If an item of jewelry is lost, damaged, or stolen, an appraisal provides a detailed description of the piece.
"When you want to recreate the piece they'll be enough detail: the stones, the metal, the weight, the quality of the stones, that you'll get back exactly what you had," jeweler Greg Bires said.
You also need an appraisal if you want your jewelry insured.
Angie Hicks, the creator of Angie's List, said having your jewelry appraised can ensure it is valued at the correct amount, especially with the fluctuation in gold prices.
"The pricing and value of your jewelry can and does change overtime so you want to be sure you've got it insured for the right amount," Hicks said. "If it does end up lost or stolen, you get the right return."
Have your items appraised at least every three to four years, and expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $65 per item.
Choose your appraiser wisely. check for certification by a group like the American Gem Society. Steer clear of any appraiser who charges you a percentage of an item's appraised value. Appraisals shouldn't take much more than a day, so be wary if the appraiser wants to keep your jewelry much longer than that.
For more from Angie's List about jewelry appraisals, click here