August 2011

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 24/7 – Electronic Shopping

There was a time when buying jewelry was an exceptional event: the hush and elegance of the environment, the experience of walking up to a display case and peering closely at something small, beautiful and precious.

Today you can browse for jewelry while waiting in line for your latte or in the middle of the night when you can’t fall asleep.

TV shopping channels, with their internet streaming, are a multibillion-dollar business. Jewelry shopping channels and online stores are surviving the worldwide recession better than brick-and-mortal jewelry stores.

Convenience is a big draw, the anonymous, stream-of-consciousness surfing. As one online seller put it, buying on the internet or on the phone takes away the intimidation factor of walking into a fine jewelry store.

The sales approach is deliberately unthreatening. As though shopping for jewelry were a bitter pill to be swallowed, one channel hypes its jewelry presentation as “fun and entertaining.” It entices viewers by introducing the designers and  celebrities behind the product line. It tells the “story” behind the jewelry.

 

 

What is selling?

Colored stones are a major seller, because they show up better than diamonds on a TV or computer screen. In fact, one financial expert associated with Gems TV asserted that “color as a jewelry category exists because of TV.”

Tanzanite is a good example. It’s a rich blue and very affordable, and it has a good story. Tanzanite was just discovered in 1967, in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and was first promoted as a gemstone by Tiffany & Co. Deposits are limited, so the gem is rare—“a thousand times rarer than diamond,” as one site exclaims. That has appeal because of the unspoken assumption that rarity increases value and signals status. However, agents and insurers should be aware that only the marketplace determines jewelry value.

Tanzanite, despite its rarity, is not a high-value stone. It is a relatively soft gem (it can be scratched) and also not very tough (it can chip), so some jewelers consider it unsuitable for rings, bracelets and other jewelry that might be exposed to impact and abrasion. Some jewelers who deal in fine quality gems do not even carry tanzanite, and insurers should be wary of covering jewelry so vulnerable to damage.

CZ (cubic zirconia, an imitation diamond) is also popular. On one site, pressing the link for Diamond brings up a page on CZ. Certainly on the screen CZ looks as good as diamond, at only a tiny fraction of the price.

Loose stones are also big sellers. Jewelry Television claims to be the largest retailer of loose gems in the country. It’s hard to know what becomes of these stones. For a consumer to find a jeweler to create a setting for loose stones can be difficult and expensive. From an insurer’s point of view, it’s not wise to insure loose stones (in fact, many personal jewelry policy forms specifically exclude “unmounted gems”) because they can easily get lost; consumers do not have a jeweler’s facilities and procedures for keeping loose gems safe and accounted for.

TV and internet retailers are steadily reaching into higher-end and specialized markets. Engagement rings, for example.

 

Regarding this ring, an insurer might want to consider the following:

TV shopping and Internet sites are reaching ever-expanding audiences through banner ads, manic search engines, ubiquitous smart phones, emails lists culled from logon info, and the electronic equivalent of word-of-mouth, blogs.

FOR AGENTS & UNDERWRITERS

For all high-value jewelry, ask for a second appraisal on JISO 78/79, written by a Graduate Gemologist who is also a Certified Insurance Appraiser.

Always get a copy of the sales receipt — especially for jewelry bought from TV and internet retailers. TV sellers may make claims about high value, but purchase price usually reflects the true quality and value of the merchandise.

We recommend trusting diamond reports only from the following respected labs. You can follow these links to check the veracity of lab reports you receive.

Gemological Institute of America GIA Report Check
American Gem Society AGS Report Verification
Gem Certification and Assurance Lab GCAL Certificate Search

FOR ADJUSTERS

Be suspicious of appraisals, lab reports, or other documentation supplied by the seller. Often crucial information is left out or quality is misrepresented.

For example, one TV shopping show states, in a general description of diamond on its website, that diamonds are often irradiated. It’s probably true that the diamonds they sell are irradiated. However, this treatment lowers a diamond’s value and should be specifically stated on the appraisal.

If there is a large discrepancy between purchase price and valuation, the purchase price is a better indication of the jewelry’s true value.

In the absence of a detailed appraisal on JISO 78/79, make every effort to determine where the jewelry was purchased. This information can often help pin down details of the jewelry’s qualities and lead to a realistic valuation.

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

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