Consumer’s Rights on Diamond & Jewelry Appraisals

testsConsumers buying diamonds and diamond jewelry should get Independent Appraisals of their merchandise.

Getting an Appraisal from the Merchant who sold you the item(s) is not the best way to go. In fact, it is extremely unethical for a seller of diamonds & jewelry to issue “an appraisal” for his own merchandise. This is frowned on by every one of the appraisal organizations and insurance companies alike because of the obvious vested interest a jeweler has in validating (at the very least) what he’s charged for the item, on one of his own in-house generated “appraisal” reports.

Certainly, anybody who gives you an “appraisal” together with their merchandise is going to tell you whatever they know you wish to hear…..truth is, these kind of “appraisals” are worthless and are usually designed to deceive not to enlighten.

While it may look cool for a diamond or jewelry vendor to “throw” in an “appraisal” with the package, and some unscrupulous jewelers even flaunt this added “perk” they give you, gratis, beware of this sham as it is of no practical value to you the consumer, and may actually be indicative of some other “shady” practices of said jeweler.

The same is true if the Vendor offers to directly pay the Independent Appraiser for your Appraisal or offers to reimburse you for this cost. This fee should be directly paid by you to the Appraiser and all fees negotiated directly between you and the Appraiser without the Vendor’s interference.
It just makes sense that if the appraiser is paid by the Vendor for your Appraisal, objectivity is tainted.

The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA) has distributed a Client’s Bills of Rights to more than 700 of its members.

After a six-month study of standard bill of rights from similar organizations, including the American Society for Quality and the American Society of Association Executives, NAJA’s Client’s Bill of Rights was created.

It contains 13 abiding principles such as the right of the client to have the appraisal charges explained before the process, the right of the client to have his or her confidentiality respected, and the right of the client to have appraisal records retained for at least five years.

The NAJA is the largest membership association specializing exclusively in gem and jewelry appraising and related appraisal issues. It offers education, biannual conferences and networking opportunities with knowledgeable appraisal professionals.

The NAJA Conference Scholarship gives a gemology student a first-hand experience of networking with appraisal professionals by attending the NAJA Educational Conference during a time when Tucson devotes itself to gems, jewelry and minerals.

For further information on becoming a NAJA member, attending the NAJA’s Tucson Educational Conference or the 2007 Conference Scholarship opportunity, contact Gail Brett Levine, GG, Executive Director, The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, P.O. Box 18, Rego Park, NY 11374, (718) 896-1536, fax (718) 997-9057, naja.appraisers@netzero.net, NAJAappraisers.com.