April 2011

JEWELRY INSURANCE ISSUES (formerly IM News), provides monthly insight and information for jewelry insurance agents, underwriters and claims adjusters.

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Jewelry Insurance Issues

Table of Contents

Click on article titles in red

2017

Moral Hazard, Documents and the Bottom Line - January

Ruby and Jade - February

How to mail a diamond - March

Jewelry Insurance Appraisal Standards: JISO - April

Describing a gem's color - May

Why not just put jewelry on the Homeowner policy? - June

GIA Diamond Reports - July

Not just a pretty face - August

Moral hazards on the rise - September

Hurricanes, fires, floods—and jewelry insurance - October

2016

Inflated appraisals—alive & well! Shady lab reports—alive & well! MORAL HAZARD—ALIVE & WELL! - January

Clarity Enhancements v. Inherent Vice - February

How green is my emerald? - March

Cruise Jewelry - What's the problem? - April

Crown of Light ® - how special is it? - May

Diamonds at Auction — Big gems, big prices, and the trickle-down effect - June

Are you sure her wedding jewelry is covered? - July

What Affects Jewelry Valuation? - August

What to look for – on the jewelry appraisal, on the cert, and on other documents - September

Growing Bigger & Bigger Diamonds - October

Scam season is always NOW - November

Ocean Diamonds - December

2015

Pair & Set Jewelry Claims and the Accidental Tourist - January

Is that brand-name diamond a cut above the others? - February

Vacation Jewelry – Insurer beware! - March

Apple's Smartwatch – The risk of a wrist computer - April

Why you should read that appraisal - May

Smoking Gun! - June

Color-Grading Diamond: the Master Stones - July

Padparadscha—a special term for a special stone - August

Jewelry Appraisal Fees - September

Insuring a Rolex - steps to take, things to consider - October

Diamond camouflage and how to see through it - November

GIA Hacked! - December

2014

Who Grades? - January

Sales, discounts, price reductions, bargains, specials, mark-downs . . . . and valuation - February

