A Guide to Getting a Diamond Ring Appraised

To get a diamond ring appraised, the first step is making an appointment with a qualified and well-known appraiser, then simply drop the ring off to be evaluated.

On average, an appraisal can be completed within a day and in the price range of $50 to $100. The appraisal will come with a descriptive assessment of the ring and its value, as well as a certificate to officiate the appraisal.

Having your diamond ring appraised can be the best thing you do for yourself. Should you choose to insure it, which is important for expensive jewelry, having an appraisal is the only way you’re going to get a policy.

Ring appraisals estimate your ring’s value, depending on the quality of the stone and the band that surrounds it. The quality is determined by color, cut, clarity, and weight of the stone itself, as well as the purity of the metal band.

While looking for the right appraiser, we recommend that you always call ahead and talk to the actual appraiser. Ask the right questions, make sure you’re dealing with the right person, someone you can trust to give you a correct appraisal.

Learn the Process of Getting a Diamond Ring Appraised

A diamond appraisal is an assessment of the quality of a diamond ring. It’s based on the weight, the cut, the color, and clarity. If applicable, the appraiser will also factor in the value of the ring’s band, also called the setting.

Your appraisal will come with a document that makes the appraisal official. It describes the details and the process of the assessment. Essentially, it’s a certificate that describes why your diamond is worth a certain amount of money.

Remember that the estimate in an appraisal won’t be the actual market value of the ring. In fact, it’s pretty typical for an appraisal to be much higher, even double the actual cost of a ring.

Why You Should Have Your Diamond Ring Appraised

Your diamond ring is important to you. Whether it’s your engagement ring, wedding ring, family heirloom, even if you bought it for yourself; it’s priceless to you. But being priceless doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t find out what it’s worth.

It’s important to know the value of your fine jewelry.  It’s nice to know that you paid a good price for it. Also, to get jewelry insurance, you must have an authentic and official appraisal. Should your ring get lost or stolen, you can have it replaced.

To go a little deeper on that subject, an appraisal also features pictures and a detailed description of the ring, which can make finding missing jewelry easier for police. Maybe that only happens in the movies, but at this point in 2021, anything can happen. It’s just better to be prepared.

When You Should Get An Appraisal:

Get your ring appraised immediately after purchasing it or receiving it.  Some stores like James Allen and Blue Nile will provide you with an appraisal of the ring when you buy it.

This doesn’t mean that if you never got it appraised, that you can’t now. It’s never too late to know the value of your diamond ring! But, don’t head right to the appraiser after being proposed to either. That would be a little weird for your fiancée.

Get your diamond reappraised every few years. The price of diamonds and gold fluctuates, which does affect the value of your ring. So, if you haven’t gotten your ring appraised, do it before the prices of the metals drop! See also: Does My Diamond Appreciate? (Some Do)

How A Ring Appraisal Works:

The appraisal focuses on a few areas. The jewelry appraiser will look at the 4 C’s: cut, clarity, carats, and color.

The color and clarity of a stone focus on the amount of yellow in a diamond, as well as any flaws, also known as inclusions.  A purely white diamond with no flaws is incredibly rare, so don’t be bummed if the jeweler does find flaws in your diamond.

The cut of the stone is the way the diamond was cut. If you look at your ring closely, you’ll see all the flat edges on the diamond. A jeweler will measure these, guided by benchmarks, like a rubric that grades the quality of the stone.

A carat is a unit of stone measurement that is equal to 0.2 grams or 200 milligrams. The heavier the diamond, the more carats it will have. The more carats a stone has, the higher the value will be.

After the appraiser has evaluated your ring, they will assess the band, referred to as the setting. Some setting factors that may determine the value of your ring are the type of metal and how pure the metal is. This is measured in karats.

Where To Go To Get Your Ring Appraised:

When looking at getting your ring appraised, you have a lot of options. Most jewelry stores perform appraisal services in house. Just be sure that you’re dealing with the actual jeweler, not the assistant or apprentice.

If your ring has come from a high-end dealer like James Allen, it may have come with an appraisal upon purchase. If not, they may offer one at a lower rate, or even for free.

Your other choice is to go to an independent appraiser. If you do that, make sure to go to someone reputable, honest, and not sketchy. No back-ally pawn shops! No offense to them, but I can’t imagine they’re properly educated in diamond assessments.

Whether you choose to have your ring appraised at a jewelry store or by an independent appraiser, you need to make sure you find someone that is officially certified in gemology and appraisal, so you know that they are an expert in the subject.

If you’re unsure of where to look to find a qualified appraiser, visit the American Gem Society to find the best one for you. You can find certified appraisers near you here.

Who To Choose for Your Appraisal:

When searching for an appraiser, you might be overwhelmed by the number of options that are out there.

There’s nothing worse than getting an inaccurate estimate or even worse; scammed. It can be scary if you don’t know what to look for.  I’m not saying you should run a full background check on someone, but it’s highly recommended that you do at least check out their credentials.

A Gemology graduate is educated and trained in ring assessments, but for a true expert, you need to look for certification by the American Gem Society or the National Association of Appraisers.

Never be afraid to ask a jeweler or appraiser directly, “What is your certification?” If they can’t prove their qualifications or can’t give you a good answer, you’ll know they aren’t properly qualified. Your diamond ring is precious. You deserve to know that the person evaluating it is qualified and knowledgeable.

The Cost of Diamond Ring Appraisal:

While some jewelers may offer appraisals for free, others will not.  One thing you must beware of is free or unusually cheap appraisals. As I said, some companies do give free appraisals, meaning that they aren’t necessarily any better or worse than a paid one. It really depends on the company and the individual appraiser you’re dealing with.

On average, you can expect your appraisal to cost anywhere from $50-150. Some jewelers may even charge you a percentage of the ring’s value. For replacement purposes alone, this is a relatively low price to pay for the assurance of being able to get that ring back.  All in all, it’s absolutely worth it.

To find out exactly how much an appraisal will cost you, call the store ahead of time and ask what the jeweler charges, as well as what their assessment process is. This would also be a good time to ask them about their certification, as we talked about before.

Carl A. Jones, GIA GG

Carl A. Jones is a GIA Graduate Gemologist with over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. He is an independent jewelry appraiser. He specializes in determining the value of diamonds and advising consumers on how to buy quality diamond jewelry.

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