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What exactly is an appraisal? The Illustrated Guide to Jewelry Appraising states that “An appraisal is a statement of the value of an article in its common and most appropriate market, not its price in any one store in particular.” Jewelers set prices; appraisers analyze prices in relevant markets to define value.
Basically, receipts or a written paragraph description of the jewelry is not an appraisal. As an appraiser I specify the market in which an item is being valued, I research and provide documentation of how I came up with the value, and I describe the jewelry in such detail that the item can be reproduced if necessary.
Guessing is not my style; I am a researcher. Even if you have warranties on your jewelry, it’s a good idea to get an appraisal. Not all warranties cover for loss or theft. They may not even cover all circumstances of jewelry damage. By getting an insurance appraisal you can be rest assured that your jewelry is covered no matter what happens.