Who’s Appraising Your Jewelry? (op-ed with Ted)

If you want to appraise real estate, you need a special license. If you want to appraise jewelry, just print a business card.

When I got into the business of appraising jewelry over twenty-five years ago, no special licensing was required to place value to someone’s jewelry. Today, little has changed. Appraisers of fine jewelry abound, some willing to do anything to acquire business – and I mean anything.

NGL has given up enough business over the years to support many “appraisers” who don’t really care what value goes on an item – just so they can profit by the transaction. I keep seeing appraisals up to eight times the jeweler’s cost—a bit high considering today’s competitive market, don’t you think? Since NGL does not cater to all elements of the jewelry industry, we loose business to those who do, but retain an integrity to the remaining jewelers who believe in honest representations to their clients.

Many appraisers also deal in jewelry on the side (or up front). Not illegal, not even immoral except when they represent themselves as “independent”. And ours isn’t an isolated industry. Appraisers and agents in other fields routinely enter into transactions over the articles they examine, but I think that smacks of conflict- of-interest.

Am I ever tempted to sell to the public, especially after seeing the rip-offs I do? Sure. I could make a lot more money than I do now, but feel I would impugn my integrity to the industry and the public as an independent appraiser. If I do ever cross over, I will be up front about it.

As the Northwest’s first independent fine jewelry appraisal laboratory and one of the few that doesn’t sell jewelry, NGL takes pride in offering compromised appraisal services for insurance, estate and other legal purposes. I hope that matters to you.

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