James Naughter is an expert appraiser of fine jewelry, antique & contemporary jewelry, wristwatches and silverware, covering the Albany, Saratoga Springs and Schenectady areas. You can rest assured that a jewelry appraisal report from A&A Gem Lab will be well-researched and documented, and it will conform to the standards of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) as well as those of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers.

Whatever your reason for requiring a jewelry appraisal, contact A & A Gem Lab today, because we have the expertise, experience, equipment and resources to help you.

There are many reasons for a jewelry appraisal or gem identification:

1. Determining insurance replacement value.
2. Providing expert witness & litigation support.
3. Confirming the quality of a new purchase.
4. Selling existing jewelry.
5. Estate tax evaluation – probate proceedings.
6. Division of property for dissolution of marriage.
7. Damage reporting.
8. Charitable contributions & gift-giving.
9. Post-loss & casualty loss.
10. Collateral purposes.
11. Proof of ownership for foreign travel.

Jim Naughter

About Us

James Naughter entered the trade in 1980 and after obtaining a  Bachelor of Science Degree, Certified Gemologist qualification and subsequent additional training in London, UK, he became the owner of A&A Gem Lab in 1991.  A&A Gemological Laboratory has consulted and appraised for numerous state and federal government agencies as well as financial institutions and law firms, both local and regional. The business offers private clients and trade customers, in the Greater Capital Area, a range of high quality jewelry appraisal services intended to both protect and delight the jewelry owner.


1. Association of Independent Jewellery Valuers (2010)
2. American Society of Jewelry Historians (1997)
3. American Society of Appraisers (ASA) – Senior Member (1993-1997)
4. AGA Certified Gem Laboratory
5. National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA) – Senior Member (1994)
6. Gemological Institute of America – Graduate Gemologist (1994)
7. Accredited Gemologist Association (AGA) – Accredited Senior Member (1993)

1. Gemological Institute of America (GIA)
2. Gemmological Association of Great Britain and Gem Testing Laboratory, (Gem-A), London, UK
3. Siena College (BS)

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Jewelry Appraisal & Valuation

Replacement Value – AKA: insurance appraisal. This type of report is necessary for insuring your items against loss or damage. The accuracy and detail included in this report makes it possible to identify or have exact duplicates recreated of these precious items if lost or stolen.

Estate (probate) – This report is for estate evaluation purposes and is necessary to determine inheritance taxes on an estate. Jewelry values for estates are legislated to include specific information and data. Fair market value and comparable sales are used for this type of valuation.

Divorce Settlement/Dissolution of Marriage – This is a fair market value report for an equal division of common property.

Damage Report – This report expresses the difference in value resulting from breakage and estimates the cost of the removal, re-cutting and resetting of the gemstone, as well as the value of the re-cut gemstone (loss of weight).

Internet Purchases – Verification that the gems match the certification or appraisal accompanying the item.

Donation – These reports are based on fair market value and are necessary for tax deductions of donated items.

Liquidation – This appraisal value is determined when an owner decides to convert jewelry items into immediate cash. The sale can be held under forced or limiting conditions and with time constraints, such as under court order or bankruptcy.

Comparison – This report is for a client who brings in a jewelry or gemstone item to verify its identity and/or quality as claimed by the seller. Comparison appraisals usually reflect the item at its most common retail replacement value.

Post Loss – This report establishes the value of a previously undocumented item that was lost or stolen. This is a hypothetical valuation based on information supplied by the client and supported by photographs and a description of the item.

Casualty Loss – This report determines the fair market value of a lost, stolen, or destroyed item not previously documented. The IRS allows an income tax deduction of some portion of the value with a proper casualty loss appraisal.

In-House & Mobile Labs – Our fully equipped in-house laboratory can quickly and correctly analyze your item, and our mobile lab allows us to offer the convenience of off-site analysis. [/twocol_one]

Other Client Services

Pre-Purchase Consultations – If you require some advice regarding a particular stone or the market in general, we are able to assist. Our knowledge on how & where to shop can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars! Our knowledge on what to look for will ensure you get the stone or item that’s right for you.

Litigation Support – A & A Gem Lab is able to assist in draft deposition and interrogatory questions related to insurance fraud, counterfeiting, price-fixing, and valuation science. We have helped provide lists for discovery. A & A has worked for district attorneys, local and regional law firms as well as fiduciary institutions throughout the state.

