1. Insurance: Provides information which will assure a replacement of equal utility, quality and value.
2. Estate: For tax liability purposes, when the fair market value of the jewelry exceeds $5,000.00.
3. Comparison: Used to verify the identity and quality claimed by a third party, or to verify the value.
4. Divorce Settlement: An appraisal for division of property in which fair market value is used.
5. Estimate to Replace (Hypothetical): To determine values of items that were lost or stolen.
6. Damage: Indicates the weight loss resulting from re-cutting a damaged stone and its loss of value.
7. Collateral: Performed for a party wishing to use the jewelry or gemstones for obtaining a loan, etc.
8. Donation and Gift: For tax deduction purposes based on IRS regulations.
9. Barter: Two or more parties exchanging one commodity for another.
10. Customs: For proof that an item was not purchased in a foreign country upon return.
11. Casualty Loss: For an income tax deduction for lost and damaged items NOT covered by insurance.
12. Conservatorship: To determine the value of the estate when an individual becomes incapacitated.
13. Distribution of Property: Used with a will; Precludes heirs from squabbling over the estate.
14. Proof of Ownership: Provides positive identification when items have been recovered.
15. Investment: Provides a prospective appreciation analysis.
Any of these should be performed by a certified appraisal professional, not just a gemologist. Someone who knows federal and state laws and their requirements.
Cos Altobelli is a third generation jeweler and president of Altobelli Jewelers in Burbank, previously located in North Hollywood for sixty years. His specialty is appraising for all functions and acting as an expert witness. He holds a graduate degree from the Gemological Institute of America and the title of Certified Gemologist Appraiser, from the American Gem Society, is the author of three appraisal books, and has appeared on “Prime Time Live” several times. Mr. Altobelli can be reached at (818) 763-5151