Determining The Value Of Inherited Jewelry

When a loved one passes away and leaves jewelry as part of their estate, it can be tricky to achieve an equitable division. To many people, the value of jewelry is subjective and therefore difficult to discern. Evaluating jewelry and arriving at an accurate value requires experience and a specific skill set that most people do not possess. 

At DCL Discreet Collateral Loan, we want you to feel confident in the choices you make with your estate jewelry. Let’s go over the critical points of estate jewelry valuation. 

Estate Jewelry And The Criteria For Valuation

Jewelry is considered part of the wealth to be inherited from an estate and therefore should be valued at a standard that meets two criteria: the jewelry value standard and the standard all parties understand. The equitable division of assets may be questioned if either measure is unmet.

Understanding Value And Price Of Estate Jewelry

Many factors such as commodity prices, the local jewelry market, and current styles come into play when determining the value of the jewelry. Even if the jewelry is valued at one price today, that price will have changed in ten years. In essence, the value of jewelry may not reflect the price a buyer is willing to pay at any given time, dividing assets in an estate even more challenging to discern.

The Standard Of Value

The dollar value of a piece of jewelry is established based on the stand of value guideline. Four primary jewelry appraisal standards prescribe a set of guidelines for determining the value of the jewelry. These standards are estate value retail, estate value wholesale, intrinsic value, and replacement price. The equitable resolution of inherited jewelry relies on choosing the correct value standard. 

Estate Retail Value Standard

The estate jewelry retail value estimates the price the item would be used to sell to a customer. An estate jewelry item will be minimal to the general public if the same piece is brand new, as it is considered to be used. However, a period piece of estate jewelry that is rare or no longer in production can be highly sought after and therefore higher in value. 

Estate Wholesale Value Standard

The wholesale value of estate jewelry is widely based on what the retail market will allow for. The retail jeweler has their overhead and expenses to account for, thus marking up the wholesale value accordingly. This estate wholesale price will be lower than the retail value of the jewelry as the company needs to make a profit on the sale. 

Intrinsic Value Standard

Yielding the lowest price, the intrinsic value standard of estate jewelry is based on the cost of the raw materials that make up the piece itself. This value depends on the costs of materials and the current market. 

Replacement Value Standard

The replacement value of jewelry is based on an appraisal that determines what it would cost to replace the item if it was destroyed or stolen. This price is a theoretical value of a replacement item and not the jewelry itself.