People are often unaware of the value of something that might have been sitting forgotten in a jewellery box for years or of a piece that has been inherited from a grandparent but isn’t being worn as its style is a little passé for today’s tastes.
There is currently a vibrant market for second hand jewellery as well as a trend towards remodelling heirlooms to create something that the owner wants to wear. We love being involved with these projects and working with the owner to create a unique piece that won’t collect dust in a box but shown off at every opportunity.
There are a number of reasons to have your jewellery valued or re-valued – to sell it of course, in which case the valuer would estimate a price that the piece would demand on the market at that time; for insurance purposes which would be based on how much it would cost to replace the piece; or for probate or other personal circumstances.
The Valuation Process
There are a number of factors to bear in mind when having a piece of jewellery valued.
Quality - the value of a piece, is of course, greatly influenced by quality. The quality of a diamond or precious stone is largely determined by its colour, cut and weight, as well as things like the complexity of design and the quality of materials (other than the stone itself) used.
Provenance – if the piece has historical connections or interesting or important origins this can greatly add to its value. It’s essential to keep any supporting documentation or certification intact and to record any known details.
Condition – if there is an element that has been lost or damaged, this will be reflected in the value of a piece.
Uniqueness – if the piece was part of a collection or is a bespoke one-off design, its value will normally increase.
Remodelling – the ugly duckling
This isn’t an option that everyone will take but can be a great way of using a stone from a piece of jewellery that will otherwise never see the light of day. Sometimes something that appears to have no ostensible value or aesthetic quality can take you by surprise.
Earlier this year we were approached by a client in our Jersey studio who had a ‘pebble’ that had been passed through two generations of the family, and was believed to have originated in India and brought into the UK around 1908. However, it became clear to our jewellers during the cutting and polishing process that the pebble was in fact a precious gem. Following various tests and, much to the delight of the family, it was confirmed that the stone was a beautiful light blue topaz. It was eventually set to create a beautiful pendant for generations to come (see before and after photographs below).
Image shows: Light Blue Topaz Gemstone before and after the polishing and cutting process.
Catherine Best can undertake jewellery valuations whether for re-sale, insurance or personal reasons – or just out of mere curiosity.