Valuing your valuables

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Are your valuables correctly valued and insured?

One of the most important jobs for us, as insurance brokers,  is to ensure our clients achieve a fast and full settlement of their claims. But ensuring accurate valuations have been done before a loss is also very important.


What many people do not realise is that the value of their personal items can fluctuate depending on a wide range of outside influences.


Whether those influences are economic, social or political - or simply down to the passing of time – it is vital that the valuation of personal possessions is updated as a minimum of every three years.


Home insurance policies often set a limit on the value which can be claimed for a single item as well as on the total which can be paid out. So, if an item drastically rises in value your home may end up being under-insured.


Likewise, overvaluing items can result in a higher premium.


Re-valuing home contents each year ensures that a policy remains adequate. Keeping valuation certificates, photos, receipts and proof of ownership is prudent too.


What factors affect possession value?


Social trends and tastes

Public tastes change on a regular basis and some possessions, such as jewellery, can increase in value when they are considered ‘on trend’ or popular. For example, in the art market, the increasing number of young collectors – and the rise of online sales –drove up prices for contemporary art. Items can also decrease in value for the same reasons.



Outside economic factors, such as gold prices, can impact the value of valuables although gold jewellery, for the most part, is priced for the creativity, workmanship, and exclusivity of an item[1]. Stock items such as engagement rings and earrings mountings reflect gold ounce prices most. Although prices for diamonds are relatively stable, the strength of the dollar can affect value as this is the currency in which they are priced.


Popular culture and events

Popular culture can have a significant effect on the value of possessions, particularly in the antiques and collectors market. A first edition of the novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone fetched £60,000 at auction in 2017[2].


The release of a major film celebrating 1920s culture might have a more temporary effect while the death of a famous person could lead to a rise in the value of memorabilia relating to them.



Market unpredictability

It can be difficult to predict the outside factors driving changes in valuation prices. For example, like the prices of metals such as gold, silver and platinum, the market for a diamond ebbs and flows in value based on demand for the stones as a commodity[3]. When new diamond mines are discovered, the price naturally falls as the supply of diamonds grows.


With so many variables in the valuation of household items, an expert valuation is vital. It ensures you pay the right amount of premium, not too much or too little for the property and possessions you own. More importantly, it can help ensure you receive the full value after a loss, thereby avoiding any shortfall.


Valuation discounts for R K Harrison’s clients


You can get your items valued at a professional valuers or jeweller. When choosing the company, make sre that they are a National Association of Jewellers Institute Registered Valuer (IRV).


We have provided a list of valuers below who are all offering discount for R K Harrison clients. Please reference R K Harrison on all enquiries to these valuers.


Coram James

Robert Coram James

+44 (0)7951 756 680 | +44 (0)207 857 8115 |

Coram James is an independent firm of Art, Antique & Jewellery Valuers. 10% discount for R K Harrison clients. Regulated by RICS.


Gurr Johns Limited

Anne-Marie Shaw

16 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5LU

+44 (0)20 7839 4747

Independent specialist valuations & advice on fine art, antiques & jewellery. 10% discount on half day and daily rates for clients of R K Harrison.



Garry Batt

+44 (0)1305 265 080

10% discount to R K Harrison clients on their usual fee structure.




Caroline Whittock

+44 (0)1922 862 806 |

We provide valuations for art & antiques, our specialist field being jewellery. 10% discount. Our rates for valuation are £950 per day and £550 per half day. All prices plus VAT.



Catherine Mackenzie

101 New Bond Street, London, W1S 1SR

+44 (0)20 7468 8340 |

International valuers of fine/decorative art, antiques, jewellery, & motor cars. UK valuation offices backed by 50 specialist departments. Quotes provided prior to valuation.


John C Benjamin

John C Benjamin

+44 (0)1296 615 52

John Benjamin’s area of expertise is valuing, buying and selling jewellery which he has been doing for over 30 years and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to bear.


[1] The Independent 

[2] Brilliance blog

[3] Brilliance blog

About the author

Christopher Digby FRSA

+44 (0)20 3435 6338 Email