Why you need a Valuation

A valuation is an informed opinion based on years of experience and formal training in gemmology and other specialist areas of product knowledge.

If your home contents insurance covers your jewellery, you may feel your jewellery doesn’t need to be valued. This is not the case. It is worth having your jewellery valued every three years because the cost gemstones, precious metals and labour all fluctuate. The valuations done at the time of getting your insurance may be different to the actual value of today. In case your jewellery is lost, stolen or damaged, your insurance payout may not be enough to restore the loss.

Types of Appraisals and Valuations

Valuations are necessary for different reasons they are not only used for insurance purposes. These values are different from each other and none serves the purpose of another. The following are examples of main types of valuations:

Insurance Valuation

The most common type of valuation is for insurance purposes. It is given on the basis of what it would cost to replace the article should it be lost or damaged. The price given will be an average price in the local market. The valuation will normally be carried out by a retailer from the local market. A full detailed description must be given so a comparable article of similar quality can be obtained should an insurance claim ever be made.

Probate Valuation

Valuations for the purpose of probate will occur upon the death of the owner of jewellery and other valuables. These will have to be submitted to the executors who are responsible for winding up the estate. There may also be liability for death duties that have to be paid. The values given for jewellery in a probate valuation will be much lower than those for insurance purposes. These will be assessed according to their worth on the open market at the time of death. Scant detail of the article is necessary for this type of valuation.

Private Sale

The reason anyone would need a valuation for a private sale is if they want to sell an article to a private individual. The valuation is used to determine what a reasonable price would be. The valuer’s function is to provide a figure that is reasonable to both parties.

Divorce/Family Division

This type of valuation is all too common today as it applies when relationships break down. The valuer will assess the worth of the assets belonging to the couple that will be considered by the court.

Other Valuation Services

Once you have purchased a valuable item, ask the jeweller for a after sale document that will allow you to get insurance cover or have the item added to your existing policy. The document will probably be an abbreviated valuation giving stock records and descriptions.

In the event of a burglary or if your valuations are not up-to-date, your insurer will ask for a more recent one before accepting a claim. Otherwise, your jeweller may be able to provide you with a post loss assessment based on your descriptions and other data. For this to be done the jeweller must be a qualified valuer, if the insurance company is to accept it.

Jewellers can also help with valuations for Capital Gains Tax or if you wish to sell the goods. But if you need valuation advice for any other reason you can discuss these with your jeweller.


Jewellers will normally charge you for providing a valuation service. The fee is usually based on a percentage charge, a time based fee or charge per item. Post loss assessments are fixed in price or they are dependent on the time spent, for big cases. However, your jeweller will be able to explain what costs are involved.