What is an Independent Valuer?
An Independent Jewellery Valuer is a qualified individual whose sole business is the Appraisal and Valuation of jewellery, watches, clocks and silver.
We are not owned, employed by or affiliated to any Insurance company or broker, retail Jeweller or any company that may have a vested interest in the value placed on items.
Whilst we are happy to advise you on such matters, we do not sell or buy jewellery.
We are totally unbiased and independent.
Why does it cost so much to have an Appraisal and Valuation carried out?
There is a popular misconception that appraisals are carried out "like on the Antiques Road Show". The hours of examining the items, researching the facts and compiling the information for broadcasting are not shown, as it would make for poor entertainment. The viewer merely sees the result of the work, not the work itself.

When you hire the services of an appraiser you are seeking professional advice, you must expect to pay a reasonable price for an expert opinion and time. The fee you pay covers not only the time it takes to prepare an jewellery valuation report in which you can have confidence, but also the investment in the training, equipment and other resources that are necessary to do the job well and for the responsibility associated with the finished schedule. In this, as in most cases, the cheapest is not the best!

You will be pleased to know that we DO NOT charge a fee based on a percentage of the value, in fact, we consider it unethical to do so. In the vast majority of cases, you will know exactly how much we will charge you before you agree to have the appraisal and valuation carried out. We don't give our clients unwelcome surprises with our jewellery valuation fees.
How long do you take to carry out the work?
This obviously depends on the number and complexity of your items, but here is a general guide:
If you make an appointment at our office. Your items will be returned to you before you leave the office and the documentation will follow within a couple days once we have carried out the research and valuation. In some instances you will leave with the report too.
If you send your items to us. Your items and documentation will be back in your possession within 7 days. There are exceptions to this rule. We do appreciate that sometimes a very quick service is required and where possible we do our utmost to oblige.
Can my jeweller provide one of your valuation reports?
We appreciate that you may prefer to deal with your family jeweller and would encourage you to maintain this relationship. The flexibility of drop-off and pick-up times may also suit your needs better. If so, our reports are available through selected participating jewellers. Please see Retailers
Participating retailers are in Perthshire, Fife, the Lothians, Aberdeenshire and Angus.
Is my jewellery insured whilst in your possession?
Yes. We are insured by the most highly respected specialist jewellery Insurance Company in the UK. From the moment we take receipt of your pieces to the minute they are returned to you, they are fully covered by their comprehensive policy. In addition, we employ extremely stringent security procedures for your protection and ours.
Can you appraise and value my jewellery in my home?
As a rule we cannot carry out this work in your home, we much prefer examining your items in our office/laboratory. Consistent, controllable surroundings and lighting conditions are very important, particularly when colour grading diamonds and gemstones. It is also impossible to bring all the necessary equipment and research material to your home. We do appreciate that in rare situations carrying out our work on site is necessary, under these circumstances, all fees will be time based and reference will be made within the documentation that the work was carried out under less than ideal conditions.
Can you value a ring I bought from a jewellery shopping channel?
We value all jewellery, irrespective of where it was purchased but please be aware that we will value your ring at the most appropriate market level for replacement. In this instance the market level and value descriptor would be "New Replacement Value at Internet or Shopping Channel Market Level". Simply put, the value we place on your ring will be equal to the likely cost to replace your ring with a one of similar a description and content and of equal merit from a similar source, not necessarily the same channel from which it was purchased.
Can you collect my pieces from me and what areas do you cover?
A Collection and delivery service is available from your home, business or place of work. The principal cities covered on a continual basis are Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Perth and Dundee. Other areas by arrangement. There is a charge for this service.

We also accept work via the Royal Mail's Special delivery Service. Please note there different address for sending valuables, please phone.
I work 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. Can you still help me?
We appreciate that if you work or run your business 9am until 5pm attending an appointment can be difficult. We are happy to offer an "Out of Hours" service. If it is more convenient for you, we can offer appointments from 6.45am. If evenings suit you better we can usually accommodate any reasonable request.
Weekend appointments can sometimes be arranged too if you cannot make any other time. Normal charges apply plus an "Out of Hours" charge of £25.
I have doubts concerning the authenticity of a document bearing your name, what next?
Only reports dated after March 2003 are affected. There are a number of Internet Traders that are using our name to help sell their misrepresented jewellery by stating that the item is supplied with one of our valuation reports. This scam is used extensively on E-Bay but has also been used on websites that at first glance look respectable. You can check your report by using our Report Authenticity Check page.
If you still have any doubts regarding the authenticity of documentation that was allegedly supplied by us, please contact us as soon as possible.
Do not part with any money until you have spoken to us.
What services do you offer for the partially sighted?
On request, we are happy to provide a large plain text version of the report. In addition, this contains large images and the CD contains an audio transcript of the report for your convenience.
What does "Appraisal" and "Valuation" actually mean? What is the difference?
These terms can cause confusion as in the UK we tend to use the terms "Valuer" and "Valuation" to cover the whole area covered by Appraisal and Valuation.
Strictly speaking, an appraisal is the judgement, assessment and quantification of the piece of jewellery and its component parts. This would include things like the quality and weight of the gold or platinum, the workmanship, the quality of the gemstones, their weight and dimensions etc etc.
Valuation is the calculation of the item's financial value.
It can be seen that it is impossible to have an accurate valuation without an accurate appraisal, the appraisal is the foundation on which the value is calculated. This is why we place a great importance on the appraisal part of our reports
Why have I been asked for previous documentation?
We usually ask you to supply any previous appraisals, receipts, certificates, grading reports or other documentation. The reasons for this are simple. There may well be information contained in these documents that we cannot normally be expected to know. For instance, it may well be that a sales receipt may state the un-mounted weight of a gemstone. We can calculate what we would expect a gemstone of certain proportions to weigh, but it is always better if we have a reliable un-mounted weight to work from.
Perhaps the piece has some provenance that affects its value, its very often additional documentation that provides the evidence that this provenance exists.
It is important that we see any Diamond Grading Reports from grading laboratories, we need to establish that your diamond is indeed the stone detailed in the Grading Report. Diamonds graded by a respected Grading Laboratory carry a premium value, it is critical that these premiums are included in the value. Also, if we are unaware of the existence of a Grading Report on a diamond over 1.00ct, we will create a plot diagram for your diamond in our valuation. This would then involve you an unnecessary additional expense.

