Jewelry owners are advised to have jewelry appraised professionally by a gemologist to ensure it is adequately protected by insurance. Since the value of jewelry fluctuates, it is best to get jewelry appraised every three to five years. Fees should be based on an hourly or per-piece rate. Never pay the appraiser based on a percentage of what the jewelry is worth.
Professional jewelry appraisers should have formal training and should be certified by an appraisal organization. Formal training in the field of gemology results in earning the credentials of Graduate Gemologist or Fellow of the Gemological Institute of Great Britain. The American Society of Appraisers, International Society of Appraisers and the National Association of Gem and Jewelry Appraisers are a few of the organizations that formally test jewelry appraisers.
Most insurance companies only cover a piece of jewelry's value up to $300. Any jewelry over this amount should have an appraisal. Diamonds should be certified with a grading report indicating the value of the diamond. This leaves less room for interpretation should the market value of the diamond change. Homeowner or rental insurance policies generally cover jewelry, although persons not having these policies can purchase a separate policy for jewelry.