If you’ve just got engaged, you know a marriage proposal is very exciting. Family and friends sense that the moment is coming — or perhaps they are involved in the planning. After the big question and happy acceptance, you and your fiancé are caught up in a whirlwind of phone calls, emails, and Facebook posts announcing the news, receiving congratulations, and answering all the usual questions: how did the proposal happen? What does the ring look like? Have you set the date?
After a few weeks, the dust begins to settle, and things start going back to normal, at least until the actual wedding planning starts in earnest. In this relatively quiet period, it’s a good idea to get your engagement ring appraised. Don’t worry that it might seem like you are trying to attach a price tag to your future spouse’s affection; nothing could be further from the truth. You, like every bride, surely consider your engagement ring to priceless, but sadly insurance companies are not so sentimental. If you want to insure your diamond ring, they will want to know its value so that they can determine a premium and pay you the replacement value should it be lost or stolen.
In order to obtain insurance, you will need a “retail appraisal” for your engagement ring. This will determine how much it would cost to replace the ring at a shop such as Australian Diamond Brokers. This valuation, or a “quality appraisal,” should also help prove that you own the ring, which can be very useful if the police recover it after a robbery, or if you are traveling internationally and have to prove to a customs agent that you do not owe duty on it.
Getting your ring appraised is not difficult if you follow a few simple steps. First, you need to find an expert who has been trained to determine the value of gemstones. The National Council of Jewellery Valuers (NCJV) has a directory of valuers who have been especially trained in using the latest technology to examine the smallest detail of each individual diamond (or other gemstone) in your ring. The appraiser will also analyze the purity of the precious metal used in the setting. All of this information will be compiled into a report that describes your ring in detail and justifies the assignment of a particular value. Before hiring an appraiser, make sure you ask for his or her NCJV seal and Registered Valuer Number. An NCJV member should not be hard to find in Melbourne; there are four located within walking distance of Federation Square, according to the directory.
Once you have found an appraiser, make sure he or she is independent and impartial. You don’t want to get an appraiser from someone with a conflict of interest — i.e. someone recommended by an insurance agency that might prefer a higher valuation so that you can be charged a higher premium. You should also find out how the fee for appraising your diamond ring will be calculated. Make sure you will be charged an hourly rate or a flat fee rather than a percentage of the value to ensure the appraiser does not have a reason to overvalue your engagement ring. You should, however, expect to pay more for a ring that has several stones or various metal components than for a simple solitaire diamond.
Remember, a valuation is a legal document that attests to the quality and monetary worth of your ring. Thus the person providing it will spend several hours assessing every detail about your ring to make sure your investment (as well as symbol of your commitment to your fiancé) is protected for the decades to come.
You can arrange a consultation with our expert gemologist and discuss your dream ring today.