The appraisal industry covers many disciplines, of which jewellery is one. Specific training is required in order to be a jewellery appraiser. Several options are available to acquire the necessary training.
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What an Appraiser Does
The practice of appraisal is defined by the American Society of Appraisers as the estimation of the value of property as well as drafting a written statement attesting to the value.
There are two primary trade organisations for jewellery appraisal training and certification, the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) and the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA). Both of these organisations provide education courses and award certifications.
Acquiring the necessary knowledge to become a jewellery appraiser involves several steps. Generally speaking, a four-year college degree is required prior to obtaining specific jewellery knowledge. It is possible, however, to substitute a Graduate Gemology (GG) diploma for a four-year degree.
A Graduate Gemologist diploma can be acquired from the Gemological Institute of America. Training can be obtained either on-site at one of their campuses or via distance learning.
The American Society of Appraisers offers Principles of Valuation courses, which are required in order to obtain their certification. These courses cover valuing the property, research and analysis, report writing, as well as the legal and commercial environment.
Another option for jewellery-specific education is the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA). The NAJA offers two semi-annual educational conferences as well as a correspondence course.
Certification is not a requirement to work as an appraiser. In fact, the American Society of Appraisers requires full-time appraisal experience before applying for certification with their organisation. In order to apply for certification with the ASA, you must have passed the Universal Standards of Practice (usPAP) exam and fulfilled the education and experience requirements.
Jewellery appraisers can also specialise in certain categories of jewellery such as costume or antique jewellery.
Applications of Training
Appraisers can utilise their skills in a variety of ways. They can work for a jewellery store or chain providing appraisals for clients. Some establish independent practices and offer their services on a freelance basis. In addition, some will work for auction houses, providing valuation and anticipated auction values for items to be sold.
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