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​Jewellery Valuations – Why you may need one and what you need to know…

​Jewellery Valuations – Why you may need one and what you need to know…

Published by Charlotte Gatward on 17th Aug 2021

It's a common misconception that there is a 'one size fits all' valuation for a piece of jewellery. 

You may be seeking a valuation for your item of jewellery for a variety of reasons and you may not have been aware that a formal valuation on a piece of jewellery is a chargeable service. In this blog we unpick the different types of valuation that we get asked for, and what you're getting for your money.

Valuation for Insurance

The best way to protect your treasured piece of jewellery in the event of theft or loss is to insure it. Most insurers now require a formal valuation from an Institute Registered Valuer (IRV) who will assess the item and provide a detailed document so that your insurance company knows exactly how to compensate you for your loss. In the event of a claim, you also need to prove that the items existed and a formal valuation document will provide this along with the correct replacement values on the date of inspection.

Valuation for Probate

Another reason for obtaining a valuation is for probate. When a loved one passes away, the executor of their will needs to obtain a valuation for any items of jewellery that person owned. this is most likely for the purposes of calculating the value of their estate and for HMRC to produce an inheritance tax calculation. This valuation is quite different from an insurance replacement value because the probate valuation will be assessing what price the item could fetch should it be sold in an auction, in the trade or to a willing buyer in the current prevailing market.

Do I have to Pay for a Valuation?

Yes. A formal jewellery valuation is so much more than just a description of the item and a price. The registered valuer will test the item to ascertain exactly what it is before undertaking research to determine its value. They will then produce a detailed document for you.

It's also a long process to become a registered valuer. The valuer has to have been in the jewellery trade for at least 5 years, hold an internationally recognised gemmological qualification, an accredited Diamond grading qualification, and have completed the NAJ’s Foundations of Appraisal Practice programme. This process involves many years of training and passing a series of exams. Valuers have to keep their knowledge and skills up to date as different treatments of stones and different technologies evolve and they also have specialised equipment to be able to test stones and metals.

Valuation charges therefore reflect the time the valuer has spent researching the item as well as their knowledge and experience.

What if I want to sell the item?

We are often asked to value items of jewellery because the owner would like to sell them and they would like to know if we would be interested in purchasing them over the counter for our second hand collection. Of course, this is not a service that would be chargeable unless you wanted a full assessment from a registered valuer in order to sell the item elsewhere.

A valuation for sale is quite different from a formal valuation with a registered valuer because we would assess the item based on whether it is something we think we would be able to sell. An insurance valuation would be based on full like for like replacement whereas a price we would offer would be more akin to a trade price. If we think it is something which is saleable based on the buying behaviour that we see from our customers then we would make you an offer.

Do you buy Gold?

We also offer scrap prices for gold items. If we do not think an item of gold jewellery is something we could sell in our second hand collection, we would offer you a scrap price for the gold. Gold prices have recently been trending upwards (August 2021) and a scrap value for the gold could end up being a price you are happy to accept.

What is the valuation process at Gatwards?

Here at Gatwards, we have an Institute of Registered Valuers (IVR) valuer who has over 20 years experience in the jewellery industry. They have a long list of letters after their name – here are their credentials:

  • F.I.R.V.96916, DGA
  • P.J. (Gem.) Dip.
  • B.A. (hons.) 
  • Jewellery Design, F.N.A.J. 
  • Member of UK Gemmological Association, and Institute of Registered Valuers
  • CPAA Pearl Specialist

They visits our showroom twice per month and carry out all valuations on-site.

If you would like to arrange for an item or items of jewellery to be valued then they would be held securely in our vault until the valuer visits to value them on site. You would then be able to collect them from us once the valuation has taken place, and the valuation report would then follow.

Please contact us on info@gatwardsofhitchin.co.uk if you would like further information about the valuation services that we can offer.