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Question on appraisal I just had done

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MikeS

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I''m a little surprised after having an independent appraisal (not by an appraiser listed on PS, but someone that he recommended to me because he was going to be out of town) of the engagement ring that I just bought.
The ring was a WF ACA H&A with two WF ACA sidestones in a custom setting.
After convincing the appraiser that the setting was indeed custom-made, he appraised the entire piece at about 0.5% above the WF price.
The "feel good" appraisal that WF sent along with the ring, was about 35% above the WF price.
I understand the nature of, and the purpose of, the "feel good" appraisal that came from WF. I''m not looking at that one as "realistic."
But given the fact that I bought the ring online from a highly reputable source, I was fully expecting the independent appraisal to come in at more than 0.5% above the retail price - since I''m sure I would have paid substantially more for the same ring at a B&M.
I''d be interested in any feedback anyone can give me - is it a good sign that the cost and the appraisal were almost identical? Should I feel that I paid too much for the ring? Should I feel that the appraisal is out of line?
Any thoughts would help ease my mind - I love the ring so it''s not buyer''s remorse - just surprise and confusion.
Thanks
 

Maisie

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I assumed that if you buy something from a reputable online vendor that you would get more for your money - compared to what you would get for equal money from a B&M store. I don''t think that online vendors are ''cheaper'' I thought it was the B&M who mark up their prices too much?

Maisie
 

Lorelei

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Mike as you know, grading and pricing with appraisals is subjective, also depends on what you want the appraisal for. Hopefully some of the experts, Jeff, Neil, Dave, RD, Rich, Garry etc might chime in and help you, in the meantime, here is an excellent thread
here which might give you some good info. Some prefer a close to what was paid appraisal for insurance purposes as they won't be paying extra premiums, also a detailed appraisal is best also in case the worst happens and your diamond is damaged, that way you can get a very similar replacement with the all important cut!

Also see Rich Sherwood's answer in the thread I posted above, question 10 - that should help a lot.
 

MikeS

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maisie...that''s what i meant, i just said it backward

lorelei...that was very helpful...although it leaves me wondering if i got a "cliff''s notes" version of an appraisal
 

Lorelei

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Mike this is a tough one, when one of the experts comes along they will be able to help you far better. I can tell you though that you have just bought some of the best cut diamonds available! Maybe you could contact the appraiser who did this and express to him your concerns and he should be able to give you reasons why he valued your ring as he did. Appraisal values can differ according to what the client wants and for what purpose. These guys are pros and he shouldn't mind you asking and welcome the opportunity to set your mind at ease. Hopefully one of the experts will see this soon and chime in.

Some of the appraisals are incredibly detailed as you have probably seen from the thread, maybe your guy has different techniques/ expertise?
 

Ellen

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Date: 2/1/2007 7:01:28 AM
Author: Lorelei
Mike this is a tough one, when one of the experts comes along they will be able to help you far better. I can tell you though that you have just bought some of the best cut diamonds available! Maybe you could contact the appraiser who did this and express to him your concerns and he should be able to give you reasons why he valued your ring as he did. Appraisal values can differ according to what the client wants and for what purpose. These guys are pros and he shouldn''t mind you asking and welcome the opportunity to set your mind at ease. Hopefully one of the experts will see this soon and chime in.

Some of the appraisals are incredibly detailed as you have probably seen from the thread, maybe your guy has different techniques/ expertise?
I agree.
 

sfritz

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MikeS: If your appraiser knew you purchased the items online, he may have used online market pricing for the appraisal. If so, the appraisal price and the purchase price should be close. Ask him what markets he used to establish the price. If you want the appraisal to reflect the pricing in your local bricks&mortar store, then let the appraiser know that is the market you prefer.

Sue Fritz
Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company
 

Lorelei

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Date: 2/1/2007 8:06:12 AM
Author: Sue Fritz
MikeS: If your appraiser knew you purchased the items online, he may have used online market pricing for the appraisal. If so, the appraisal price and the purchase price should be close. Ask him what markets he used to establish the price. If you want the appraisal to reflect the pricing in your local bricks&mortar store, then let the appraiser know that is the market you prefer.

Sue Fritz
Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company
Nicely put, thanks Sue
 

diamondseeker2006

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Mike, I''d honestly be glad. My problem is that I have inflated appraisals, and who wants to overpay for insurance premiums?!
 

belle

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Date: 2/1/2007 8:06:12 AM
Author: Sue Fritz
MikeS: If your appraiser knew you purchased the items online, he may have used online market pricing for the appraisal. If so, the appraisal price and the purchase price should be close. Ask him what markets he used to establish the price. If you want the appraisal to reflect the pricing in your local bricks&mortar store, then let the appraiser know that is the market you prefer.

Sue Fritz
Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company
good point.

let us know how it goes mike. i''m still looking forward to seeing that ring.
 

denverappraiser

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Most of us are at a big conference in Tucson so we’re not online all that much. You should see more of us next week.


