Buying diamonds or diamond jewelry is a straightforward process. Choose what you want, pay the price, and walk out of the store with a beautiful diamond.
You may think that selling the diamond is just as easy, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Selling for what it’s actually worth in-store is much more complicated than most people think.
Like with most things, documentation is what causes most problems.
Without the proper documentation, you’ll be able to sell your diamond for only a fraction of what it’s really worth. Moreover, without the necessary paperwork, you can forget about insurance for your diamond.
A diamond appraisal document is one of the essential things you want for your diamond jewelry. So, how much does it cost to get a diamond appraised?
In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into diamond appraisals, their cost, and whether they are worth it. Let’s dive right in!
What Is A Diamond Appraisal?
A diamond appraisal is a standardized document containing all the critical information about the diamond, including the 4Cs and estimated value.
Diamonds can be appraised as stand-alone pieces or as part of a setting. When the diamond is in a setting, the appraisal document contains vital information about their combined and separate characteristics and values.
Here is all the information that a diamond appraisal document needs to contain:
- Information about the purchaser (name and address)
- Information about the one who appraised the document (name and signature)
- Date when the document was filed and its article number
- Purpose and intended use of the appraisal
- Invoice and certificate number
- A detailed description of the diamond or the piece of jewelry, including the mounting attributes
- Retail value
- Diamond grading report
To sum this all up, an appraisal document contains the physical characteristics of a diamond which determine its quality and market price.
However, the price stated on the appraisal isn’t the diamond’s resale value. Most often than not, the price in the appraisal document is more than you can get for your diamond.
Reasons to Get a Diamond Appraised
There are many reasons for getting a diamond appraised, including:
- Tax purposes
- To find out the value of inherited jewelry
- As proof of who the owner of the diamond is
Even if you think you have no reason to get a diamond appraised when buying it, it’s better to get one. You can never know what can happen and how an appraisal document can help you in the future.
Types of Diamond Appraisals
There are three main types of diamond appraisals:
- Replacement Value Appraisal – Usually issued for insurance purposes
- Comparable Replacement Value Appraisal – For diamonds that are no longer available on the market (unique-cut diamonds, inherited jewelry, diamonds of historical significance)
- Fair Market Value Appraisal – For tax and resale purposes
When issuing a diamond appraisal document, make sure you get the right one depending on what you need it for in the future.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Diamond Appraised?
The cost for appraising your diamond is usually around $50 to $150 per hour, depending on how complex the setting is. However, some appraisers charge per piece, while others do it completely free.
Jewelers who are interested in buying your diamond are more likely to charge nothing, only a small fee for the appraisal document.
Moreover, if you have more pieces that need to be appraised, the jeweler might offer you a nice discount.
Where Can I Get My Diamond Appraised for Free?
While most jewelers do diamond appraisals, not all will do it for free. So, how to tell where you can appraise your diamond for free?
The best thing to do if you want to find out whether a jeweler appraises diamonds for free is to call them and ask directly. This way, you’ll know for sure, and even if they don’t do it for free, they’ll tell you how much it costs.
Some jewelers offer discounts and free appraisals for their regular customers. So, if you visit your local jeweler often, you can ask for a free appraisal or a discount.
Having said that, you may hear that a jeweler does free appraisals, but this doesn’t mean it applies to all customers. They may offer it only to long-time customers or only for the diamonds you bought from them.
If you don’t know any jeweler that would appraise your diamond for free, look up some reviews online or visit the websites of local jewelers. Likely, they’ll have all the information on their website.
How Diamond Grading Impacts Diamond Appraisal Cost
It’s only natural to assume that the cost of an appraisal stays the same regardless of a diamond’s worth. However, that’s not always the case.
Some appraisers will charge you depending on the grading of your diamond.
This is much like a wedding tax some make-up artists charge. Some jewelers may assume you have more money if you have a valuable diamond combined with an interesting setting.
Moreover, some may present you with an inflated value of your diamond just to charge you more for their work. A higher grade should not mean a higher fee, so be extra careful where you take your diamond for appraisal.
It’s always best to get an appraisal done by a trusted jeweler who is also a gemologist willing to give you a full lab report on your diamond.
What Is The Best Way to Get Jewelry Appraised?
Diamonds can be appraised by retailers or independent diamond appraisers who are experts in their field.
Diamond appraisers don’t need to be certified by GIA, nor do they have to be gemologists. However, it’s always better if they are because it’s less likely for them to make a mistake.
Most people get their diamonds and jewelry appraised by their local jeweler, but you can also do it online. So, let’s take a closer look at both options.
