August 2014

JEWELRY INSURANCE ISSUES (formerly IM News), provides monthly insight and information for jewelry insurance agents, underwriters and claims adjusters.

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Jewelry Insurance Issues

Table of Contents

Click on article titles in red


What's a Certified Appraiser? - January

Best Appraiser Credentials - February

Are the diamonds you’re insuring real? - March

Handwritten Appraisals - April


Moral Hazard, Documents and the Bottom Line - January

Ruby and Jade - February

How to mail a diamond - March

Jewelry Insurance Appraisal Standards: JISO - April

Describing a gem's color - May

Why not just put jewelry on the Homeowner policy? - June

GIA Diamond Reports - July

Not just a pretty face - August

Moral hazards on the rise - September

Hurricanes, fires, floods—and jewelry insurance - October

Inherent vice / wear-and-tear losses are rising - November

FRAUD UPDATE – lack of disclosure, false inscriptions & doctored docs - December


Inflated appraisals—alive & well! Shady lab reports—alive & well! MORAL HAZARD—ALIVE & WELL! - January

Clarity Enhancements v. Inherent Vice - February

How green is my emerald? - March

Cruise Jewelry - What's the problem? - April

Crown of Light ® - how special is it? - May

Diamonds at Auction — Big gems, big prices, and the trickle-down effect - June

Are you sure her wedding jewelry is covered? - July

What Affects Jewelry Valuation? - August

What to look for – on the jewelry appraisal, on the cert, and on other documents - September

Growing Bigger & Bigger Diamonds - October

Scam season is always NOW - November

Ocean Diamonds - December


Pair & Set Jewelry Claims and the Accidental Tourist - January

Is that brand-name diamond a cut above the others? - February

Vacation Jewelry – Insurer beware! - March

Apple's Smartwatch – The risk of a wrist computer - April

Why you should read that appraisal - May

Smoking Gun! - June

Color-Grading Diamond: the Master Stones - July

Padparadscha—a special term for a special stone - August

Jewelry Appraisal Fees - September

Insuring a Rolex - steps to take, things to consider - October

Diamond camouflage and how to see through it - November

GIA Hacked! - December


Who Grades? - January

Sales, discounts, price reductions, bargains, specials, mark-downs . . . . and valuation - February