The purpose of a pre-loss insurance replacement appraisal is to provide you and your insurance company with sufficient information that they can replace the piece with another of ‘like kind and quality’ in the case of a loss. The market of replacement becomes an important issue in order to reasonably answer this question. With most new purchase items, the replacement market will be with new merchandise the local retail jewelers. The insurance company will use their size and volume to demand a discount price. That is to say, they will send you to a local store for the replacement, they will pay the bill, and they will argue in the back room for a discount price because they are repeat and regular customer.


If you have branded merchandise, for example Tiffany’s or Cartier, ‘like kind’ will mean that they must replace with a genuine Tiffany piece. The replacement value will be whatever it is expected to cost at Tif’s for a comparable new item. Again, they can beat up the accountants if they want but the purchase must be genuine Tiffany or they are not meeting their obligation to make you whole again.


ACA is branded merchandise. If the appraisal is defining the replacement as new genuine ACA goods, the only way for the insurance company to secure these is by calling Whiteflash. The budget for this should be whatever Whiteflash is charging for that sort of item. Since it’s new and recently purchased, it’s not surprising that the value is reasonably close to the transaction price.


The appraisal should include both their definition of value, a description of the marketplace that they feel this value applies to as well as any special attributes (like branding, tradeups, ongoing warranties, etc.) that affect the value conclusion.


Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
 

MikeS

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Thanks to everyone, especially Sue and Neil, for helping me understand this better.
I spoke again with the appraiser, who basically said the same thing that Neil did - that since the item was purchased on the internet, and specifically was a branded item from a particular internet merchant, the comparables would be determined by internet pricing, and the replacement value would be the amount that they would sell the same item for. And for that reason, that''s why his determination of the value came so close to the actual purchase price. So while I might have gotten a "better deal" than I would have gotten for a comparable piece at a B&M - that doesn''t mean that the piece is worth what the B&M would charge for it.
I think i get it now - thanks everyone


And Belle, I''ll be posting pics after giving it to my gf - not only does she have the camera, I think she''d rather see it before I show it to the world at large
 

MikeS

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One more question (i seem to come up with them after I think on things for a while...wish I was quicker to think things through lol)

The appraisal originally did not note that the stone was ACA or H&A...I spoke with the appraiser and he agreed, he forgot to include the ACA...and changed the appraisal to say "Diamond is laser inscribed on girdle "A Cut Above." He said there''s no need to include the words Ideal Cut or H&A in the appraisal, since any stone with an AGS cert saying it is 0-0-0/Ideal would make that clear.

Does that sound right? Or should Ideal Cut and H&A be included in the actual appraisal, so that if the ring was ever lost, there would be no question about what would be a satisfactory replacement?
 

Lorelei

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Date: 2/2/2007 6:34:16 AM
Author: MikeS
One more question (i seem to come up with them after I think on things for a while...wish I was quicker to think things through lol)

The appraisal originally did not note that the stone was ACA or H&A...I spoke with the appraiser and he agreed, he forgot to include the ACA...and changed the appraisal to say ''Diamond is laser inscribed on girdle ''A Cut Above.'' He said there''s no need to include the words Ideal Cut or H&A in the appraisal, since any stone with an AGS cert saying it is 0-0-0/Ideal would make that clear.

Does that sound right? Or should Ideal Cut and H&A be included in the actual appraisal, so that if the ring was ever lost, there would be no question about what would be a satisfactory replacement?
I am sure you could request that the extra info is added if you wish, just my thoughts are the important thing to me would be the A Cut Above is noted so that I could get an ACA replacement if needed. Many so called H&A diamonds aren''t deserving of the title, strict criteria has to be met to be awarded that title, as is the case with ACA. A H&A pattern doesn''t always mean much, so in my thinking it wouldn''t be needed so much with the appraisal, ACA should suffice.

But others may have different opinions, it is your appraisal, the appraiser is working for you, so I don''t see why he couldn''t add that info if you wanted it.
 

Ellen

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Date: 2/2/2007 6:34:16 AM
Author: MikeS
One more question (i seem to come up with them after I think on things for a while...wish I was quicker to think things through lol)

The appraisal originally did not note that the stone was ACA or H&A...I spoke with the appraiser and he agreed, he forgot to include the ACA...and changed the appraisal to say ''Diamond is laser inscribed on girdle ''A Cut Above.'' He said there''s no need to include the words Ideal Cut or H&A in the appraisal, since any stone with an AGS cert saying it is 0-0-0/Ideal would make that clear.

Does that sound right? Or should Ideal Cut and H&A be included in the actual appraisal, so that if the ring was ever lost, there would be no question about what would be a satisfactory replacement?
I agree, the cert states that. Just make sure the ins. co. copies the appraisal and the cert.
 

denverappraiser

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If it’s going to be important information to properly make the replacement, it should be mentioned on the report. AGS 0/0/0 is a much more precise way of describing a cut than the word Ideal so I agree that it’s not necessary to put that term in although I usually include it anyway just because it makes the report easier to read. Branding details should be included if they are known and if they will be important for proper replacement as well as the description of the girdle inscription. A copy of the lab report should be included in the appraisal.


Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
 

MikeS

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Thanks again everyone...for the info and for putting up with a newbie
 
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