If you’re drawn to art and history – and understanding the worth of beautiful things – becoming a jewelry appraiser may be for you.

A jewelry appraiser is responsible for assessing and documenting the value of various jewelry pieces, including fine watches and antique and contemporary jewelry. This involves a detailed description of each item and researching the market to estimate its value.

The appraisal documents are often used by customers to obtain insurance or settle estates, or even just to keep a record of their jewelry collection. Many jewelry stores keep appraisers on staff or contract with an appraisal firm to provide this service to their customers.

Individuals with interests in history, research, or deductive reasoning may be drawn to this field.

On the Job

An appraiser’s day is spent determining the overall quality of a jewelry piece. Their analysis includes examining the metals, gems, and visible trademarks of a piece, as well as who designed or manufactured the piece and when this work was done.

Appraisals involve written reports, which can require the ability to use an appraisal or inventory management program. Appraisers also need computer skills to perform research and bill clients. Communications skills are critical for establishing good relationships with clients and colleagues, getting necessary background information from customers, and developing new business.

Finally, many appraisers stay up-to-date with changes in their field – in tax and insurance laws and within the jewelry industry – so their learning skills are constantly put to the test. Equally, attaining professional designations and seeing the results of their commitment to service and integrity provides their greatest satisfaction: helping people understand and appreciate their jewelry and wear it with confidence.

Growing in the Industry

Most appraisers get their start working in a retail jewelry store. Some become full-time staff appraisers, while others take on sales responsibilities as well. Other career paths can include working for an independent appraisal lab or as a traveling appraiser with several retail clients. All of these positions can lead to management or establishing your own business as an independent appraiser.

Auction houses, insurance companies, and pawnbrokers need appraisers. Additionally, experience working with antique jewelry can lead to a job at a company supplying estate jewelry to retailers.

Find a JA Member Jeweler

Search our directory for reputable jewelers

Jewelers of America

In 1906, Jewelers of America was founded by jewelers for jewelers, with a desire to advance the professionalism and ethics of the jewelry industry.

Today, we continue that mission and Jewelers of America Members stand as the most trustworthy, informed and professional jewelry businesses within the United States.