It is with great interest that I read Chuck Koehler’s article about appraising - well, more really about how he appraises. Today, appraising is no longer considered an added value for jewelry stores -give-them-an-appraisal-higher-than-the-amount-they-paid-’cause-it-will-make-them-feel-good-and-they-will-come-back. The appraiser is now much like other professionals one relies on for accurate, unbiased, documented counsel. The status of appraising has changed dramatically during the late 1970s - the awful days of investment gemstones, tax shelter donations and barter deals.
It was during this time frame a plethora of appraisal organizations formed and established ethical standards for appraising, as well as leadership and guidelines encouraging the personal property appraisers to formulate an appraisal document that served the client, the jewelry industry, the appraisal profession and the appraiser.
If you Google “professional appraisal organizations” the result will be 5,290,000! For the gems and jewelry industry, there are a handful of major organizations:
National Association of Jewelry Appraisers - NAJAappraisers.com
American Society of Appraisers - appraisers.org
International Society of Appraisers - isa-appraisers.org
Appraisers Association of Appraisers - appraisersassociation.org
So you don’t really need to go far to get an appraisal education or to seek a professional personal property appraiser. In addition, the above organizations adhere to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice as promulgated by The Appraisal Foundation - visit http://netforum.avectra.com/eWeb/DynamicPage.aspx?Site=TAF and click on the USPAP (Standards) link found on the left of the page.
The arduous journey to become a professional gemologist/appraiser is a complex one that requires and demands education and continuing education. Gemological training, special education in valuation science are the basic prerequisites for an appraiser. For those who belong to appraisal organizations there is tested, certified ability to value, identify and grade gems and precious metals, circa date jewelry, determine manufacturing methods, research, and write ... all to support valuations.
The evolution of the professional gemologist/appraiser into an independent, skilled appraisal specialist is worthy of public trust and could act as a catalysts to upgrade the credibility of the entire jewelry industry.
Gail Brett Levine, GIA GG
National Association of Jewelry Appraisers