The How’s and Why’s of Jewellery Valuations

Obsidian Jewellery Studio is a member of the Jewellery Council of SA, as well as a service provider for most leading short-term insurance companies throughout South Africa. Therefor we know that most people are unaware of the importance of regularly updating valuations and specifying their jewellery for insurance purposes, and in the event of loss or theft are often under-insured when it has to be replaced.

The term ‘appraising’ jewellery is merely assessing the specifics of your jewellery and ‘valuation’ means that your jewellery is being evaluated to establish a value.

Different jewellers can assess your jewellery and provide you with different values and all of these jewellers will be right. It’s a matter of opinion and the different types of values you can receive.

The FOUR different Jewellery values:

  1. Insurance Value 
    • This is the highest value. It is based on specifications of the item at current retail value + 15% for escalation.
  2. Retail value also known as Replacement Value 
    • This is the price you would pay for the item in store today.
  3. Second Hand Value 
    • This is the value you would receive when selling your jewellery item to a jeweller which can range from 30% to 50% of its retail value.
  4. Estate Value
    • This is usually 25% of the retail value and obtained by a forced sale.


Ask your Insurer

  • Is my jewellery covered for the full value?
  • Am I covered against accidental damage?
  • Will I be able to choose the jewellery service provider?
  • Do I have the option to be paid out in cash for my jewellery?
  • Does my jewellery fall under contents and will it only be replaced at the specified address?

Ask your Jeweller

  • Ask for a quote, valuation fees might be based on a % of the value of the jewellery or on labour.
  • Always check that you receive a detailed invoice and a valuation certificate when purchasing a high value jewellery item. Providing your insurance provider with a card receipt will not assure you the replacement value of the item.
  • We recommend getting your jewellery valued at least every 2 years, because jewellery increase in value over the years. Metal prices and exchange rate fluctuations all affects the value of your jewellery.

Obsidian Jewellery Studio Offers

  • We offer jewellery valuation certificate from R50 – R600 depending on if we are updating your existing Obsidian certificate, plain gold jewellery excluding stones, or if you have an existing certificate or not.
  • The price includes a polish & cleaning as well as images of the jewellery pieces on your certificate.
  • Our valuation certificates are based on insurance value.


Some insurers will revise your claim if you can offer sufficient proof and details of your stolen jewellery. That is why we give detailed invoices, offer a valuation certificate on high value items and keep detailed record of stock items.

Example of Important Specifications

18ct White Gold Solitaire Ring with One 0.80ct Round Brilliant Cut Diamond, Colour F Clarity VS1 Round Cut Claw set Diamond (4.1g)

In this one sentence we have specified that it is a ring, the metal, the stone details, the setting and the weight. This offers more than enough information to get your jewellery item fully valued. It is always a good idea to keep photos of your jewellery items which not only provides the insurer with proof that you owned this ring but can give your jeweller an idea of how the item looked if you should want to replicate the missing item.

We hope that you never have to claim for your jewellery, but if you pay attention to the above you can avoid the disappointment when the day comes that you have to. – Obsidian Jewellery Studio

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