We all have home contents insurance and for many people the need to have an up to date valuation of jewellery, watches and silver is a stipulation of cover; the one thing that we all hope is that we will never have the need to make a claim.
Thinking about the possible theft or loss of your favourite jewellery or silver is hardly pleasant, but the possibility cannot be ignored. Dealing with the aftermath of a burglary can be very distressing and for most it is a time to hope that the insurance company will put everything right. And most will.
In order for your insurance company to adequately settle your claim the onus is on you as the policy holder to provide the specific information required. Failure to do so can seriously and adversely affect how your claim is settled; you may find that you are under insured or a cap has been set on the maximum amount payable for the loss of jewellery which may not cover the value of the items lost. In the event of a claim, and with specific regard to jewellery, all insurance companies will expect you as the policy holder to:
Above all, it is important to understand that it is not the insurance company’s responsibility to know the value of the items you are claiming for.
In today’s world an up to date valuation is an absolute must. Valuation standards and practices have tightened dramatically in recent years – the simple one line descriptions seen on old valuations are simply not acceptable these days.
A modern valuation for insurance contains a wealth of information including detailed descriptions including accurate weights and measurements as well as digital images and an informed value calculated and arrived at from the correct perspective.
They can. Whether it will be acceptable to your insurance company though is a different matter entirely. Increasingly these days only valuations carried out by a Member of the Institute of Registered Valuers will be considered good enough and, in some cases, only a valuation undertaken by a Fellow of the Institute will be acceptable. Our valuer, Andree Richardson, is a Fellow – she is also very well respected nationally and is an adviser to the Institute’s examination board.
The Institute of Registered Valuers was established in 2008 having grown from a working party set up by the National Association of Goldsmiths in 1987. Its objective was to establish and maintain the highest standards in jewellery and silver valuations. Members of the institute must have years of experience working in the jewellery industry. They must have the highest gemmological and diamond grading qualifications, they must hold a Certificate of Appraisal of Jewellery and have passed the rigorous practical examinations in order to satisfy the standards required by the Institute. Members are continually assessed to ensure that their work is up to standard and the very best are offered Fellowship of Institute. At the time of writing only 43 Fellows are working nationally.
Yes, always. Unlike some jewellers who routinely post to third party valuation specialists, Valuations are carried out once a month and on the premises at our shop in Alresford.
We realise that you want to be without your property for the shortest possible period and it is our aim to keep your items for a maximum of three days. We will ask you to leave your items with us a day or so before the appraisal.
Yes. Why do we need grading reports & supporting documents? Because your insurers expect you to provide them with a full and thorough report – diamonds are graded un-mounted in laboratory conditions and while we will not be un-setting your diamonds to assess their quality we will check that their attributes match those documented on the report. We will also check the veracity of previous valuations to ensure that the particulars in the new document are accurate and bear scrutiny.
The photographs and preparatory work will be carried out on the specified day with the items ready for collection shortly afterwards. We will give you a valuation summary to enable you to notify your insurance company and in the days that follow we will complete the necessary research aiming to have the full and complete schedule ready in 10-14 working days.
We are very happy to attend at your home if you have a large number of items that it would be impractical to bring to us. Additional travelling costs will apply and will be added to our regular fees.
It is still common for valuations to be charged on a percentage basis but we believe that it is fairer to charge based on how long an appraisal takes to complete. We charge £120 for the first 45 minutes and £105 per hour thereafter. These rates are inclusive of VAT. As a guide we expect to value 4 items per hour on average – for items valued at £500 and under a simplified description accompanied by a current replacement value ensures that time is not unnecessarily wasted on less complex pieces.
We undertake valuations for the following purposes:
Sorry, but the answer is always ‘no’. It is not good practice to give a verbal ‘off the cuff’ valuation. The number of treated/synthetic/imitation gemstones for example makes instant appraising a minefield full of pitfalls if you will excuse the pun. But seriously, it is not good for you to receive an appraisal based on incomplete or suspect information and frankly it is a potential hornets’ nest for us too. Jewellery valuation requires a systematic and considered approach to ensure accuracy; it is not like the ‘Antiques Roadshow’ where the expert waxes lyrical and plucks figures seemingly from thin air – what the viewer does not see is the meticulous preparatory work carried out before the cameras roll. Sorry to disappoint but you did ask!
When you leave your jewellery for appraisal your valuer will need to know the purpose for which you require the finished valuation. Items of jewellery are valued differently for different purposes. You might wonder about the gap between the insurance value of an item and the amount you would get, as a private individual, if you chose to sell the pieces. Consider the following:
This type of appraisal will show the full retail replacement value, ‘as new’ or ‘as antique’ of your jewellery, VAT inclusive, taking in to account the nature, quality,and design of the pieces and the sort of shop likely to provide comparable replacement in the event of a loss. It is, therefore, a representation of the highest value of your goods.
If you are an executor of an estate one of your responsibilities is to declare to HMRC the total value of that estate at the time that the deceased passed away. This includes property, any investments and chattels such as jewellery, silver and watches. Unlike an insurance valuation which indicates the full retail replacement value, this assessment concerns itself with the amounts likely to be realised if those items which form part of an estate were to be sold. In other words, we assess the items to arrive at what would be considered to be a fair market value. HMRC scrutinises this type of valuation much more thoroughly these days and we take great care to ensure that the values we attribute to each item can be substantiated, evidenced and that they bear comparison. The old fashioned method of basing values on low auction estimates is not accepted as good practice these days.
Such an appraisal is made with due regard to two persons, the buyer and the seller – often they are friends. The prospective buyer is seen as entitled to a ‘bargain’ since he is not being offered the customary guarantees of a reputable jeweller. The seller is seen as reasonably expecting a better price than he would get from selling to the trade because the jewellery will not subsequently be required to produce a profit for the jeweller.
The interests of the two persons involved in the transaction make it essential that the valuer guards against dissatisfaction should it become necessary to sell the jewellery. In most cases the valuer will set aside style and artistic appeal and the appraisal will be based on the worth of the components of the jewellery. Obviously there are exceptions, but such a valuation must give the lowest representations of the value of your jewellery.
Please note that this information is provided for general guidance only and should not be read as substitute for the law. This information is provided by The National Association of Jewellers Institute of Registered Valuers and is reproduced here by kind permission.