Services & Reports We Offer

The general types of services we offer include appraisals, consultations, identification and qualitative analyis (grading) reports.  Which type of service or report is right for you will depend on how you plan to use the information we provide, how much detail you want, if third parties might be involved and whether there are specific legal requirements to be met.  The following brief descriptions may help you decide, but please feel free to contact us if you have questions, or have a special need that is not covered in this section. Click on any of the links below to view the appropriate section.

Insurance Appraisals

There are two basic types of appraisals prepared for insurance purposes.  The Insurance Acquisition Appraisal is the kind most people think of and is used to secure scheduled insurance coverage for their jewelry. The Post Loss Appraisal is prepared after an insured loss and can be used to document the decrease in value for damage or to provide an opinion of the value of jewelry that's been lost, stolen or completely destroyed.  Sometime people refer to the Post Loss appraisal as a "hypothetical appraisal"; but, that's not accurate.  The appraisal and the value exist and aren't "hypothetical"; but, because we never examined the property prior to the loss we have to make use of "extraordinary assumptions" and possibly utilize "hypothetical conditions" to arrive at an opinion of value.  This kind of appraisal is often very time consuming and requires patience and expertise to provide a credible value that your insurer will accept.

Insurance Acquisition Appraisal

Most people think this is the only type of appraisal.  For each item, the appraisal includes a very detailed description, precise measurements and grades, digital image(s) and the estimated retail replacement cost based on careful research of the appropriate market.  Our appraisals are very detailed and comprehensive since this is the only document that protects your interests in your insurance contract.  We want to be sure you're coverage is complete but that you aren't paying excessive premiums because of inflated values. 

Non-insurance Appraisals

There are several types of appraisals in which the “Market Value” or “Fair Market Value” is used to determine the monetary worth of the item. This means that the condition of the item, obsolescence and desirability are considered in establishing the value in the appropriate pre-owned or secondary retail market. In some cases that market may include the “collector” market; in other cases it might mean the “scrap” market. Some appraisers, jurisdictions and organizations use the term “Fair Market Value” and “Market Value” interchangeably; these reports provide the specific definition used by the appraiser for each type of appraisal.

Equitable Division – Dissolution of Marriage Appraisal

This appraisal provides detailed descriptions, accurate grades and measurements, digital images and valuation appropriate to the requirements of the jurisdiction in which the divorce was filed. It is a self-contained appraisal; meaning that all information used to establish value is contained within the document. Usually, “market value” or “fair market value” is used, but there may be other specific client requested or legal requirements determined locally.


Resale Services

Contrary to popular belief, in many instances, an "appraisal" isn't necessary when trying to sell your jewelry items. If you don't intend to take the time and expend the energy to find an individual to purchase your things then more often than not an appraisal is a waste of money.  We can offer a variety of options to fit your needs and often the best use of your money would be an initial consultation.  Look over the following possibilities and feel free to contact us if you have questions that aren't addressed on this website.

Resale Appraisal

If you are trying to sell a valuable item or intend to sell to a private individual then a detailed, well-researched appraisal might be what will help you accomplish your goals. It includes a very detailed description, precise measurements and grades, color digital image(s) and an opinion of the resale value within the appropriate market based on extensive research and analysis. In consultation, we can decide the most appropriate type of value and market level depending on how you plan to sell and how long you are willing to leave the item on the market.


Lab Reports

Laboratory reports contain no value information. Our AGS Accredited Gem Lab allows us to provide accurate grades and identification information for our clients. We also have accounts with the GIA Gem Trade Laboratory and the American Gem Society Laboratory when advanced testing or third party grading is required or requested by the client. When grading mounted gemstones and diamonds, the mounting may limit the accuracy or types of tests that can be performed as well as the accuracy of the grades reported. All such limitations are disclosed in the report and will be discussed with the client at the time of take-in.

Gem Identification Lab Report – Written or Verbal
Identification services utilize all necessary and available testing procedures to help you know what you have.  Our accredited gemological laboratory is well equiped and we've undertaken hundreds of hours of specialized training to be able to determine the identity of gemstones.  Jewelry mountings may limit what we can do and sometimes there are other limits to providing positive answers for you.  We'll let you know if that's the case before you agree to the services we offer.  Gems and diamonds can be subjected to many types of treatments, a.k.a. "enhancements" that can significantly alter their color, clarity or appearance.  Many gems and even diamonds can be "created" in a factory/laboratory.  Separating the "enhanced" or "created" stones from those of natural color, clarity and formed within the earth can be challenging.  In some cases we may recommend advanced testing at a laboratory with the expensive and specialized equipment necessary to provide a conclusive result.  At this time our in-house tests will flag virtually all known laboratory-grown diamonds and gems that may need to be sent for advanced testing and positive identification.  If advanced testing is needed, you'll be asked to agree to the additional fees and services available before they are incurred.  We offer the option of just a verbal identification or at a higher cost, a laminated, Gem Identification written report.  If you've set up an appointment, a verbal identification can often be performed while you wait.

Appraisals for the IRS

Appraisals prepared for IRS use require very specific methodology and very careful research and reporting. There are five basic types of reports that fall into this category and the value definition as well as the market research for each type is different. All of these appraisals include detailed descriptions, quality grades and digital images in a self-contained appraisal format. Each is extensively researched, documented and prepared to the level required by the Department of the Treasury Revenue Procedure 66-49, Treasury Regulation Section 1.170A-13, Revenue Procedure 96-15 or other statutory requirements as appropriate.

Estate Tax Liability Appraisal

Federal Regulations require these appraisals to meet all of the statutory requirements of a "Qualified Appraisal" and to be prepared by a "Qualified Appraiser". The specific definition of Fair Market Value as determined by [26 CFR, section 20.2031-1(b)] of the Treasury Regulations is used for these appraisals.  In general, these are relatively complex appraisals with more detailed explanations of how the fair market value was determined and slightly less emphasis placed on descriptions.  If State inheritance taxes are owed the specific requirements of the jurisdiction will dictate the value definition and requirements of the appraisal.  We're here to assist you in providing accurate, defensible value for the property in the estate.

American Gem Society
Gemological Institute of America Inc.
American Society of Appraisers
National Association of Jewelry Appraisers
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