You likely have appraisals for most or all of your most important and treasured jewelry. The appraisals include the details of each piece; total carat weight of diamonds, carat weight of other stones, type of gold (14k, 18k), dimensions of larger stones, sometimes the origin of stones, and some type of ‘value’. Typically people use these documents for insurance purposes because in the event of a claim, these appraisals are all you have to support replacement.
The resale value is dictated by the market at the time of sale. What other similar items are selling for will reflect on your resale value. Factors of the resale value are: the brand name, cost of materials, condition, if the item is rare, special history, if the high in demand (or if the market is saturated), etc. Often, the resale value is how much someone is willing to pay for the item.
In one instance, a client had purchased an Emerald ring about 15 years ago for $15,000.00. When she decided to sell it, it was valued at $60,000.00 because the price of Emeralds has risen dramatically. In her case, her appraisal worked against her as it was out of date. This is a perfect example why you want to always work with a firm who is experienced in selling jewelry and other high value items. Had our client just sold the ring for the amount on her appraisal she would have short-changed herself by about $30,000.00
Typically however, the insured value of your item, displayed on an appraisal will be greater than the resale value of your piece, unlike in the case of our client with the fantastic emerald ring.
Often this can be very upsetting and surprising to people when they find out that their treasure is not as valuable as they thought. The appraised value is clearly not always the same as the actual value. It depends on many factors. The economy, the market for the specific item, etc.
Buying jewelry that is investment grade will help hold values and increase in value over time, so this is just another reason why we should all be buying Emeralds and Sapphires!