July 2014

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


What's a Certified Appraiser? - January

Best Appraiser Credentials - February

Are the diamonds you’re insuring real? - March

Handwritten Appraisals - April


Moral Hazard, Documents and the Bottom Line - January

Ruby and Jade - February

How to mail a diamond - March

Jewelry Insurance Appraisal Standards: JISO - April

Describing a gem's color - May

Why not just put jewelry on the Homeowner policy? - June

GIA Diamond Reports - July

Not just a pretty face - August

Moral Hazards on the rise - September

Hurricanes, fires, floods—and jewelry insurance - October

Inherent vice / wear-and-tear losses are rising - November

FRAUD UPDATE – lack of disclosure, false inscriptions & doctored docs - December


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Grading the Color of Colored Diamonds

New GIA Cut Grade for Diamonds - December


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


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


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


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


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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12 Reasons Not to Insure a Rolex!

It's not that we think Rolex isn't a quality product. It's not that we wouldn't like to own one. But this is a question of insurance risk. There are lots of things an insurer should consider before taking on this luxury watch. Seriously. We've come up with a dozen concerns, and this issue of JII will look at 4.

Rolex is a Really Big Name. Rolex is the official time-keeper at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, and sponsors the 24 Hours of Daytona car race. That makes for major name recognition. There are many luxury brand watches, but Rolex is the name everyone knows.

What is gained by that prestige is balanced by some disadvantages. The drawbacks affect the company itself, the owners of Rolex watches—and watch insurers.

Here are some things insurers should think about when considering coverage for a Rolex:

  1. Rolex travels.

    Rolex has such a prestigious position that it is the go-to brand for showing status. Even the most conservative, understated style makes an impression. Thus it is an ego watch for salespeople who travel.

    Travel means more exposure to loss. The watch might be forgotten at a hotel. It could be damaged while the traveler deals with luggage. The owner might be targeted by pickpockets while he is distracted in a crowded airport or on unfamiliar streets.
  2. Bling attracts attention, and bling on a Rolex attracts even more.

    Rolex is often worn to broadcast success and it's meant to be seen. Bling makes it even more visible. This page has a number of splendid examples of blinged-out Rolexes. Although other brands may also be decked out, Rolex is at the top of the desirable list.

    It's often entertainers and athletes who go in for extravagant jewelry. Surrounded by enthusiastic fans, they may become less cautious about the safety of their jewelry. Especially on the road, they may tend to an adventurous lifestyle. Nightclubbing, walking the streets in the small hours, seeking out exciting experiences in unfamiliar locales, can be risky business. In that environment, flashy jewelry is an easy target for thieves.
  3. Rolex is the most targeted watch.

    According to insurance journals, Rolex is the #1 watch pursued by professional thieves. This means it not only prompts one-off holdups on a dark street at night, but it's a dependable source of income on a larger scale.

    One recent incident involved 6 people who arrived on 3 mopeds, broke into a jewelry store with sledgehammers, smashed the Rolex displays, and were off with the goods in about two minutes. Display cases with other luxury watches were not touched.

    This incident relates directly to our 4th point:
  4. Rolex is easily fenced.

    There are many brands of luxury watches produced, but who's heard of them? Many brands are recognized only by collectors and the wealthy, who can afford to pay full price in legitimate sales. But Rolex is so well known that disposing of hot goods is a piece of cake. Potential buyers are all over, from eBay to your corner flea market.

    Rolex sales on eBay and other internet venues raise even more concerns for insurers. These concerns, among our dozen reasons to be wary of insuring a Rolex, will be discussed in a future article.


Be cautious about insuring Rolexes, or any high-value jewelry, for anyone who travels a good deal and takes their jewelry with them. This is particularly true for entertainers and those in the public eye, for whom expensive jewelry is part of their "image." The risk of loss during travel is much higher.

Be sure to have a picture of the watch—or several pictures, with different views.

Fine watches are identified by model and serial number, which should be given on the appraisal.

In addition, most manufacturers have separate model numbers for parts of the watch, such as the dial, bezel and band. All these numbers should be on the appraisal.

Rolex and other high-end watches are available with all sorts of diamond and gemstone accessory parts, all of which can carry separate model and part numbers. And these are far more costly than typical after-market parts added by non-Rolex sources.

Any gems on the watch, and the metal of each watch part, should be described on the appraisal in the same detail as for any other piece of gem jewelry. As you can imagine, detailed reporting on a watch encrusted with gems is extremely important to insurers.

Always ask for Rolex warrantee papers and a sales receipt. Rolexes purchased from a seller other an authorized dealer are considered by Rolex to be second-hand and are not covered by the company's warrantee. Even those brand-new never-worn watches stolen in the jewelry store break-in described above would fall into this category, because the buyer of the stolen goods would have no proof of purchase from a Rolex dealer.
Without papers, you have no verification that the watch is a genuine Rolex and not a fake. And we'll have more on this topic in a forthcoming issue.


Check for warrantee papers to be sure the watch is a genuine Rolex before pricing a replacement.

Seek a Rolex replacement only from an authorized Rolex dealer. Do not be tempted to shop in the huge market that exists for watches with unauthorized, aftermarket add-ons. Such modified watches are not considered genuine by Rolex.

Watches are highly competitive. Even going through an authorized dealer, you may be able to get a steep discount. If necessary, consult your jewelry expert for assistance in getting the best price on an authentic Rolex from an authorized dealer.

However, the age of the Rolex is important in determining the settlement. We'll deal with this matter in some detail in a future issue of JII.



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