A Quick Guide to Probate Valuations

Members of The Institute of Registered Valuers, The Jewellery Valuers Association and The National Association of Jewellers

April 27, 2021

Probate Valuations for Inherited Jewellery: Quick Answers and Advice


The passing of a loved one is something that sadly many of us have experienced in the last year, and I offer my condolences to all who have suffered. The grieving process is often rudely interrupted by the necessity to complete complicated paperwork at a time when you are not quite ready to deal with bureaucracy.


Until you are requested by a solicitor or the executor of the will, the monetary value of treasured family heirlooms is of little importance because you know it was something you would never wish to sell. However, if you are reading this blog, my assumption is that you would like some more information about probate valuations and how they are calculated.

At Gold Arts we hope to offer you solutions to some of the quandaries you may be facing with tact and straight forward advice relating to probate valuations and inherited jewellery valuations.

What is a probate valuation?

A probate valuation is required to calculate the value of the estate of a deceased person. This is needed so the value of the inheritance is fairly distributed according to wishes of the deceased and for Inheritance Tax Assessment.

How is the value calculated?

The value is calculated based on the Market Value on the Date of Death. Precious metal values prices fluctuate so even if the probate valuation is completed a year after the date of death, the value is based on the value then, rather than the current value.

The term ‘Market Value’ refers to the price you could expect to achieve if you were to sell the item, either at auction or sell to a dealer in second-hand jewellery. This considers the material value, condition, design and fashion/saleability.

Who assesses the jewellery for Probate Valuations at Gold Arts?

At Gold Arts we are proud to have Registered Valuer Martin Getting IRV No: 83298, JVA No: 20118

Martin has over 40 years experience in the jewellery trade and became an RV in 1999. He is periodically assessed by the regulatory body the Institute of Registered Valuers, which upholds a high standard of professionalism and accuracy in valuations.

How much does a probate valuation cost?

Our probate valuations for jewellery or watches are priced per item. The initial cost for one item is £125, then a further £35 for each additional item valued at the same time.

Certain items that require additional research or external testing services may incur an extra fee, which you will be advised of before proceeding.

How do I obtain a probate valuation for jewellery?

My first advice would be to phone our Brighton store or email us so we can advise you of staff availability and time scales. The next step would be to come into our store with the jewellery. We will require the following information: your name and contact details, the name and the date of death of the deceased (this is required by HMRC). We also request the original paperwork for certficated diamonds and the box and papers for watches. The items will then be detailed on a form, which you sign to agree what items we now have in our care.  


The final report will include photographs for reference, and you will be given a printed report, with the options to view it online and give copies to your solicitor.

We hope that our professional competence and personable attitude will make one step easier in your journey of organising the estate of your loved one. Once the probate has been completed, we hope to retain your custom and would be honoured to complete a full insurance valuation of your heirlooms, so they are fully protected at their full value.

It is worth remembering that the probate is only a trade value and items with a value above £1000 may not be included on your house insurance, so it is worth obtaining an up to date full ‘Valuation for Insurance’ document, which will give you peace of mind that if your items becomes damaged or lost you are financially covered.

To remember your loved one…

Once all the paperwork stress is gone, we encourage you to come back to us and we can help you care for your inherited jewellery, by offering cleaning services to restore the shine or remodelling services to make the jewellery the correct size for you to wear or in a different style to suit your tastes.