When you buy an engagement ring its essential that you get it insured. When you choose an insurance provider one of the things they will ask you for is a “valuation”. Here are a few essentials you’ll need to know about that valuation.

1. Your valuation needs to be done by a professional.

That is, the valuation should be done by a qualified professional, not just somebody who works in (or owns) a jewellery shop. Using a Member of the Institute of Registered Valuers will ensure the job will be done properly. All “IRV’s” as they are called have individual reference numbers so you can check their credentials with the Institute online. To ensure complete impartiality choose a Member of The Association of Independent Jewellery Valuers.

2. The valuation should be prepared professionally.

All too often insurance companies receive valuations that are hand written on pre-printed valuation paper that contain descriptions such as “diamond solitaire ring in 18ct gold” and then a value. As well as stating the value a professionally prepared valuation should be as follows…
  1. Typed.
  2. Contain a detailed description of the item.
  3. Contain a detailed description of any gemstones present including their type, style of cut, estimated or calculated carat weight and in in the case of diamonds of a certain size an assessment of their colour and clarity.
  4. Show measured dimensions and gram weight.
  5. Contain details of any hallmarks or other stamps and engravings.
  6. Contain details of any tests carried out on metals.
  7. Detail the method of manufacture.
  8. Contain an assessment of condition.
Click here for an example of what our valuation documents look like.

3. A valuation should contain photographs

Jewellery can be difficult to photograph properly. A good professional valuer should have facilities to photograph your jewellery and include these photos in the valuation document they present.

4. Jewellery bought abroad needs to be valued in Ireland.

If you purchase an engagement ring in New York or Antwerp they may provide a valuation. This will not be valid in Ireland. The valuation needs to be based on what the item would cost to replace here. Most insurance companies will deal directly with a local jeweller or supplier (on agreement with the insured) so valuations need to be based on local prices and include VAT.

5. A valuation needs to be updated regularly.

It is recommended you have your valuation updated every 2 -3 years. This will ensure that you always have the correct level of cover. Jewellery cannot be index linked as it follows its own market rather than directly tracking inflation. Most valuers will offer a reduced rate to do this. At Irish Valuations we charge a very reasonable €30 to update a full document regardless of the number of items contained in it.   © David Dupuy 2013