Appraising a piece of jewellery means determining its value at a specific time in a specific market for a specific purpose. To be able to appraise an item of jewellery, appraisers must identify it correctly, then evaluate its quality, and finally assign a fully researched opinion of value. They must also be able to convey their findings in a written report, justify their process and abide by a professional code of ethics.
Very often, the role of a gemmologist is confused with that of an appraiser. Although gemmology and valuation science are complementary disciplines, they are two distinct specialties. A gemmologist is an expert in identifying gems, whereas an appraiser assesses the item’s quality and determines the value in light of the commercial context and market pressures.
An appraisal is an unbiased opinion as to the identity, composition, qualities and values described in an appraisal document, which is the official report of the appraisal. The document must include a detailed description of the item, using recognized terminology and grading systems.
The Canadian Jewellers Association represents consumer trust and confidence within the jewellery-buying public. With ethics and social responsibility at the forefront, CJA members aim to provide their customers with the highest quality of service and information available when it comes to appraising gemstones, jewellery, and watches.
Canadian appraisers have an efficient tool at their disposal to regulate the work of appraisers, namely the “Jewellery Appraisal Guidelines – Minimum Acceptable Standards” published by the CJA and Jewellers Vigilance Canada (JVC). The CJA also offers its members discounts with our Education Benefit partners who provide courses in gemmology and jewellery appraising.
The Canadian Accredited Jewellery Appraiser (CAJA) program is open to anyone who possess demonstrated knowledge and competency in gemstone identification, gemstone grading, jewellery and/or watch valuation or is currently undergoing instruction in the field of gemstone identification, gemstone grading, diamond grading, jewellery and/or watch valuation. CAJA members must satisfy a rigorous set of requirements before being awarded the designation of Apprentice-CAJA or CAJA. All CAJA members must uphold the CAJA Code of Ethics and Standards.
When inquiring about the identification and valuation of gems and jewellery it is important to remember that the value assigned to jewellery can vary depending on the function of the appraisal or report. Therefore it is essential to address your needs and the purpose of the appraisal with your appraiser.
Common Uses for Jewellery Appraisals
An insurance appraisal is a comprehensive description supporting an estimate of the value to be used as the basis for establishing the cost of an insurance policy. It represents the top replacement value for settlement in the event of a claim.
An estate appraisal is a comprehensive description supporting an estimate of the value to be used for tax purposes. It represents the fair market value.
A divorce appraisal is a comprehensive description supporting an estimate of the value to be used for the dissolution of marriage. It represents the fair market value.