Services at Tom Tivol Jewels

Options and Opportunities to Resell Pre-Worn Jewelry

Many clients visit Tom Tivol Jewels with older jewelry, timepieces, silver or coins they no longer care to own. With each client, we discuss options and opportunities. These include distribution to family members, donation to qualified charities or sale of the merchandise.

If the merchandise is to be sold, there are various ways to sell most pieces of jewelry and usually a market can be identified which is the best market for the re-sale of any single item. These include refining precious metals and salvaging the gemstones, selling to individuals via Internet sites, selling to jewelers, using regional/national auctions and or consigning the item for resale. We like to review all options so each customer can make an informed decision about how to proceed.

Jewelry Repair

Tom Tivol Jewels is a highly respected center for the repair and restoration of jewelry and timepieces, whether purchased from stores, on the Internet, at auction, from individuals or acquired through inheritance. Our jewelers excel in the simplest repairs to the most complex restoration work.

  • We can repair all types of jewelry from antique and estate to modern styles — from costume jewelry to exceptional pieces with important gemstones.
  • We can also repair all types of metals, including silver, all colors and karats of gold, the platinum family of metals, gold-filled and gold-plated pieces and costume jewelry.
  • Most simple repairs require 1 to 4 days; complex repairs can take from 4 days to 2 weeks.
  • In certain instances, repair costs may be provided by phone, although it’s important that we see the item before determining the exact repair cost. The total charge will always be written on your receipt.
  • Each item is thoroughly examined while you observe, and we provide a detailed receipt with full descriptions of each item and any gemstones. Upon completion, Tom will personally review the repair with each client before delivery.

Timepiece Restoration

  • We can restore estate and antique watches from the United States, Europe, and Russia, as well as modern watches from Switzerland, the United States, Japan, and China.
  • The types of watches we service include wristwatches, pocket watches, ring watches, pendant watches, and these may be constructed with costume metals, gold-filled and gold-plated metals, silver, gold or platinum with quartz, automatic or manual wind mechanical movements.
  • Although repair times may vary, simple battery replacements and water resistance and timing checks may be completed in as little as one business day. Many jewelers offer battery replacement while you wait. I do not. Why? The reason is that in order to replace a battery properly, I open the case, remove the current battery, test it, and then clean the wires that connect the battery to the movement, then install a new battery, close the case, then test the water resistance of the watch if appropriate, and then let the watch run for half to a full day, to make certain the battery and the watch are both working properly. While I respect the interest of the public having their watch batteries changed quickly, more is at stake with this simple repair that merely removing and snapping in a new battery. This is especially true of expensive branded Swiss wrist watches.
  • Completion dates are always provided for each restoration.
  • Estimated repair costs are provided during your initial appointment, and are always confirmed in writing on your receipt. When requested, watchmaker cost estimates are usually available within 2-3 business days, and no work will be done until we receive your permission to proceed. Payment is due upon delivery.

Bead and Pearl Re-stringing

Tom Tivol Jewels repairs broken beaded necklaces and can re-string necklaces for routine maintenance. Repairs can include supplying missing beads, clasp repair, re-stringing to different lengths and/or re-positioning beads to create a new design.

  • Re-stringing services for pearl bracelets and necklaces include a thorough cleaning of drill holes before the pearls are re-strung, usually with knots.
  • Tom Tivol Jewels uses only high-grade heavy nylon string for this process.
  • Often, pearl necklaces that have been worn for many years are “stretched,” leaving some visible spaces between beads. Before re-stringing, we estimate the shorter length of the necklace that will result once the repair is completed, and confirm with you your approval of the new length.
  • Pearls are always counted, the length of the necklace is noted, and the cost is written on your receipt.
  • Re-stringing of necklaces can generally be completed in about one week.

Repair of Chipped Gemstones and Damaged Jewelry

Clients frequently bring us chipped gemstones and occasionally jewelry that has been damaged in an accident. We are often requested to prepare a damage report for the client and or his insurance company, if a claim is to be made. The damage report includes the following:

  • Origin and description of damage
  • Cost to restore; or, if restoration is not possible, cost to replace the stone or item
  • Quality of the gemstone before and after repair
  • Carat weight and dimension of the gemstone before and after repair
  • Value of the gemstone before and after repair
  • Time to repair or replace gemstone, once permission is provided by the adjuster

Once we complete repair and or restoration, we provide an appraisal so the newly restored item may be re-insured on the client’s fine arts policy. Please visit our Appraisal section for more information about the various types of appraisals Tom Tivol offers.

