Jewelry is unique in that it has multiple layers of value. It has an aesthetic appeal, sentimental value, and financial value. While the first two are hard to quantify, the latter has a price tag attached to it. Do you know how much your jewelry is worth?
Estimating the Value of Your Jewelry
When it comes to your physical assets and possessions, there are a few items that stand out above the rest. For homeowners, real estate is typically the single most valuable possession. Cars, boats, and other vehicles usually come in second on the list. In a not so distant third place, though, is jewelry.
The problem is that most people don’t know what their jewelry is worth. As such, they have a poor understanding of their financial situation and what sort of options/flexibility they have when it comes to saving, investing, and estate planning.
Whether you have one diamond ring or a jewelry collection that would make a Hollywood starlet blush, it’s a smart idea to occasionally estimate the value of your jewelry and keep track of each piece’s worth over time. Here are some of the factors you’ll need to consider:
1. Jewelry Qualities
You can tell a lot about a piece of jewelry’s value (or lack thereof) by examining its qualities and features.
Take a diamond ring as an example. As you may know, a diamond is judged based on the four C’s – carat weight, color, clarity, and cut. These factors work in tandem to provide an objective valuation that is used alongside other factors (such as the material of the band, the setting, etc.) to determine the piece’s overall worth.
Non-diamond pieces also have qualities that define value. Depending on the item, you may be able to research different factors online and get a rough idea of how much it’s worth.
Do you have any certificates that accompany your jewelry? Diamond buyers, for example, often obtain a GIA certificate to guarantee authenticity. If you have this certificate, it enhances the value of the diamond. Try to locate and organize this documentation.
3. Appraised Valuations
While there are a number of steps you can take to determine valuation on your own, a professional appraisal will give a more accurate estimation (especially for fine and semi-precious jewelry).
“A complete dossier on the piece including quality, cut and size of stones, and karat weight of the gold is measured and documented. Current monetary value is also recorded, Leaf.tv explains. “This is retail value or replacement value. It may be more than the price a private party can sell the jewelry for, but it is an accurate assessment of market value.”
Protect Your Jewelry’s Value
Jewelry, much like real estate or vintage vehicles, can go up and down in value. Some of these swings are due to marketplace factors that are outside of your control. Many of them are firmly within your realm of influence, though. Here are three specific steps you can take to protect your jewelry’s value:
- Take care of it. Taking care of your jewelry will ensure that it doesn’t lose value as a result of premature damage or deterioration. Have your rings cleaned regularly and always use safe products that are designed specifically for the material you’re cleaning.
- Safeguard it. A traditional jewelry box is great for organizing your favorite pieces, but it does little to prevent theft in the case of a break-in or burglary. For this reason, keeping fine jewelry in a fireproof safe or locked compartment is a smart idea.
- Insure it. What would happen if you lost your favorite pair of earrings while on vacation? Or what would you do if your engagement ring was stolen from your vehicle while working out? In most cases, you’re out of luck. But if you have insurance on your jewelry, you can recoup the lost value and buy a new piece of equal value.
The aesthetic appeal and sentimental value of your jewelry may be most important, but don’t discount the financial value. Knowing how much your jewelry is worth – and doing everything you can to protect and enhance this value – will help you enjoy it for years to come.