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12 Year Old Appraisal


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We are about to receive a 2.1 carot diamond ring set in platinum. In 1995 is was appraised (insurance value) at $21,079. At this point I know the following:


Color is I; Clarity is VS2; Cut is good; 3.1dwts.


This is part of an estate settlement and we don't want to over nor under value it.


Any suggestions on what steps I should take towards having it re-valued would be appreciated.


Have values increased or decreased over the years.


Thank you for your help.

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Estate settlements are a legal and possibly tax matter and you NEED a professional appraisal. Screw up a taxable estate and you are subjected to serious penalties for underpayment of taxes while overpayment is it’s own penalty. Even when taxes aren’t involved, if there is more than one heir involved in the estate this situation can lead to huge disharmony in a family where someone feels cheated by the executor of the estate that can last for decades and even for generations. This is not a do-it-yourself project and it’s a mistake to try and translate an insurance appraisal, even if it was done last week, much less one that was done 12 years ago.

www.appraisers.org is a pretty good place to look for a competent appraiser for this kind of work. Your estate attorney may be a good place to get a referral as well.



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I wholeheartedly agree with Neil in terms of getting a proper appraisal. On a quick note, 2 carat plus diamonds have gone up in value quite dramatically since 1995. If the diamond is what it is (an I, VS2, Good cut), it's not unlikely the value will be more than double what it was appraised at 12 years ago.

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it's not unlikely the value will be more than double what it was appraised at 12 years ago.




Your advice is dangerous.


Pattilou does NOT know that it’s an I, that it’s a VS2 or that it weighs 2.10 carats. She doesn’t even really know that it’s a diamond. What she has is a ring and a 12 year old report from an unknown or at least unidentified source prepared for a completely different purpose. The tax obligation here ranges from zero to well over $10,000 depending on the details of the estate, exactly what she really has and how this is done. This is not small change and guessing is a serious mistake.


‘New’ 2.0 – 2.10/ I /VS2 rounds are being offered in the database here today for between $9200 and $20,800. Slipping a single grade in clarity and color drops that bottom offer to $7,600. These are retail offers (it’s a discount market but it’s retail nonetheless). That’s a factor of 3 range and that’s assuming the weight and gem ID are correct, and that the grading is at least close. These are MAJOR assumptions that no responsible appraiser would be willing to make on an estate valuation. Neither will IRS. What if it’s been damaged or switched in the last 12 years either with or without the decedents knowledge? What if the platinum ring turns out to be the work of a recognized master, especially if it’s one that became famous in the last 12 years? What if the prior appraiser was just plain wrong or was offering a bit of puffery to make a sale or to make the client feel good? Given the 1995 insurance valuation, this seems fairly likely, at least with regard to the value conclusion and it's not out of the question that it was overvalued in the first place, but that is far from the only piece of data being relied on from that report. New information is mandatory. Appropriate marketplace selection is mandatory. Appropriate valuation methodology is mandatory. A trained and capable appraiser is mandatory.



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