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The importance of a professional valuation

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Ensuring our clients are properly covered in a fluctuating jewellery market can be challenging.

It is important to know that not having an up to date valuation can mean that due to significant price fluctuations in the past few years, jewellery insurance values could be too low and in some cases too high!

An up to date valuation can help avoid financial loss in the case of a claim through making up any shortfall in claim settlement or having to accept a lesser quality replacement item.  It is also a great chance for the jewellery to be checked over for potential loose settings or necessary repair work.  In many cases it is also an opportunity to provide a far better description and more accurate details of the item that might not be available from a purchase receipt or older valuation.

Moreover, the recent regulation of valuers through professional bodies such as the Institute of Registered Valuers means that the profession has turned around in the past five years to ensure a minimum level of expertise, accuracy and detail from fully qualified valuers.  A professional, fully detailed valuation makes it more likely for an insurer’s loss adjuster to accept the claim and speed up the process in the case of a loss/theft.

Another benefit of a professional valuation is for a valuer to confirm the authenticity of a gemstone and its certificates.  The insurance companies have seen a marked increase in the number of fake certificates that claim a gemstone is something which it is not – whether that is in relation to treatments, quality grades or actual composition.

What’s changing?

In many cases items are insured at their purchase price – for example an item such as an engagement ring that may have been purchased many years ago.  Clients often do not keep on top of how the market and exchange rate fluctuations impact the price of jewellery and are often unpleasantly surprised to find out that the cost of the ring is significantly more now for a like-for-like ring with equivalent quality gemstones.

Other areas where clients may be significantly under insured are antique jewellery, branded vintage jewellery and vintage watches which are areas of the market that have shown considerable growth in the past few years.

Diamonds

Diamonds have seen big fluctuations in price.  If these items were previously valued between 2015 and 2018 they are likely to be undervalued.  Since then, the market has picked up and prices have increased especially in the larger carat weights.  If a valuation is old, then they may be even more undervalued as one of the biggest hikes in value was seen between 2005 and 2010.

Metal prices

Gold prices has seen an overall increase and despite some fluctuations the general trend over the past 20 years has been up.  Depending on when the previous valuation was done, the price of the jewellery item may have significantly increased.

Sapphire

Blue sapphires remain, by far, the best seller in the coloured gemstone market, with the finer grade sapphires such as Burmese and Ceylon continuing to increase dramatically in value.  Only last year this value increase was dramatic.  At big auctions, the hammer price for natural unheated sapphires kept overtaking their auction estimates by 3-5times!

Designer jewellery

Prices from luxury jewellery such as Cartier, Bulgari, Chopard, Boodles and Tiffany & Co for example increase on a yearly basis.  It is an area in which a client’s current insurance replacement figure can quite quickly become insufficient.

Vintage watches

Vintage watches is still a very strong area of the market and for truly unique and special vintage pieces, the prices have grown exponentially.

 

If any of the information above strikes a chord, please get in touch to discuss how we can assist. Whether you are a client or not, our team of specialists can assist to give you the advice to ensure your insurance will operate in the way that you hope should you need to make a claim.

You can reach us on 01603 626155.