How much is the engagement ring you bought worth? Yeah, yeah, we know: it’s priceless, because it symbolizes your lifelong happiness with the woman of your dreams. Or it’s worth such-and-such amount because that’s how much you paid for it. You bought the thing so you know the value, right? Think again.
The retail price you paid for something doesn’t necessarily match the actual value of the materials (something that can fluctuate), the resale value, or the potential replacement costs. If you’re planning on insuring your ring (and you should be), you have to get it professionally appraised. It’s crucial to help you be fully covered in the unlikely event of an insurance claim or if you ever have to put it up for resale.
Taking your girl’s engagement ring and both of your wedding bands to an appraiser should be your first step, especially if you’ve inherited some old family heirlooms of mysterious provenance. But even if you went down to your local jeweler and picked out a sparkler and a few relatively simple bands of gold, you should get them all appraised.
First Step: Find a Bonafide Appraiser
The first thing to do is make sure you get your bling checked out by a credentialed gemologist-appraiser. You shouldn’t just take it around the corner to Larry’s Pawn and Cash-4-Gold.
You can get it appraised at the place you bought it. Even better, go for a certified third-party evaluation. The American Gem Society and the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers maintain lists of certified appraisers by state so you can locate your closest option. Before you leave your rings with a complete stranger, be sure to get an estimate of the fee and a detailed description of what the appraisal will include. No appraisal cost should be related to the value of the ring. If you are quoted a percentage of the total value, take your rings and run, son, because that is a rip-off.
Second Step: Check All the Boxes
Your completed appraisal should include more than just a report on the stone or stones in your ring. It should include a detailed description of the item, along with photos, an evaluation of the metal or metals, information for all the stones in the ring, and a total valuation of the jewelry. There should be an explanation of the gem grading system used to evaluate the stone, written in a way you can understand, with all the industry terms and jargon defined. Finally, the report should be sealed or watermarked in a way that makes it unalterable.
Third Step: Update Regularly
Don’t think you are just one and done with the initial appraisal. Make sure to get it redone every few years, especially when you are updating or changing insurance policies. Precious metals and gemstones can change in value.
It might seem like overkill to pay another person to tell you all about the ring on which you just dropped a serious chunk of change, especially if it came with a lot of paperwork in the first place. But If you would be majorly bummed if your or your new wife lost your rings. Make sure they are insured and appraised.
And if you’re wondering about insurance, we’re big fans of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company–a group that’s been insuring jewelry since 1913. They have comprehensive coverage for any of the jewelry you may want to insure–from grandma’s hand-me-downs, to that brand spankin’ new engagement ring. If you ever need to repair or replace your ring, you couldn’t be in better hands.