Friday, September 22, 2017

What is Art Nouveau?

According to the authors of the article on "Art Nouveau" on the Wikipedia website, "Art Nouveau . . . is an international style of art, architecture and applied art, especially the decorative arts, that was most popular between 1890 and 1910. A reaction to the academic art of the 19th century, it was inspired by natural forms and structures, particularly the curved lines of plants and flowers."

"The distinguishing ornamental characteristic of Art Nouveau is its undulating, asymmetrical line, often taking the form of flower stalks and buds, vine tendrils, insect wings, and other delicate and sinuous natural objects; the line may be elegant and graceful or infused with a powerfully rhythmic and whiplike force. In the graphic arts the line subordinates all other pictorial elements—form, texture, space, and colour—to its own decorative effect" ("Art Nouveau | artistic style")

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Does an appraiser take the gemstones out of the piece of jewelry to determine their size and worth?

This question is often asked of appraisers.  Gemologists with decades of experience, as those at AIGR have, generally do not need to remove the gemstones to estimate their weight and quality in the mounting.  If a diamond appears to be one carat or larger and does not have a laboratory report, an experienced appraiser may recommend removing the diamond in order to provide a more detailed document.

Friday, September 15, 2017

How much is design considered in an appraisal?

The cost to reproduce a piece of jewelry is very important in issuing an appraisal.  Custom design is becoming more popular, especially for couples wanting unique bridal jewelry.  The expense for setting stones is much higher for one-of-a-kind items in the United States than it is for mass produced items from overseas.  All of these considerations, including costs for custom casting or hand making a piece of jewelry, are included in an appraisal by AIGR.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

How can I tell if my jewelry is vintage?

Vintage or antique jewelry is generally discerned by its style and/or manufacturing process.  Some styles, like Art Deco or Art Nouveau, are more apparent, though pieces of jewelry in these styles may be reproductions.  In this situation, the mode of manufacturing and the style of the faceting of any diamonds are helpful in dating the piece.  Some styles from the 1970s, like rings and bracelets with a heavy yellow gold nugget design, are relatively easy to date.  Classic styles from the 1940s and 1950s can be harder to determine.  The appraisers at AIGR understand the processes of manufacturing jewelry and faceting gemstones, so they can often give an approximate date for when a piece of jewelry was made.

Friday, September 8, 2017

What is vintage jewelry?

Vintage jewelry is generally any jewelry that is at least twenty years old but is not old enough to be called antique.  Antique jewelry is generally at least one hundred years old.  AIGR appraisers will not describe anything as antique unless they are confident that the item is that old.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

What is “fair market value?”

According to the IRS, "Fair market value (FMV) is the price that property would sell for on the open market. It is the price that would be agreed on between a willing buyer and a willing seller, with neither being required to act, and both having reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts. If you put a restriction on the use of property you donate, the FMV must reflect that restriction."

Friday, September 1, 2017

What is “retail replacement value?”

Retail Replacement Value is the dollar amount that jewelry appraisers normally use on an appraisal for insurance purposes.  This value is an estimate of the highest full price you might pay for an item at a retail jewelry store, without any discounts or sales.  Using this value ensures that you have adequate insurance coverage.  An inflated appraisal may make the owner of the jewelry feel good about an acquisition, but only the insurance company benefits financially through increased premiums.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

What insurance do I need for my jewelry?

You may have some built-in coverage for your jewelry with a homeowner’s or renter’s policy.  This insurance has a dollar limit for jewelry included with the contents of your home and may only cover theft or fire.  More valuable jewelry should be individually appraised and “scheduled” or added to a “personal articles floater.”  This type of insurance usually also covers damage and mysterious losses.