West Des Moines, Iowa 50266
Independent, Impartial, Professional Appraisals
The Appraisal Process
  • Take-In:
    • Your purpose and intended use of the appraisal will determine the type of appraisal that you need and our method of valuation.  This will be discussed with you at the time of the take-in of your item(s).  The fee will be quoted at that time based upon the type of appraisal you require and the time needed to complete your appraisal.
    • Bring along any supporting documentation for your item(s).  This would include appraisals previously performed, bill of sale, and gemstone certificates.  We will review these items and discuss your understanding of the size of stones and/or value of the item(s).
    • Take-In form will be completed and a copy provided to you as a record of receipt of your item(s).


  • Cleaning:
    • Your jewelry item(s) will be examined for loose stones and the items will be cleaned as appropriate for the type of jewelry and gemstones.


  • Photographing:
    • Your item(s) will be photographed to provide a digital record of the item.  A number of photographs will be taken to document the condition and style of the jewelry.  While your appraisal document will generally include only one photo, the other photos will be maintained in our files and available to you in the event of loss or damage of your item(s) at some future date.
  • Measurements:
    • Your item(s) will be carefully weighed and all gemstones will be measured to provide the details necessary to calculate the estimated weight of the gemstones.  At no time will any stones be removed from your jewelry item(s).  It is generally accepted practice that a formula including the gemstone measurements, cut and the specific gravity (this is specific to the gemstone species) of the stone are used to determine an estimated weight for each gemstone.
  • Examination and Grading:
    • Gemstones and metal will be examined to identify metal type and karat, gemstone species and variety.  Standard non-destructive gemological testing will be used to confirm and/or identify metal and gemstones. 
    • Metal may be tested using an electronic metal tester when quality stamp is not present. 
    • Gemstones will be examined using some or all of the following processes; microscope, polariscope, refractometer, spectroscope, thermal conductivity tester, dichroscope, color filters, and long-wave / short-wave lighting.
  • Research and Valuation:
    • There are two approaches that are commonly used to value personal property, that is, the cost and the market data approaches. The cost approach calculates value by determining the costs involved in reproduction or reconstruction of the property, then that cost is adjusted for depreciation and obsolescence. The market data approach calculates value by analyzing appropriate market activity for the particular item being appraised.


    • There are multiple markets and market levels for jewelry depending upon various factors like the items age, condition, quality, style, provenance, and period of manufacture.  There are varying levels within the retail market as well as the secondary market in which jewelry can be valued.   The type of retail outlet that most commonly carries the item being appraised is considered to be the appropriate market level.


    • The market level researched is determined based upon the circumstances of the individual item of jewelry and the market conditions prevailing at the time of the appraisal.  Replacement value for insurance purposes may be estimated using the market data comparison approach and / or the cost approach.


    • Fair Market Value is the price at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts.  Generally, this would be the secondary jewelry market (auction, consignment, ebay, etc.) 


  • Reporting and Documentation: 
    • A valuation report will be prepared that will consist of:
      • Cover letter;
      • Report documentation describing the assignment, assigned use, applicable dates, and critical assumptions, appraisers statement of certification;
      • Detailed item descriptions complete with photograph of item(s), gemstone plot when appropriate, and values. 
      • Appraiser qualifications;
      • Glossary or nomenclature used in diamond grading and colored gemstone grading, and other supporting documentation necessary.


    • Your report and the methodology used to provide an accurate valuation of your item(s) will be performed in compliance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP)  The purpose of USPAP is to serve as a guideline for appraisers to maintain and practice the highest level of valuation and consulting services and to provide consumers and the public with the means to measure competence and compliance with professional standards.


    • When your appraisal is to be used for insurance, (scheduling, loss, damage) your  report will provide all essential details and information required by your insurance underwriter.



For more information, or to schedule an appointment please call 515~421~4567.