November 2010

JEWELRY INSURANCE ISSUES (formerly IM News), provides monthly insight and information for jewelry insurance agents, underwriters and claims adjusters.

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Jewelry Insurance Issues

Table of Contents

Click on article titles in red

2017

Moral Hazard, Documents and the Bottom Line - January

Ruby and Jade - February

How to mail a diamond - March

Jewelry Insurance Appraisal Standards: JISO - April

2016

Inflated appraisals—alive & well! Shady lab reports—alive & well! MORAL HAZARD—ALIVE & WELL! - January

Clarity Enhancements v. Inherent Vice - February

How green is my emerald? - March

Cruise Jewelry - What's the problem? - April

Crown of Light®- how special is it? - May

Diamonds at Auction — Big gems, big prices, and the trickle-down effect - June

Are you sure her wedding jewelry is covered? - July

What Affects Jewelry Valuation? - August

What to look for – on the jewelry appraisal, on the cert, and on other documents - September

Bigger & Bigger Diamonds - October

Scam season is always NOW - November

Ocean Diamonds - December

2015

Pair & Set Jewelry Claims and the Accidental Tourist - January

Is that brand-name diamond a cut above the others? - February

Vacation Jewelry – Insurer beware! - March

Apple's Smartwatch – The risk of a wrist computer - April

Why you should read that appraisal - May

Smoking Gun! - June

Color-Grading Diamond: the Master Stones - July

Padparadscha—a special term for a special stone - August

Jewelry Appraisal Fees - September

Insuring a Rolex - steps to take, things to consider - October

Diamond camouflage and how to see through it - November

GIA Hacked! - December

2014

Who Grades? - January

Sales, discounts, price reductions, bargains, specials, mark-downs . . . . and valuation - February

