Jewelry Appraisals by Mechelle Yates

Hello, I am Mechelle Yates, co-owner of Yates & Co Jewelers. I am a Graduate Gemologist (G.I.A.).
I received my Graduate Gemologist Diploma from the Gemological Institute of America (G.I.A.) on December 4, 2001.

In addition, I have been an active member of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA) since 2002. As such, I abide by the NAJA Professional Code of Ethics.

It is very important if you want to insure your fine jewelry that you have a qualified jewelry appraisal. What is the definition of an appraisal? As described by the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, "it is an opinion of value for a particular market on a particular date. It will usually be in a document format, describing all of the qualitative and quantitative attributes necessary to arrive at the value."

A quality jewelry appraisal must include:

  • Physical description of the piece detailing the design and style
  • Type of metal
  • Type of gemstones
  • Number of and size of each gemstone
  • Quality of each gemstone
  • How gemstones are set
  • Gram weight of the piece
  • Maker (if available) of the piece
  • Clear pictures of the piece
  • Replacement value of the piece

From a quality appraisal, a jeweler could replicate the piece if needed. For example, let's say you had a custom designed ring made. The ring was insured, but now it was then lost or stolen. Could a jeweler be able to recreate that ring based off the appraisal? If you have a good appraisal the answer is YES!

However, most of the appraisals that we see are grossly inadequate. They don't have enough information on them to recreate the piece. Many of them are not even accurate. We see most appraisals of diamond jewelry don't calculate the diamond sizes correctly, and the color and clarity of the diamonds is generally wrong too.

So if you want your jewelry accurately replaced by the insurance company, then give them a quality appraisal.

Organizations I belong to:

    • GIA Alumni
    • National Association of Jewelry Appraisers
    • Women's Jewelry Association
    • American Society of Jewelry Historians
    • Jewelers of America
    • California Jewelers Association

Laboratory equipment used :

  • Binocular Microscope
  • 10x Jewelers Loupe
  • Ceres Reliance Diamond Tester
  • Ceres Secure II Moissanite Tester
  • Watson Brothers Mettler Scale (approved by Dept of Weights & Measures)
  • Ultraviolet Light SW & LW
  • Leverage Gauge
  • Diamond Grading Light
  • Incandescent Spotlight
  • Polariscope
  • Electronic Gem Scale
  • Dichroscope
  • Color Description System (Gem Dialog)
  • Polaroid Filters
  • Refractometer
  • GIA lab graded Master Diamonds
  • Table Gauge
  • Spectrascope
  • Penlight
  • Gold Testing Acids
  • Ideal Proportion Scope
      I do all of the appraisals myself, and they are available by appointment. Unfortunately, due to my workload I cannot take walk-ins. Due to the time I spend on each piece the cost is $150 per item. Quantity discounts are available.
      To make an appointment please call our store at


      I look forward to meeting you and taking care of your jewelry appraisal needs!
      Related information:

Should I insure my jewelry?