Sometimes, we simply don't agree with previous assessments by another jewellery valuer, in which case, it is better that we are aware of a potential problem and discuss these differences of opinion with you before our documentation is prepared for you.
In addition, we like to scan all relevant documentation and include it on the data disc that forms part of your report.
Why should I have my pieces valued for Insurance purposes?
A valuation and appraisal of your treasured items is so much more than a listing of their values. It provides you with peace of mind that in the event of a loss, the detailed description of the missing item will allow a fitting replacement to be supplied. The schedule provides proof of ownership. This is useful when a claim is made against any unspecified items on your policy.
It ensures that you will not be charged Duty and VAT on pieces that you already owned prior to leaving the UK on holiday.
With the detailed description and images, it helps the Police to trace your items should you suffer loss or burglary. If they are located, you can easily prove that you are the rightful owner. Did you realise that if you cannot prove that the items belong to you, they could, in some cases, be returned to the suspected burglar?
My Insurance Company automatically covers items below £2,000 without a Valuation.
Most Insurance companies do cover unspecified items up to a certain figure (usually between £1,000 and £2,500). However, in the event of a claim, problems can arise in establishing where in the range of £20 to £2,000 your item falls. This can lead to delays, stress and an unsatisfactory settlement for you. Most insurance companies are very fair in these situations, but you must realise that there are some policyholders that view a claim as an opportunity for betterment, your Insurance Company will bear this in mind when trying to establish the value of the lost item. The way to ensure a swift, trouble free and fitting settlement is to have an accurate and up to date Appraisal and Valuation of your unspecified items as well as your specified pieces.
Why should I use an AIJV member?
To qualify as a member of the Association of Independent Jewellery Valuers (AIJV), valuers have to meet the highest professional standards, in terms of experience, qualifications and integrity. Every schedule is prepared from a totally unbiased perspective as every member conforms to the strictest rules in the industry regarding their independence. AIJV members do not buy, sell, broker or accept commission payments.
Adrian Smith is the Founder of AIJV, which is now a worldwide organisation.
My policy is index linked, surely there is no need to have my valuables re-valued.
Index linking is one way that the Insurance Company attempts to keep your sum assured in step with what is happening in the market place. Jewellery, does not stick to these rigid rules, our job would be so much easier (but not as interesting) if it did. Jewellery is composed of precious metals and gemstones, both commodities are very subject to changes in prices on a worldwide and local level.
Gemstone prices can fluctuate enormously, depending on worldwide stability, economics, supply, demand and politics. Media coverage, fashion and demand in one part of the world can cause prices to sharply fall or rise in another country.

There are many factors that govern the value of jewellery. Jewellery can decrease in value as well as increase, by applying the Insurance company's' annual percentage you may well find that you are paying premiums far in excess of what they should be or that you are hopelessly under insured.
Once a full Appraisal and Valuation has been carried out on your valuables, the hard work has been done. All future re-valuations carry only a nominal fee for cleaning and checking all the pieces, recalculating the value and producing a new schedule for your Insurance Company.
What is your "Client for Life Service"?
We believe in looking after our clients on an open ended basis. Once you have a valuation carried out by us, you are automatically included in this service.
The main benefits are:

  • No item charge for updates to the valuation. We only charge you a small report fee.
  • We contact you every few years to invite you to update the valuation, to ensure that you are always adequately covered in the event of a loss.
  • Free annual clean and wear inspection for the items included in one our valuations. A reminder will be sent to you.
  • Free advisory service on any aspect of jewellery, gemstones or watches.
  • Exclusive notification of any special events or promotions we are running.
Can I rely your confidentiality?
Absolutely. We conform to professional standards that require all confidential client information to be kept private and secure. We will not disclosed any details about you or your valuation to any third party without your consent, unless compelled to do so by force of law.