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How do they appraise settings?

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Jun 8, 2003
I am looking at purchasing a designer setting that retails for around $3600. What I was wondering is if I got the ring appraised by an independent, how would they appraise a designer setting? Do they go specifically based on the material (plat/white gold) and size/weight of the diamonds involved? Do I risk having a ring appraised at a lower value than what I purchased it for?

Richard Sherwood

Sep 25, 2002
If the designer has a "name", and the quality of the ring reflects it, then I assign a premium to the value of the ring.

First I appraise it and look at it as any other setting, evaluating the manufacture, workmanship and quality.

Then I assign a premium based on the excellence of the piece and market value of the designer's name. If the designer has a track record with established pricing marketed through a recognized outlet (such as David Yurman through Neiman Marcus), then I use that level in my pricing.

If the designer is lesser known with no recognized pricing level, then I determine the premium strictly based on the excellence of work and design. Sometimes this figure comes in lower, especially if the "designer" is a "legend in his own mind".


Sep 3, 2000
"Designer" items.

1. The kind we all recognize for quality and unique design.

2. The kind a few people, in the "know", recognize for quality and unique design.

3. The kind only the so-called "designer" and the would be buyer has heard of. Maybe well made, maybe not. Maybe unique, maybe not.

The appraisers job is to look at the existing market for the individual item, taking into account the commonly paid prices for such items and also keeping in mind the maker's name, which may or may not be of importance to the final value in the market.

An appraiser does not set a value, but only reports the results of researching the marketplace.

Sometimes an appraiser will fail to find the correct value. Those thing happen. Sometimes "designers" are truly unrecognized and the items appraise for far less than the designer thinks they are is worth.....

There are many non-designer items that are well made and relatively inexpensive. There are some designer items that are well made and rather costly. One must look at the DESIGN to know if paying a premium price has virtue.

Appraisers do not sit in judgment of what constitutes a retail price or value. If a willing buyer pays a price, then so be it. Opinions of value are important sometimes and of less importance sometimes, too.


Jan 29, 2003
How does Vatche appraise? I'm thinking of going with that manufacturer for my setting. Is that a question I can ask here?
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