“You are a Jewellery Appraiser.” How exciting.” How Interesting.” ” I don’t know much about what you do because I have never needed a jewellery appraiser.” “How did you get into that career?”
These are some of the responses I hear when people find out what I do for a living. I love what I do but it is one of the most unknown and misunderstood professions.So this article is about being a Jewellery Appraiser or Jewellery Valuer (depending where you live).
As you might know, if you have been following this blog, I have written a bit about what it takes to become a Jewellery Appraiser such as needing to be a gemmologist, a diamond grader, a coloured stone grader, understand aspects of metal and how jewellery is constructed and how to approach valuing a piece of jewellery from a scientific approach. All of these areas of knowledge have to be studied and restudied as the Jewellery industry is not stagnate but new treatments and new synthetics are always coming on the market. Add to this, is that designers are using new materials in jewellery all the time and we have to know about non gem materials as well.
An example of this is the black diamond or even moissanite. When I started studying, these stones either had not been developed or they were not used in jewellery. Moissanite fooled a lot of people in the jewellery industry who were not keeping up to date through conferences or gem journals. Aha, yes Jewellery Appraisers must keep studying!
This is the reason you find a lot of independent jewellery appraisers involved with Gem conferences around the world-we know the value of knowledge.
OK! So I now have the knowledge to appraise a piece of Jewellery right? not so bad, right? Well, almost. As an appraiser I may be dealing with modern pieces of jewellery or vintage jewellery. I may be looking at costume or signed costume jewellery. I may be looking at jewellery from Egypt, India, Great Britain, France, USA, Canada, tribal, etc More knowledge and studying!!
Now I can appraise right? Almost! Logos, trademarks, designers etc. You know all those little marks inside your items of jewellery. Appraisers need to know about those also because you do not want your Tiffany solitaire diamond ring to be valued the same as //// brand, do you? You do not want to value that antique as a modern, right?
Now what have I forgotten? Oh yes, why do you want the item appraised? An appraiser needs to know about the law of the land in order to give you the type of appraisal that matches your need. We also get asked a lot about the insurance and how it works with Jewellery, so although that is not an area we deal with directly, some general knowledge is needed to guide the client to the place to get the answer they need.
Can I appraise now? I am almost ready. I should be certified so that requires time and effort to have worked and studied to meet criteria to get the certification. It may also mean I will need to prove the equipment that I have to work with is acceptable for what I do! Yes, I do use all the equipment you see in my office. I also should have a smattering of photographic knowledge and definitely some math and computer skills are helpful.
I am ready now right? If I am an Independent Appraiser I may have my own business and that requires even more knowledge. Whew–I am tired! Are you?
So why have I put all this into an article for you to read? I love to talk about my work! It is fascinating and thrilling but make no mistake it is work! It is how I make my living! I will do my part and keep up to date with my industry but please understand it is a profession and treat your Jewellery Appraiser accordingly.
So to answer that one question – Why do you need a Jewellery Appraiser? To identify your jewellery for you, so that no matter what the reason, you will have an informed researched document. Something the average person or jeweller cannot do for you.
I hope March is good for you and that it warms up in Canada. As always feel free to contact me with your questions or comments.