How to Get Certified for Jewelry Appraisal
- Gaining certification typically requires candidates to already have experience as an appraiser. At least three organizations provide jewelry appraisal certification. The American Society of Appraisers provides certification for jewelry and gem appraisers. Candidates must pass a course and an ethics examination, hold a four-year college degree and have at least two years of full-time appraisal experience. They can continue increasing their credentials through the association as they further their experience and education, gaining Senior Member status and then Master Gemologist Appraiser status.
The International Society of Appraisers offers certification for its members after they have completed two courses and accumulated three years of experience.
The American Gem Society awards the title of Certified Gemologist Appraiser to experienced members who are Graduate Gemologists, a certification gained through the Gemological Institute of America. To become a Certified Gemologist Appraiser, members must also work for a firm that is a retail member of the AGS, complete an AGS course, attend an AGS seminar, pass an exam and take a color vision test.
- If you have a jewelry appraisal firm, gaining certification for your firm will enhance your company's image. The Independent Certified Gemologist Appraiser program of the AGS certifies jewelry and diamond appraisal firms. To gain certification, you must meet the program's education requirements and have been operating for at least two years. Additionally, you may not sell gems, diamonds or jewelry to the public, although you may serve as a broker to jewelry professionals.
You must have an American Gem Society Accredited Gem Laboratory® that follows the organization's guidelines, such as having a permanent lab space with equipment for testing diamonds and evaluating the color of gemstones. The lab must also have a Certified Gemologist or Certified Gemologist Appraiser who has been certified through the AGS.
The firm must earn at least 50 percent of its gross income from appraisals, and follow the appraisal standards of the American Gem Society. The person applying must be a Graduate Gemologist, and she must complete a course with the AGS, gain Registered Jeweler certification with the AGS, and continue fulfilling educational and annual re-certification requirements of the association.
- Working with an established appraiser will help you become more confident and knowledgeable, in addition to preparing you for certification. Plus, you may benefit from the appraiser's connections. Experience working in a fine jewelry store in your style of interest will also help you to become highly familiar with that style. If you enjoy antique jewelry, look for an antique shop selling high quality old jewelry in your style of choice. Alternatively, apply with a gallery or museum as an assistant or intern.
- Once certified, joining additional professional associations will cast you as a professional and help you to learn from more experienced appraisers. You'll benefit from trade conferences, continuing education programs, and possibly by finding a mentor. Consider joining the Jewelry Judge Network and the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, for instance. When potential clients or employers search for appraisers, they'll find you in these associations' listings, too.