Expert Witness – In weighing the expert testimony of an appraiser, the court considers the appraiser’s demonstrated qualifications to form an opinion, the relationship and prior dealings with the petitioner, selections of comparative sales, familiarity and contact with the potential market for the [subject] property, and familiarity with the contributed material. Hiring the experienced staff or associates of A & A Gem Lab will ensure that your expert witness meets the qualifications, professionalism and impartiality that the court demands while providing a comprehensive, fact based appraisal.

Forensic – The examination of precious gems, jewelry and other objects of art for insurance claim purposes is a specialty of our labs. This includes any post-loss examinations to assess the cause of damage or loss; the alteration of the materials and structure of the work(s) involved and conservation or restoration options. A & A Gem Lab and its appraisers can direct the scientific investigation of gem materials. The use of state-of-the-art equipment can be accessed through our associated facilities. This includes detection of treatment, material analysis and dating. We will prepare a summary report that will document all our research including a conservation report for your properties as well as any recommendations we have for further treatment, if possible.


James Naughter, GG, NAJA
A & A Gem Lab
404 Broadway, Saratoga Springs
New York, 12866

Store: 518-438-8872
Cell: 518-469-7797
Email: info@albanygemlab.com




What do you appraise?

I appraise all jewelry, gemstones, watches & silverware.

What does an appraisal cost?

I charge by the hour, so the cost of your appraisal will depend on the number and complexity of the pieces you wish to have appraised. When you call me for an appointment, I will ask you to describe your items. At that time I will be able to give you an estimate of the time required.

Note: A professional appraiser should charge for services by the hour, by a specified amount per piece of jewelry, or for a contracted amount based on an estimate of the time involved. Keep in mind that time will be spent on market research and appraisal writing after the laboratory work is done. In no event should you deal with an appraiser who charges a percentage of value of the jewelry.

But the antiques road-show do free valuations.

A valuation must be in writing to mean anything. We research, we measure, we weigh, we calculate, we use instruments all to arrive at a realistic and sensible value. We then write it down and sign it! All this needs considerable investment in terms of experience, equipment and training so we have to charge a professional fee.

Why is it important to know the purpose of the appraisal?

Every appraisal is for a specific purpose. If you want an insurance appraisal, you need to insure your jewelry for enough money to buy a replacement from the type of store you typically shop in. You do not want your Tiffany engagement ring replaced at Joe’s Pawn Shop. If you need an estate appraisal, there are government regulations that specify the definition of value that must be used. There are many types of appraisals and the purpose determines the definition of value.

I want to sell my jewelry with a value report.

A valuation has to be addressed to a person or persons. We cannot undertake “to whom it may concern” appraisals. A valuation for a market value sale would be addressed to the seller only and is in the form of confidential advice. It cannot be used as “proof” of value to a third, unknown party.

How do I select a jewelry appraiser?

Under current law, no licensing or particular qualifications are required by the government for jewelry appraisers. There are many titles, some of which require extensive training and others with few if any requirements. Always ask what testing and training the appraiser has undergone to achieve the title. Titles and qualifications to look for are:

1. Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA) of the American Society of Appraisers. Their advanced designation in Gems and Jewelry is Master Gemologist Appraiser®.
2. Senior Appraiser status (minimum) designated by the National Association of Jewelry Apprasiers.
3. Graduate Gemologist (GG) of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
4. Member of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (FGA).
5. A gemological degree grants assurance that the individual can identify and grade gem materials. However, it does not by itself provide the training necessary to be a proficient jewelry appraiser.

Ideally, the appraiser should also have a background in the jewelry market. Be sure that the appraiser has a GIA graded Master Set of genuine diamonds for color grading. A CZ set is not adequate!

Do you buy and sell jewelry, diamonds, watches, etc?

No, I do not. I am an independent appraiser, and do not want to compete with jewelers who, after all, refer many of their clients to me. I am a truly independent Appraiser and match the criteria accepted by the Association of Independent Jewellery Valuers, of which I am a member. I do advise buyers when they are making a purchase.

Do you buy jewelry?

No, I do not buy jewelry from the public, but I do help people sell their jewelry.

Can you recommend other appraisers?

