1. Getting my Engagement Ring Appraised
2. What is an Independent Jewelry Appraisal
3. Differences between an Appraisal and a &;Lab Certificate&;
4. Hiring a Professional Appraiser
5. Insuring my Jewelry
6. 10 Key Things to Remember

How do I get my new diamond engagement ring appraised and insured?

Most people first decide to get their wedding jewelry appraised because they have been told by their insurance agent that an independent jewelry appraisal is a requirement before they can get a jewelry insurance policy. According to the US Department of Justice, nearly $1 billion in jewelry and precious metal was stolen in the US in 2001*; and many people would like to insure their diamond engagement ring or wedding jewelry against this risk. Most of the major US insurance carriers offer some sort of wedding jewelry coverage to address this and, in order to know their risks, and to set the premiums, the jewelry insurance companies require an independent jewelry appraisal or other documentation about the details of your wedding jewelry. A well done independent jewelry appraisal can easily address this and many other concerns associated with owning valuable wedding jewelry or diamond engagement rings. Insuring Diamond Engagement Rings

The majority of jewelers will sell you wedding jewelry or a diamond engagement ring for one price and then give you a 'free' jewelry appraisal stating a much higher price, telling the consumer that the higher value is for jewelry insurance. If the jewelry insurance policy is the replacement type, and most are, who benefits by an inflated wedding jewelry appraisal? The Jeweler who sold you the diamond engagement ring, because you are led to believe that you are paying a greatly reduced price for your wedding jewelry; and the Jewelry Insurance Company who will collect their premiums based upon the high value stated. If and when claims time comes around they will make the replacement diamond engagement ring based on the description in the jewelry appraisal and they will have their professional diamond shoppers get the replacement wedding jewelry for the best price they can find. If this is lower than the bottom line on the jewelry appraisal that the jeweler supplied, the benefit of the 'bargain' on the diamond engagement ring goes to the jewelry insurance company not you.

All jewelry insurance policies have exclusions for 'inherent vice'. This means that if the diamond falls out of your engagement ring because it was poorly set or otherwise defective, it's not going to be covered by the jewelry insurance company. A statement in the jewelry appraisal from the selling jeweler that your diamond engagement ring is in perfect condition at the time of sale does not always satisfy the jewelry insurance company because of the conflict of interest. After the claim, if the jewelry insurance company's expert can determine by looking at the damaged wedding jewelry that the loss was due to a craftsmanship problem or a defect present in the engagement ring prior to the beginning of the jewelry insurance policy, the jewelry insurance company can disallow the claim.

An accurate and detailed independent jewelry appraisal will provide you and your insurance company with the information necessary to settle a claim fairly and quickly. For insurance purposes, you will want a "replacement cost appraisal", which can differ from other types of jewelry appraisals, such as a "fair market value appraisal" and an "estate appraisal". A replacement cost appraisal is a formal opinion of a jewelry item, offered by a certified gemologist, and it should verify the authenticity, design, quality and monetary value of the item.
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