Worth twice the price?

Not only is it the dreaded tax and RRSP season, but Valentine’s Day draws near and so the panic sets in.

What to give the loves of your life? Flowers, chocolates, spa treatments, perhaps lingerie? Granted lingerie tends to be more of a hopeful gift for the giver rather than the recipient so for many the answer is going to be that old standby – jewelry.

We’ve seen the adds on the goggle box: “Guaranteed to appraise for double!” But is it really worth twice what you pay? How can anyone stay in business if they are continually selling something for half of its value? Surely there is no way that any company will sell for less than they can obtain elsewhere? Being ‘appraised for double’ is kind of like telling the boss that you are worth every penny of what they pay you - but you will happily work for half of what they usually pay you.

On the other hand, perhaps this could be an excellent way to make a good living! Does ‘appraise for double’ mean that I can buy a diamond ring for around five-grand and then sell it for $10,000? Sadly no. Yet again the ads promise more than they deliver. There is a reason why gold, platinum and silver are termed ‘precious metals’ …. it’s because they’re not cheap!

Let’s look at the reality of the situation; no business will ever sell something for less than what it’s worth. And by worth I mean for less than its value. Granted there is many a genuine ‘SALE’ where the retailer reduces the original ‘asking price’ thereby giving you the opportunity to pay less than normal. In a genuine sale the retailer is reducing their expectation of profit in order to move stock and make room for new items.

And another thing, in the unlikely event that said diamond ring does ‘appraise for double’ who the heck does the appraisal? What is the purpose of the appraisal, is it for insurance purposes or a re-sale value? Also, how valid is an appraisal that comes from the retailer? Ask them! Go on I dare you, ask them about the validity; if you take your ring back to them will they pay you double as they imply? If they won’t then who will?

Another point about these ‘appraise for double’ deals is that you could well end up needlessly paying double the insurance premium only to find that should some calamity befall you there would be little or no payout as it is, as they say – overinsured!

Now having said all this and cast aspersions I must point out that here on our lovely Island there are a number of very good, honourable and trustworthy jewellers who stand by their product. Usually they are small family-operated businesses and it’s simply not in their interests to make wild claims about what they sell. These independent family businesses not only want your custom, they want it now and for the long term too.

With Valentine’s creeping up on us and wedding season not too far behind here is a tip that may save you more than you thought; have a quiet word with one of our local independent jewellers as they often carry a discrete range of heirloom and estate jewelry which is usually priced well below that of a similar brand new piece. The lovely previously enjoyed trinkets are often reconditioned and represent really good value for the price. So, problem solved, if you are looking for some jewelry for the wife or girlfriend, or perhaps each of them, buy local.

IMPORTANT: It’s a new year and the value of both gold and silver has never been higher! I strongly advise anyone with valuable jewelry have it appraised at present day values for insurance purposes. Although I do buy scrap gold and silver I do not do appraisals of jewelry so I suggest that you go to an established reputable independent jeweller (preferably local) to have your items assessed. The fee for a jewelry appraisal should be based upon a per item basis or on an hourly rate. Do not get the appraisal done by anyone whose charges are based upon a percentage of the appraised value. Once you have your up-to-date appraisal contact your insurance company to check if you need to have your item/s specifically named on your policy.

Tony Duke provides comprehensive appraisal services for estate planning, down-sizing, probate, property division, insurance, antique acquisitions and aales www.blinkingstar.ca See Tony’s website, www.TonyDuke.ca for links to his weekly blog and videos that give you information on all aspects of protecting your antiques, collectibles and personal property.

Send your appraisal and antique questions to: AntiqueExpert@TonyDuke.ca

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