Jewellery Valuations

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Most valuations are undertaken for insurance replacement purposes, but there are a number of other reasons why you may seek your jeweller’s assistance in connection with a valuation. This following information may help to explain and clarify the different purposes of a valuation document, and to ensure you obtain the most appropriate type of schedule for your needs.

Insurance Valuation

This is a typical type of valuation sought, and is complied on the basis of what a broadly similar article will cost to replace in the unfortunate event of loss or total damage. The figures represent average retail prices in the usual, local market. The retailer who undertakes the valuation will usually be considered as that source. The description should be full and adequately detailed to enable a comparable article of similar quality to be obtained in the event of a claim being submitted to your insurer.

Probate Valuation

A valuation for probate purposes may be required upon the death of the owner of jewellery and other valuables, in order to be submitted to legal representatives winding up the estate; possible liability for death duties may ensue. The values stated represent much lower values than for an insurance valuation, and are based upon an open market assessment of their worth. The schedule will, typically, give much lower values and will also contain less descriptive detail.

Private Sale

This type of valuation applies where one wishes to sell an article of value to an individual privately, and needs to know what is a reasonable price to ask for it. The willing buyer/willing seller situation requires the valuer to take into account many factors affecting value, but ultimately providing a figure that is reasonable to both parties in the equation.

Other Valuation Services

After purchasing a valuable item from your jeweller, please ask for a post-sale document to enable you to obtain cover for insurance or to enable you to add it to your existing policy. Such a document is not a full valuation for insurance, but an abbreviated version, specifically prepared for this purpose based on stock record descriptions.

You may have been unlucky enough to have suffered a burglary, and in this case if your old valuation is not up-to-date, your insurer will ask you to obtain more current values before accepting any claim. Discuss this with your jeweller who will be able to provide a post loss assessment based on your descriptions and available data. This is a service which needs to be undertaken professionally and thoroughly if the insurer or loss adjuster is to accept it, and is a service that is normally charged for today.


Whatever type of valuation is requested, your jeweller will make only a modest charge for the service, giving you considerable peace of mind for a relatively small cost. The fee is usually based on a percentage charge, or alternatively, either a time based fee or a per-item charge. Post loss assessments are usually charged on a fixed fee or according to the time spent on them for more substantial cases. Your jeweller will be happy to discuss his fees with you.

Jewellery Insurance Valuation

Insurance Matters

It may not be well understood that the onus is on the owner of property to prove their worth in the event of submitting a claim to insurers following a loss. Insurers are not duty bound to accept old or poorly described schedules or other scant evidence of value that is sometimes submitted to them by claimants.

Only by supplying to insurers an up-to-date insurance schedule prepared by a competent valuer, preferably by a National Association of Goldsmiths’ Registered Valuer, can one be sure to be in a position to establish a valid and provable claim.

So, a current valuation schedule can help to:

Provide a full inventory of all items of value owned. Even items of relatively low value can be included in this checklist
Establish ownership in the event of recovered property being claimed
Establish the merits of replacement goods in the event of a claim
Provide a sound foundation on which to base a claim to insurers

In the case of period or antique jewellery and other articles not easy to replace on the normal retail market, valuers will take a different approach and will provide a value based on the concept of ‘open market’ values. Here the appropriate type of marketplace for replacement articles may be markets or auctions, or even specialist dealers, to provide suitable sources for reaching accurate values. Thus, in the event of a claim to insurers, it may need to be specified that a like-for-like replacement may not be feasible. It may be that insurers sometimes consider a cash settlement in such cases, or may offer an alternative course of action.

Only by providing a current valuation schedule in the event of a claim can owners be sure they will be able to substantiate their claim and have the peace of mind that provides. Anyone who has ever tried to put through a claim with little or no good documentary evidence of worth can testify to the difficulties faced to get any kind of settlement, which usually falls well short of their expectations.

Your N.A.G Registered Valuer understands your needs as well as your insurers’ perspective, and will provide the peace of mind that is the bedrock of insurance. Remember too that if you do make a claim that it may be your right to insist that the choice of jeweller to supply replacement good is your prerogative – check your policy before you sign, do not be bullied into accepting either being told to whom you have to go for replacement articles, nor accept offers to replace through catalogues.

Finally, it makes good sense to obtain special insurance for goods such as jewellery because of the portable nature of such goods. It is sensible to insure on an ‘All Risks’ basis rather than rely on a household contents policy. This may be more expensive in the short term, but will certainly provide better cover and prove more efficacious in the longer term. Your jeweller will be happy to advise on insurance maters; some may arrange insurance themselves for you.

Who should value your jewellery?

A valuation is an informed opinion based upon many years of experience allied to formal training in gemmology and other specialist areas of product knowledge. Valuations need to be undertaken today to a very high standard; the highest level is represented by the National Association of Goldsmiths’ Registered Valuer Scheme. All N.A.G Registered Valuers who currently number about 500 throughout the United Kingdom, are those who have proved their expertise to their peers, with formal gemmological qualifications and substantial experience within the industry. They must also conform to the requirements of equipment for gem testing/grading and hold a thorough library of reference material.

Valuations carried out by a N.A.G Registered Valuer will be undertaken professionally to the prescribed standards and ethically, and liable to routine monitoring by the Association itself to maintain those standards, and will include:

Cleaning of the jewellery
Detailed descriptions
Details of the assessment of diamonds
Hallmarking information
Condition statement
Provenance of research, if appropriate
Visual images, usually digital
Values with the appropriate type of insurance qualification

Probate Valuations