Julian Cousins

FGA 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.

Julian Cousins NIRV

“One High Net Worth Insurer estimates that 80% of new clients do not have adequate cover in force for their jewellery and valuable items”

To be fully insured, your jewellery items may need to be listed separately on your Contents Insurance Policy
Julian Cousins COA

My Accreditation

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.

Julian Cousins COA
Julian Cousins COA

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 do I do next?

Whatever the purpose of your valuation, don’t delay. Your insurance may be suspended until a full valuation is done, or Probate may be delayed.
Make an appointment

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.

Insurance

Post Loss Assessment

Family Division

Probate

“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

Julian Cousins

Director

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.

Julian Cousins COA

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.

Julian Cousins COA

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.

Julian Cousins COA

Cleaning

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.

Warning!

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.

Julian Cousins COA

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.

Preferred Partners

Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery

W.E. Clark & Son

Insurance

The idea of Insurance is to put you back in the same position you were before the ‘Insured Peril’ happened; you’ll see the word ‘indemnify’ in your policy.

A valuation for Insurance provides proof of the value of your jewellery, usually on the basis of what you would have to pay for it, if you had to buy a similar item from a retail shop, either second hand or new, depending on the item.

A fully researched and justifiable valuation enables a fair premium to be calculated and should reduce the chance of a challenge by Insurers in the event of a claim.

N.B. It is not considered proof of ownership.

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Probate

Under Section 160 of the Inheritance Act of 1984, the estate of a deceased
person is required to be valued so that “Death Duties or Inheritance Tax can be calculated, as applicable” by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

The value should represent the ‘open market value’, and is therefore completely different to the Insurance value and is usually considerably less. It is therefore important to have an appropriately calculated Probate valuation in order to mitigate tax liabilities, whilst remaining within the letter of the law.

The rule of thumb at HMRC appears to be that you do not need to have a professional value items under £500, but take advice from your solicitor.

A 2012 article from the Guardian discusses the dangers of incorrect Probate valuations for bricks and mortar property, but it could just as easily be referring to jewellery. Read more HERE

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Division of Assets or Family Division

An independent jewellery valuation is often required to aid the fair division of assets in the event of divorce.

The value is usually based on the Open Market Value – what the item is likely to achieve at auction – rather than what was paid for it, or what it would cost to replace.

Before asking us to provide a valuation for Division of Assets, check that the court doesn’t require a Single Joint Expert to act for both sides.

We will gladly provide a valuation, but it would be prudent to check that all parties agree to our appointment.

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How much does it cost?

If you would like us to provide a valuation of your jewellery, you will be asked to sign our Privacy Statement and agree to our take-in explanatory notes and limiting conditions, which are the standard notes and limiting conditions of the Institute of Registered Valuers.

We particularly draw your attention to item ix of our Terms & Conditions.

Valuation Fees:

Insurance, Probate, Private Treaty etc.
Standard document fee: £65
Charge per item or group of up to 5 lower value items*: £50

*Items with a value under approximately £500 are grouped as ‘miscellaneous’ and treated as one item.

Diamonds over 1 carat: £65 per carat

For very large valuations with more than 25 items, there is a flat day-rate of £1,250.00

 

We regret that we do not undertake the valuation of watches

Exceptional items (tiaras, parures, civic regalia etc.) will be charged on a time spent basis at £65 per hour.

All our valuations are bound in a high quality folder and contain digital images of your jewellery together with a full description including stone weights and dimensions, hallmark details, gross weight and current value.

They are prepared by a Fellow of the Institute of Registered Valuers

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Division of Assets or Family Division

An independent jewellery valuation is often required to aid the fair division of assets in the event of divorce.

The value is usually based on the Open Market Value – what the item is likely to achieve at auction – rather than what was paid for it, or what it would cost to replace.

Before asking us to provide a valuation for Division of Assets, check that the court doesn’t require a Single Joint Expert to act for both sides.

We will gladly provide a valuation, but it would be prudent to check that all parties agree to our appointment.

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Post Loss Assessment

Unless you’re here out of curiosity, we’re sorry you’re on this page, because it means that your Insurers have asked you to provide estimates to replace jewellery that has been lost or stolen but for which you don’t have any recent purchase receipts or valuations – now widely known as a Post Loss Assessment.

We valuers do not refer to this as a valuation because we are unable to inspect the items and the figures we arrive at are highly speculative, but hopefully we can arrive at a suitably justifiable figure that will enable you to get your claim settled as quickly as possible.

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