When you’ve been appointed an executor, one of the many challenges you’ll face is establishing the value of the estate for probate purposes. Often jewellery has a significant emotional and financial impact resulting in how potential beneficiaries view its value. I don’t believe sentimental value can have a dollar sign attached to it so a professional appraisal needs to be done. So to protect the interests of the estate, executor and beneficiaries, I’ve asked Christine Driussi to help guide you on the various aspects of appraisals and their benefits. Below are 4 great reasons to get your jewellery appraised.
Hello everyone, I am Christine Driussi. Everyone should be aware of their personal assets. I believe that all jewellery should be documented for the following reasons:
1. Appraisals aid in purchasing the most suitable homeowner’s insurance policy
2. Appraising personal items is proof of ownership, should receipts be unavailable
3. Appraisals can travel easily
4. Appraisals help to settle estates and disputes.
When a jewellery item is purchased at a retail store, it is often accompanied by an appraisal for insurance purposes. The customer is usually shocked to discover that the value is much more than the purchase price. Why is this? Let me attempt to explain…
Firstly, insurance appraisals are completed to “indemnify” a client. The Insurance Company insures the item in the event of loss or damage. Since future damage or loss can occur, a responsible Gemmologist, will add a surplus to the original purchase price, to cover increasing commodity prices either of metals or gemstones.
The Insurance Company charges a premium based on the appraisal value. Most homeowner’s policies have blanket jewellery coverage, however this coverage, which is also known as “unscheduled jewellery coverage” is subject to policy limits and a deductible. This is the reason that it is prudent to schedule valuables on a separate jewellery rider.
Copies of insurance appraisals can be used as travel documents to prove that an item of jewellery was naturalized in Canada prior to departure.
There is another type of appraisal which the general public should be made aware of; the probate appraisal. The purpose of a probate appraisal is to settle personal assets in the case of divorce or death.
The probate appraisal’s value is two fold; initially, a replacement value is allocated, then a “forced sale or scrap value” is allocated. The value can be as low as 10% and as high as 25% of the replacement for insurance purposes.
Gold and diamonds trade well on the secondary market and can be recycled for new jewellery. Pearls, however, do not fetch strong values in the secondary market, as they cannot be refine.
In the case of death, what good is a will if you haven’t catalogued and listed your assets, or even worse, hidden them in the house?
Safe guard your jewellery!!! Have your pieces appraised, wear them proudly, make good memories wearing them, and finally bequeath them to someone special in your memory.
Christine Driussi, F.C.Gm.A., Gem & Jewels
“bringing the art of gemology to your door”
If you have any questions or concerns on valuing the jewellery in your life, please don’t hesitate to contact Christine directly. She’s the expert with the answers.
I’d love your feedback! if you have other questions related to being an executor, I would love to hear from you. You can reach me by phone or email, leave a message for me right here on the site, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you reading this on the website.
Until next time,