Credential Conundrum - March

Frankenwatches - April

Fakes, fakes, and more fakes - May

Marketing Confusion — What is this gem anyway? - June

12 Reasons Not to Insure a Rolex! - July

Why NOT to insure a Rolex: Reasons 5-7 - August

Why NOT to insure a Rolex: Reasons 8-10 - September

Why NOT to insure a Rolex: Reasons 11-12 - October

The Doublet Masquerade - November

Is the gem suitable for the jewelry? Is this a good insurance risk? - December


Wedding Rings on HO? NO! - January

Silver: the new gold - February

Point Protection - March

Tiffany v. Costco - April

What counts in valuing a diamond? - May

Appraising Jewelry - What’s a credential worth? - June

A Cutting Question concerning vintage diamonds - July

Synthesized Diamonds - Scam update - August

Pretty in Pink - Kunzite on parade... - September

Preventing jewelry losses - October

Scratch a diamond and you’ll find . . .??? - November

Synthetics in the Mix - December


Advanced Gem Lab - A deeper look at colored gems - January

Whose Diamond? - February

Appraisal Inflation - It Keeps On Keeping On - March

Big Emerald - April

Changing colors and making gems: Are we seeing "beautiful lies"? - May

Diamonds - Out of Africa. . . or out of a lab? - June

Appraiser's Dream Contest - July

GIA & the Magic of Certificates - August

Pricey when it’s hot: What happens when it’s not? - September

Fooling With Gold - October

Tanzanite – December's stone - November

Branding Diamonds - What do those names mean? - December


Unappraisable Jewelry - January

Replicas - Are they the real thing? - February

Composite Rubies- From bad to worse - March

Jewelry Hallmark - A Well-Kept Secret - April

Non-Disclosure: Following a Trail of Deception - May

Preserving the Diamond Dream - June

Spinel in the Spotlight - July

Jewelry 24/7 - Electronic Shopping - August

Diamond Bubble? - September

Disclosure: HPHT - October

"Hearts & Arrows" Diamonds - November

How a Gem Lab Looks at Diamonds - December


Emeralds - And What They Include - January

Pink Diamonds: From Astronomical to Affordable - February

Palladium-the Other Precious White Metal - March

Bridal Jewelry - April

The Corundum Spectrum - May

How Photos Cut Fraud - and help the insured - June

The Price of Fad - July

Old Cut, New Cut-It's All about Diamonds - August

EightStar Diamonds-Beyond Ideal - September

The Hazard of Fakes - October

Jewelry with a Story - November

Counterfeit Watches - December


Blue Diamond-cool, rare and expensive-sometimes - January

Turning Jewelry into Cash—
Strategy in a Bad Economy
- February

Enhancing the Stone - March

Being Certain about the Cert - April

Every Picture Tells a Story - May

Color-Grading Diamonds - June

The Newest Diamond Substitute - July

What Happens to Stolen Jewelry - August

Jewelry As an Investment - September

Black Diamond: Paradox of a Gem - October

Protect Your Homeowners Market—Keep Jewelry OFF HO Policies! - November

What’s So Great about JISO Appraisal Forms & Standards? - December


Garnet - and Its Many Incarnations - January

Organic Gems - February

Do Your Jewelry Insurance Settlements Make You Look Bad? - March

Don't Be Duped by Fake JISO Appraisal - April

Diamonds in the Rough - May

The Cultured Club - June

Sapphire-Gem Superstar - July

It's a Certified Diamond! 
- But who's saying so?
- August

FTC Decides: Culture Is In! - September

Paraiba Tourmaline – What's in a Name? - October

How Fancy is Brown? - November

CZ – The Great Pretender - December


Moissanite's New Spin - January

Online Jewelry - Buying and Insuring - February

Blood Diamonds - March

Damaged Jewelry, Don't Assume!- April

Chocolate Pearls - May

Appraisal Puff-Up vs Useful Appraisal - June

It's Art, but is it Jewelry?
- July

Diamonds Wear Coats of Many Colors - August

DANGER! eBay Jewelry "Bargains" - September

TV Shopping for Jewelry - October

Enhanced Emerald: clever coverup - November

How do you like your rubies -
leaded or unleaded?
- December


The New Platinum: A Story of Alloys - January

Ruby Ruse - February

How Big are Diamonds Anyway? - March

GIA Diamond Scandal
Has Silver Lining for Insurers
- April

Watch Out for Big-Box Retailers Insurance Appraisals - May

Mixing It Up: Natural and Synthetic Diamonds Together - June

Tanzanite - Warning: Fragile - July

Red Diamonds - August

Inflated Valuations & Questionable Certificates - September

Emeralds - October

Where Do Real Diamonds Come From? - November

Counterfeit Watches - The Mushroom War - December


The Lure of Colored Diamonds - January

Synthetic Colored Diamonds - February

Watches: What to Watch for - March

When is a Pear not a Pair? - April

The Truth About Topaz - May

White Gold: How White is White? - June

One of a Kind - or Not - July

Jewelry in Disguise - August

Valued Contract for Jewelry? Proceed with Caution! - September

Antiques, Replicas and All Their Cousins

Grading the Color of Colored Diamonds

New GIA Cut Grade for Diamonds - December


Synthetic Diamonds - and Insuring Tips - January

Bogus Appraisals and Fraud - February

A Picture is Worth Thousands of Dollars - March

Don't be Duped by Fracture Filling - April

Gem Scams Point to Need for Change - May

What is a Good Appraisal - June

4Cs of Color Gemstones - July

Gem Laser Drilling: The Next Generation - August

Why Update an Appraisal? - September

When to Recommend an Appraisal Update or a Second Appraisal - October

Secrets of Sapphire - November

Will the Real Ruby Please Stand Up - December


Mysterious Orient:
A Tale of Loss
- January

Bogus Diamond Certificates and Appraisals - February

Can Valuations be Trusted? - March

Spotting a Bogus Appraisal or Certificate - April

Counterfeit Diamond Certificates - May

Case of the Mysterious "Rare" Sapphires - June

Politically Correct Diamonds - July

Name Brand Diamonds - September

Princess Cut: Black Sheep of Diamonds - October

Reincarnate as a Diamond - November

Synthetic Diamonds - December


Irradiated Mail/Irradiated Gems - January

Fake Diamonds (Moissonite) - February

GIA Diamond Report - March

AGS and Other Diamond Certificates - April

Colored Stone Certificates - May

Damaged Jewelry: Don't Pay for Nature's Mistakes - June

The Case of the "Self-Healing" Emerald - July

Mysterious Disappearance: Case of the Missing Opals - August

The Discount Mirage - September

What Can You Learn from Salvage? - October

Gaining from Partial Loss - November

Year in Review - December


Colored Diamonds - January

Good as Gold - February

Disclose Gem Treatments - March

FTC Jewelry Guidelines - April

Myths Part I: Each Piece is Unique - May

Myths Part II: Myths, Lies, & Half-Truths - June

New Trend: Old Cut Stones - October

The Appraisal Process - November

Year in Review - December


Deceptive Pricing - January

Gems - Natural or Manmade - February

Jeweler/Appraisal Credentials - March

Fracture Filling - April

Salvage Jewelery - May

Gem Treatments - June

Don't Ask/Don't Tell - A Buying Nightmare - July

Laser Drilling of Diamonds - August

Jeweler Ethics or the Lack Thereof - September

Gem Scam - October

The Truth about Clarity Grading - November

Year in Review - December


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Why NOT to insure a Rolex: Reasons 5-7

Rolex is the largest-selling luxury watch in the world. Rolex is by far the watch most likely to be scheduled. This issue looks at three more reasons why covering a Rolex may not be a good idea.

