Julian CousinsFGA DGA Fellow of the Institute of Registered Valuers
Jewellery and silverware valuations for Insurance, Probate and Division of Assets in Kent and Sussex
Where Can I Get A Jewellery Valuation?
The owners of jewellery shops are probably too busy to spend the necessary time on jewellery valuations. The really good ones, the ones who want to provide a good service to their customers (see my preferred partners for examples), will employ the services of someone like me, an independent jewellery valuer. I’ll visit them once or twice a month and do their valuations for them. Or you could email me and I’ll come to you, so you don’t have to leave your jewellery with anyone. I’ll appraise your jewellery in the convenience and security of your own home and send you your valuation a few days’ later.
Jewellery valuation is a highly specialised profession requiring the combined in-depth knowledge of the methods of jewellery manufacture, both historic and current; historic and contemporary design styles, the principal designers and their workshops; gemstone identification (Gemmology) and diamond grading; and a comprehensive understanding of the precious metals and diamond markets and the jewellery retail and auction market sectors.
“One High Net Worth Insurer estimates that 80% of new clients do not have adequate cover in force for their jewellery and valuable items”
The Gemmological Association of Great Britain
The Gemmological Association of Great Britain, or Gem-A, is the world’s longest established provider of gem and jewellery education.They serve the interests of the gem and jewellery industries through the high standards of education on their courses and their support for global gemmological research.
The Academy of Valuers
Training for Jewellery Valuers. Provided by Experts
The Academy of Valuers is a learned society for the study and advancement of knowledge in gemstones, jewellery, silver and other precious metals, horological items and matters pertinent to the assessment, appraisal and valuation of such items.
The Academy organises talks, lectures and practical workshops by leading experts on relevant topics, to train and improve working knowledge of its members in order that they can approach the subject in their professional capacities with confidence, safe in the familiarity of the latest reseach and technological advancements.
The Institute of Registered Valuers
The Institute of Registered Valuers is the preeminent, professionally recognised body governing jewellery valuations in the UK and beyond. It is entirely encapsulated within the National Association of Jewellers, and it demands the highest standards possible from all its valuing Members.
What is a valuation?
You may need a valuation to insure your jewellery against loss or theft, or to help calculate the Inheritance Tax payable on a deceased person’s estate; it may be needed to help agree settlement in divorce proceedings, or to negotiate the security against a loan. Whatever your need, a valuation from a regulated valuer – i.e. a Member or Fellow of the Institute of Registered Valuers – is arguably the only valuation worth the paper it is written on.
“For standard home insurances Direct Line stated in 2013 that 6.8 million British households were believed to be underinsured, with a total of £200 billion of contents and valuables at risk”
Julian Cousins has worked in the jewellery and silver industry for over 25 years and is a third-generation jeweller. He has a degree in Fine Art and Antique Valuation from Southampton Solent University, has completed the National Association of Goldsmiths’ Gemmological Diploma, their Certificate of Appraisal Theory and the Gemmological Association of Great Britain’s Gemmology and Diamond Diplomas. He is a Fellow, and Committee Member of the Institute of Registered Valuers, a founder member and Treasurer of the Academy of Valuers, and an associate member of the Academy of Experts.
How does it work?
By far the easiest option is for me to visit you in your home. That way you don’t need to take your jewellery anywhere, or leave it with anyone, it can all be done in the comfort and security of your own home.
I’ll need about 15 to 20 minutes to appraise each item on average, so I can process up to about 25 items in one visit. All I need is use of a space about the size of a kitchen table. You’ll receive a bound hard copy of your valuation and an encrypted PDF version a few days’ later.
If you’d rather leave your jewellery with a shop, please find my preferred partners here but please note, I may only visit these shops once or twice a month and the fees may not be the same.
What do I need to provide?
As well as the items to be be valued, for Insurance valuations, please provide the most recent copy of your Insurance policy and policy schedule.
For all valuations, please provide all existing paperwork relating to the items to be valued: original purchase receipts, previous valuations, receipts for past repairs and any diamond, or coloured gemstone grading reports where available. These help provide a ‘paper trail’ of your ownership.
Failure to provide all relevant paperwork may result in a second, chargeable consultation. In view of time constraints it would be very helpful, but not essential, if the items could be cleaned before I arrive.
You don’t need specialist equipment to clean jewellery, just an old toothbrush (preferably a child’s toothbrush as the head is smaller) and some washing-up liquid.
Check carefully for any missing stones before you start. Gently wash the item, paying particular attention to the backs of the settings, in warm water, with a little washing-up liquid and the toothbrush. Do not press hard. Rinse and then dry with some kitchen towel. Check the settings again for any losses. If necessary, speak to your jeweller to rectify any issues.
Do not attempt to wash any jewellery where you can’t see the backs of the gemstones, i.e. if they are enclosed in metal (sometimes called a drum- or foil-back).
Do not wash threaded pearls; use very mild detergent on mounted pearls and rinse thoroughly. Pearl cement can be water-soluble however, so you may prefer to let your jeweller do any cleaning of pearls.
If in doubt, ask a professional to clean your jewellery for you.
Always, always, always clean your jewellery over a bowl, or at least put the plug in the sink!
Loose stones can be wriggled-out of their settings with over-zealous cleaning, but if they’re kept, they can usually be put back.
How much does it cost?
If you would like me to provide a valuation of your jewellery, you will be asked to sign my Privacy Statement and agree to my take-in explanatory notes and limiting conditions, which are the standard notes and limiting conditions of the Institute of Registered Valuers.
I would particularly draw your attention to item ix of my Terms & Conditions.