Questions and queries about valuations answered....


Q.   How long does it take to carry out work?      


A.   It depends on the number of items and their complexity. The aim is to complete inspection in the quickest time without compromising standards. Hopefully this will mean within a day. The documentation will follow probably a couple of days later. A better estimate of time will be determined as soon as I know the number of items and their complexity


Q.  Whereabouts do you assess and appraise?


A.  IRS Valuations primarily operates and specialises in home visits providing a discreet, efficient and timely service in the privacy of your own home. Contact me and we can arrange a mutually agreeable time and place and I will travel to where the jewellery is. This way your treasured items stay within your own familiar surroundings in your control. It also means you do not have to worry about putting your precious items into a postal system. Alternative arrangements can be discussed. If you want to send items to me by post make sure you take out adequate insurance and send them at least by special delivery. At all stages it is important that your items remain safe and secure.


Q.   Can you value jewellery purchased from a shopping channel or the internet?


A.   Yes I can. A lot of jewellery is now purchased from shopping channels or the internet. Shopping channels in particular market their jewellery in a very glossy way and usually highly discounted. I am not sure I believe some of these marketing ploys or discounts but hope consumers purchase the items because they would enjoy wearing them. I do get asked to value many items purchased from a shopping channel or the internet, usually not long after they have received them, with the expectations that my valuation results will prove what a fantastic bargain they have. Sorry but it doesn't always work out this way. I value these items at the most appropriate market level for replacement which generally means New Replacement Value at Internet or Shopping Channel Market level. Put simply the value assigned to your jewellery will be equal to the likely cost to replace with one of a similar description, content and equal merit from a similar source whether it is shopping channel or internet. When such items are given to me I will ask for some form of provenance like a receipt. Your receipt or any documentation will be more than suitable proof of value. As a footnote I would like to mention that it is my intention not to get involved in consumers personal disputes with shopping channels or internet sites!


Q.   Do you do appraisals and valuations for the trade?

A.   Yes I do. For further information I do have a trade page which can be accessed by applying for a password. Write to me or send an email, include your business name and address and I shall return a password and instructions to you.


Q.   What is an independent valuer?


A.   A qualified individual whose main skill is in the appraisal of jewellery, watches, clocks and silver and in performing this is not influenced, biased or effected by outside forces like insurance companies or solicitors.


Q.    What does "Appraisal" and "Valuation" mean?


A.     'Appraisal' covers the objective visible, measurable or analysable facts about the item - its weight, size, materials and marks and covers the more subjective aspects such as quality assessment, excellence, rarity and so forth. Valuation is a financial value arrived at by taking into account details in the appraisal. You can describe an item and make an appraisal without arriving at a value for the piece, but you cannot arrive at a correct value without considering the constituent parts of the item and appraising all the parts, costing and including any provenance for the item as a whole.


Click HERE to view or download my glossary of words and terms used within the jewellery trade. 


Q.    Why do insurance companies require a valuation?


A.     They need to know what the risk is so they can calculate a premium.


Q.    Why does it cost so much to have an appraisal or valuation carried out?

A.     Television programmes like the 'Antiques Roadshow' can be the bane of a valuer's life. You see people with their treasured belongings receiving instant valuation figures from experts without having to pay! This gives rise to a popular misconception that it is possible to value things in an instant at little or no cost! What you don't see on the television screen is the hours of examining, researching facts and compiling information ready for the one or two minutes broadcasting time allocated to each item. This background work is not shown; it's not entertaining and wouldn't make for good viewing. As regards the payment of these antique experts believe you me they are well rewarded for their expertise on this programme. Professional valuers will research, measure, weigh, calculate and use special instruments all to arrive at a sensible value. Then we write it down and sign it. All this needs considerable investment in terms of experience, equipment and training so we charge a professional fee. I have researched the fees a lot of valuers charge and have come up with a very competitive price list. I would challenge you to find better for such a professional valuation service. I have tried to make my fees easy to understand, transparent and more affordable. Let me know otherwise. I do not charge a fee based on a percentage of the value as I think there are more ethical ways of doing this. You will be quoted a fee before any work is done.


Q.    Do you do free valuations?


A.     No. To answer this question more fully you need to read the answer to the preceding question. To be able undertake valuations I have invested a lot of time and money in training, equipment and reference books. I offer expertise and a professional service. Any advice you require on any aspect of your jewellery is freely available whenever required. Please do not hesitate to contact me.


Q.    Why should I have my jewellery valued for insurance purposes?


A.     A valuation and appraisal of your treasured items is much more than a listing of their values. It provides you with piece of mind that in the event of loss the detailed descriptions of the missing items will allow a fitting replacement to be supplied. A schedule will prove ownership. Detailed descriptions and images help police trace your items should you suffer loss or burglary.


Q.    Why should I have my jewellery valued when my insurance company automatically covers items up to £1000 without an appraisal?


A.     A schedule will still prove to be very useful and will establish a precise figure in a large price range and prove such an item existed. Problems often occur in proving the value of a lost item.


Q.    Why should I have my jewellery valued regularly when my insurance policy is index linked?


A.     The price of jewellery rarely moves in line with the 'market place' so index linking cannot always be trusted.


Q.    Why have I been asked for previous documents?


A.     There may well be information contained in them which wouldn't otherwise be known. For example a diamond grading report contains information of an unset diamond including its exact weight. Sometimes I cannot always agree with previous assessments by another valuer, in which case it is better that I am aware of a potential problem.


Q.    I have a certificate or receipt which states my gemstone weighs more (or less) that you detailed in the valuation?


A.     It is always helpful to hand such certificates or receipts to me before I start the valuation. I will still measure the stone but will check the parameters against the certificate. It is never wise to unset a gemstone so that it can be placed on weighing scales it just isn't practical and can be quite costly. In estimating the weight of a gemstone I usually measure its dimensions and then use accurate supplied tables and formulae to get an approximate answer. I will always get a pretty accurate and close result. With all valuation schedules you will be supplied with 'Schedule Notes' and explanation of weight calculating is detailed.


Q.    I don't want to insure my jewellery I just want to know what it is worth?


A.     A valuation has to be for a specific purpose. "What it is worth" can mean different things in different circumstances. In these cases people usually mean "what is its current retail value" which is in effect an insurance valuation. Sometimes this question means 'can you give me a valuation without me paying for it?'


Q.    How does a valuation save you money?


A.     When you take out insurance for jewellery items it is not always made clear that it will be up to you to prove your claim in the event of loss. If you over insure your items your premium will be higher. If you under insure you will not get fully compensated.