Credential Conundrum - March

Frankenwatches - April

Fakes, fakes, and more fakes - May

Marketing Confusion — What is this gem anyway? - June

12 Reasons Not to Insure a Rolex! - July

Why NOT to insure a Rolex: Reasons 5-7 - August

Why NOT to insure a Rolex: Reasons 8-10 - September

Why NOT to insure a Rolex: Reasons 11-12 - October

The Doublet Masquerade - November

Is the gem suitable for the jewelry? Is this a good insurance risk? - December

2013

Wedding Rings on HO? NO! - January

Silver: the new gold - February

Point Protection - March

Tiffany v. Costco - April

What counts in valuing a diamond? - May

Appraising Jewelry - What’s a credential worth? - June

A Cutting Question concerning vintage diamonds - July

Synthesized Diamonds - Scam update - August

Pretty in Pink - Kunzite on parade... - September

Preventing jewelry losses - October

Scratch a diamond and you’ll find . . .??? - November

Synthetics in the Mix - December

2012

Advanced Gem Lab - A deeper look at colored gems - January

Whose Diamond? - February

Appraisal Inflation - It Keeps On Keeping On - March

Big Emerald - April

Changing colors and making gems: Are we seeing "beautiful lies"? - May

Diamonds - Out of Africa. . . or out of a lab? - June

Appraiser's Dream Contest - July

GIA & the Magic of Certificates - August

Pricey when it’s hot: What happens when it’s not? - September

Fooling With Gold - October

Tanzanite – December's stone - November

Branding Diamonds - What do those names mean? - December

2011

Unappraisable Jewelry - January

Replicas - Are they the real thing? - February

Composite Rubies- From bad to worse - March

Jewelry Hallmark - A Well-Kept Secret - April

Non-Disclosure: Following a Trail of Deception - May

Preserving the Diamond Dream - June

Spinel in the Spotlight - July

Jewelry 24/7 - Electronic Shopping - August

Diamond Bubble? - September

Disclosure: HPHT - October

"Hearts & Arrows" Diamonds - November

How a Gem Lab Looks at Diamonds - December

2010

Emeralds - And What They Include - January

Pink Diamonds: From Astronomical to Affordable - February

Palladium-the Other Precious White Metal - March

Bridal Jewelry - April

The Corundum Spectrum - May

How Photos Cut Fraud - and help the insured - June

The Price of Fad - July

Old Cut, New Cut-It's All about Diamonds - August

EightStar Diamonds-Beyond Ideal - September

The Hazard of Fakes - October

Jewelry with a Story - November

Counterfeit Watches - December

2009

Blue Diamond-cool, rare and expensive-sometimes - January

Turning Jewelry into Cash—
Strategy in a Bad Economy
- February

Enhancing the Stone - March

Being Certain about the Cert - April

Every Picture Tells a Story - May

Color-Grading Diamonds - June

The Newest Diamond Substitute - July

What Happens to Stolen Jewelry - August

Jewelry As an Investment - September

Black Diamond: Paradox of a Gem - October

Protect Your Homeowners Market—Keep Jewelry OFF HO Policies! - November

What’s So Great about JISO Appraisal Forms & Standards? - December

2008

Garnet - and Its Many Incarnations - January

Organic Gems - February

Do Your Jewelry Insurance Settlements Make You Look Bad? - March

Don't Be Duped by Fake JISO Appraisal - April

Diamonds in the Rough - May

The Cultured Club - June

Sapphire-Gem Superstar - July

It's a Certified Diamond! 
- But who's saying so?
- August

FTC Decides: Culture Is In! - September

Paraiba Tourmaline – What's in a Name? - October

How Fancy is Brown? - November

CZ – The Great Pretender - December

2007

Moissanite's New Spin - January

Online Jewelry - Buying and Insuring - February

Blood Diamonds - March

Damaged Jewelry, Don't Assume!- April

Chocolate Pearls - May

Appraisal Puff-Up vs Useful Appraisal - June

It's Art, but is it Jewelry?
- July

Diamonds Wear Coats of Many Colors - August

DANGER! eBay Jewelry "Bargains" - September

TV Shopping for Jewelry - October

Enhanced Emerald: clever coverup - November

How do you like your rubies -
leaded or unleaded?
- December

2006

The New Platinum: A Story of Alloys - January

Ruby Ruse - February

How Big are Diamonds Anyway? - March

GIA Diamond Scandal
Has Silver Lining for Insurers
- April

Watch Out for Big-Box Retailers Insurance Appraisals - May

Mixing It Up: Natural and Synthetic Diamonds Together - June

Tanzanite - Warning: Fragile - July

Red Diamonds - August

Inflated Valuations & Questionable Certificates - September

Emeralds - October

Where Do Real Diamonds Come From? - November

Counterfeit Watches - The Mushroom War - December

2005

The Lure of Colored Diamonds - January

Synthetic Colored Diamonds - February

Watches: What to Watch for - March

When is a Pear not a Pair? - April

The Truth About Topaz - May

White Gold: How White is White? - June

One of a Kind - or Not - July

Jewelry in Disguise - August

Valued Contract for Jewelry? Proceed with Caution! - September

Antiques, Replicas and All Their Cousins
October

Grading the Color of Colored Diamonds
November

New GIA Cut Grade for Diamonds - December

2004

Synthetic Diamonds - and Insuring Tips - January

Bogus Appraisals and Fraud - February

A Picture is Worth Thousands of Dollars - March

Don't be Duped by Fracture Filling - April

Gem Scams Point to Need for Change - May

What is a Good Appraisal - June

4Cs of Color Gemstones - July

Gem Laser Drilling: The Next Generation - August

Why Update an Appraisal? - September

When to Recommend an Appraisal Update or a Second Appraisal - October

Secrets of Sapphire - November

Will the Real Ruby Please Stand Up - December

2003

Mysterious Orient:
A Tale of Loss
- January

Bogus Diamond Certificates and Appraisals - February

Can Valuations be Trusted? - March

Spotting a Bogus Appraisal or Certificate - April

Counterfeit Diamond Certificates - May

Case of the Mysterious "Rare" Sapphires - June

Politically Correct Diamonds - July

Name Brand Diamonds - September

Princess Cut: Black Sheep of Diamonds - October

Reincarnate as a Diamond - November

Synthetic Diamonds - December

2002

Irradiated Mail/Irradiated Gems - January

Fake Diamonds (Moissonite) - February

GIA Diamond Report - March

AGS and Other Diamond Certificates - April

Colored Stone Certificates - May

Damaged Jewelry: Don't Pay for Nature's Mistakes - June

The Case of the "Self-Healing" Emerald - July

Mysterious Disappearance: Case of the Missing Opals - August

The Discount Mirage - September

What Can You Learn from Salvage? - October

Gaining from Partial Loss - November

Year in Review - December

2001

Colored Diamonds - January

Good as Gold - February

Disclose Gem Treatments - March

FTC Jewelry Guidelines - April

Myths Part I: Each Piece is Unique - May

Myths Part II: Myths, Lies, & Half-Truths - June

New Trend: Old Cut Stones - October

The Appraisal Process - November

Year in Review - December

2000

Deceptive Pricing - January

Gems - Natural or Manmade - February

Jeweler/Appraisal Credentials - March

Fracture Filling - April

Salvage Jewelery - May

Gem Treatments - June

Don't Ask/Don't Tell - A Buying Nightmare - July

Laser Drilling of Diamonds - August

Jeweler Ethics or the Lack Thereof - September

Gem Scam - October

The Truth about Clarity Grading - November

Year in Review - December

 

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Jewelry Hallmark – A Well-Kept Secret

One would hardly buy a car, a computer, a cell phone-or probably even a breakfast cereal-without knowing the maker of it. Yet jewelry shoppers can spend thousands of dollars on a purchase and not know the maker of the jewelry. Why is that? And why does it matter?