Local jewelers who purchase gemstones and jewelry usually also offer diamond appraisals. However, that’s not the case with every retailer.
Some jewelers only buy diamonds, so make sure you call them and ask them if they do appraisals before making your way to their store.
Moreover, you should also ask them about the price of the appraisal and if they will send your diamond to the GIA for evaluation. You’ll be surprised that some jewelers do appraisals for free or for a small fee, but more on that later in the article.
When it comes to diamond evaluation, not all stores are willing to send your stone to GIA. Your local jeweler might offer you only their evaluation. While it may not be that important, if you want your stone to have a lab report, consider a different store.
It might surprise you, but diamonds can also be appraised online. Some websites offer diamond appraisal services just like retailers. However, the appraisal process is a bit different.
To get your diamond appraised online, you can either fill out a short form where you’ll state the characteristics of your diamond or ship it to the appraiser.
The first option may be more secure, but you won’t get an accurate quote about how much the diamond is worth. So, shipping may be the better option if you want a thorough evaluation of your diamond.
The package you sent the diamond in will be fully insured. After they provide you with the final quote, you can choose to sell your diamond or have them send it back to you without additional fees.
If you decide to have your diamond appraised online, make sure it’s a trusted website. Do some research and look up some reviews.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Diamond Ring Appraised?
How long it will take to get your diamond appraised depends on several factors, including the expertise of a jeweler or gemologist and how complex the setting is.
Generally, an in-person diamond appraisal is done in around 20-30 minutes. However, it will take approximately 7-10 days to get a final report for your diamond.
Moreover, if the piece of jewelry is inherited and the setting is complex, it could take a few weeks before you get the final appraisal document.
That’s because the appraiser needs to do quite a few things before they make the document, including:
- Clean the diamond
- Grade the diamond
- Conduct measurements
- Make photographs
- Conduct research to verify and evaluate certain characteristics
It may take a while for the jeweler to get your diamond appraised, but that only means they pay attention to detail. Moreover, a quick evaluation isn’t always better.
Is It Worth Getting Your Diamond Appraised?
Yes, it’s totally worth getting your diamond appraised. The cost of getting a diamond appraised is relatively low, and it’s always good to have this document.
After homes and cars, diamond jewelry is among the biggest purchases you’ll make in your life, so you also want to have the proper documentation for it.
A diamond appraisal is also made for insurance purposes. If your diamond gets damaged, an appraisal document provides a detailed description of the state of your diamond before it was damaged.
Based on this document, the insurance company will replace your diamond.
Moreover, an appraisal document verifies you’re the owner of the diamond. This is particularly important in events like divorces and nasty family fights.
Related Read: How Much Does It Cost To Insure A Diamond Ring?
How Accurate Are Diamond Appraisals?
Diamond appraisals are pretty accurate when it comes to insurance purposes. However, the price you see on the appraisal document may not be what you’ll get when it comes to selling your diamond.
That’s because an appraisal document shows an inflated value of your diamond. The value you see on the appraisal document is usually 100% higher than the diamond’s actual retail value.
The inflated values of diamonds in appraisal documents are common, if not standard, in the diamond industry.
Insurance companies benefit from inflated values on appraisal documents because they can charge higher insurance premiums. Jewelers also sometimes benefit from this because it’s easier for them to get their customers to believe they’re getting a fantastic deal.
The inflated value isn’t necessarily a bad thing for you. It just isn’t what you can resell it for. The resale value is around 25%-50% of what you originally paid for the diamond.
While an appraisal document doesn’t provide you with the actual market value of your diamond, it’s always better to have one when reselling, especially if it includes a lab report from GIA or AGS.
It’s recommended to update the appraisal document every two to three years. The prices of diamonds and metals fluctuate almost daily, so you want to keep your documents up to date with the current values.
Diamond Appraisal Vs. Diamond Certification
Both appraisals and certificates are important when buying diamonds. However, they aren’t the same thing.
Appraisal documents contain details like measurements, setting, the weight of the jewelry piece, and the metal used.
Some jewelers will offer a grading report together with the appraisal, but that isn’t always the case.
The biggest difference is that a diamond certificate doesn’t change over time, while a diamond appraisal fluctuates together with the market.
Diamond Appraisal Cost – What Is The Real Price?
Diamond appraisal documents may not be necessary, but it’s always good to have them. You never know what you’ll need it for in the future.
The prices of getting your diamond appraised are relatively low.
Jewelers usually charge anywhere between $50 to $150 meaning the median is around $75-$125. However, some jewelers do it completely free for all customers while others offer it only for regular or long-time clients.
We hope you found this article interesting and that it answered your question How much does it cost to get a diamond appraised?