J-Bar releases standards and practices

The Jewelers Board of Appraisal Review, J-BAR, recently released its new set of standards and practices to the industry. J-BAR is the newest division of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC), formed in 2001 and initially funded by a JCK Industry Fund Grant.

“The purpose of J-BAR is simple and clear-to reach out to those jewelers who do appraisals every day across the industry. Most of them are not members of an established appraisal organization, so J-BAR will help educate and support them,” said JVC’s Executive Director and General Counsel Cecilia L. Gardner. “Our standards and practices are very basic yet absolutely necessary to anyone doing appraisals. As a first step from J-BAR, we hope to bring attention to the basic concepts which should apply to appraisal practice.”

Caroline Stanley, who is responsible for marketing and development for JVC, told JCK that the trade association estimates that there are about 20,000 people doing appraisals who are not members of an established appraisal organization. At this time, there is no enforcement in place for the J-Bar standards and practices guidelines.

J-BAR will begin its trade outreach in the next few months, gathering data on those wishing to be affiliated with J-BAR. Those interested can be listed in a new resource book from J-BAR, which will serve as a valuable tool for those using appraisals as well as those writing appraisals, Gardner says.

The book will be divided into sections, similar to a lawyer’s BAR book, Gardner says. Sections will include: J-BAR Standards; Appraisal Organization Standards and Codes; Dispute Resolution Services; Suggested Appraisal Forms; Sample Legal Protection Language; Member Biographies/Listings; Organizational Information; and, a Glossary of Related Terms. The book is due out this fall. The standards and practices and its goals are as follows:

MISSION

J-BAR (the Jewelers Board of Appraisal Review), a department of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC), has been established to provide support and 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.

OBJECTIVE

J-BAR’s objective is to provide easily accessible appraisal practice education and to act as a clearinghouse for resolving disputes involving appraisal issues.

STANDARDS AND PRACTICES FOR JEWELRY AND GEMSTONE APPRAISALS

I. PREAMBLE

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:

II STANDARDS

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.
S.3 Provide detail that fully and accurately identifies the characteristics of the gemstone or jewelry (including, but 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.

III. PRACTICES

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 and disclose that all appraisal work is performed free of any conflict of interest, including but not limited to financial interest.
P.3 Provide the date, 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 which may have had an influence on the outcome of the appraisal.
P. 5 Make reasonable efforts to educate self and staff on the skills and knowledge necessary to perform accurate and credible jewelry appraisals.