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Reasonable Appraisal Rates?

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Leanne

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Hi. I have found a GG that does appraisals for $150 an hour. She said that she can usually do 3-4 pieces in an hour depending on the complexity of the piece. She seems very professional. Is her price reasonable?
 

andrea

Shiny_Rock
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Dec 9, 2002
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I too have priced appraisals, and none of the ones I checked out were over $100. Several were from VERY respectable jewelers in my area, and the one that sticks out most was only $65/hr., and she was a previous GIA appraiser. I guess it might depend on the area you live in too.
Personally I'd check out a few other places 1st before making your decision.
Good luck.
 

Richard Sherwood

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It's influenced considerably by the area you live in. Where do you live?

In Sarasota, prices generally run from $60 to $125 an hour. The guys on the low end of the scale seem to be fine for general appraising, but for a good comprehensive diamond grading appraisal report and "post graduate level" colored stone work you'll usually pay on the upper end of the scale.

I charge $90 per hour, and issue the most comprehensive report in the area. It usually seems to break down that straight gold items usually run about $10 to $25 each to appraise, with gemstone items averaging $25 to $45 each, and solitaire diamond pieces running between $60 to $90 to appraise, with larger diamonds (1.50 ct up to 5.00 ct.) running $90 to $125 each.

Three or four pieces per hour is about the norm, but the solitaire diamonds and major colored stone pieces usually take between 45 to 90 minutes to do a comprehensive report on. On important pieces I won't do anything but a comprehensive report, because that's what it takes to really do the piece justice, and positively confirm the value.
 

Leanne

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I live in WY in a city that is about 100 miles from Denver, CO. The jewelry store where this woman does her appraisals at is the "elite" jewelry store in town. I haven't checked anywhere else. I just found out today that my homeowners insurance company requires new appraisals on jewelry EVERY year. Can you believe that?? Ouch!! I have appraisals that are 5 years old so I need to update them along with about 6 others.
 

Richard Sherwood

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Yeah, sounds like an "elite" fee.

I'm sure she's excellent, but you might be able to do better, especially in the Denver area.

Sometimes it depends on what you're having appraised. If it's mainstream stuff, then the bulk of appraisers can help you. If it's more important, or esoteric, you're probably better off paying more for somebody that knows their stuff.

Look for somebody that's "user friendly". Oftentimes local jewelers can direct you to who's good, and who's not. I would recommend an independent appraiser, one who does not buy or sell, and doesn't work for or with a jeweler.
 

Richard Sherwood

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-----------
I just found out today that my homeowners insurance company requires
new appraisals on jewelry EVERY year. Can you believe that?? Ouch!!
-----------

That's ridiculous. They're way out of line. Most companies recommend updating an appraisal every three years, and require it every five years.

I would question them on that. Tell them that their policy doesn't seem to be in line with the industry standard, and could they please recheck that requirement.
 

divergrrl

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Dec 9, 2002
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I found the lab that all the stores here in town use, (I live in a major metropolitan area of the PAC NW--rain, coffee & overpriced real estate) and the rates were $70 for the first piece, $40 for each additional piece done at the same time.

The owners are women who graduated from GIA and one is a senior member of the American Society of Appraisers A.S.A., Master Gemologist Apppraiser (M.G.A.), they have over 28 years of experience.

Look around...things are expensive where i live,, but I thought that this pricing was very reasonable. It includes pictures, scans, maps, written certs...the whole 9 yards.
 

oldminer

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In groups of items we charge $155 per hour. Please don't judge how much we charge as you cannot know how fast we are. We've invested in excellent, custom software and good equipment. We are fast so it results in a low total charge.

The fees are related to your region as has been said before. Also, independent appraisers, who make all their money from appraisal services must charge more than most retail jewelers. Retailers use appraisals as tools to get you in their store in hopes of making a new sale. I think this is smart on their part. SOmetimes a retailer proves to be a great and fair appraiser. In those cases using the retailer "might" save you money. If they charge a low "per item" fee you are prepared. If they quote an hourly, one can only guess if they are fast or slow....Be very careful.

We cure the problem of hourly versus per item rates by giving per item rates along with hourly fees for nearly all items. ALso, we give an ironclad estimate up front so there are no surprises later on. Always request a full estimated fee.
 

newenglandgemlab

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Jan 16, 2003
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On 2/4/2003 1:15:42 PM Leanne wrote:

Hi. I have found a GG that does appraisals for $150 an hour. She said that she can usually do 3-4 pieces in an hour depending on the complexity of the piece. She seems very professional. Is her price reasonable?
----------------
Hi Leanne,

Fees should be based on the extent of the exacting documentation required for the given pieces being worked on. I find this can be very difficult to relay to the client without actually seeing the items and figuring how much work is involved. I recently had someone bring in three items, driving four hours to use our services by appointment. I gave her a two hour slot, but didn't know that she had some important Edwardian pieces with seven stones requiring grading reports and ranging to over 3 carats. It is tough to get the necessary info from the consumer as to what they are bringing in (have to be careful not to turn them off too). Needless to say, these three pieces did not fall into a per piece price range. It took much more than the two hours for two Certified Gemologist Appraisers to get the necessary work done. Now, if you had three gold chains...it should run less than $100. So, you will get prices all over the place. Remember they are just guidelines.

We charge $75 to verify a report, $85 minimum for the precise documentation required for necessary insurance coverage including digital photographs, all done on a while you wait basis with the report in their hands when they leave the office. Base price per item starts at $25, but remember the complexity and the experience of the appraisers doing the work. We continue to upgrade our equipment and our knowledge and this takes time and money. Appraisers who do not continue to upgrade their knowledge of both the current markets and manufacturers don't do you a great service.

Appraisals on the retail level (not all) are often looked at as a necessary evil so to say. They confuse the documentation of purchase with true appraisal work for insurance purposes. The retail environment I came from has used the same per hour fee for 20 years. But the reality is in some cases, whatever the traffic will bear and if it didn't come from their stock the appraisal may get more expensive. Another scenario is to have the client leave it for a long period of time in hopes they won't want to have it done. But, there are some very good appraisers on the retail level that really enjoy that profit center of their business and perform very good appraisals.

So, I guess it depends on the level of expertise you are looking for.

Hope this helps a bit. Try to find someone you feel comfortable with.

Cindy
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
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4,924
That's a good point that Dave makes. A fast appraiser working at the rate of $150 per hour might end up being cheaper than a slow appraiser working at a rate of $75 per hour.

Always get an estimate up front.
 

Leanne

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
122
In 1996, I got an appraisal on my wedding set & a tennis bracelet. The GG charged $50 back then so I didn't think $80-$100 for four items was bad. The GG here said that I could drop them off & she'd have them ready to pick up a few hours later. I will call her & verify exactly what her appraisal includes & when I take them into her, I'll get a firm price. When I went in to talk to her the other day, I showed her the 1.82 RB Diamond & that I was concerned with the IGA appraisal because I heard that they grade better than the diamond actually is. She said that she has been accused of grading tough & I took that as a good sign. Just looking at my diamond, she said she would agree with IGA's report of I1-GH. That sounds like an ugly diamond but it's really not. I'm going to post some pictures of it, along with the stats & price, so you guys can see it & tell me (as best as you can) if you think it has "fire" & if I got an OK deal. My 30 day return deadline is up on the 18th so I better get with it! Thank you all for your help. It's been a great support!
 
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