What does a jewelry appraiser do?
Jewelry appraisers assess a variety of types of jewelry to determine how much a specific piece is worth. They research the jewelry market and use auction catalogs, reference books, price lists, and even the Internet to determine the value of pieces. They grade stones according to cut, color, perfection, and age and origin. They also immerge pieces in chemical solutions to determine specific gravity and key characteristics. Jewelry appraisers often take fluctuations in the market into consideration when determining the value of jewelry pieces. They then create documents or certificates to illustrate the appraisal. Jewelry appraisers often work for jewelry stores, auction houses, appraisal firms, insurance companies, and pawnbrokers.
What kind of training does a jewelry appraiser need?
Jewelry appraisers usually need at least a high school diploma, but many complete formal training at vocational and technical schools and community colleges to enhance their employment opportunities. Some have a bachelor or master degree in fine arts. Prospective appraisers typically complete courses that teach how to identify and estimate the value of a variety of gemstones and fine jewelry. They also learn how factors within the market affect the value of precious metals and gemstones. Many aspiring jewelry appraisers complete internships to gain practical experience in the field. Many jewelry appraisers obtain a professional jewelry appraisal certification from the Gemological Institute of America or other organizations. Certified jewelry appraisers must complete continuing education to maintain their certification and keep their skills up to date.
What are the prospects for a career as a jewelry appraiser?
Employment of jewelry appraisers is projected to grow more slowly than average for all professions, increasing 5% from 2008 to 2018 (1).
Job prospects are expected to be favorable especially for jewelry appraisers with professional certification and extensive experience. Some job openings will arise from the need to replace jewelry appraisers that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do jewelry appraisers make?
As of January 2010, the average annual salary for jewelry appraisers is $43,000; average annual jewelry appraiser salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).
A career as a jewelry appraiser is a great choice for individuals with a strong interest in determining the value of many different types of jewelry. Jewelry appraisers must have a solid understanding of many different types of metals and gemstones and appraisal processes and procedures. Good eye-hand coordination, patience, accuracy, and strong gemology knowledge are necessary characteristics. Jewelry appraisers must have good moral character because they often determine the value of high value products. They must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills because they work with a variety of professionals and customers.