Jewelry, Insurance, and Appraisals.  Oh, my!  Part 2

Deciding What to Insure

Hopefully you read our previous blog post!  If so, you’ve gone through your jewelry and estimated all the fun costume and sterling pieces.  You checked with your insurance carrier and decided how to handle those pieces in the event of a total loss.  Mind you we’re not talking about losing a half pair of costume earrings at the Flower Show.  We’re talking about your plan to handle a total catastrophic loss (fire, theft, etc.)

Now what about the better pieces?  The higher value jewelry that you’ve bought for yourself, been given as a gift or has been passed on to you from a family member.   If you have receipts for them, even if they are years old, consider that value.  We’ll get to estimating a current value soon.  For those items that you aren’t sure of the value, consider what you know about them.  Who they were from, what they might have been able to pay for them.  I say this because even though this isn’t a foolproof method, for our estimating purposes it will help.  If your first boyfriend gave you a ring with a large colorless stone in it and he was 14 years old and had little money, it probably isn’t a diamond.   However if his family was one of the wealthiest in town, it could be.  As you go through these pieces, consider which you would want to replace in the event of loss, even if you aren’t sure of value.  Now there are more decisions to be made.  Everyone has a “threshold”, a dollar amount that they don’t want to bother insuring if the value is under.  I’ve had clients with a threshold of $75.00 (which might seem low but she wanted everything identified and documented for purposes of family history) to a threshold of $5000, so anything with less than that value they wouldn’t insure.  Two extremes, to be sure.  The purpose of this exercise is to determine what you might want to schedule or list individually on your insurance policy, so if you lose this one piece, you would have paid your insurance company a premium so they will replace it with something of “like kind and quality” based on the description you submitted to them.

Another value to consider aside from monetary value is the sentimental value.  Our emotional connection to our jewelry is what makes it significant and important in our lives.  That connection is changed if something happens to our jewelry like a loss or theft.  You cannot replace the sentiment of a family heirloom.  But you can replace the jewelry and develop a new connection as you wear and enjoy the new piece and hopefully pass it on.  And it takes a little of the sting out of the loss with a replacement with something new and wonderful,  which brings me back to the beginning of this series about appraisals and insurance.  If the documentation given to the insurance company isn’t specific enough or up to date, you won’t be able to replace what you had.  Which is the purpose of having insurance in the first place!

Coming soon…Part 3!

Please note:  We are not insurance agents nor do we profess to understand all the policy choices available.  The info is based on our experience.  Check with your insurance agent to get the specifics on your policy.  And if you would like help sorting, give us a call.  We’d be happy to sort through your jewelry and give you some direction (there’s no cost for this service).


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