Jewelry insurers – look around, you may
find a gold mine in your office drawers!
That damaged or returned jewelry may be
the mother lode of jewelry that can be salvaged. That means huge savings to carriers.
Where does salvage jewelry
The short answer is many places:
1. A policyholder loses a ring and receives
a cash settlement or replacement, later
finding the ring. That ring, not damaged, just pre-owned, is put out for sale
as salvage. The income goes back into
the insurer’s coffers, thus reducing the
cost of the original payout.
2. A gold ring is damaged through some
sort of impact (garbage disposals are
often the culprit). If not too damaged, it
can be resold; otherwise melted for scrap.
3. One diamond earring is lost. Some carriers take the existing one and replace
with a new pair. In most cases, duplicating the one earring can be less expensive than replacing both.
What happens to salvage
Jewelry purchased through salvage are re-
cut, refurbished, made to look like new, and
resold to an end user - the general public, a
replacement service, or a diamond broker.
If it’s any type of gold or platinum jewelry,
it is refurbished to like-new condition and
sold as pre-owned. It’s truly a win-win.
Most carriers turn to the jewelry replacement experts that they work with
for replacement and price quote support.
Those experts evaluate the piece and send
a loss or damage report or establish a
LOV (loss of value or diminished value as
a result of damage).
Do you have to recertify
diamonds that are repaired or
Some policyholders may have a damaged
diamond that is an heirloom with great
sentimental value and, despite damage,
they don’t want to replace it. The jewelry replacement expert then determines
the loss of value or diminished value. In
addition, the jewelry replacement expert
then provides the insurance carrier with
the cost to repair or recut the gemstone.
When a stone is recut to remove damage
or blemishes, the original, while looking
the same, will be smaller in size and worth
less. The carrier will then issue a check to
the policyholder for the diminished value
and the policyholder gets back the same
What determines value?
While a missing or damaged piece may
have sentimental value for its owner, for
replacement experts determining value is
based on more concrete terms. In the case
of a damaged diamond, for example, not
only does the expert look at the quality of
the stone, they also have to assess and calculate what the recut weight would be after
the damaged area is removed. If a diamond
has a small corner chip, weight loss can be
minimal; if a deep chip or crack, it could be
40-50% of the weight of the diamond. The
most dreaded thought of disaster during
the recutting process is that the diamond
can shatter and be worth nothing.
If a precious metal piece is not repairable, it can be melted by a refiner with
value based on metal value at the time.
And, just a few more tidbits of
By law, jewelry is supposed to have a surface stamping to indicate precious metal
content i.e. 14K, 18K, platinum; many
also have the manufacturer’s name, trademark or logo engraved or stamped. If a
jewelry expert can identify the manufacturer of the ring, the manufacturer can
handle restoration or replacement.
Never forget the importance of photos
no matter what; it allows adjusters and replacement experts to see what it looked like
prior to damage. Make sure carriers have
complete descriptions and photographs.
Alan H. Fisher is President and Founder
of Claimlink Jewelry Replacement. He
can be reached at 800-537-4700 or at
Salvaged Jewelry – A Win-Win for Policyholders, Insurers
By Alan H. Fisher
Headquartered at the Jersey Shore, Claimlink maintains a state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly, LED-lighted showroom in Red
Bank, N.J., and can also schedule private showings at its Manhattan office in the Diamond District.