The importance of a professional valuation
Posted on: 07 May 2019
Ensuring your clients are properly covered in a fluctuating jewellery market can be challenging. Top jewellery specialists, Gurr Johns and Home & Legacy panel member, Ecclesiastical, provide some sound advice in our guest blog.
By Sonia Fazlali-Zedeh, Jewellery Specialist & Valuer at Gurr Johns
It is important for your clients to know that not having an up to date valuation can mean that due to significant price fluctuations in the past few years, their jewellery insurance values could be too low... and in some cases too high!
An up to date valuation can help your client avoid financial loss in the case of a claim, and can help them avoid having to either make up any cost difference or accept a lesser quality item.
It's 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 than might 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 loss adjuster to accept the claim and speed up the process for the client 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. We 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.
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. In addition to the sentimental impact they now face being out of pocket too.
Other areas where clients may be significantly under insured are antique jewellery, branded vintage jewellery and vintage watches - areas of the market which have shown considerable growth in the past few years.
Diamonds have seen big fluctuations in price. Pay particular note if they were previously valued between 2015 and 2018 as they are very likely to be undervalued. Since then, the market has picked up and prices have increased especially in the larger carat weights that most of your clients will likely own. If the valuation is old, then they may be even more undervalued as one of the biggest hikes was seen between 2005 and 2010.
Gold price 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.
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 3-5 times!
Pieces from luxury jewellers 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. On the flip side, some branded pieces are discontinued and it is an important conversation to have with the client on whether they would like to be insured for an equivalent piece from the second hand market or for a completely different piece from a current collection that is similar in quality.
Vintage watches is still a very strong area of the market and for truly unique and special vintage pieces, the prices have grown exponentially.
Thank you to our partners, Ecclesiastical and Gurr Johns for this guest blog.
This article is provided for information purposes and is general and educational in nature. Nothing constitutes legal advice. You are free to choose whether or not to use it and it should not be considered a substitute for seeking professional legal help in specific circumstances. You acknowledge that over time, this article may become out of date and may not constitute best market practice. Any third parties listed within this article are for information only and Ecclesiastical is not endorsing the quality of service which any third party may or may not provide. Where this article contains links to other sites and resources provided by third parties, these links are provided for your information only. Ecclesiastical is not responsible for the contents of those sites or resources.