Jewellery and watches are often overlooked in estimating insurance replacement values given the typical gaps between purchasing. Consider petrol: you notice the price of petrol every week when filling up but with watches and jewellery there are often many years between purchases. A nasty surprise can occur if you lost an item where prices changed throughout that decade and that has certainly been the case in the last 10 years in the UK. Euro prices and precious metal prices have conspired to raise the price of many luxury goods.

 Two small examples to illustrate: (1) A classic Cartier watch steel sold for £1,725 in 2006, today just 9 years later the watch sells for £2,930. (2) A 1.00ct diamond of medium quality characteristics would sell for around £5795 in 2010, 4 years later in 2015 it’s £7250. That’s excluding the platinum or gold in the item itself - and you probably know that precious metal prices have risen enormously over the past decade.

 Everyone’s policy wording is different but in truth the responsibility lies with the insured to be up to date with their Jewellery Valuation values in the case of loss. If price inflation of your item occurs to take it over a single item limit then your claim in the event of loss may be at risk. Likewise, it’s very good practice to have a formal list, pictures or inventory of your watches and jewellery even if it is below a single item limit. The layman can photograph, weigh and use scale to describe items but for tricky pieces or more costly pieces a formal valuation for insurance by a professional is a good investment. Some jewellers recommend valuing items over £2,000 regardless of policy, just in case.

 A formal valuation describes accurately and technically what the item is with accompanying photos. It’s very hard to argue with an Institute of Registered Valuers (IRV) valuation! You may have a local independent jeweller who may be able to help; we at Jacobs, established in Reading for over 65 years (and registered IRVs) offer this service with in house expertise. Initial advice in-store is not charged, typically we will gauge what items would be over a single item limit and recommend which ones can be left to more basic categorization.

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