• Elisa Brisman

What to Expect from a Jewelry Appraisal

Updated: Feb 8

What’s it worth?? Do you have jewelry that you have no idea what the current value is? Perhaps you have inherited jewelry but are unsure what the current market dictates for resale or replacement. Perhaps you own a piece of vintage jewelry that was appraised years ago, but you suspect the value has changed or you wish to sell it in the secondary market. These are all examples of why a current jewelry appraisal is needed.


How to Obtain a Jewelry Appraisal


Your first step should be to seek out an experienced, trained gemologist educated in jewelry appraisal theory and who is a member of a recognized jewelry appraisal organization. The Gemological Institute America (GIA) is the gold standard for gemological training. GIA is the world’s leading source for educational training in gemstone and diamond grading. A GIA trained gemologist will be able to properly evaluate, grade and describe the characteristics of gems using globally accepted standards. A well-trained gemologist will also be able to detect whether a gemstone has been treated for enhancement and identify if a diamond is lab created or naturally occurring.


You should work with an experienced gemologist who is familiar with the global markets and supply chain and understands the sub-markets in the diamond and jewelry industry. An experienced gemologist also knows the current market trends for your particular piece of jewelry. Ideally, you should work with a gemologist experienced in the appraisal of fine jewelry. This includes working with estate and contemporary jewelry as well as signed jewelry with important provenance.


Not all gemologists have the same training, skill set, accreditation or experience. In addition, continued education is of utmost importance in an ever changing industry of lab created diamonds and gemstones. Your first instinct may be to seek out a nationally recognized retail chain store and ask for a jewelry appraisal. Retail chain stores may not be your best resource as they are usually not familiar with and don’t specialize in vintage jewelry. This is a strong indicator that they lack the experience and knowledge that you need.


What to Expect from the Jewelry Appraisal Process


A jewelry appraisal is a detailed report that includes the intended use, type of value, description of each article along with any identifying characteristics, any lab reports with additional pertinent information, condition report and total value conclusion. Photographs and plots of the item should be provided. Metals incorporated into the piece of jewelry will be fully described along with weights and measurements. Hallmarks, signatures, and serial numbers will be fully documented and described. In addition, the report should have the appraiser’s name, company and signature with the date of appraisal.


GIA Graduate Gemologist serving Tenafly New Jersey and Surrounding areas


Bergen Gemology is owned and operated by Elisa Brisman GG GIA . Ms. Brisman is a graduate gemologist of the Gemological Institute of America and also a member of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA). She has more than 27 years of experience appraising fine jewelry, antiques and estates, precious gemstones and watches for some of the country’s leading wholesalers and retailers. She has also worked in the wholesale, retail and manufacturing trade. Ms. Brisman’s trusted relationships with international designers and diamond wholesalers give Bergen Gemology the unique opportunity to be your private jeweler for a variety of jewelry services including jewelry appraisal. Please contact us with any of your fine jewelry needs.


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