Credential Conundrum - March

Frankenwatches - April

Fakes, fakes, and more fakes - May

Marketing Confusion — What is this gem anyway? - June

12 Reasons Not to Insure a Rolex! - July

Why NOT to insure a Rolex: Reasons 5-7 - August

Why NOT to insure a Rolex: Reasons 8-10 - September

Why NOT to insure a Rolex: Reasons 11-12 - October

The Doublet Masquerade - November

Is the gem suitable for the jewelry? Is this a good insurance risk? - December

2013

Wedding Rings on HO? NO! - January

Silver: the new gold - February

Point Protection - March

Tiffany v. Costco - April

What counts in valuing a diamond? - May

Appraising Jewelry - What's a credential worth? - June

A Cutting Question concerning vintage diamonds - July

Synthesized Diamonds - Scam update - August

Pretty in Pink - Kunzite on parade... - September

Preventing jewelry losses - October

Scratch a diamond and you'll find . . .??? - November

Synthetics in the Mix - December

2012

Advanced Gem Lab - A deeper look at colored gems - January

Whose Diamond? - February

Appraisal Inflation - It Keeps On Keeping On - March

Big Emerald - April

Changing colors and making gems: Are we seeing "beautiful lies"? - May

Diamonds - Out of Africa. . . or out of a lab? - June

Appraiser's Dream Contest - July

GIA & the Magic of Certificates - August

Pricey when it's hot: What happens when it's not? - September

Fooling With Gold - October

Tanzanite – December's stone - November

Branding Diamonds - What do those names mean? - December

2011

Unappraisable Jewelry - January

Replicas - Are they the real thing? - February

Composite Rubies- From bad to worse - March

Jewelry Hallmark - A Well-Kept Secret - April

Non-Disclosure: Following a Trail of Deception - May

Preserving the Diamond Dream - June

Spinel in the Spotlight - July

Jewelry 24/7 - Electronic Shopping - August

Diamond Bubble? - September

Disclosure: HPHT - October

"Hearts & Arrows" Diamonds - November

How a Gem Lab Looks at Diamonds - December

2010

Emeralds - And What They Include - January

Pink Diamonds: From Astronomical to Affordable - February

Palladium-the Other Precious White Metal - March

Bridal Jewelry - April

The Corundum Spectrum - May

How Photos Cut Fraud - and help the insured - June

The Price of Fad - July

Old Cut, New Cut-It's All about Diamonds - August

EightStar Diamonds-Beyond Ideal - September

The Hazard of Fakes - October

Jewelry with a Story - November

Counterfeit Watches - December

2009

Blue Diamond-cool, rare and expensive-sometimes - January

Turning Jewelry into Cash—
Strategy in a Bad Economy
- February

Enhancing the Stone - March

Being Certain about the Cert - April

Every Picture Tells a Story - May

Color-Grading Diamonds - June

The Newest Diamond Substitute - July

What Happens to Stolen Jewelry - August

Jewelry As an Investment - September

Black Diamond: Paradox of a Gem - October

Protect Your Homeowners Market—Keep Jewelry OFF HO Policies! - November

What’s So Great about JISO Appraisal Forms & Standards? - December

2008

Garnet - and Its Many Incarnations - January

Organic Gems - February

Do Your Jewelry Insurance Settlements Make You Look Bad? - March

Don't Be Duped by Fake JISO Appraisal - April

Diamonds in the Rough - May

The Cultured Club - June

Sapphire-Gem Superstar - July

It's a Certified Diamond! 
- But who's saying so?
- August

FTC Decides: Culture Is In! - September

Paraiba Tourmaline – What's in a Name? - October

How Fancy is Brown? - November

CZ – The Great Pretender - December

2007

Moissanite's New Spin - January

Online Jewelry - Buying and Insuring - February

Blood Diamonds - March

Damaged Jewelry, Don't Assume!- April

Chocolate Pearls - May

Appraisal Puff-Up vs Useful Appraisal - June

It's Art, but is it Jewelry?
- July

Diamonds Wear Coats of Many Colors - August

DANGER! eBay Jewelry "Bargains" - September

TV Shopping for Jewelry - October

Enhanced Emerald: clever coverup - November

How do you like your rubies -
leaded or unleaded?
- December

2006

The New Platinum: A Story of Alloys - January

Ruby Ruse - February

How Big are Diamonds Anyway? - March

GIA Diamond Scandal
Has Silver Lining for Insurers
- April

Watch Out for Big-Box Retailers Insurance Appraisals - May

Mixing It Up: Natural and Synthetic Diamonds Together - June

Tanzanite - Warning: Fragile - July

Red Diamonds - August

Inflated Valuations & Questionable Certificates - September

Emeralds - October

Where Do Real Diamonds Come From? - November

Counterfeit Watches - The Mushroom War - December

2005

The Lure of Colored Diamonds - January

Synthetic Colored Diamonds - February

Watches: What to Watch for - March

When is a Pear not a Pair? - April

The Truth About Topaz - May

White Gold: How White is White? - June

One of a Kind - or Not - July

Jewelry in Disguise - August

Valued Contract for Jewelry? Proceed with Caution! - September

Antiques, Replicas and All Their Cousins
October

Grading the Color of Colored Diamonds
November

New GIA Cut Grade for Diamonds - December

2004

Synthetic Diamonds - and Insuring Tips - January

Bogus Appraisals and Fraud - February

A Picture is Worth Thousands of Dollars - March

Don't be Duped by Fracture Filling - April

Gem Scams Point to Need for Change - May

What is a Good Appraisal - June

4Cs of Color Gemstones - July

Gem Laser Drilling: The Next Generation - August

Why Update an Appraisal? - September

When to Recommend an Appraisal Update or a Second Appraisal - October

Secrets of Sapphire - November

Will the Real Ruby Please Stand Up - December

2003

Mysterious Orient:
A Tale of Loss
- January

Bogus Diamond Certificates and Appraisals - February

Can Valuations be Trusted? - March

Spotting a Bogus Appraisal or Certificate - April

Counterfeit Diamond Certificates - May

Case of the Mysterious "Rare" Sapphires - June

Politically Correct Diamonds - July

Name Brand Diamonds - September

Princess Cut: Black Sheep of Diamonds - October

Reincarnate as a Diamond - November

Synthetic Diamonds - December

2002

Irradiated Mail/Irradiated Gems - January

Fake Diamonds (Moissonite) - February

GIA Diamond Report - March

AGS and Other Diamond Certificates - April

Colored Stone Certificates - May

Damaged Jewelry: Don't Pay for Nature's Mistakes - June

The Case of the "Self-Healing" Emerald - July

Mysterious Disappearance: Case of the Missing Opals - August

The Discount Mirage - September

What Can You Learn from Salvage? - October

Gaining from Partial Loss - November

Year in Review - December

2001

Colored Diamonds - January

Good as Gold - February

Disclose Gem Treatments - March

FTC Jewelry Guidelines - April

Myths Part I: Each Piece is Unique - May

Myths Part II: Myths, Lies, & Half-Truths - June

New Trend: Old Cut Stones - October

The Appraisal Process - November

Year in Review - December

2000

Deceptive Pricing - January

Gems - Natural or Manmade - February

Jeweler/Appraisal Credentials - March

Fracture Filling - April

Salvage Jewelery - May

Gem Treatments - June

Don't Ask/Don't Tell - A Buying Nightmare - July

Laser Drilling of Diamonds - August

Jeweler Ethics or the Lack Thereof - September

Gem Scam - October

The Truth about Clarity Grading - November

Year in Review - December

 

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Jewelry with a Story

Valuation for jewelry is generally based on the quality of its ingredients—the 4 Cs of the gems, the fineness of the gold, the design and craftsmanship, and so forth. Value increases when the jewelry has a special story, a place in history.

