J-BAR modifies ‘Standards & Practices’

After receiving industry input, J-BAR has modified its Standards & Practices for jewelry appraisals.

Formed in 2001 with funding from a JCK Industry Fund Grant to the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, the Jewelers Board of Appraisal Review (J-BAR) aims to promote easily accessible appraisal practice education, to act as a clearinghouse for resolving disputes involving appraisal issues, and to monitor compliance with sound appraisal practice.

“J-BAR and its purpose attracted industry comment since it was first proposed,” notes Cecilia Gardner, JVC’s executive director and general counsel. “Our basic premise is quite simple: to help those thousands of jewelers not affiliated with an appraisal organization to perform better appraisals.

“Our research shows there are about 20,000 retail jewelers writing appraisals,” Gardner says. “All of them want direction and guidance in order to provide better service and protect themselves from liability. Approximately 1,000 appraisers are members of a recognized appraisal organization. We’re here to act as a resource for those who are not and who are searching for help.”

That guidance often will take the form of recommending inquiries to one of the existing appraisal organizations when the jeweler does not have the requisite appraisal experience, she explains. “We have actively reached out to the existing organizations and have carefully considered their comments. Many of them have comprehensive education in place and that may be appropriate for some jewelers. We’re grateful for the input we’ve received-it’s helped us to better focus our Standards and Practices and keep them in line with existing industry norms.”

In response to the comments J-BAR has received, a modified version of J-BAR Standards and Practices is being released to the industry.

“The changes are minor but important,” concludes Gardner. “The wording and intent is better focused. J-BAR is a work in progress, and these Standards and Practices reflect that.”

The modified text is as follows:

J-BAR (the Jewelers Board of Appraisal Review), a department of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC), has been established to provide support and promote education for appraisers and users of appraisal services. J-BAR sets minimum standards based on legal compliance and sound business practices. J-BAR standards and practices facilitate compliance with Federal Trade Commission Guidelines, which address deception and misrepresentation.

J-BAR’s objective is to promote easily accessible appraisal practice education, to act as a clearinghouse for resolving disputes involving appraisal issues, and to monitor compliance with sound appraisal practice.

All J-BAR appraisers undertake to become familiar with and comply with all laws and regulations applicable to the jewelry industry. Because J-BAR appraisers understand that they take responsibility for the appraisal documents they author, they have agreed to the following standards and practices in performing appraisals of jewelry and gemstones:

J-BAR Appraisers Shall:
S.1 Perform only those types of appraisals for which the appraiser has demonstrated appropriate knowledge, skill and competency.

S.2 State within the appraisal its specific intended use and valuation methods.

S.3 Provide detail that fully and accurately identifies the characteristics of the gemstone or jewelry (which could include but is not limited to: weight, clarity, color, cut, and type, including gemstone treatments) using recognized and common terminology.

S.4 Perform appraisals based on physical inspection unless otherwise clearly disclosed within the appraisal.

S.5 Maintain appropriate and accurate supporting documentation pertaining to and identified within the appraisal performed.

J-BAR Appraisers Shall:
P.1 Ensure that they have the knowledge, skill and competency to perform the appraisal for which they have been engaged and that all qualifications are disclosed to the recipient of the appraisal services.

P.2 Ensure that all appraisal work is based on unbiased evaluation, free of any conflict of interest, including but not limited to financial interest, and that any potential conflict of interest is disclosed.

P.3 Provide the date of inspection, name of the appraiser and a legible signature of the appraiser on all appraisal documents.

P.4 Describe any unusual or irregular environmental conditions, limitations or restrictions that may have had an influence on the outcome of the appraisal.

P.5 Pursue ongoing efforts to educate self and staff on the skills and knowledge necessary to perform accurate and credible jewelry appraisals.

The JVC, founded in 1917, is a not-for-profit trade association whose mission is to maintain the jewelry industry’s highest ethical standards. JVC offers precious metals testing, compliance monitoring, and dispute arbitration, as well as other services.