When it comes to jewelry you may have heard people mention they can offer appraisals or certificates for pieces of jewelry or gemstones. But, do you really know what the difference is between these two items? Or just how important these documents can be?
Jewelry Appraisals are generally something to show the value of a piece of jewelry. Whether it's to assess the jewelry item for insurance purposes or just to know the fair market value, an appraisal is a document that will look at the piece as a whole and decide what it's worth.
Appraisals should come from a certified gemologist. Many claim they offer appraisals, but not all have the training and skill to give as accurate of an appraisal. Some work in conjunction with a particular jeweler and may increase the value in order to help the jeweler make a sale. Additionally, there are many new treatments of diamonds and other gemstones that a qualified gemologist will be better able to spot.
Certificates focus on the gemstone and not the whole jewelry piece. A diamond certificate is a detailed report of that specific stone. It's almost like a diamond birth certificate, showing measurements, weight, cut, quality, clarity and other characteristics that make your diamond unique. This document is also usually issued by a Gemological Laboratory and is also known as a ‘Diamond Grading Report'. Unlike appraisals, certificates do not put a dollar value to the stone.
The benefit of certificates is they offer essentially a blueprint of your diamond. Were it stolen, the certificate will positively identify your stone if it were recovered down the road.