Your grandmother’s wedding ring is likely to be important to you because it’s part of your family story. For buyers in general, gems with a legend, a superstition, a lineage of owners, get more attention. Items belonging to a duchess or a movie star regularly bring higher prices at auction as the jewelry takes on glamour from its previous owners.

Here’s a colorful story that’s pure Americana.

It was late on a January evening in 1932, early in the Great Depression. Howard A. Woolverton and his wife Florence had just left the estate of their friends Mr. and Mrs. George Milburn Studebaker, the automobile magnate. Suddenly a man brandishing a gun jumped onto the running board of the Woolvertons' Pierce Arrow and forced them to a stop. The couple was being kidnapped!

The Woolvertons were community leaders in South Bend, Indiana, with business and banking interests in South Bend and Chicago. This was the first kidnapping by George “Machine-Gun” Kelly who, along with the likes of Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby-Face Nelson, made up the notorious Midwest crime wave of the early Thirties.

The Woolvertons were taken to a remote location. Howard Woolverton was held there, while his wife was forced to deliver a ransom note for $50,000 (millions by today’s standards). That was a huge sum even for a banker to lay his hands on; with banks failing after the Crash of 1929, and people with money weren’t putting it in banks!

The Machine-Gun Kelly kidnapping made major headlines. J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI became involved, though details of the case appear to be still shrouded in mystery. Even after Woolverton was released, the couple continued to fear for the safety of their young daughter, Mary Elizabeth, as threats and extortion demands continued.

The Woolvertons lived in constant fear until Kelly was imprisoned in Alcatraz in 1934. He was among one of the first groups of prisoners sent to the notorious federal prison in the icy waters of the San Francisco Bay.

The Woolverton kidnapping occurred months before the Lindbergh baby was abducted. It was the first impetus for the federal kidnapping laws that were soon enacted.


Diamond Clip Bracelet

Brooch with Seed Pearls

Ruby and Sapphire Brooch

Art Nouveau Brooch
   

The Jewelry

Jewelry dating from that period already has an aura. The story of the kidnapping only enhances the appeal of items owned by the Woolvertons. Jewelry like that in the Machine Gun Kelly Kidnapping Collection could not be made today.

The piece shown at the top, for example, is a platinum diamond and sapphire bead bracelet with a large star sapphire. Each bead in the bracelet is gem-quality sapphire, and they are strung on platinum. The central star sapphire is of a quality that could not be found today, for all the best material has been mined out. This jewelry, like most pieces of that period, is not signed. Yet the craftsmanship suggests that they were the work of a premier European jeweler of the day, comparable to Cartier or Van Cleef.

Today one would be hard-pressed to find a craftsman capable of this quality of workmanship; it would be possible, though very expensive. Yet it would still not be possible to reproduce this jewelry because gems of comparable quality are simply not available today. Pieces like this stand on their own as irreplaceable, and the provenance adds significant value.

FOR AGENTS & UNDERWRITERS

All fine jewelry you insure should be accompanied by a detailed appraisal and photographs. Best is a JISO 78/79 appraisal, prepared by a Graduate Gemologist who is also a Certified Insurance Appraiser™.

Jewelry that takes on additional value because of its previous owners, place in history, etc., should be appraised by a jeweler/appraiser who deals in such special items and can reliably state their value in the marketplace.

For provenance, be sure there is sufficient supporting documentation.

Items valued because of their history would be irreplaceable if lost or irreparably damaged. For such jewelry, an agreed value contract is a must.

Jewelry that includes gems of a quality no longer available should also be on an agreed value contract, since the stones would be irreplaceable if lost or damaged.

FOR ADJUSTERS

If valuation depends on the jewelry’s history, be sure there is sufficient documentation to support provenance.

If a unique piece is damaged, have it examined by an expert. Some kinds of damage can be repaired, while in other cases the piece would lose value if repaired. Only an expert can make this call.

If damage is such that you pay the claim as a total loss, always take possession of the salvage. You may be able to have the piece repaired, and then sell it. Or you may offer it for sale to an expert, who will assume the risk, repair it, and sell it for his own profit. Or the piece may be irreparably damaged but have component gems or metals that still have value.

©2000-2017, JCRS Inland Marine Solutions, Inc. All Rights Reserved. www.jcrs.com

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