Appraisal and Gemological Services of Central Virginia

Let's Talk Gems...


Obtaining an appraisal or other gemological service from an independent unbiased professional who is not involved in the sales or purchases of jewelry is the best way to ensure an impartial value of service.  By working with Sarah Ryan G.G. you are choosing a professional that has undergone the rigorous curriculum required by the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers and the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP) and who adheres to and exceeds their standards for ethics and competency. 

Some Of The Services Offered

Broker jewelry: Many fine items of jewelry end up in the scrap yard; melted away never to be seen again.  Not all jewelry is only worth its weight in gold!   Taking you item to a experienced appraiser can help better guide you if you are trying to sell your jewelry.  Don't always believe what the pawn shops say about the "true" value of your gold.
The process of developing an opinion of value.  Appraisals are performed for various reasons on jewelry:
      1. Insurance Coverage -
a. Value on an appraisal only determines the upper limit of insurance coverage which is the major factor in the premium paid.
b. Description of the jewelry is the most important thing in a jewelry appraisal because when a loss is suffered and an insurance claim filed, the insurance company can only replace to the extent of the detail within the report when bringing the customer back to whole.

      2. Comparison for purchase -
Jewelry identification for third party purchases to verify quality and value. Often clients purchase jewelry on the internet, cruises, or at a pawn shop and need to know the genuine worth of the purchase; both value and quality. 

      3. Damage Report -
When dealing with damaged jewelry the report will indicate any decrease in value due to the damage and will estimate the cost of repair if the client wishes to keep the item.  Stones fashioned before the Modern Round Brilliant Cut tend to be more prone to damage and often times can be re-cut to salvage stone to create a new piece of jewelry. This report allows you to make an informed decision on the future of the piece.

      4. Liquidation Report -
This range of value represents sale into the market in which similar property is regularly sold to willing buyers with time constraints, but in an orderly and advertised manner.
This is usually requested by an owner who wishes to convert jewelry assets into cash. There are many types of liquidation situations such as orderly, quick, forced and distress.

Consulting: The act of developing an analysis, recommendation, or opinion to solve a problem. 
Some situations do not call for a written report, such as finding the quality of inherited jewelry to separate costume from genuine pieces.

Qualitative Report:
  This report does not contain a dollar value, it is used to establish or reconfirm the identity and quality of a gem and precious metal.  It will also stante any evidence found of any unethical treatments that may of been performed to enhance the apparent clarity of the stone. 
When buying jewelry off the internet or TV, it is important to know the quality and true identification of the purchased piece. Some stones are commonly misidentified and misrepresented like Mystic Topaz which is really Diffused treated clear Topaz, some Red Andesine which is often Diffused treated Labradorite and recently the presence of glass filled composite seems to be flooding the market!

The American Gem Trade Association's Gem Trade Lab and the Swiss Gemological Institute have issued alerts recently to the trade regarding glass-filled rubies and other corundum.


Virtually all ruby and sapphire corundum is heated to improve color and appearance.  This treatment is usually considered stable and permanent.  Heat treatment is widely accepted in the jewelry trade and does not have an adverse effect on value.  More recent high temperature processes involve heating the ruby to near melting temperature in a flux solution.  This treatment may inadvertently cause the “filling” of any surface cavities with a re-crystallized flux or the partial “healing” of any surfacing fractures with the flux material; the filling is unstable and not accepted in the industry.  These stones are known as composite or glass filled corundum and should be rejected as untreated nature gemstones. 

With the proper gem equipment and expertise a trained gemologist can identify and show the evidence of unethical treatment and help protect the client from any wrongdoing.

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