There are a number of reasons why it could be essential for you to have your jewellery valued. It goes without saying that any jewellery you should be adequately protected by insurance. But even if you have insurance cover based on a valuation given to you some years ago, it would be prudent, because of the fluctuating cost of gemstones, gold and labour, to have it valued again. Otherwise if you were unlucky enough to lose your jewellery, have it stolen, or damaged, the money you received may not be sufficient to restore the loss.


When you ask your jeweller to value your jewellery he will want to know the purpose for which the valuation is needed, because in general there are three types of valuation.

•      The Insurance Replacement value
•      The Probate value
•      The value for sale between parties.

These values are completely different from each other and none serves the purpose of another. If you want your jewellery valued for insurance against loss you will need your jeweller to quote its replacement value. This type of valuation is usually based on replacing your jewellery with a similar item. Alternatively it may be based on the estimated cost of recreating the article exactly to the original design.

A valuation for insurance will also take into account partial loss and damage. For example, if one of a pair of earrings were lost you would wish to be able to replace it from the money paid out to you on your policy. If your jewellery was damaged for instance, an important stone might be chipped or broken and need to replaced with one that exactly matched the other stones - it could be an expensive process and you would want to have this eventuality covered by your insurance. Your jeweller would assess the current cost of such a stone, and of the labour involved in replacing it.

A valuation for probate is based on the price which the jewellery is likely to realise if it were sold at auction at the time of death of the owner. As this does not take into account the current cost of labour, materials or current taxation levels but only the current market situation, the figure put on jewellery valued for probate will be considerably lower than a valuation for insurance purposes.

Generally speaking, it is wise to insure your jewellery on an “All Risks” basis rather than under the same terms as the contents of your house.
Apart from a statement of opinion as to the final value of a piece of jewellery, the valuation should contain a description sufficiently detailed to be able to identify the item should it be stolen or lost.

For very practical reasons the valuation of jewellery should always be undertaken by a jeweller, because he has experience of the current market situation.
To gain the most benefit from a valuation please bear in mind the following points. A reliable valuation is an opinion based on knowledge gained through training and experience, and is backed up by the use of technical equipment where necessary. Do not rush the valuer, give him adequate time to carefully examine your jewellery, and the more intricate the jewellery, the more time needed to examine it.


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