how the piece has been valued, and additional notes explaining any specialist terminology used in the piece’s description.
How is Jewellery Valuation Calculated?
The value of a piece of jewellery is determined by the sum value of each of its parts, but also by the current market value of the material, style or type of the piece. Any damage that the item might have sustained, such as chips, scratches or missing parts, will detract from its value.
After assessing, measuring, valuing and documenting each component of a piece of jewellery, such as the gemstones or the type of metal used, a jewellery valuer will then calculate the value of a piece by determining how much it is worth within the market for that type of item. This can involve a lot of meticulous research, particularly if your piece is rare or unusual, which is why the process of jewellery valuation can take time.
How Much Will a Jewellery Valuation Cost?
Jewellery valuation is a time-consuming process, and therefore one that will cost you money. The price of valuation will depend on where you take your piece and also what kind of jewellery you are getting valued, so it is worth discussing cost with a valuer before you make a decision.
It may seem expensive to simply get a piece of jewellery valued, but it’s a very worthwhile investment that means your item will be protected by insurance in the unlikely event that it is lost or stolen.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I have my jewellery valued?
Part of your jewellery’s value depends on the current economic market, so it is advised that you have your jewellery valued every so often to make sure that the value is up to date. If you are valuing the piece because of insurance then your provider may tell you how often the piece needs to be valued, but a good guide is to visit a jewellery valuer every 3 to 5 years.
What will a jewellery valuer ask me?
The first thing that a jewellery valuer will usually ask you is the purpose of the valuation and how you intend to use this information. They will then ask you about the history of the piece, including any previous values and whether you have any additional documentation relating to the piece. If you were given any certificates or authenticity records when you purchased jewellery then these should always be brought to a valuation, as this helps the valuer more accurately determine how much a piece is worth.
How long does it take to value jewellery?
There is no standard time for a jewellery valuation, as every piece is unique and may require more research or analysis before a value can be reached. Your valuer will usually be able to work within a time limit if you require it, and some services can be done whilst you wait, but it’s always best just to ask how long the valuer expected the process to take.
Valuing a piece of jewellery is very important, particularly if the piece is expensive or new to you. Whether you’re securing the necessary documentation for jewellery insurance or looking to sell a piece you no longer want, the process not only offers useful information but also provides peace of mind on the off-chance that your jewellery is lost or stolen.
If you’ve had a piece of jewellery valued and are looking for a quick and easy way to sell it, you can click here to find out more about the services we offer at Jewellery Guru that make selling your second-hand jewellery simple.