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Qualities To Look For In A Jewelry Appraiser

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I’m Niki, the founder and designer of Enji Studio Jewelry. We’re a sustainable luxury jewelry brand based in beautiful north county San Diego.

at Enji we’re on a mission to bring you meaningful, modern, ethical design that shows off your style, honors the journey of your life, and reflects your values. We craft each piece for you in our Carlsbad studio bringing new life to recycled gold and silver and using only FairTrade and ethically sourced diamonds and gemstones.

Enji was founded in 2014. We take steps toward positive change in our industry by practicing ethical sourcing and manufacturing and giving back to the local and global community. We create our pieces for everyday wear.

Enji is about modern, minimal design that is made ethically and sustainably and gives back to the community. As creators and consumers, our choices now have a global impact. This is why we consider how things are made to be important and this to be part of our responsibility as a business and global citizen. As a designer and jeweler, I only work with suppliers that share this view. This is why we make all of my pieces using only recycled gold and silver, ethically sourced and fairtrade stones, chains and findings that are made in the USA and Italy, and packaging and marketing materials made using recycled paper and clothing.

Niki is a GIA Graduate Jeweler. She was awarded the 2016 Halstead Grant Award and 2014 Windgate Fellowship Award by the Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design. She has exhibited in galleries throughout the United States and Europe and her work can be seen in the pages of Glamour UK, Basic, Evening Standard, National Jeweler, and more. To see her one of a kind art pieces and CV check out nikigrandics.com

Enji is about modern, minimal design that is made ethically and sustainably and gives back to the community. As a designer and jeweler, I only work with suppliers that share this view. We make all of my pieces using only recycled gold and silver, ethically sourced and fair mined stones, chains and findings that are made in the USA and Italy, and packaging and marketing materials made using recycled paper.

As a member of Ethical Metalsmiths, we hope to be among the first movers bringing transparency and sustainable practices into the luxury fashion jewelry world. Ethical Metalsmiths and Fairmined gold and gems.  All our pieces are made in our studio in San Diego and we use low-impact, environmentally conscious studio practices to lessen our footprint. 

We take steps toward positive change in our industry by practicing ethical sourcing and manufacturing, because it’s important. To us, to you, to the women and men who mined the stones we use to create our pieces. We also donate a portion of each sale to organizations that help empower women locally and globally and work to end domestic violence and human trafficking because that’s part of the future we want to see.

Ethical sustainable jewelry fairtrade fair trade fair-trade jewelry recycled gold recycled sterling silver San Diego Carlsbad ethical gemstones ethically sourced sustainable

Qualities To Look For In A Jewelry Appraiser

Niki Grandics

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There are many reasons why you might need an appraiser such as insuring an engagement ring, selling, or buying high end jewelry, and simply finding out the value of an heirloom. It can be difficult to blindly trust someone with such valuable items, especially if you have never done it before. But Enji wants to help make this process easier for you by recommending some qualities to look for in an appraiser. Here are a few key things to look for…

Certification

One of the best ways to distinguish an appraiser from an enthusiast is by seeing their certification. This ensures that the appraiser has significant training and testing in gemstones. Gem and jewelry appraisers should have both gemological and appraisal training. They should also have a thorough understanding of how jewelry is made.

Such certifications can include various institutional names such as a GIA Graduate Gemologist certification as well as American Society of Appraisers (ASA), International Society of Appraisers (ISA), and/or the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers.

Current occupation

Where an appraiser is currently hired at can say a lot about their abilities and professionalism. Are they currently working for a higher end company, contracted by various companies, or works independently? Is the jewelry appraiser a full-time appraiser, or does the appraiser work in a jewelry store and occasionally do appraisals? A good jewelry appraiser will have extensive background in all aspects of the jewelry business.

It is obvious that a full-time appraiser that works extensively with quality gemstones and high end jewelry pieces will charge more than a part time friendly appraise. But do not let this discourage you, there are quality professionals who do part time work.

Appraisal fees

Another strong indicator of how professional an appraiser is, can be inferred by their fees and charges.  Look for an appraiser who can provide you with an estimate fee that is not based on the final appraisal value of your jewelry. This will help ensure that you are being treated fairly and honestly.

The fee for a professional appraisal should only be on an hourly rate or a piece rate based on time and complexity, and never a percentage of the value of the item appraised.

Professionalism

An honest appraiser will choose to use language that is appropriate for your level of knowledge of jewelry. They will use transparent language and help translate to a vocabulary you can understand.

At no point should an appraiser use a belittling tone, use language that is purposefully confusing, or try to deceive you. They should use clear and well-mannered tones to help you understand the quality of your piece.

Recommendations

Let us be honest. There are some people who are very good at looking and seeming professional. They show you their certification and use the right professionalism to make you feel confident that they know what they are doing. Another way to help ensure your appraiser is legitimate is by asking for recommendations.

 If this appraiser is transparent and honest they should have no trouble providing a list of recommendations from their previous appraisals. Don’t be afraid to ask for references, especially from other professionals such as banks, trust companies, and attorneys who have used and are familiar with the appraiser's professional work. 

How to find an appraiser

Now that you know what you should look for in an appraiser, how do you find one?

One way to find an appraiser is by contacting the various appraisal associations themselves. These associations have members nationwide, and in some cases internationally, and will likely have an appraiser in your area. An advantage of seeking a referral through an appraisal association is that these groups require their members to uphold ethical and professional standards. GIA has created a list of some appraisal groups, click the link to see their recommendations: https://www.gia.edu/library-appraisal-associations

 

Sources:

https://www.americangemsociety.org/en/find-an-appraiser

http://4cs.gia.edu/en-us/blog/appraisal-tips/

https://www.americangemsociety.org/en/jewelry-appraisal-questions

https://www.tripsavvy.com/how-to-find-a-jewelry-appraiser-2683060