Whether a piece off jewelry is a family heirloom or just has sentimental value, it might be impossible to replace if it's stolen. While your insurance can cover the costs of buying a similar item, you' have to provide documentation evidencing the theft and the value to your insurance company.
Insurance and Replacement
Consult your insurance policy to confirm the kind of coverage you have. Keep in mind that insurance companies don't always cover the full cost of replacement. Some pay the amount at which the jewelry was last appraised or cut a check for a single amount to replace an entire collection. If your policy calls for an appraisal, be sure you have it in writing.
Gather all the information you have about the jewelry, including purchase receipts and appraisal certificates. Photos of the jewelry -- such as an image of you wearing a ring at a party -- can serve as verification that you owned the jewelry and a helpful guide for the design of the piece you're trying to replace.
Consult a jeweler who specializes in appraisals and show her your documentation. She can provide an accurate estimate of the missing piece's current market value, including replacement costs. If your insurer requires you to use a particular appraiser, get a second opinion from an appraiser you trust. It may help you get a better settlement.
Consult a gemstone or gold price guide for an idea of the replacement costs for the individual components of your jewelry. Diamond and gemstone prices can vary wildly and the guides can provide an up-to-date estimate on the parts of the jewelry. However, they won't provide much information about the cost of manufacturing or designing your jewelry.
Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.