About Appraisal | Ralph Mueller & Associates

Learn how a diamond's cash and retail appraised values are vastly different.

About Appraisal

Learn how a diamond's cash and retail appraised values are vastly different.

About Appraisals

Let us take a moment to explain appraisals.

A retail appraisal is typically used for insurance purposes in the event of loss or theft. This appraised value takes into consideration that some jewelry (particularly diamonds of 1.00 carat or more) increases in price over time.

The appraisal takes into account the mark up by the retail jeweler and the fact that many insurance companies are reluctant to pay the full appraised price. This is why the appraisal is typically higher than the actual price paid for the item — not because the retail jeweler decided to give you a good deal!


Diamond and Jewelry Appraisal Value

When people purchase a diamond or piece of fine jewelry, they probably never expected that one day they would want, or need, to sell it. Typically when the item was purchased, a retail appraisal was probably included with the purchase.


Now that we know about appraisals, what does this mean in terms of your jewelry? Unfortunately, it means that you will not get the appraised price when selling your diamonds and jewelry.

Because there are no uniform guidelines, laws, or rules for jewelry appraisers, the appraisal price varies significantly for the same item. The value does depend on when the item was purchased, when it was appraised, and who did the appraisal. In general, the true value of your jewelry is usually between 20%-50% of the appraised value. And if you go to a pawn shop, they will offer far less!

Hopefully our explanation of diamond pricing has helped increase your knowledge of what your diamond may be worth. Buying and selling a diamond is a big decision, and you want to get the best price possible.

Regardless of who you are selling your diamond to, a jewelry store, someone on craigslist, or Ralph Mueller and Associates, you should not expect to get your money back from your original purchase price. If you paid $10,000 for your diamond at a retail jewelry store, you should expect to get between $2,500 and $4,000 when you sell your diamond on the open market. Your diamond is re-entering the supply chain somewhere between the cutter and the broker, and the price you will be offered by any professional buyer will reflect that. The exact amount depends on the characteristics of the diamond. Please read here to learn more about diamond grading.