If you are meticulous, detail-oriented and curious about design and beautiful
gems, becoming a jewelry appraiser may be the career path for you. Jewelry
appraisers evaluate antique and contemporary jewelry and fine watches and
write careful descriptions. Then, they research the jewelry market to estimate
their value. The appraisal documents they put together help consumers
obtain insurance, settle an estate or simply provide a record of someone’s
jewelry collection. Many jewelry stores keep appraisers on staff or contract
with an appraisal firm to provide this service to their customers.
Is this a career for me?
Appraisers are patient and persistent and enjoy doing the kind of research a well written
appraisal document demands. They ask questions and check reference books, auction catalogs and price lists, and use the Internet to find out what they need to know.
While methodical in their work, they also bring a creative approach to the task and
make efficient use of their time. Appraisers are able to work alone without feeling isolated. They are disciplined and enjoy tasks requiring concentration, yet are comfortable interacting with clients and gain satisfaction from providing an important service.
Many appraisers report an early interest in style and design, in art and art history, or in the intricacies of mechanical objects like watches and clocks. Many people who study gemology (the science of gemstones) also become appraisers – this is one of the areas in which appraisers need formal training. Many appraisers own their own businesses and, to a certain degree, are able to set their own hours.
What do you do as an Appraiser?
In addition to professional training and experience in the jewelry industry, appraisers bring a variety of personal talents to their daily work. Analytical and technical skills are needed for identifying precious metals and gemstones. The quality of the gems and of the item’s workmanship must be evaluated, a detailed and accurate description written, and the value estimated. Computer skills are often needed for doing research, preparing reports and billing clients for their services. Communication skills are critical for
establishing good relationships with clients and colleagues, for collecting necessary background information and for developing new business.
Many appraisers find their greatest challenge is staying up to date with changes in the appraisal and jewelry industries, and they say their learning skills are constantly put to the test. But equally, they report that attaining professional status and seeing the results of a commitment to service and integrity provides great satisfaction. After all, it’s appraisers who help people understand and appreciate their jewelry as they wear it with pride and confidence.
What is the growth potential for you in the jewelry industry as an appraiser?
Most appraisers get their start working in a retail jewelry store. Some become full-time staff appraisers, while others fulfill additional sales or management responsibilities. Others may work for an appraisal lab or as a traveling appraiser with several client stores.
Auction houses, insurance companies and pawnbrokers need appraisers as well. Experience working with antique jewelry can lead to a position with a company supplying estate jewelry to retailers, particularly if appraisal skills are combined with a background in sales.
All of these positions can lead into management, or to establishing a business
as an independent appraiser.
What kind of salaries can one expect as a qualified appraiser?
- Entry Level – Rs.60,000/- to Rs.90,000/-
- Qualified/Experienced – Rs.1,20,000/- to Rs.1,50,000
- Career Potential – Rs.6,00,000/- to Rs.9,00,000 +
What can help you succeed as a jewelry appraiser?
- Previous retail or customer service experience
- Jewelry industry experience
- A formal gemology degree or diploma.
- Bench or jewelry manufacturing knowledge and/or experience is helpful
- Some background in art and jewelry history
- Computer skills