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  • Insurance valuations: What are they and do I need one?

Insurance valuations: What are they and do I need one?

Making sure that you’re jewellery is fully insured can be a lengthy and expensive process. It’s also something that only a handful of people bother to have done. Granted it can be an expensive process, but the truth is it’s all relative to everyone's standard of living. Typical costs for having an insurance valuation certificate made out, can range from one to three percent of the total value of your articles.

What is a valuation certificate? The short answer is, it is a certificate produced by an experienced jeweller with knowledge of fine metals and gemmology, who is able to provide an accurate replacement figure for your fine jewellery pieces.

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If you have a good insurance broker, and are with one of the big companies, such as Chubb, Hiscox, AIG, or Sterling for example, (these are typical companies my clients are insured with) then you will find that only articles valued at over £5000 per item typically, will need to be specified on your insurance policy thus listed on a valuation certificate.

However it doesn’t end there. There are different types of valuations. Insurance retail replacement, manufacture replacement value, probate valuation, private sale valuation, and family division valuations for couple going through divorce.

More often than not in today’s society, when you purchase a new piece of diamond jewellery, the retailer you purchased it from will provide you with a valuation certificate as part of the cost and service, it’s something I offer all my clients. Then all you need to do is pass it on to your insurance company to make sure your new piece of diamond jewellery is put on risk, thus giving you piece of mind.

We live in a period now where we are finding more and more clients are coming in to have jewellery valued which has been bequest to them by a relative who has now passed on. These typically range from diamond engagement rings, diamond necklaces, diamond brooches, diamond earrings, and I even valued a diamond tiara at one point. A lot of these diamonds are old cuts and rose cuts which are not commonly found in today's retail store, and are from the 1920-1940’s period. They are more likely to be found in antique markets and second hand jewellery shops, so getting the correct value can be a timely process.

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There is a common misconception that diamonds are cheaper in different parts of the world such as South Africa or Canada. Well that’s just not true. The bottom line is that diamonds are priced in dollars worldwide and then converted into the currency of the country you are living in. Once the stone is in the country, then the cost of manufacturing maybe higher and with the profit jewellers add, this makes the ring more expensive.

With that in mind, the replacement value of your article on a valuation certificate can and does change over the years due to the changes in the exchange rate, particularly the US Dollar to the Pound.

Your insurance broker would recommend you have your certificate updated every 3-4 years. Please make sure you do it as values can change dramatically and I wouldn’t want you to be without the right money to be able to replace your sentimental piece of jewellery.

 

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Lewis Malka

Specialist Engagement rings made in Hatton Garden, London

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