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An important piece of jewelry often has great sentimental and perhaps monetary value. The destruction, misplacement, loss or theft of a special piece of jewelry such as an engagement ring - often a couple's first major investment - can be devastating. While we can't do much about it emotionally, we can do much materially. But... Is separate insurance necessary?
Insurance doesn't take the emotional component into account, it relies on a thorough appraisal and a few small considerations that we'll talk about today.
The appraisal or valuation consists of the thorough inspection of all the parts that make up a jewel, this includes the fundamental characteristics of the gem (clarity, cut, color, shape, weight...) the type of metal, weight of the metal, amount of precious stones and so on, in order to establish its value.
Once the professional has inspected all aspects of the jewel, a document with the same name is made where its value is established along with a detailed list of its properties, duly signed and sealed.
The jewelry insurance appraisal is a fundamental requirement for any piece that exceeds $5000 dollars.
This is not to say that you cannot submit a piece of lesser value to a jewellery valuation for insurance, but as the selling price goes down, insurance is more flexible.
For pieces under $1000 you may be able to get some policies that may even bypass this requirement by substituting a purchase receipt.
Be careful not to confuse the valuation of a piece of jewelry with its selling price or market value. Valuation is the net price of a piece of jewelry taking into account only its technical specifications.
In the retail market, a used piece of jewelry often fetches sale prices well below its actual value, unless its design has unique elements.
Top quality central diamonds, gems whose marking value will increase for market reasons or antique jewelry of unique cultural value fetch selling prices similar to or higher than their valuation.
Smaller diamonds and gems are difficult to reuse, likewise, the expert jeweler's hand and additional costs related to the initial purchase are not taken into account in a retail resale.
An investment gem requires time to recapitalize its selling price, which makes insurance even more desirable.
Many homeowners insurance policies have policy extensions for high-value items. Jewelry such as an engagement ring, which often costs several months' salary, are considered important investments and are often considered in general homeowners insurance.
The problem with these insurances is that they are usually partial or limited, so a loss may end up making it impossible for you to replace your jewelry.
To be on the safe side, you should ask your homeowner's or general insurance provider for the following information:
Any refusal among any of these factors are key factors to help you decide.
Insuring specialty jewelry depends on three fundamental factors that can be summed up in 3 simple questions:
- Would it be a devastating emotional blow to lose your jewelry?
- Would it be a monetary hardship to replace your jewelry?
- Is your current insurance insufficient to replace your jewelry? (if any)
If the answer is "Yes" to any of these questions, you are an ideal candidate for an independent jewelry insurance appraisal.
There are many offers on the market for this type of valuable jewelry insurance. You can usually find two types: Annual payment of 1% or 2% of the jewellery valuation or a fixed annual fee.
Individual insurances usually cover a large number of events. You should pay attention to unexplained loss, theft or disappearance of jewelry, which are the most frequent reasons for claiming reimbursement.
We tend to think that nothing bad can happen to us and that things will always be fine, but unfortunate events happen and it is better to be prepared.
An annual cost of $20 or $30 means nothing compared to the peace of mind of being backed up.
All Albert Hern jewelry comes with a certificate of authenticity and an appraisal if you ask for it. That will make your job much easier. However, if you or your insurance provider require an unbiased appraisal, it is important that you do it yourself to avoid having the appraisal "inflated" in order to make you pay more.
Another important point regarding the valuation of your jewelry is the appraiser. Be sure to check references for reliability and that the appraiser has credentials that certify them as a gemologist and a member of associations such as the American Society of Appraisers.
Not just any retailer with jewelry tools who claims to be an appraiser is an appraiser, so take all the precautions you deem necessary.