Julian Cousins

A director of one of the most prestigious jewellers in the South East, Julian Cousins has worked in the jewellery and silver industry for over 20 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 published authority on Huguenot silver of the late 17th and early 18th centuries and is a Fellow of the Institute of Registered Valuers. He is also a Committee Member of the Institute.

“It is important to insist on a jewellery or silverware valuation from an Institute of Registered Valuers Member or Fellow to ensure you have a document that is worth the paper it is written on”

“Although it is not a current requisite, it may not be long before Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise require similar Institute membership in order for jewellery probate valuations to be valid”

Increasingly, Insurance companies are demanding jewellery valuations from Members of the National Association of Jewellers’ Institute of Registered Valuers because there is currently no governance for jewellery valuers – anyone can say that they are a ‘jewellery valuer’ with no qualifications or experience.

Conversely, members of the Institute of Registered Valuers represent some of the most highly qualified and experienced Jewellers in our industry and membership represents years of hard work, considerable academic ability and the mutual respect of their peers.

 

Every member will have at least 5 years’ experience in the jewellery trade, a Gemmological (coloured precious stones) qualification, a diamond grading qualification, and the National Association of Jewellers’ Certificate of Appraisal Theory. Furthermore, they must regularly submit examples of their valuations to the Institute for quality control purposes.

Fellows of the Institute of Registered Valuers have demonstrated outstanding ability under peer-reviewed monitoring and maintain significant ‘points’ under Continuing Professional Development.

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 are happy to proceed with the valuation after this consultation, the items will be retained and a receipt provided.

By leaving your items for valuation, you 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: £60
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: £60 per carat

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 £60 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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