You may have gotten your jewellery appraised when you first purchased it. Appraisal reports can be used for a variety of reasons, including determining the worth of your piece for insurance purposes. That means you will know the value of an heirloom piece if you wish to pass it on to a family member later in life. The original appraisal process follows a lengthy process and pawn shops use some of the same but their process is also very different.
The Difference Between the Two
Generally, if you are getting a formal appraisal, the jeweller will take the time to go over several steps with you, including the following:
- Clean your jewellery so that both of you can see any visible damages and see the true shine and colour of the gemstones. They may also test the metal firmness.
- Check for identifying company logos as many companies stamp their company name on the band nowadays. Several companies also stamp the metal identifying the carat such as 14K or PLT for platinum.
- Weigh jewellery carefully, particularly gold jewellery as it differs in value by the ounce.
- Determine how a piece was handcrafted and if a particular method will influence its value.
- Include clear and accurate colour photos of your jewellery with their report so that you have all the appropriate information for an insurance policy or an estate sale.
The problem is while that original appraisal protects you if your jewellery ever gets stolen, it doesn’t really explain the cash value of your pieces since appraisers know that most insurance companies only pay around 60% to 70% of the appraised amount. However, when you’re trying to sell your gold jewellery, most pawn shops consider the value and the weight of the gold as well as if you own the original box and paperwork. They often use the following steps to appraise jewellery in their shops:
- Determine if your gold is legitimate by applying a magnet to it. If it sticks to it and it’s magnetic, it’s not real gold.
- Check for any imperfections through a 30x magnifying glass. It also helps you find any engravings and begin to assess the purity of gold, remembering that pure gold is 24K.
- Further test the gold’s ethnicity by performing an acid test by rubbing your jewellery across a porous black stone and analyzing acid samples. This assists in determining the carat content.
- Use an exact digital scale to weigh your jewellery. This gives a total weight of gold.
Once they’ve determined the total weight of your jewellery as well as analysed the condition and figured out if they need to fix the piece before selling it, the shop will offer you their cash value price.