CLARITY (NOUN): The quality of being transparent, in particular, coherent and intelligible.
VALUATION (NOUN): An estimation of the worth of something, especially one carried out by a professional valuer.
For me, my job is a passion. It was a fire that started over twenty years ago when I started working in my local jewellers after school. And over the years I am privileged to have worked for some of the most respected names in the industry. But the one aspect of the trade that always captivated me has been valuations.
When I started, nearly every jeweller had a ‘valuer’ on staff. Valuations were done on-site and they were handwritten. Little importance was placed on working notes, evidence, or the valuer’s ability to justify the ascribed value; longevity and time in the trade were enough.
But as with everything in life, things change. The valuing profession has become more specialised and now has national governance. Longevity in the industry on its own is no longer enough to make you a valuer. Now a prospective valuer needs substantial experience within the jewellery trade and must hold internationally recognised gemmological and diamond grading qualifications, as well as having passed approved course on valuing methodology. Only then can an aspiring valuer apply to and become a member of the Jewellery Valuers Association. The work also does not end there, as a valuer must undertake continuing professional development to maintain their membership status.
The requirements for the compilation of watch and jewellery valuations have also become more stringent. Now, a valuation is required to be a ‘fully researched and justifiable expert opinion.’ The work that goes into a watch or jewellery valuation is a combination of scientific analysis, mathematical formulas, research, experience and diligence. It is these factors that enable a professional valuer to arrive at a thoroughly researched and justifiable value.
It is now a rarity to walk into a jeweller and find a qualified independent registered valuer on site. Now most companies require you to send your watch or jewellery away to be valued, often with the turnaround time stretching from weeks into months, which in my opinion is far too long to ask anyone to be parted from their most precious pieces.
So when I set up Clarity Valuations, I had a straightforward objective. I wanted to make getting a valuation easy again, to get back to how simple and straight forward things use to be, while ensuring the valuation was not only fit for purpose but also conforms to today’s stringent guidelines.
So what makes me and Clarity Valuations different? Firstly I am entirely independent and have no vested interest in the pieces that I value. My fees are based on the number of items to be valued and not a percentage of their value. Ensuring there is no conflict of interest, so I am always able to provide an expert, non-biased report. I also do not accept commission payments from jewellers or insurance companies. Neither do I buy, sell, or broker. For me, offering my clients independence and candour is of paramount importance.
Secondly, and adhering to my principal that it should be easy to obtain a valuation. I specialise in providing a private visitation service, where I will come to you to undertake the inspection of pieces. Because I want to keep the disruption to yourself to an absolute minimum, and I don’t want you to have to send your most treasured items away for weeks on end. During the appointment, I will record all the pertinent information relating to your item(s), along with taking digital photographs of each piece. Once the inspection has been completed, I leave the item(s) with you and return to the office to undertake the research aspect of the valuation. The completed report is then sent on to you within a few working days. If it is not convenient for me to come to you, then I would be delighted to welcome you to my office near Cribbs Causeway Bristol.
So whatever your valuation needs may be, whether you live in Bristol, Bath, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Newport, Swansea, Taunton, Tenby, Worcester, or anywhere in the South West of England or South Wales. You can rest assured that I and Clarity Valuations will provide you with a truly personal, professional, and independent watch or jewellery valuation.
Gareth Brown FGA, DGA, GIA-Pearls, CPAA, AJP, FJVA
Fellow of the Jewellery Valuers Association.