What is an Appraisal?

An appraisal is a process through which a certified appraiser examines and states a dollar-value for a valuable item, such as a diamond, a luxury watch or a piece of jewelry. There are 27 types of different appraisals, each one to suit a different purpose, insurance and tax being the most common ones.

Many of our clients come to us with an appraisal that represents the replacement or taxable value of their item. While this helps us understand the details of the piece, it is important to note that it does not tell the whole story. Here, we look to make the distinction and dig deeper.

What is Diamond Grading?

Diamond grading is the thorough evaluation of a diamond and its attributes: carat, cut, color, and clarity. Diamond gradings are carried out at renowned gemological laboratories like GIA and IGI. Gradings at these labs are conducted by experienced gemologists, with state-of-the-art technology. Gemological labs issue diamond grading reports, which state the stone’s attributes with a very high level of detail and accuracy.

Appraisal vs. Grading

There’s often confusion about the different between an appraisal and a diamond grading. Many people believe that an appraisal will reveal their diamond’s absolute value. But actually, the value stated in an appraisal is only valid in the specific context that required it. For example, a jewelry appraisal for insurance purposes determines the Retail Replacement Value of the piece. That is, how much it will cost to buy an identical or similar item in case of loss of robbery. Thus, an appraisal doesn’t reflect the absolute, unalterable value of the item appraised. To learn more about this, read the article What’s My Jewelry Worth?

Instead, the most accurate way to learn a diamond’s value is to have it graded by a professional gemologist from a top laboratory. Diamonds are valued by the market according to their quality (weight in carats, clarity, color, and cut). Having your diamond graded will allow you to know exactly what you have, and will make it easier to find out how much your diamond is worth. Ultimately, a diamond grading report is the most transparent, accurate and objective tool you need to determine how the market values your diamond in a specific moment in time.

How We Calculate Your Item's Worth

When selling an item online, it is important to understand its value. At Worthy, we help you do this in three stages. The first is a market value analysis based on your submitted information. The second is a physical evaluation conducted by our esteemed grading partners followed by the third, a competitive online auction. These steps are carried out to ensure that your experience with us is fully transparent and ends in the highest market value possible.

We take the appraisal idea a step further. By having every diamond and watch auctioned at our platform authenticated and graded by the top-of-the-industry experts, we make sure you know exactly what you have. And through the competitive auction, we let the market itself assign value to each item for its true quality. In a nutshell, we unveil the item's true worth in the most transparent and objective way.

Market Value Estimate

Before you even send your item we ask that you provide a description of your valuable item and upload photos of it. Using that information, we put our Automatic Pricing Engine to work. This advanced technology compares the details you provided with similar items in the marketplace, resulting in an estimated value range. From there, we ask that you take advantage of the free, fully insured shipping to our headquarters.


In order to get high, competitive bids we must authenticate and assess your valuable. For diamonds, we’ve chosen the Gemological Institute of America, the industry’s leading lab. For watches, we entrust the experts at Central Watch. It is also at this stage that a Worthy professional photographs your valuable in HD from all angles. The result is a highly detailed authentication report and beautiful photographs for buyers to base their bids on.


The auction is where your item is ultimately appraised. The authentication doesn’t end in a monetary estimation: it ends in a much more significant way, truly reflecting the highest market value of your item. During the auction period, bids are collected from buyers worldwide, covering the scope of the international market. Instead of being based solely on one expert’s opinion, the true resale value of your item is determined from a much larger and more diverse sampling.
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