How do I choose a professional appraiser?
This is actually a bit trickier than you may think. Unfortunately ANYONE may present themselves to the public as a personal property appraiser. Only real property appraisers (real estate) are licensed, which leaves it up to you to qualify the appraiser that you retain. This applies to all forms of personal property. There is so much confusion about the jewelry industry regarding whom should be completed your appraisals. There are different titles and definitions of those titles to help raise your understanding of the jewelry industry.
A professional personal property appraiser will have a high level of education backed with a high level of experience and product knowledge. A professional will have taken and passed courses and prescribed examinations in evaluation and valuation, principles and business practices, appraisal ethics, standards and report writing. This type of professional will also keep up with the standards and changes through rigorous continuing education. Membership held within a professional appraisal organization is a good indicator of the appraisers’ commitment to their clients.
The professional appraiser
Working within the jewelry industry by buying and selling jewelry does not make one an appraiser, nor should appraising be treated as an inalienable right that comes with the job. Appraising is a profession, just as a doctor, lawyer, or CPA, where one must be educated and tested. Unfortunately, as of today, there is no overseeing body to administer government testing and licensing (just like dentistry before the American Dental Association was formed), therefore, anyone can hold himself or herself out as a personal property appraiser. BEWARE! It is up to you to separate the novice from the professionals.