Valuations are subjective and you will generally receive different opinions from jewellers. And they’d all be right. Prices vary from one jeweller to another and opinions differ. Jewellery items will have 4 values:

  1. Insurance value

Valuations are generally sought for insurance purposes. This is the highest value and is the current retail price with about 15% escalation. This valuation is in an estimated cost of replacement with an item of similar specifications.

  1. Retail value

This is the value that one would expect to pay right now if one went into a shop and bought the item new.

  1. Second hand value

This refers to the second hand value of an item. A client can receive between 50% to 75% of its value when selling a jewellery piece to a jeweller if it is bought for re-sale purposes.

  1. Estate value

This is the lowest valuation, usually about 25% of the retail value. It is the value which a piece would obtain on a forced sale.

Valuations are charged either on the valuator’s time, or by a percentage of the value of the jewellery, which can vary from 3% to 10% of the total value of the items. Always request a quote before handing over your jewellery to be valued.

Hallmarks provide evidence of quality of manufacture and metal type. However, the lack of a hallmark does not mean that the piece will be worthless – many countries did not hallmark for years.

Information supplied by the Jewellery Council of South Africa