Code of Ethics Release No. 1.0

The Code of Ethical Conduct for the Association of Jewellery Appraisers is the strictest in its field. Certified Appraisers are monitored and our Code is robustly enforced.

The purpose of the Associations Code of Ethics:
To provide Appraisers with a strict course of approach to all valuation assignments to ensure that the end user receives the highest possible standard of report, without bias or ambiguity. The code gives assurance to the client that they will be treated in a professional, discrete, honest and ethical manner with due attention paid to their requirements, security and privacy.
This Code of Ethics is founded upon the pursuit of:
· Professional honesty, transparency and integrity
· Diligence
· The continuous improvement of knowledge and practical skills

Acceptance of membership to the Association of Jewellery Appraisers demonstrates an Appraiser’s willingness to comply with the Code of Ethics and behave in a professional manner. Members voluntarily agree to be bound by this Code of Ethics as a means of encouraging the highest standards of business conduct.

The Association of Appraisers reserves the right to demand satisfactory evidence of compliance with the Code of Ethics at any time.

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1/ Honesty, Transparency and integrity

Members will:
a) Observe the highest standards of honesty, fairness and integrity in all business relations with members of the public, Government bodies and other trade individuals and businesses.

b) Conduct their business in such a manner as to not bring disrepute to the profession and ensure that they do not act in a manner likely to diminish public confidence in the profession.

c) Never disclose personal information unless the client authorises disclosure or they are compelled to do so by law.

d) Decline valuations where it could be suggested they have a conflict of interest that could affect their judgement or values. Alternatively they must disclose the nature and extent of the conflict in full to the client and in a prominent manner in the Valuation Report.

e) Not charge fees for their services using a method that is linked to the value placed on the subject of the report when dealing directly with members of the public. The method of charging must be disclosed to the client prior to the commencement of the assignment.

f) Clearly state their independence from an intermediary when they are not directly dealing with the end client. For example an Independent Appraiser may be given an assignment through a retailer.

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2/ Diligence

Members will:

a) Always aim for the most objective and accurate valuation possible.

b) Provide clients with sufficient information to understand the contents of the Valuation Report, and as far as possible, any limitations that may apply.

c) Ensure each report contains a true appraisal of the item described and clearly fulfils the purpose stated for the valuation.

d) Each item will be thoroughly tested to reach a positive conclusion. Where a positive conclusion cannot be reasonably reached any assumptions will be fully disclosed.

e) Render services only with respect to those items for which the appraiser is qualified by training and experience, or for which the appraiser has secured the assistance and advice of a suitably qualified person. 

f) Store the client’s records for a minimum of five years, either digitally or physically.

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g) Ensure that any value ascribed to an item is at the most appropriate Market Level.
Valuation for Insurance Replacement Market Levels are: - New Replacement Value, New Replacement Value at Internet or Shopping Channel Level, Second-hand Replacement Value, Facsimile Replacement Value.

g) Ensure that all clients’ possessions are stored in a secure manner and protected by high quality insurance.

h) Take all reasonable steps to protect client’s personal details and ensure that systems and procedures that are used meet or exceed the requirements in the UK Data Protection Act 1998.

i) Ensure that Professional Indemnity Insurance protects them and their business. The level of cover will meet or exceed that stated as the minimum level by the AJA.

j) Agree to submit examples of their work for scrutiny by the Officers of the Association to ensure that standard are being maintained.

k) Make use of the guidelines concerning gemstone nomenclature as recommended by the international governing body CIBJO (Confederation Internationale de la Bijouterie, Joaillerie, Orfevrerie, des Diamants, Perles et Pierres).

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3/ Improvement of knowledge and practical skills.

Members will:
a) Ensure that they have up-to-date knowledge regarding the market conditions that influence trade prices of metal, gemstones and labour, and be aware of the changes due to fluctuations in overseas and local markets.

b) Maintain proficiency in the knowledge of gemmology, testing of metals and the processes used in manufacture and finishing.

c) Be required to obtain a predetermined number of Continued Education Points over any two-year period to comply with the Association’s re-certification programme and to demonstrate their active involvement in ongoing education and training.

d) Ensure that they have up-to-date equipment, tools and instruments necessary to carry out an assignment effectively.

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4/ Suspension and Expulsion

Members and the Association will abide by the points as laid out in the AJA Disciplinary Procedures.

a) If members are considered, after investigation, to have breached this Code of Ethics, their membership may be suspended and they may face expulsion from the AJA.

b) The individual or business upon suspension or expulsion will relinquish the right to any of the benefits of membership, will be forbidden to use the AJA logo, designation or title on any published document, report or website. All certification will be recalled to the Association.

c) Expulsion will be at the sole discretion of the Officers of the AJA without any right to recover fees paid and without any right to compensation.


To download a PDF copy of the Code of Ethics, please click here