Jewelry Appraisal

Jewelry appraisals are provided by Mark Sandler and Phyllis Painter.

Graduates of the Gemological Institute of America, Mark and Phyllis are truly qualified to give expert appraisals. Mark is also a member of the American Society of Appraisers and is an expert in his field. Through the day-to-day buying and selling of gemstones and diamonds, and as jewelry designers and manufacturers, we stay informed of current diamond, gemstone, and precious metal values. If you need a professional, competent and exacting appraisal, Mark and Phyllis will provide you the best possible evaluation.

Why jewelry appraisals are important... to you

To protect your initial dollar investment, the importance of an accurate jewelry appraisal can be vital necessity.
Important reasons for jewelry appraisals include the following:

  1. In case of fire or theft, establishes it’s replacement value for your insurance company.
  2. To establish a current market value for estate purposes.
  3. To determine true value and authenticity of jewelry offered for purchase.
  4. Accounting for fluctuating metal prices and increasing rarity of precious gems for appraisals of which have become outdated.

Obtain an Accurate Appraisal

The foremost consideration for acquiring an accurate appraisal is selecting a trained and experienced gemologist who can appraise your jewelry to clearly establish its value. The appraiser should have knowledge of precious metals and alloys as well as the methods of manufacturing and the costs involved. Furthermore, the appraiser must be familiar with current market prices of gemstones.

Meeting Your Need

Our appraisal reports are made for jewelry and gems: a total legal and technical report – with full color photos.

Insurance Appraisal – Provides information for insurance coverage which will assure a replacement of equal quality and value. A detailed description is extremely important on this type of appraisal to assure a satisfactory reproduction of the article. If the item is irreplaceable, a current retail market value of a comparable item is used. We also provide a list of questions you should ask your insurance agent concerning your coverage. Their reply, before any need arises, will clarify many potential questionable areas.

Casualty Loss – The IRS will allow an income tax deduction for lost and damaged items not covered by insurance. You may wish to consult a tax advisor before acquiring this type of appraisal.

Collateral – Performed for a party wishing to use jewelry or gemstones for obtaining a loan or for a similar business transaction, a “cash” value.

Damage Report – Indicates the approximate weight loss resulting from recutting a damaged stone and the value of the loss.

Customs Evaluation – Custom officials may ask for proof that the item of jewelry was not purchased in a foreign country from which an individual has just returned.

Divorce Settlement – Prepared in accordance with current state laws, a cash value.

Donation and Gifts – Based on the U.S. internal Revenue Code and appreciable court interpretations when used for tax purposes.

Estate – Appraising for tax purposes is highly specialized task which requires training, knowledge and expertise. An estate appraisal for probate purposes must be based on a market value.

Quantitative Report – used to establish or confirm the identity and description of gemstones, gem materials, precious metals, jewelry, coins, etc. No dollar value is given.

Verbal Consultation – A 20-minute informative conversation preliminary to a written report.

How Do We Do This For You?

Our appraisal reports are prepared in accordance with guidelines set forth by The American Society of Appraisers. Your completed document will include:

  1. The millimeter dimensions, quality, weight, and identification of each major stone. (The same information should be offered for minor stones, except that some of the details may not be as extensive. A statement of the number of stones and their total weight may be sufficient.)
  2. Specific color and clarity grades of major diamonds including inclusion diagnosis when applicable.
  3. Identification and assessment of the workmanship of metal used in the mounting.
  4. A thorough technical description of the item.
  5. The estimated value of the item.
  6. The original document for your personal records and a copy for the involved third party.

Time and Money

Appraisals are completed in as timely a fashion as possible and in the order received. Please allow us ample time so that an accurate and complete appraisal may be performed.

Appraisal fees are based on the amount of time required to complete the appraisal. A written estimate of the fee will be provided before the work is started.


An appraisal update should be considered every two or three years since the cost of materials and labor changes. This will also allow us an opportunity to inspect for damages, loose stones, etc.

About My Designation

  • An Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA) credential isn’t the easiest designation to achieve, but it’s the most recognized and respected!
  • Hiring an ASA is worth every penny…you get what you pay for…and you get results.
  • ASAs back up their designation with valuation experience…and not just a little experience, 10,000 hours worth or more to even qualify for the ASA designation!
  • ASA designated appraisers must complete 100 hours of continuing education and professional activities and reaccredit every five years.
  • The ASA designation is the only valuation designation required to comply with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) – the standards promulgated by the congressionally-authorized The Appraisal Foundation.

About My MGA® or CEIV™ Certifications

  • The Master Gemologist Appraiser® (MGA) certification is one of the most respected in the gems and jewelry appraisal profession. To achieve this level of distinction, in addition to holding an (ASA) designation in Gems & Jewelry, I have completed advanced education and other requirements.
  • The Certified in Entity and Intangible Valuations™ (CEIV™) certification is one of the most respected in the business valuation profession. To achieve this level of distinction, in addition to holding an Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA) designation in Business Valuation, I have completed advanced education and requirements.

About ASA

  • ASA is a world renowned and respected international organization devoted to the appraisal profession.
  • ASA is the oldest and only major appraisal organization representing all appraisal specialists.
  • ASA is dedicated to providing the highest possible standards in all areas of ethics, professionalism, education, and designation criteria.
  • For more information about ASA, the ASA designation program for appraisers or the Society’s free “Find an Appraiser” Referral System, visit or call (800) 272-8258.

When you hire an ASA valuation professional, you know you are hiring a qualified and experienced appraiser. To receive my designation, I successfully completed over 100 hours of valuation education AND four three-hour exams; I was required to take an ethics course and pass a test on a set of appraisal standards called USAPAP, and I had to submit an actual valuation report and pass a peer review process regarding it. I was also required to demonstrate that I had 10,000 hours of valuation experience in order to even be allowed to be considered for the ASA designation. Very importantly, I must also complete 100 hours of continuing education and professional activities and reaccredit every five years. The ASA designated is the preeminent designation for the valuation profession.

Make your appointment today.

Your professional evaluation of jewelry is performed two ways:

  1. Verbal Consultation, without accompanying documentation (you may take as many notes as you wish; the fee may be applied against written appraisal).
  2. Written, a detailed and signed document for insurance purposes complete with detailed color photos.

All appraisals are by appointment, our fees are based upon hourly rates. The rate for one hour will usually cover a single item for a written evaluation. Verbal consultations are based on 20-minute segments, which is usually enough for a single item.

We would love to hear from you!

Designer Jewels, Inc. is a Houston fine jewelry designer providing jewelry appraisal services, custom design and repair. We provide lapidary services as well. We also buy and sell old estate jewelry.