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How good is an old bank statement or sales receipt? At a certain point, they become so outdated, they have virtually no value. Many times over, the same thing applies to old appraisals. Unlike an old bank statement that simply loses its value, an old appraisal can continue to cause great damage. Years ago, most jewelers guessed at diamond sizes and values and nearly always guessed on the high side, thinking it would keep anyone from getting hurt. Unfortunately, this was not the case at all. This practice resulted in consumers paying inordinately high premiums based on inflated values. Most older appraisals don't describe color and clarity of the gemstones listed. As a result, they are not worth the paper they're written on. It's like asking your insurance company to replace your stolen red car without having any more description. I've been flabbergasted by some of the old appraisals my clients bring in when their jewelry needs re-appraisal. By far, the worst thing about these out-dated documents is they are relied upon as accurate by insurance companies and their clients, even when they are seriously wrong!
Susan Eisen, January, 1999.