A jewelry appraisal is a document that a jeweler writes for you giving the description of your jewelry and the replacement value of those jewelry items. This document is used when you want to insure you jewelry in most cases that would be a rider on your home owners insurance policy. This should not be confused with an estimate on how much your jewelry can be sold for. In recent years we've had many people come in with their unwanted jewelry looking to sell it. In this case you don't want to ask for an appraisal you want to ask for an estimate of how much it would be worth to sell it.
Many jewelry stores will give you an appraisal with any diamond or gem stone jewelry you purchase with them. They should not be charging you for this if you bought the jewelry item from them that should be included in the purchases.
If you have gold jewelry that hasn't been appraised or other gem stone jewelry that you lost your appraisal for you can take all of those jewelry items and have them appraised on one appraisal. Don't forget to update appraisals for diamond and gem stone jewelry you might have bought 10, 15, even 20 years ago. Those items should have their appraisals updated. The price of gold and platinum is up as is the price of diamonds.
If you have any diamonds or gem stones with certificates make sure to bring them with you when you want to have an appraisal done, or updated. An appraisal does take time to write up so expect to be leaving your jewelry with the jeweler. Each store is different on the amount of time it takes and your jewelry should never have to be mailed out to get this done. The only exception to this would be if you want to have your diamond or gem stone certified with a laboratory.
It's best to have your jewelry appraised by a store that has certified gemologist on site. Pricing varies from store to store so you might like to shop around some before you do this.