"Manufacturer" is one of rarest things to find on a jewelry appraisal. Big names like Tiffany will be noted, but most makers will not. A survey of appraisals received by insurance companies found that only 11% of them had information on the manufacturer.

The maker's mark

Hallmarks on jewelry began in England in 1300. The law required that any silver or gold item be tested for purity and then stamped to indicate that it met legal standards. In 1363 a maker's mark was introduced. Today, many European countries agree on a system that requires jewelry be stamped with the metal's purity, the maker, and the place and year that the item was made. Other marks may be added.


In this British example, AB is the mark of the sponsor (who submitted the piece to the assay office for purity testing), the Yorkshire rose is the mark of the Sheffield Assay Office (where the item was tested), the lion indicates silver, 925 indicates purity (the metal is 925 per 1000 parts silver), the lowercase a is the date (a stands for the year 2000), and the last bit is the "Millennium mark," a special mark available only for the years 1999 and 2000.

U.S. marks are not so elaborate. The Metal Stamping Act requires that any jewelry sold as gold be stamped with karatage, and that any item that is stamped with the karatage must also bear the manufacturer's registered trademark. The purpose of this law is that if underkarating occurs, the trademark helps trace the offending item to its source.


14K stamp preceded by a Krementz Co. trademark

18K stamp followed by a Church & Co. trademark


The manufacturer's mark usually appears as a symbol, rather than a name, to save space on the small jewelry item. The symbols can be quite mysterious. Even if you could magnify an item to see the mark, it would be meaningless to most of us. We need to know the name of the manufacturer.

There are so many trademarks that even a professional appraiser could not recognize all of them, so information on the jewelry's maker should be stated on the seller's sales receipt and/or appraisal. Ideally, the manufacturer's style number should also be given.

Why the cover-up?

Many people think their jeweler made each necklace and ring on display. They regard their own jewelry as unique. Actually, most "jewelers" are jewelry retailers, with limited training in gemology and little experience in jewelry design.


Page of finished rings from a manufacturer's online catalog

 

The vast majority of jewelry sold today is manufactured in quantity and sold through manufacturers' representatives, trade shows, and catalogs. Jewelers can order entire finished pieces; or they can order jewelry blanks, semi-mounts, and stones separately, then put together combinations likely to please their customers.


Ring blanks allow all stones to be added.
 

Semi-mounts are set with the smaller stones but allow jeweler to add in the center stone.
 

 

Concealing the manufacturer, not mentioning it on the appraisal, is to the retailer's advantage. It preserves the aura of uniqueness, and it prevents comparison shopping. A consumer cannot go from one jeweler to another and say, "I want this ring from manufacturer ABC, style #123 (as listed in the catalog), with a diamond of such-and-such quality-what do you charge?"

Insurers, please note:This also means that comparison shopping is difficult for adjusters pricing a replacement. It would be infinitely easier to simply give a jeweler or replacement company all the data on a piece of jewelry and get a price. And you would know that the replacement exactly matched the original. This is routinely done with watches, as manufacturer and style number are usually known.

To move in the direction of full disclosure on all jewelry, the JISO 78/79 appraisal, the insurance industry's standard, specifically requests manufacturer and style number. Having this information takes the hassle out of claim settlements and guarantees that the insured will be made whole.

FOR AGENTS & UNDERWRITERS

You will seldom encounter one-of-a-kind items. The vast majority of jewelry is not unique and does not depend on rarity for its value.

Having the manufacturer and style number on the appraisal will make claim settlement much easier.

Ask for a JISO 78/79 appraisal or, if the appraiser is not a Certified Insurance Appraiser™, for JISO 805 or 806. All of these specifically request manufacturer and style number.

FOR ADJUSTERS

You will seldom encounter one-of-a-kind items.

Check for manufacturer and style number, as this information will greatly facilitate pricing a replacement and will guarantee a like-kind replacement.

Never assume a lost piece cannot be duplicated or a damaged piece cannot be repaired, even if the jewelry looks complicated or the appraisal description is inadequate.

If a large settlement is involved, it may be worthwhile to consult a jewelry insurance expert before settling the claim.

 

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