The numbering here continues from our previous issue on 12 Reasons Not To Insure a Rolex.



5. Rolex is a male-dominated risk.

There are no statistics available for the sale of Rolexes by gender, but it's a safe bet that most are sold to men. This is the company's intention.

Photos from Rolex website


Since its inception, Rolex has tailored its advertising to appeal to the man who wants to be seen as successful and adventure-seeking. Rolex sponsors sporting events that appeal mainly to men, such as motorcar racing.

1958 Rolex ad

1960s Rolex ad

1960s Rolex ad

Recent Rolex ad


Rolex wearers climb mountains, go deep-sea diving, fly planes and put out fires because their watches let them do that. In a contemporary ad showing figures in recent history who wore Rolex, the text says, "IT'S DARED MEN FASTER. FURTHER. WORN BY LUMINARIES. VISIONARIES. CHAMPIONS." The message is that wearing a Rolex puts you—the male reader—in this company.

Although there are many brands of luxury watches, most scheduled watches are Rolexes. And most of those scheduled Rolexes are men's. This is important for insurers because, simply put: the loss ratio is much worse for men's jewelry than for women's.


6. Sentimental value does not attach to a Rolex.

Women tend to associate their jewelry with major events in their lives—wedding, anniversary, etc. Women often receive jewelry as a gift. The jewelry then comes to represent the event and the relationship with the giver. Influenced by these associations, women tend to be careful with their jewelry and more protective of it.

A man's Rolex doesn't carry this emotional weight.
It might even be said that a luxury watch appeals to a man because a watch isn't quite jewelry. The watch may be appreciated as a finely crafted object, a wonder of technology, an exquisite machine. Rolexes are "tool watches," not adornments. A Rolex watch has excellent engineering, lends the wearer prestige and public status, but it doesn't carry much personal sentiment.

Lacking this emotional significance, a Rolex may be valuable but it's not seen as irreplaceable. Thus, men are likely to be more casual in safeguarding their jewelry. This is borne out by insurance records that show a higher loss ratio for men's jewelry. And Rolex watches are the most frequently scheduled men's jewelry.


7. Rolex collectors wheel and deal, which means changes to the policy.

As the world's largest luxury watch brand, Rolex is the brand most collected and insured. Seeking certain models or special features, collectors frequently "trade up," disposing of a watch they have in order to acquire a more desirable one.

This creates maintenance issues for an insurer. The underwriter is constantly touching the policy, as watches are added to or deleted from coverage. And a watch is more complex to describe than a solitaire engagement ring.

Some collectible Rolexes available on the Internet


One source names over 30 basic lines of Rolex watches, like Daytona, Submariner, and Oyster Perpetual. Some of the lines have similar, though distinct, names—such as Explorer and Explorer II. Each line was produced in many versions; one line came in 48 different models, each with its own model number. Rolex has made dozens of movements, so the movement number must be recorded. There are also serial numbers, and the metals used for the various parts—dial, bezel, band, etc. In addition, any given watch may have unique features added, such as gems, each of which must be described in detail. All these features affect value and should be recorded for proper coverage.

And, though this may seem obvious, all the details must be accurate. With watches this is no small feat, since most appraisers are not trained in recognizing such watch details or distinguishing authentic from counterfeit parts. The appraisal of a Rolex is a whole separate concern, which we will discuss in a future issue of JII.


The loss ratio for men's jewelry is much worse than for women's. And a watch, usually a Rolex, is the most frequently scheduled item of men's jewelry.

Fine watches are identified by model and serial number, which should be given on the appraisal. Most manufacturers have separate model numbers for parts of the watch, such as the dial, bezel and band. All these numbers should be on the appraisal.

In addition, Rolex and other high-end watches are available with all sorts of diamond and gemstone accessory parts, all of which can carry separate model and part numbers. And these are far more costly than typical after-market parts added by non-Rolex sources.

Any gems on the watch, and the metal of each watch part, should be described in the same detail as for any other piece of gem jewelry. As you can imagine, detailed reporting on a watch encrusted with gems is extremely important to insurers.

Always ask for Rolex warrantee papers and a sales receipt. Rolexes purchased from a seller other an authorized dealer are considered by Rolex to be second-hand and are not covered by the company's warrantee.


Check for warrantee and other papers to be sure the watch is a genuine Rolex before pricing a replacement.

Watches, like cars (and unlike other jewelry), are machines that suffer wear and tear and do depreciate over time. A 10-year-old Rolex does not have the value of a new Rolex of that model. As with a car, so with a watch—the value of the replacement should take into account the age and condition of the property.

Be mindful of the moral hazard of an excessively high valuation, which can cause the insured to try to come out ahead by "losing" the jewelry. This is a more likely danger with men's watches because there is little sentimental attachment to the item.

There is a huge market for vintage (i.e., used) watches. An appraiser judging the value of a used Rolex can consult pricing services for vintage watches.

A future issue of JII will take a more detailed look at watch appraisals and the concerns they present for underwriters and adjusters.




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