Jewelry in Disguise
It’s usually easy to tell the difference between furniture and jewelry.
But sometimes you have to ask yourself:
Is this piece – for insurance purposes – jewelry?
Suppose you have a 200-year-old jewelry box. You might consider it miscellaneous antique furniture. Suppose it is an expensive, finely decorated music box, a real work of art. You might think of it as a table sculpture and schedule it under fine arts.
Suppose it is a rare and exceptional music box, covered with 18 kt gold, pearls, turquoise, and enameled artwork, has a golden bird that sings the music, and it looks like this:
You might want to schedule this one as jewelry.
Jewelry usually means items for personal adornment, made of precious metals and perhaps gemstones. Although this is a music box, not an item meant to be worn, it meets some criteria for jewelry:
- It incorporates precious metals.
- It is encrusted with gems.
Other factors also make the classification as jewelry appropriate:
- It is portable and would be easy to steal.
- It is obviously valuable and collectible.
- Its component parts (gems and gold) have intrinsic value.
- Its exquisite workmanship gives it high value
- It has a clock, and often clocks made of precious metals are classed as jewelry.
- Its valuation is in excess of $66,000.
- It is unique and irreplaceable.
How would you insure it?
FOR AGENTS & UNDERWRITERS
For such a piece, get an appraisal from an appraiser who is well versed in antique jewelry and watches.
Write this as a valued contract, since it is unique and irreplaceable.
If the piece is stolen, you must simply issue a check.
If it is damaged, have it examined by an expert, probably someone who is both jeweler and watchmaker. Some kinds of damage can be repaired. However, cracked enamel, for example, could probably not be returned to its pre-loss condition.
Even if you pay it as a total loss, always take possession of the salvage. Often a piece can be repaired to significant value. In any case, the component gems and metals have value.
If a piece has sentimental value, you could (after paying for a total loss)
offer to return the damaged piece to the insured for a determined recovery
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