Cynthia Shaver 

​G.I.A. Graduate Gemologist​/Appraiser 

Accredited Jewelry Professional

Independent Appraiser



N.A.J.A. Member since 2004

Frequently asked questions answered

Why Should I Get my Jewelry Appraised?

No doubt you don't want to think about your jewelry items being lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed, but especially in today's unpredictably changing physical and societal climate it is wise to be prepared for the unexpected.  You should take precaution just in case something unexpected happens to insure each item of value, whether you have owned it for years, or perhaps just inherited a fine new piece.  Of course you have a sentimental attachment to your jewelry pieces and you’ll love them no matter what they’re worth monetarily.  However, determining an accurate current retail replacement value is important.

I have a sales receipt, why do I need an appraisal?

A sales receipt does not prove value. Insurance companies won’t accept a receipt of purchase as a legitimate measure of value. It doesn’t matter how much you paid for your jewelry.  When writing a policy or paying a claim, the insurance company relies on the actual appraised value, not the cost.  An appraisal by an educated gemologist trained in valuation is required by insurance underwriters.  You also need to know if your Homeowners Policy jewelry limit will fully cover your items, or if you need a rider to your current policy or a completely separate policy.  Underwriters strive to accurately base your coverage amount on the appraised value of your jewelry and any premiums you pay will be based on the appraised value regardless of when or how you acquired it or how much was paid for the item.  Before an underwriter finalizes the jewelry schedule on a separate policy or your Homeowners Policy Jewelry Rider, they will insist on a written appraisal from a competent, qualified appraiser.

I have an appraisal from ten years ago, isn't that still good? 

Actually, a current appraisal  (not more than 3-5 years old)  is the best way to make certain you are properly insuring your jewelry.  Three important reasons are described below.

1 . The market prices of precious metals, diamonds, and colored gemstones constantly change, which in turn changes the value of your jewelry

2.  Collectible, Vintage, and Antique styles also go in and out of popularity, causing changes in the valuation. Values do not  remain constant, and your policy should change accordingly.   Ask your agent or underwriter about insurance policy appraisal guidelines before taking your items to your appraiser. 

3.  Laws, technology, and most importantly, standards in gemology and appraising have all changed greatly in the past few years.  It is best to have a current, detailed appraisal report which is compliant with current law and up to standards for today's market.

How does having an appraisal help me with an Insurance claim?

Claims can be difficult to navigate for many reasons.  A good agent will help you through filing a claim if you find yourself under the unfortunate circumstance to necessitate a claim.  The insurance company won’t simply write a check for the amount of your stated coverage.  They will verify the details before settling your claim.  Regular appraisals can help you prove an insurance claim.  An appraiser can attest to the quality, design, condition, and valuation of your jewelry.  If a jewelry professional has inspected your collection a number of times over the years, the dated documentation can verify provenance, ownership, and current values.  If you haven't already done so, or if it has been more than a couple of years, take steps to insure your jewelry at its proper value. contact an appraiser to professionally evaluate your jewelry and other valuable items (Gold and Sterling Silver Flatware, Coffee and Tea sets, Holloware,, etc...) For your peace of mind, make sure the professional you choose is well-trained and will confidentially and competently handle the task.

Why don't you buy or sell jewelry from clients?

First, such practice would not be unbiased and is against the code of ethics of regulatory and professional associations.

 After decades in the jewelry industry, I do have many contacts in the jewelry industry and am happy to put any of my clients, who are wanting to sell or buy jewelry,  those in the industry who would conduct  fair and ethical transactions.


If you have additional questions or to schedule a consultation, please hit the contact button.