Recent trends document that every time economic difficultly arises; people tend to invest in alternative commodities such as gold, precious stones, and fine & contemporary art rather than leaving their money in the bank.
Since the crisis of 2008 the value of these goods has soared. Even fairly modest engagement rings have seen dramatic percentage increases in value in the last 5 or so years. To give one example, maybe not the most modest of engagement rings, is a Single Stone Round Eternal cut Diamond Ring that was valued at £52,000 in 2011 is now £130,000. Obviously there are price fluctuations across the world meaning that you are able to buy a precious stone in South Africa for a lot less than on Bond Street but unfortunately most valuations are conducted on the basis of replacing the item here in the UK.
There are few better examples of the explosion in values than Faberge. Peter Carl Faberge’s works are some of the most highly desirable in the world with some pieces reportedly sold at auction for over £9million. There are some 160,000 pieces of Faberge in the world, many of them are kept as part of private collections, however every time one is sold it affects the value of the other 159,999 pieces meaning that even within a matter of months the value could have significantly risen.
All of this impacts owners of these higher value items. High Net Worth insurers normally ask for valuations to be carried out between once a year to 3 years (depending on the value of the item). However, currently having items valued every 3 years is far too infrequent to provide an accurate sum to insure. If in the unfortunate event that a claim was to occur, there may be a case that the item was under insured and the result may be that the settlement amount will not be able to provide for a comparable replacement.
Professional valuers will charge on a per hour rate, or will take a percentage of the value of each item (anything between 1-3%). Your insurer or broker will be able to introduce you to a valuer if you require one.