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Areas of Expertise

Insurance Replacement Appraisals

Many people are unaware a policy needs to be in place to protect their engagement ring and other valuable jewelry while they're out and about running errands, on vacation, or even while at home.

Most commonly, a personal property floater added to your existing homeowners or renters insurance policy will protect designated jewelry from theft or loss, both at home and away.

If your insurance agent requires or recommends an appraisal, this is what you will need. Most insurance companies advise an appraisal be repeated or updated every 2-5 years, as diamond, gemstone, and metal prices fluctuate. Rates will differ, but most insurance companies typically charge 1-3% of the jewelry's value to protect and reimburse the individual pieces you've chosen to schedule on your policy.

Estate Valuation and Probate Appraisals

If you are trying to divide your jewelry fairly among family members, you are named as an executor or conservator to an estate, you're divorcing, using your jewelry as loan collateral, or your attorney has advised an evaluation, either an estate appraisal or valuation for division is likely what you'll need.


Unlike retail replacement value, estate appraisals determine estimated Fair Market Value; FMV defined by the IRS is "the price that property would sell for on the open market. It is the price that would be agreed upon between a willing buyer and a willing seller, with neither being required to act, and both having reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts." In other words, the estimated opinion of value of each of your pieces in their current condition when offered in a secondary or auction market given the appropriate amount of time and exposure. 

Note: In some cases, liquidation value, or over-the-counter sale value will be more appropriate to your specific needs.

Qualitative Reports and Gemstone Identification

If you are unsure of what you have, if what you were sold online is what it was claimed to be, or just want to know, "Is this even real?", call me for a verbal identification consultation, and feel free to bring me your jewelry box! Pricing will be determined by the time required and scope of your request. 

Engagement Ring Concierge

If you are just getting started in your search or are about to select the perfect ring, but would like objective assistance, give me a call to discuss my Engagement Ring Concierge service. I research the diamond wholesale and retail market daily, using comparables across all available markets. More details of this service can be found on my Services and Fees page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How should I prepare?

A: Please bring any previous paperwork, certifications, and prior appraisals you may have to your appointment. Cleaning your jewelry ahead will reduce the overall appointment time.

Q: How long does an appraisal take?
A: For insurance purposes, you can expect each appraised piece to average about 20 minutes to fully examine. All other appraisals will vary depending on the quantity of pieces you'd like to sort through together and evaluate. Depending on the number and complexity of pieces, your completed appraisal paperwork may be ready the following day!

Q: Do I need to be present the entire time?

A: Only while your jewelry is being preliminarily examined. I have a comfortable seating area both in my office and another just outside my door designed for you to relax or work remotely while waiting. After the initial examination I will provide you with signed list of items accompanied by photographs. At that point you are welcome to relax in my office, have lunch downtown, it's your choice! When I'm through, you'll take your jewelry home with you!

Q: Where should I park?

A: There is ample parking downtown, along the street, or in lots and garages. The closest parking lot is on Commerce and 2nd Avenue, across from the courthouse. This lot is less than a half-block walk to The Press door, which faces the unique facade of the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center. 

Q: What are some great local spots for me to visit if I wait for my appraisals?

A: If you'd like to get out and explore while I examine your jewelry, you can walk immediately across the road to the Customs House Museum. If you'd rather stroll the Cumberland River or relax at McGregor Park, they are just a few short blocks away to the west. Or, you can spend the afternoon exploring downtown! A two-minute walk north will put you right on Franklin Street and Strawberry Alley where you'll find amazing local food, coffee shops and brewpubs, the Roxy Theatre, and independently owned shops. Ask me for my favorite recommendations!

Image by Sarah Coates
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