Our Appraisers Are Certified And Experienced

Do you know how much your jewelry is worth? If you have a piece of jewelry to sell or insure and you’re not sure of its value, Tapper’s offers expert jewelry valuation and appraisal services to Detroit area customers.

Certified Appraisals

We are proud to serve as one of only five jewelers in metro Detroit to offer comprehensive appraisals by an in-house Certified Gemologist Appraiser (CGA), who is certified by the American Gem Society. All appraisals are completed in-house and offer unparalleled accuracy and care in the examination and valuing of your jewelry.

Our appraisal team brings over three decades of experience to the table and is comprised of a highly-trained team of specialists who follow a strict code of ethics defined and governed by international organizations including both the Jewelers of America and the Jewelers Vigilance Committee.

Meet Your Appraiser

Susan Barnett

  • 30 years experience in the jewelry industry
  • Graduate Gemologist with Gemological Institute of America
  • Certified Gemologist Appraiser with American Gem Society
  • Attends professional development classes annually
  • Recertifies with American Gem Society annually
  • GIA Alumni
  • 2012 - 2015 Vice President/Event Coordinator of American Gem Society Michigan Guild
  • 2015 - Present President of American Gem Society Michigan Guild

To arrange an appointment with one of our certified appraisal experts, please fill out the form below

The Process of Appraisal

The appraisal process is straightforward. You bring in the item you want to have appraised and our experts will examine it for any broken or chipped stones or loose settings. We will look at the condition of the mounting and, if applicable, give it a thorough cleaning.

After these preliminaries, we will measure, identify, and check each stone for the color, clarity, and proportions. We will test the metal for its purity and quality and make a complete and detailed description of the item. The gem will be identified, graded, measured, and described both in narrative and gemological terminology.

Archival photographs will be taken to support the description. This document and the photographs will then be processed through a computer and the final appraisal will be sent to you via email or regular mail.

The Various Values of Your Jewelry

There are a few different values of which you need to be aware concerning your jewelry. A solid appraisal will provide information on each of these values.

Retail Replacement Value: This is the full retail value of your gem. It represents what you would pay for the same thing on the open market, what it would cost you to replace it with an equivalent substitute, or the likely high-end price for which you can sell it.

Replacement Value Comparable: This is the value which the item carries on the local market. It is the price for which you would find the item or its equivalent at a discount value or sale and the price at which you might be able to find the item at the bottom end.

Fair Market Value: This is the average general value of your item. It represents the cost for which the item would usually sell between two willing parties who had reasonable knowledge of the item and had no particular drive to buy or sell.

Complete Authentication and Appraisal Services

We offer a complete range of Michigan authentication and appraisal services for your gems. These include:

  • Authentication reports
  • Insurance appraisals
  • Replacement valuations for lost or damaged items
  • Probate, estate, and tax appraisals
  • Identification of gemstones
  • Expert witness testimony
  • Damage and forensic reports
  • Private consultations at financial institutions
  • Divorce proceeding evaluations

Why Get An Appraisal?

The reason for a jewelry appraisal is to assign an official dollar value to an item. Usually this is done for insurance purposes, to make sure that you’re carrying enough to cover the value of your item should the unthinkable happen in the form of robbery, fire, or other disaster.

However, it is also sometimes necessary to determine the value of an estate for purposes of settling it, for knowing the true market value of an item before a sale, auction, or a variety of other reasons.

Internet Purchases

Internet sales are fast becoming the most popular means of buying and selling diamonds, jewelry, and precious metals. Having an official appraisal lends weight to the sale and helps to certify the value of the item both before and after sale.

Market Value Fluctuations

The market for precious metals and gemstones is constantly and wildly fluctuating. Having regular appraisals is essential to keep up with these fluctuations, which depend on such diverse factors as supply and demand, new mining finds, exhausted mines, and the state of the economy.

If you have any reason to want to know the value of your jewelry, it’s recommended to have an appraisal performed every three years so that you are always up on the current market values.

Settlement of Estates

When someone passes away and leaves behind their heirlooms and valuables, it is often necessary to identify the value of these items so that the proper taxes and fees can be figured for the settlement of the estate. Even if the estate itself is not subject to taxation, it can be helpful to value these items so that you can be sure that valuables are fairly distributed to the various heirs.

Divorce or Ending a Partnership

When a relationship splits up, it’s a crushing thing, and dividing assets can be the hardest part. You or your attorneys may wish to have items appraised so that the fair market value of all assets can be determined, to come to an equitable division.

Tax Deductions

Looking to use a donation as a tax deduction? When you donate items valued at more than $500, the IRS requires an official appraisal to verify the value of the donation when it comes time to claim it as a tax deduction.

Determining Whether an Item is Genuine

You may simply be curious as to whether an old item is genuine gold, or whether the stone in it is a real emerald or ruby, or simply glass. An appraisal is a great way to determine whether your valuable is genuine.