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Steven DiFranco Jewelers Appraisal Information


At Steven DiFranco Jewelers, we treasure your fine jewelry almost as much as you do.  To that end, we employ a Gemological Institute of America (GIA) certified Graduate Gemologist to examine and appraise your family treasures.  Our appraiser has over 40 years of Gemological Institute of America (GIA) training and experience.  To perform a proper appraisal, our gemologist uses a combination of a portable mini lab and a library of expensive reference books to test and verify all jewelry being appraised.

The appraisal software we use is industry standard computerized jewelry appraisal specific, making it the best in the industry.  Continual updates to the software, along with consultation with insurance company representatives have refined our appraisals to a razor's edge.  All done to protect your fine jewelry.

Appraisals need to be performed on fine jewelry and watches for insurance purposes, estate settlement, donations, gemstone authenticity, and divorce settlements.  There are different type of appraisals.  The most common appraisal is an Insurance Appraisal.  This type of appraisal uses a fair market value and is what most insurance companies desire.  The fair market value of an item refers the price determined by two consenting adults coming to an agreement on the price with no extenuating circumstances.  In other words a sale that is not forced by either side.  Both the buyer and seller agree to the "deal" with no outside influences.

An Estate Appraisal is used when someone passes away and their Executor needs to determine proper value for tax liability reasons.  Before doing an estate appraisal, we can sit down with you to discuss what pieces of jewelry from an estate really do need to be appraised.  This can take some time, so please call for an appointment to discuss your estate appraisal needs.

A Hypothetical Appraisal is performed on a piece of jewelry that is not in front of the appraiser.  These are performed after a piece of jewelry is lost or stolen.  These are very challenging and time consuming appraisals.

The world is changing hour by hour and day by day.  So is the value of your fine jewelry.  Appraisals need to be evaluated at least once per year.  Even updating at a yearly rate, appraisal values can very wildly.

Our appraisals are provided for a modest fee for all jewelry not purchased at Steven DiFranco Jewelers.  Jewelry and watches purchased from us will have an appraisal performed at no cost upon request.

We often get asked about the appraisal process, and how it's done.  Here is a summary on how an appraisal is performed:

- The piece is inspected by eye, 10x jewelers loupe, and stereo microscope for condition

- If needed, a proper cleaning is done to confirm any verification or gem quality

- All gemstones are measured, then these measurements are used by the computer software to properly determine the gemstone weight.  Gemstones are not removed for evaluation unless specifically requested by the customer

- The metal is inspected to verify the validity of the karat stamps.  If there is any question, non-destructive testing is performed to verify the metal's quality and karat

- All gemstones are graded to determine their quality, using industry standards.

- Watches are evaluated for authenticity, age, condition, and collectability.

- Once the item is properly verified and documented, the value determination begins.  Comparing the appraised item to known items is one of the considerations in determining current value.  The phrase "what it is, where it is, and when it is" also comes into play when properly evaluating a piece of jewelry for an appraisal.

- In certain instances, and with the proliferation of very good synthetic diamonds and gemstones, it may be necessary to send your jewelry off to one of the laboratories for validation.  Obviously, this will take extra time and there will be an additional cost.  We will only do this with your prior permission.

As you can see, performing a proper detailed jewelry appraisal is complicated and time consuming.  Now you understand why a verbal appraisal is completely worthless.

Once you have us perform an appraisal of your fine jewelry or watches, please take the time to sit down with your insurance professional and discuss deductable amounts, how jewelry coverage works, and any other insurance related issues that can be beneficial for you.  These trained insurance professionals can offer a wealth of information and advice that is a great benefit..

Please note, appraisals are the opinion of the appraiser, and opinions can and will vary from appraiser to appraiser.  That being said, it is not uncommon to get a degree of variance in qualities and pricing from appraiser to appraiser.

If you have any questions about the accuracy or validity of your jewelry appraisal, or if you want us to explain more about your appraisal in detail, please don't hesistate to give us a call at 440-943-2700 to talk about it, we're here to help.