Should You Get an Appraisal From a "Certified GIA Appraiser"?
When availing of services, people often look at professionals' supposed credentials or certifications. Understandably, it’s usually the better choice when you see someone who says they’re certified to do something instead of the alternative. The same idea applies when looking for an appraiser.
As you go through the names of some professional appraisers, you might see certain words or letters attached to their names to indicate some sense of credibility. You might even see someone say that they’re a “Certified GIA Appraiser.” While this may sound promising, there are several reasons why you should reconsider or choose this appraiser with caution.
Read on to learn more about these GIA certification claims and actual credentials to help you choose a legitimate appraiser.
GIA: A Brief Overview
First off, you might be wondering, what is GIA? GIA (or Gemological Institute of America) is a laboratory and the world's authority on different kinds of stones, such as diamonds, colored stones, and pearls. In the gemology industry, they're known as the best source of knowledge and standards regarding these pieces.
They also provide educational programs for aspiring gemologists and lead others in gemological research to widen people's understanding of gemstones.
The Legitimacy of "GIA Certified" Claims
Based on what you now know about GIA, you probably think that the appraiser who’s “GIA certified” or is a “GIA appraiser) is the best one you should approach, right?
Well, contrary to that, it’s better to stay away from appraisers who make these claims. Why? Because there’s no such thing.
GIA does not appraise nor does it offer appraisal classes, so if you find someone who claims to be a “GIA appraiser,” they’re most likely not a legitimate or professional appraiser. GIA also does not certify appraisal graduates, so it’s best to choose someone who doesn’t claim to be “GIA certified.”
Common Jewelry Appraisal Credentials
Now that you know what to avoid when looking for appraisers, it’s also helpful to know what to look for. Having a general understanding of jewelry appraiser credentials can help you find the best professional out there. It also ensures that you’re going to get quality service and won’t get scammed. Here are some of the most common jewelry appraisal credentials:
GG (Graduate Gemologist of GIA) - While GIA does not certify people or does not do any appraisal, they do offer an educational program. Having a graduate gemology diploma from institutions like GIA Is necessary for someone to become a licensed jewelry appraiser.
FGA (Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain or Gem-A) - Gem-A has long been well-known for giving gem and jewelry education. If an appraiser finishes this program, they become a fellow of Gem-A.
CIA (Certified Insurance Appraiser™) - This credential means that someone who is a GG or FGA has also completed a Jewelry Insurance Appraisal Institute course, one which covers all the necessary information about appraisals used to insure jewelry.
Precautions for getting your jewelry appraised
Besides knowing about these pieces of information on GIA, false claims, and standard credentials, there are some steps you can take to ensure that you’re going to get an appraisal from a trustworthy professional. Here are a couple of precautions you can take to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth and are getting a fair appraisal:
Do some background check
First, you can conduct a quick research on the appraiser you want to get an appraisal from. If they claim to be a licensed jewelry appraiser or a GG, it’s best to check if they’ve graduated from a recognized or specific institution. You can also check out if and where an appraiser is recognized. For instance, if you look at The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA) website, they have a list of appraisers that they recognize around the world.
Read or listen to feedback from previous clients
Aside from these credentials, you should also search for feedback from previous clients. These would give you precious information about the workmanship of an appraiser: how efficient, relevant, and accurate their valuation is. When you see more people giving positive reviews, that should steer you in the right direction.
Talk to the appraiser
Before the appraisal begins, you can strike up a conversation and clarify everything that you think needs clarification. This would give you an idea about how the appraisal process should go (especially if it’s your first time) and also allow you to evaluate how much an appraiser knows subtly.
While seeing specific credentials (like GG or CIA) would definitely give you a good impression of an appraiser, doing your part in learning more about the appraiser and their services ensures that you get everything you paid for for the appraisal.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much do appraisals cost?
It depends on the appraisers themselves and the type of jewelry that you want to get appraised. The more intricate the pieces are, the more you’d have to spend to get an appraisal. For example, getting an expert appraisal from Willyn Villarica Jewelry starts at 6,500.
Just remember not to agree to an appraisal cost that’s based on the jewelry’s value. If, for example, an appraiser tells you that they’ll be charging around 3% of the appraised value, you should reconsider and find a different appraiser.
The National Association of Jewelers (NAJA) strictly prohibits appraisers from basing appraisal fees on the value of jewelry. Any members found to be violating this ethical standard will face dire consequences and risk losing their standing within NAJA.
Why do I need an appraisal?
An appraisal serves as a valuation and description of your item. For example, an appraiser's tedious process identifies your jewelry piece's value. In addition, appraisals can be used to determine a market value or insurance.
Reach out to Willyn Villarica Jewelry now!
Want to get an appraisal from a trustworthy source? You can count on Willyn Villarica! She is a licensed appraiser with a gemology diploma from GIA. She’s the only NAJA-recognized appraiser in the country. With her educational background and professional experience, you’re sure to get the best appraisal service.
So, what are you waiting for? Inquire now! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also reach out to us through our Facebook page (Willyn Villarica Jewelry) or Instagram (@willynvillarica_jewelry).