Protecting your Valentine's Day investment

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Whether you're hoping for something sparkly this Valentine's Day or you're planning to give a piece of jewelry, that gift is an investment you'll want to protect.

Here are some tips for the appraisal process:

· Bring in the item, not a picture, for the appraiser to examine.

· Bring the appraiser copies of any sales receipts or other documentation you have about the items being appraised.

· Tell the appraiser anything you know about the item’s origin or where it was purchased.

· The appraiser will then take a few days to research the item’s history and the marketplace.

· Preserve your valuables. Have your items cleaned and checked annually.

· Keep the item in their original state. Know that altering a piece may lower its value.