Professional Jeweler Archive: J-BAR Offers New Appraisal Course

September 2003


J-BAR Offers New Appraisal Course

A starting point to learn the basics

In the U.S., thousands of retail jewelers perform appraisals every day – many of these jewelers have no appraisal training.

“Appraisals are an ongoing problem for the industry,” says Cecilia L. Gardner, executive director and general counsel of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee. “We know this from the volume of complaints JVC receives each year.”

Providing a Solution

Because of all the complaints stemming from incompetent or fraudulent appraisals it received, JVC launched J-BAR – the Jewelers Board of Appraisal Review – in 2002. One of its first goals was developing an appraisal course covering appraising basics and highlighting the pitfalls. Jewelry Appraisal Basics, a home-study course for jewelers, was rolled out in June.

“Education in this subject is essential to ensure competent and effective appraising,” says David Peters, Jewelers of America’s director of education, who has seen the course. “This course is a great tool for retail jewelers to improve their appraisals and is especially relevant for those just beginning their appraisal careers. J-BAR’s course is a solid first step for those who appraise.”

Gardner agrees. “There is a lot of valuable education available to honest and ethical jewelers today,” she says. “We hope this new course will be a starting point for many jewelers.”

Jewelry Appraisal Basics uses the fundamental principles of jewelry appraisals. The course covers:

  • Legal liabilities associated with appraising jewelry.
  • Types of appraisals.
  • Methods of valuation.
  • Elements of an appraisal.
  • Language to include on appraisals.
  • Discussion of business ethics as applied to jewelry appraisals.

From this starting point, jewelry professionals can progress to more technical education (many professional appraisal organizations offer more complex courses, see “Further Appraisal Education”).

Testing Knowledge

The course is followed by an exam to assess a jeweler’s basic knowledge. Passing the test allows the jeweler to list his or her qualifications and experience in the planned J-Bar Resource Directory, which will have information about appraisals.

The directory will be distributed to those who use appraisal services, including state Attorneys General, legal organizations, insurance companies and local consumer protection agencies. The resource directory is due for publication in 2004.

The Jewelry Appraisal Basics examination to qualify for a listing in the J-Bar Resource Directory may be taken 5without taking the course. The price for the course and exam is $89.95. The exam alone is $49.95.

Setting Standards

JVC established J-BAR to provide support, education and a structure for appraisers and users of appraisal services.

J-BAR sets minimum standards based on legal compliance and sound business practices. J-BAR’s standards and practices facilitate compliance with Federal Trade

Commission Guidelines, which address deception and misrepresentation in the industry. J-BAR’s objective is to provide easily accessible appraisal practice education and to act as a clearinghouse for resolving disputes involving appraisal issues.

To view J-BAR’s Standards & Practices, or to learn more about J-BAR, visit

Further Appraisal Education

If you’re looking to obtain more advanced education in jewelry appraising, the following organizations provide more complex courses:

  • American Society of Appraisers, Washington, DC; (800) ASA-VALU or (703) 478-2228,
  • International Society of Appraisers, Seattle, WA; (800) 543-5763 or (206) 241-0359,
  • National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, Annapolis, MD; (410) 897-0889.

Copyright © 2003 by Bond Communications