I recommend the following Appraisers:

1. USA: Thom Underwood GG, GA, CSM of the San Diego Gem Lab. For jewelry appraisals in San Diego, California.
2. England: Michael Inkpen FGA, AJA, MIRV a jewelry Appraiser in Southern England
3. Georgina Deer FGA, DGA, FIRV of Valuation Services UK Ltd. Jewelry Appraiser in Northern England
4. Ireland: Padraic Lavin FGA, for jewelry appraisal in Ireland
5. Scotland: Adrian S Smith FGA, AJA, MIRV a Jewelry Appraiser in Scotland

Do I need an appointment?.

Yes, I work by appointment only.

Do you do on-site appraisals?

Yes I do, but I charge by the day for work outside my office, as I can’t book other appointments on that day. Most people do not need a full day of my services and find it more economical to visit me in my office.

What about confidentiality?

I conform to professional standards that require all confidential information I receive in the course of an appraisal be kept private and not disclosed to third parties without your consent. The only exception is if disclosure is required by force of law. I do not sell my mailing list or the email addresses of my clients, and send out only occasional notices when I think they would be beneficial to you—such as a reminder to update your appraisal periodically.

How long do you take to carry out the work.

If you make an office appointment; your items can be returned to you before you leave and the valuation report will follow within a couple of days once the necessary appraisal research and value determination is completed. In some instances you will leave with the report too. Sometimes a very quick service is required and depending on the number and complexity of your items, and on our work schedule, where possible, we will do our utmost to oblige a quick turnaround.

Why have I been asked for previous documentation?

We ask our clients to furnish us with any relevant documentation that they might have such as receipts, previous valuations, grading reports, certificates etc. This material will sometimes resolve uncertainties such as providing the un-mounted weight of a large number of small stones rather than relying on calculation methods which would be less accurate in some situations. Sight of diamond laboratory grading reports are very important in order to confirm that the stone in the ring is indeed one and the same as that in the grading report, graded diamonds also carry a premium which should be included in the final calculation of value. Some handmade jewelry pieces are made by significant or even famous craftsmen, this provenance could have a major impact on the replacement value. So that we can provide you with a definitive and absolutely complete appraisal, we like to scan all relevant documentation to the data disc that forms part of your report.

Why should I use the services of an Independent Appraiser?

An Independent appraiser is a qualified and experienced professional whose business is to – in our case – Appraise and Value jewelry, watches and silverware. By virtue of not being commercially involved or aligned with any Insurance Company or any other jewelry business, we are totally unbiased and independent and free of any vested interest in the valuation outcome.

I work 9 to 6, Monday to Friday. Can you help?

We appreciate that if you work or run your business from 9am to 5pm attending an appointment can be difficult. If it is more convenient for you, we can offer appointments from 8.00 in the morning. If evenings suit you better we can usually accommodate any reasonable request. Saturday appointments can be arranged too if you cannot make any other time.

I don't want to insure my jewelry. I just want to know what its worth.

A valuation has to be written for a specific purpose. “What its worth” can mean different things in different circumstances. If you want an insurance appraisal, you need to insure your jewelry for enough money to buy a replacement from the type of store you typically shop in. You do not want your Tiffany engagement ring replaced at Joe’s Pawn Shop. If you are thinking of selling jewelry then obtaining an offer from a retailer or getting an auctioneers estimate is usually free. We will perform “Open Market” valuations for those who prefer to have expert guidance on the worth of jewelry without going down this route. If you need an estate appraisal, there are government regulations that specify the definition of value that must be used. There are many types of appraisals and the purpose determines the definition of value.



All comments appear with our clients’ permission.

“Mr. Naughter,
Thank you very much for the appraisal you sent to me today on three pieces of jewelry that I submitted to Wendy Peluso at Northeastern Fine Jewelry. I have no basis for comparison but I was very impressed with what appeared to be a very thorough and complete appraisal with lots of backup information provided for the client who is unfamiliar with jewelry.”

Thank you so much for your quick response and a very comprehensive appraisal. My husband will be in tomorrow or Thursday to pick up my ring. Very Impressive! Thanks again”
– K Smigen

It is my judgment you that you must be a most professional business person. Very Impressive!

“Mr. Naughter,
Thank you so very much for your excellent work! I am so pleased at the promptness and good appraisal.
I have printed the PDF file and the pictures of the ring are gorgeous! My daughter will be thrilled. Thank you again”
– M Kling

“It is my judgment you that you must be a most professional business person who provides great value for your services. If I have the opportunity to do so I will refer others in need of jewelry appraisal services to your business. You certainly are in an interesting and exacting profession that must be challenging and enjoyable.”
– R Gallagher