At James O. Poag Jewellers we are committed to protecting your valuables by providing fair, accurate and detailed appraisals on your jewellery items. Appraisals are completed by experts trained in gemology and appraisal science. We offer complete jewellery appraisal service for insurance, estate, divorce and liquidation purposes. We will consult with you to determine your intended use and the type of value for your appraisal based on your individual needs.
We recommend that an updated appraisal of your fine jewellery be completed every 3 to 5 years or in the event of a significant change in the market, to ensure your coverage remains up to date.

jewellery appraisals

James G. Poag - Appraiser & Gemologist

Jim Jr. joined James O. Poag Jewellers in 1986 after attending the Gemological Institute of America in California. He is a graduate gemologist, and took courses in goldsmithing, diamond setting and appraising.

Jim is a Certified Member of the International Society of Appraisers (ISA) specializing in Gems and Jewellery. He holds a double certification, one in Gemstones and Jewellery, the other in Antique and Period Jewellery. He is also the Past Chair of the ISA Education Committee, having previously served as Vice Chair of this committee for two years. Jim has also served ISA on the Membership, Public Relations, and Ethics Committees; and has been active in developing new contacts and sources of information for the ISA Gems and Jewellery Division. He was also past co-chair of the task force responsible for converting the award winning ISA Core Courses into the Distance Education Core Course in Appraisal Studies.

In 1999, Jim was twice awarded the Distinguished Service Award at the Annual ISA Conference on Appraising in San Diego, CA for the many, many contributions he has made to the ISA through his activities in the field of education as well as in the professional business community, and in 2000 received the Member of the Year Award.

Among his many achievements, Jim was awarded the highly coveted Accredited Appraiser Seal (AA) upon successfully completing the required examination; this is the highest level of achievement offered through the Canadian Jewellers Institute.

Questions to Ask When Hiring an Appraiser


A qualified appraiser has formal education in appraisal theory, principals, procedures, ethics, and law. The appraiser should be up to date on the latest appraisal standards. Continuing education and testing are the only ways to ensure this competence. The appraiser you hire should be familiar with the type of property you want appraised and know how to value it correctly.

Expertise on a particular type of property is not enough if the “expert” does not know how to evaluate an item for its appropriate worth. Without appraisal training, these “experts” have no way of understanding the complicated variety of marketplace definitions that are used to determine appropriate values for appropriate uses.

For example, a gemologist or a jeweller may be able to determine the identity and quality of a gemstone, but neither may be able to value those items correctly unless they follow appropriate appraisal principals and procedures.


No! In most states and provinces anyone can claim to be a personal property appraiser, whether they have had formal training or not. Until legislation is passed to protect the public from the unqualified appraiser, the burden is on the consumer to evaluate an appraiser’s credentials.

It is important to ask the prospective appraiser what type of formal appraisal education training he or she has received. Obtaining a copy of the appraiser’s professional profile or resume can help you evaluate the appraiser’s credentials.

A qualified appraiser has formal education in appraisal theory, principals, procedures, ethics, and the law.


There are many appraisal organizations, but only a few require members to take courses and pass tests before being admitted as “accredited” members. ISA is such an organization.

Membership in an appraisal association is important because it shows that the appraiser is involved with the profession, has peer recognition, has access to updated information, and is subject to a code of ethics and conduct.

Continuing education is also important for appraisers. Procedures and regulations are always changing. Because of this, ISA constantly updates, expands and re-writes its courses to ensure that its members will perform the work you need with the knowledge of all the latest professional standards.


No appraiser should claim expertise in everything. ISA recognizes over 135 areas of specialty knowledge. A good appraiser knows his or her limits, and is expected to consult with other experts when necessary.


DO NOT hire an appraiser who charges a percentage of the appraised value, or charges a “contingency” fee. These practices are clearly conflicts of interests, and may result in biased values. Revenue Canada will not accept an appraisal done with such fee arrangements.

ISA appraisers are prohibited by their Code of Ethics from charging a fee based on a percentage of the value of the property appraised. Hourly fees, flat rates, or per item charges are acceptable.


You should receive a formal, typewritten report that gives you the information you need in a complete and organized way.

Some appraisal societies only teach appraisal theory, with no “real life” examples. ISA is the only major appraisal society that specifically trains its members in how to write standardized, comprehensive appraisal reports. Each accredited member has been tested on these standards.

Did You Know

The same item may have many different appraised values depending on how you intend to use the appraisal. For instance, a value for insurance may be very different than a value for estate tax, consumer resale, or charitable contribution. Other assigned uses include investment, liquidation, price confirmation, equitable distribution, loan collateral, casualty loss and many more.

Did you also know that your item may be at risk when left with an appraiser? Be certain to ask if your items are insured while they are in the care of an appraiser. Qualified, educated appraisers understand the many different types of values, assigned uses and market levels. He or she works with you to choose the proper type of value so that you can use the appraisal correctly and effectively.