A jewelry appraiser evaluates a piece of jewelry and determines how much the specific item is worth. Having this job isn't as simple as looking at a contemporary or antique piece of jewelry and stating its value. The appraiser typically has a long educational and work background as experience and needs to be detail-oriented, patient and focused in addition to having a love of jewelry.
Considering jewelry appraisers determine the value of jewelry, they are often used to determine the information for a will, for insurance information or just for the owners' own knowledge. A jewelry appraiser typically stays up-to-date with information about the jewelry market. He or she often begins the process of becoming an appraiser because of a huge love of jewelry, so it's also typical to be aware of every crevice of a piece, what it takes to make one rare and whether or not it's a fake.
In addition to self-education, a jewelry appraiser typically goes to a technical school or college. There are several types of degrees, certificates or diplomas, such as a bachelor's degree in gemology. Appraisers may also seek to gain membership to an appraisal organization such as the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, which is based in the United States, or the International Society of Appraisers, which is also based in the US. In order to obtain membership, appraisers go through an application process and need to keep up to date with their skills. The appraisers also likely have several years of retail experience in the jewelry industry, sometimes even before starting advanced education.
In order to be a jewelry appraiser, it's important that the individual be meticulous, patient and, in many cases, determined. There is often research required, especially when it comes to an unfamiliar piece. It's important to give the correct estimate and description of the product in an appraisal. Modern pieces are typically more easily researched than antiques.
Among the substantial knowledge a jewelry appraiser must have, some of the most useful is about the cut and clarity of diamonds, as well as about pearls and metals. An appraiser must also have an extensive knowledge of trademarks and hallmarks. Another helpful area of knowledge in is gemstones, especially rare colored gemstones and whether or not the stones are enhanced.
Being a jewelry appraiser allows individuals to express their creativity and be involved in an industry that is always changing. There is a substantial amount of history in regards to jewelry, so it brings together both the past and present. As with most industries, those who are most successful and stand out the most are often those who are most passionate about the field they are in.