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What is your jewelry telling you?

We often have people come to us with mysteries about their jewelry (hoping for insights into the mysteries of their jewelry)

-Is this real?

-Why did my jewelry break?

-Did I get what I paid for?

-Will this hold up to my lifestyle?

-What is this stone?

If you need to have your jewelry appraised for insurance reasons, dissolution of marriage, are settling an estate, or just for resale, call Barbara and Randy. Their combined 80+ years of experience in the jewelry industry has made them experts in these types of appraisals. 

Barbara Hight-Randall,  CGA, GG


Appraisal FAQ

What is an appraisal?

An insurance replacement appraisal is a legal document with the detail and values needed for the insurance company to replace an item in the event of loss or, in some cases, damage. The document's value lies in the accuracy and detail of each item’s attributes and individual market research for replacement. Anything less allows debate for an appropriate and comparable replacement.

What is included in your appraisals?

Some of the considerations that go into the creation of the appraisal document are as follows:

- Each piece is documented separately; such as a pendant and chain are considered two (2) pieces of jewelry if they can be separated one from the other.

- All metals, even those with a metal fineness stamp mark such as 585 (14k) or 925 (Sterling), must be verified as such and/or tested.

- Items that have diamonds and gemstones have additional steps taken. They are identified by species and variety, and natural versus synthetic or enhanced.

- Each gemstone is measured to assist in determining weight. The multiple quality attributes are also evaluated, all of which are part of determining value.

- Detailed photography of each item from various angles assists a designer/manufacturer in replacing as close as possible the item(s) in question. These color photos support the written description, creating a clearer communication.

Why should I choose you?

Barbara Hight-Randall is a 37 year title holder Graduate Gemologist (GG) by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), 33 year title holder Certified Gemologist, and 24 year title holder Certified Gemologist Appraiser (CGA), tested yearly to maintain that credential by the America Gem Society (AGS). Our gemological laboratory is also certified by the American Gem Society (AGS), the only one in Southeast Minnesota.

Hight & Randall is a member firm, upholding the appraisal standards set down by the American Gem Society (AGS) since 1997.

What do you charge?

After our no-fee appraisal consultation, we charge by the time it takes to do the work rather than by item or appraised value. We believe that you shouldn't have to pay the same price for a simple gold chain as an elaborate gemstone ring, or pay a percentage of the final appraised value of the items, which leads to a potential conflict of interest.

Our fee is $225 per hour, which will usually cover several jewelry items depending on the complexity. For example, a diamond solitaire engagement ring including both partners' wedding bands typically takes an hour. Price and time estimates are discussed and agreed upon during the consultation; there are no hidden fees or surprise up-charges.

If you would like a personalized, private appraisal experience where you are able to sit with Barbara while she steps through the complexities of the process, the fee is $265 per hour. During this time, you will have the opportunity to ask questions and be part of the process, getting to know your jewelry from a different perspective and receiving a thorough understanding of the elements of value.

Whether you need an appraisal for insurance replacement, estate, market value, or for dissolution of marriage, the fee arrangement is the same.