Valuation & Insurance Of Jewellery


Valuations are subjective and you will generally receive different opinions from jewellers. And they’d all be right. Prices vary from one jeweller to another and opinions differ. Jewellery items will have 4 values:

1. Insurance Value

Valuations are generally sought for insurance purposes. This is the highest value and is the current retail price with about 15% escalation.

This valuation is in an estimated cost of replacement with an item of similar specifications.

2. Retail Value

This is the value that one would expect to pay right now if one went into a shop and bought the item new.

3. Second Hand Value

This refers to the second hand value of an item. A client can receive between 50% to 75% of its value when selling a jewellery piece to a jeweller.

4. Estate Value

This is the lowest valuation, usually about 25% of the retail value. It is the value which a piece would obtain on a forced sale.

Valuations are charged either on the valuator’s time, or by a percentage of the value of the jewellery, which can vary from 3% to 10% of the total value of the items. Always request a quote before handing over your jewellery to be valued.

Hallmarks provide evidence of quality of manufacture and metal type. However, the lack of a hallmark does not mean that the piece will be worthless – many countries did not hallmark for years.


It is important that you choose your insurance provider with care especially on higher value products.

Many insurance providers will not give you the option to replace your jewellery from the original jeweller but will stipulate where you may obtain a replacement.

Ask your insurer for the following options when insuring your jewellery to avoid disappointment:

1. Is my jewellery item covered against accidental damage?

Jewellery, no matter how well manufactured, can be damaged through accidentally knocking it against hard surfaces, etc. This can result in the loss of or damage to a stone.

2. Will I be able to choose the jeweller who will replace or repair my jewellery in case of damage or theft?

Insurance replacements generally only guarantee the replacement or repair and not the jeweller who will be replacing or repairing the item. To ensure that you receive the same service, you need to specify your choice of jeweller.

3. Am I covered for the full insurance value of the jewellery?

4. Can I opt for a cash payment from my insurer in the case of loss or damage?

Most importantly, ensure that you update your jewellery valuation at least every two years and update this with your insurance company as the price of the raw material and stones may significantly increase in value preventing you from replacing the product in full.

Year Jewellery Traditional Modern
1 Fresh Water Pearl, Gold Jewellery Paper Plastic
2 Rose Quartz, Garnet Cotton Cotton/Calico
3 Crystal, Pearl Leather Leather
4 Amethyst, Topaz Fruit, Flower Linen, Silk, Nylon
5 Turquoise, Sapphire Wood Wood
10 Black Onyx, Diamond Jewellery Tin Aluminium
15 Watch, Crystal, Ruby Crystal Glass
20 Emerald China china
25 Sterling Silver Silver Silver
30 Pearl, Diamond, Jade Pearl Pearl
50 Gold/Platinum Gold/Platinum Gold/Platinum