Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How much does an appraisal cost?

Due to complexity (number of stones to measure and grade, rarity, time for research, and other factors), appraisal fees will vary. A cluster ring with multiple diamonds of varying sizes and shapes is more complex than a ring with a single stone.

We will estimate your fee and obtain your approval before we start any appraisal work. There is no fee to estimate the cost of your appraisal before we start the process.

Insurance Replacement, Estate Valuations, and Market Value Reports are the three most common purposes for appraisals. An Insurance Appraisal gives New or Replacement Value; an Estate appraisal gives Fair Market Value (the price an item might sell for); a Market Value Appraisal gives The Actual Price Value between buyer and seller.

2. What do I get for my money?

You will receive a consultation on your Jewelry and/or written Appraisal Reports. The amount of detail of each report is based on the package you choose (Silver, Gold, or Platinum). All reports include 1 original signed copy for and 1 set of digital files. Our goal is to facilitate communications and we have found that emailed pdf and jpeg files are accepted by most insurance companies.

We authenticate, describe, and evaluate items while you sit with the Jewelry Judge. Your jewelry never leaves your sight and you are able to ask questions throughout the process.

3. Why do I need an appraisal?

The most common reason to get an appraisal is for insurance purposes.

  • If your jewelry is ever lost or stolen, you must have detailed documentation of its description and value if you hope to have your insurance company help you replace it.
  • Having an appraisal is also important in the event that you ever need to prove that your jewelry is, in fact, yours.
  • Additionally, every two to three years your appraisal should be updated due to changing market values. If your appraisal is not current, your jewelry may not be sufficiently insured for its true replacement value, and you will not be fully covered in the event of a loss.

An appraisal is also indispensable when trying to ascertain the value of your jewelry for estate purposes, divorce settlements, private sales and loans.

4. So I need another appraisal if I already have an appraisal from the store where I made my purchase? 

An independent appraiser who does not buy or sell jewelry will give you an unbiased opinion about the true condition and value of your jewelry. You need not worry that you are getting an inflated replacement value or that the stated condition of your jewelry is not accurate.

5. What types of payment do you accept?

We accept all credit cards, checks or cash.

6. What is included with my appraisal?
For each appraisal, a written report is printed and digital files are provided. Each appraisal also includes a digital color photograph. Values are stated at the bottom of the appraisal. See our Sample Appraisal Reports.

7. Will I have to leave my jewelry item(s) for appraisal?
We do the appraisals while you watch and wait. Your jewelry NEVER leaves your sight. You can watch the entire process and are encouraged to ask questions. If, however, you are unable to wait while the appraisal is done, you may drop off your jewelry. It will be appraised and then stored in our vault until you pick it up.

8. How long does an appraisal of one item take?
An appraisal takes approximately one hour to complete. Multiple or complex items or more detailed reporting may take longer.

9. Do I need an appointment?

Appointments are preferred to avoid waiting time and to assure that you receive our full and complete attention. If there is an urgent situation, you may call us directly and we will do our best to work you into the schedule. If you need to cancel or reschedule, please call us twenty-four hours in advance so we can rebook the appointment.

10. I cannot bring in my jewelry for an appraisal – can you help me?
YES! We can bring our mobile laboratory to your home, office, or bank by special arrangement – call 713 961 1432 for scheduling and availability in your area. The mobile lab service is especially convenient for large personal collections and jewelry stores.

For fewer than twenty pieces, an appointment at our lab/office may be more economical for your needs.

Call for information about special needs or important collections.

Appraisals via Insured Mail, If you are not in Houston, TX., you can mail your jewelry in and get a Jewelry Judge Appraisal Report within 48 hours. We can appraise your jewelry, diamonds and gemstones, no matter where you are located.

Simply call us so we are prepared to receive your jewelry, then follow the three steps below.

Step 1 – You Pack It
• Pack your jewelry to be appraised in a plain brown box.
• Make sure that the jewelry is packaged securely by using packing material such as foam.
• DO NOT write “jewelry” any where on the box.

Step 2 – You Ship It
•Send your jewelry registered and insured through the USPS to:
5433 Westheimer Road, Suite 606
Houston, Texas 77056

Step 3 – We Appraise It
•When we receive your jewelry that has been sent registered and insured through USPS, we will confirm its arrival and have your jewelry judge appraisal report and jewelry ready to ship back to you in 48 hours.
•We will send an email confirmation along with a PDF of the report along with all pictures taken.