J-BAR Modifies Standards & Practices


May 17, 2002

J-BAR Modifies Standards & Practices

Responding to feedback from appraisers and appraisal groups, the Jewelers' Vigilance Committee's J-BAR appraisal organization has made important changes to its Standards & Practices document. It now asks appraisers to name their valuation method, as well as state an appraisal's intended use. It also requires appraisers to disclose conflicts of interest that could affect the appraisal. It also more forcefully asks jewelers to pursue ongoing efforts to educate themselves and their staffs on the skills and knowledge necessary to perform accurate and credible jewelry appraisals.

"J-BAR and its purpose attracted industry comment since it was first proposed," says Cecilia Gardner, JVC's executive director and general counsel. "Our basic premise is quite simple – to help those thousands of jewelers not affiliated with an appraisal organization to perform better appraisals."

"Our research shows there are about 20,000 retail jewelers writing appraisals," Gardner continues. "All of them want direction and guidance in order to provide better service and protect themselves from liability. Approximately 1,000 appraisers are members of a recognized appraisal organization. We're here to act as a resource for those who are searching for help."

That guidance often will be a recommendation to take inquiries to one of the existing appraisal organizations when the jeweler does not have the requisite appraisal experience, Gardner mentioned. "We have actively reached out to the existing organizations and have carefully considered their comments. Many of them have comprehensive education in place and that may be appropriate for some jewelers," she says. "We're grateful for the input we've received – it's helped us to better focus our Standards and Practices and keep them in line with existing industry norms."

J-BAR was formed in 2001 and its objective is to promote easily accessible appraisal practice education, to act as a clearinghouse for resolving disputes involving appraisal issues and to monitor compliance with sound appraisal practice. J-BAR Standards and Practices facilitate compliance with Federal Trade Commission Guidelines, which address deception and misrepresentation.

For more information, contact JBAR & JVC, New York City; (212) 997-2002.


STANDARDS AND PRACTICES FOR JEWELRY AND GEMSTONE APPRAISALS (REVISED)

I. PREAMBLE
All J-BAR appraisers undertake to become familiar with and comply with all laws and regulations applicable to the jewelry industry. Because J-BAR appraisers understand that they take responsibility for the appraisal documents they author, they have agreed to the following standards and practices in performing appraisals of jewelry and gemstones:

II. STANDARDS
J-BAR Appraisers Shall:
S.1 Perform only those types of appraisals for which the appraiser has demonstrated appropriate knowledge, skill and competency.
S.2 State within the appraisal its specific intended use and valuation methods.
S.3 Provide detail that fully and accurately identifies the characteristics of the gemstone or jewelry (which could include but is not limited to: weight, clarity, color, cut and type, including gemstone treatments) using recognized and common terminology.
S.4 Perform appraisals based on physical inspection unless otherwise clearly disclosed within the appraisal.
S.5 Maintain appropriate and accurate supporting documentation pertaining to and identified within the appraisal performed.

III. PRACTICES
J-BAR Appraisers Shall:
P.1 Ensure that they have the knowledge, skill and competency to perform the appraisal for which they have been engaged and that all qualifications are disclosed to the recipient of the appraisal services.
P.2 Ensure that all appraisal work is based on unbiased evaluation, free of any conflict of interest, including but not limited to financial interest, and that any potential conflict of interest is disclosed.
P.3 Provide the date of inspection, name of the appraiser and a legible signature of the appraiser on all appraisal documents.
P.4 Describe any unusual or irregular environmental conditions, limitations or restrictions that may have had an influence on the outcome of the appraisal.
P. 5 Pursue ongoing efforts to educate self and staff on the skills and knowledge necessary to perform accurate and credible jewelry appraisals.



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