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Just like the perfect little black dress or a can't-miss pair of jeans, your ring should fit you to a “T.” Before you ask your jeweler to adjust its size, ask for an appraisal. Knowing how much your ring is worth is valuable if the ring is damaged during the sizing and so that you can add it to your insurance policy to be covered if something should happen to your cherished bauble.
What Should Be Appraised
While you obviously shouldn't take in for an appraisal that 25-cent ring you got in a vending machine, it can be trickier to decide if some rings need appraising. If you estimate your ring is worth more than $750, the money you'll shell out for the appraisal will be well worth it. However, you should never have a ring appraised by the merchant who sold it to you. The jewelry store at which you purchased your ring has an interest in appraising it at the value for which it sold it to you. You don't want to give the appraiser any idea about the stones, gold or other precious metals in the ring. If he's a good appraiser -- and you have a good ring -- these attributes should be obvious.
Find a Certified Inspector
If you want to add your ring to an insurance policy or take out a new policy, you'll need an appraisal from a certified inspector. This lets your insurance company know you went to a reliable, informed vendor to have your ring appraised. Most reputable jewelers can recommend a trained gemologist/independent appraiser who can examine and provide a report on your ring. Always ask the inspector about credentials and experience she may have to ensure that you are making the best decision for your appraisal. Just like your ring, appraisals can be pricey, so ask how much it might set you back before going forward.
Estimated Retail Value vs. Insurance Replacement Value
Estimated retail value and insurance replacement value may sound like the same thing -- but they aren't. Insurance replacement value is an appraisal that estimates how much an insurance company would likely give you if your ring was lost or stolen. Estimated retail value is more like the price a jeweler would sell the ring at, which will be higher than the insurance value. Knowing the difference between these two could save you money when it comes to insurance premiums. If you show the insurance company the retail value, it may boost your premium. Plus, it is going to replace the ring at the insurance value anyway, so give this number even if may be lower.
What’s In Your Appraisal
When you get your appraisal back, it should contain such information as the type and weight of the metal, the cut and clarity of any stones, and a detailed description of your ring. Since you are going to get the ring sized, this is helpful in case something should happen during the sizing process, such as the ring breaks or cracks. Before you have it sized, talk to your insurance provider so you're covered if something happens during sizing.