Appraisal Concern on Costco Diamond Band

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by diamonds01111111, Apr 6, 2019.

  1. diamonds01111111

    Apr 6, 2019
    by diamonds01111111 » Apr 6, 2019
    I purchased an $899 (12 stones) diamond band from Costco recently.
    “Round Brilliant 0.63 ctw VS2 Clarity, I Color Diamond Platinum Band”
    To be safe, I plan to insure the ring so I took it to my local gemologist to receive an insurance appraisal.

    While browsing at her jewlery store, I noticed there was a huge price difference in my ring and the rings that looked very similar to mine, except all the rings I saw were in white gold.
    While I don’t know the clarity of the stones, nor the weight or the color of those white gold rings, it made me concerned for my ring.

    For example, a ring that looked almost identical to mine but was in white gold was priced at $2,180.
    My appraisal for my platinum ring came back at $1,090 before tax, I’ll also add that all the specifics from the Costco website were confirmed.

    Here’s my concern.
    (The gemologist recommended Jewelers Mutual as my insurance because she uses them.)
    JMutual does not give out a check to the client (me) when a piece needs to be replaced, it uses my jeweler of choice as a middle man.
    So I asked the gemologist what would happen if I ever lost my ring and picked her store to get a new ring from. She did not give me a definitive answer.

    My appraisal of $1,090 wouldn’t even afford me a similar ring in white gold at her store.
    She explained that a ring bought online from Costco doesn’t have a lifetime warranty or the service from sitting down and talking to a jeweler that I would receive from buying at her store.

    I do understand that but I feel as if my ring quality in her eyes, is not enough simply because of where it was bought.
    As a customer, I was under the impression that an appraisal is based on the quality of the ring itself and it’s diamonds. Maybe I’m wrong.

    But is this common?
    Should I look for another insurance company instead?
    My main concern is what would happen if my ring is ever lost or stolen and this just made me feel uneasy about the situation.


  2. elizat

    Mar 23, 2013
    by elizat » Apr 6, 2019
    On insurance, it's a personal thing. Do you have a homeowners or renters policy? There is usually a built in amount for jewelry or you can add for a small fee. Personally, I would not insure a piece that is on a stand alone policy that is in that price range. But it's up to you.

    The band you bought is pretty. I say enjoy it and just have it checked at another store periodically to make sure the stones are tight. The person you went to has rent and overhead costs that Costco doesn't, especially when you consider how large Costco is for volume buying. Costco can negotiate less for inventory and pass it to you.

    You could get a similar replacement if you had to. Carat weight is slightly less on the link below, but they could likely do a slightly larger one if it was needed.
    Ss52, junebug17 and lovedogs like this.
  3. seaurchin

    Nov 2, 2012
    by seaurchin » Apr 6, 2019
    Though that's quite a chunk of change for many of us to spend on jewelry, by insurance standards, it may just not be a high enough value piece that people would usually purchase an individual policy on it. Perhaps that's why they don't quite seem to know how to handle it.

    For ex., a $900 ring is probably only worth half that in the secondary market, at most. So I'd consider how many years it would take you in insurance premiums before you had given them that amount of money. Just my opinion. Good luck with it.
    junebug17 and lovedogs like this.
  4. kipari

    Jan 9, 2015
    by kipari » Apr 6, 2019
    Don't let a jeweler assess an item that has been bought elsewhere. Especially on the internet. Of course she'd like you to return your ring and spend 2 x the amount with her.
    Enjoy your new sparkly. Generally Costco has nice quality for good prices.
    I'll let others chime on on the insurance details, since I'm not in the US and therefore not an expert on this


  5. kmoro

    Sep 13, 2018
    by kmoro » Apr 6, 2019
    Would you not go to Costco for the replacement? If so, the appraisal value should be ok. Are you saying that JM won’t deal with Costco? Who did your appraisal and how did they come up with $1090? Why would you go to this jeweller in case of a loss?

    Also, does the insurer not have to pay attention to the details of the appraisal, as well as the value? I honestly don’t know this and hope someone will answer it. It seems that if they need to replace an item with the round brilliant .63 ctw, VS2, I color description, wouldn’t they need to go by description regardless of dollar appraisal? Or does the dollar value trump the description?
    tyty333 and lovedogs like this.
  6. denverappraiser

    Jul 21, 2004
    by denverappraiser » Apr 6, 2019
    It sounds to me like your problem is with the appraisal, not the ring.

    The onus is on the appraiser to explain most of what you’ve asked but I’ll try to give a short answer to the two biggest:

    If you have a loss, the usual insurance company plan, with JM and most others, is to replace with ‘like kind and quality’, or words to that effect. This is why they want an appraisal in the first place. It’s effectively the purchase order for the replacement. They will take the description, photos and so on from the appraisal report, strip off the price, and ask the replacement jeweler how much they would charge to do that. If it’s below the insured value, they do it. If it’s not, they cash out for the face value of the policy. JM has lots of replacement jewelers, most of the industry, but Costco is noticeably not on the list. You can buy your replacement ring there and submit your receipt for reimbursement, but they won’t do it directly.

    Most appraisals are estimating what it would cost to replace things at retail, new, locally. Replace. Retail. New. Local. Often that produces prices that are different from transaction prices, occasionally quite a bit different. As mentioned above, it’s up to the appraiser to explain to you how she came to the conclusions she did and it’s far from my place to second guess her without seeing both the merchandise and the report. Ring her up and discuss it. Her contact information should be right there in the report.

    Quite specifically, the replace/retail/new/local appraisal question is NOT how much she would charge, at least not by definition. It doesn’t have a lifetime warranty. So? Most jewelry doesn’t. She can offer whatever sorts of warranties she wants on what she sells, and she can charge whatever she wants for it, but that’s not the question on the table.
    kipari and LaylaR like this.
  7. denverappraiser

    Jul 21, 2004
    by denverappraiser » Apr 6, 2019
    By the way, pay attention to your deductibles. A policy with a $1000 deductible and a declared value of $1090 is a waste of money even if you have to file a claim.
    partgypsy, Ss52, kipari and 2 others like this.

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