Jewelry Restyling

At Tom Tivol Jewels, we are experts at restyling jewelry for our clients. Once we have a good understanding of how you like to wear jewelry, we then examine the pieces you wish to restyle, and begin our discussion of how to use the precious metals and gemstones to construct the pieces that would help you complete your collection.

The restyling process can proceed in several ways, including the presentation of finished jewelry as models, creation of original designs and/or the use of wax or silver to make models to try on.

Once we determine precisely how to create the new piece, we provide you with a written cost and due date. When completed, we present you with a professionally written insurance appraisal along with your new jewel.

What Customers Are Saying

“We had Tom Tivol appraise our engagement ring, because we wanted an independent gemologist-appraiser to look at the diamond and documents and let us know if we had everything we needed.  He detailed the quality of the diamonds, information that was never given us by the seller and which was not covered by the laboratory report on the center stone, and he then explained how the specific quality characteristics in the center diamond created its price.  Finally he explained the purpose of our insurance appraisal which we never clearly understood.  We could not have had a better experience.  We recommend Tom to everyone who wants to understand gemstone and jewelry quality and how their selling price is calculated and how their value is determined for the insurance appraisal.” — Ilona and George

“I wanted to buy my wife a 20th anniversary sapphire and diamond ring.  I went to store after store, but could not find anyone who had any in depth knowledge of blue sapphire, just lots of sapphires that eventually started to look the same.  One of my co-workers told me to go see Tom Tivol, because of his reputation of having detailed knowledge of colored gemstones and his ability to teach customers how to choose the correct stone.   I met Tom by appointment at his office.  He showed me multiple sapphires including those with various shades of blue, some more vivid than others, some with pure blue while others were darker navy blue and blackish blue.  He explained how geographic origin can influence rarity and price.  He explained how some sapphire color and clarity were altered by man after they were cut and finally he taught me how to determine cost, stone by stone. I purchased my sapphire from Tom, and then had him design and make the ring.  I was 100% confident when I picked up my ring, and my wife was thrilled when I presented it on our anniversary.  She asked me where I had gotten it, and I told her. She gave me the biggest smile, and at that moment, we both knew we had finally found a jeweler.” — Julia & Vlad



Tom appraises jewelry WHILE CLIENTS SIT WITH HIM. After departing with your jewelry, he will complete his research and mail/email the appraisal report within 1-2 days.

Tom Tivol Jewels is the premier provider of jewelry, gemstone, wrist watch, pocket watch and silver appraisal services in Kansas City. We serve individual customers, estate planning professionals and insurance agents throughout the United States. Tom Tivol himself is a Graduate Geologist in Residence from the Gemological Institute of America. All of our appraisals adhere to the highest standards of testing, laboratory equipment and appraisal methodology. Tom Tivol developed the course and teaches the Art & Science of Appraising along with his Jewelry Design and Gemology courses at the University of Kansas. Tom is an attorney whose practice revolves around the Federal Trade Commission Rules for the Jewelry Industry. He brings over 46 years of experience to the business. Mr. Tivol adheres to the code of ethics set forth by the UNIFORM STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL APPRAISAL PRACTICE.

Lab Services at The Tom Tivol Gallery

In addition to offering expert appraisals, we serve our region by offering numerous laboratory services for customers wishing to confirm identity and quality or learn more about their gemstones, silver and jewelry. Here is a brief list of some of our laboratory services, many of which are provided while our clients observe.

  • Gemstone identification and quality analysis
  • Analysis of potential enhancements to diamonds, colored gemstones and pearls
  • Identification of gemstone geographic origin
  • Authentication of timepieces, including date of manufacture
  • Damage reports for gemstones and jewelry to help clients resolve claims with their insurance adjustors
  • Identification of hallmarks on silver place settings and serving pieces
  • Identification of metals, including karat content of gold
  • Estimates of carat weight of mounted gemstones
  • Confirming accuracy of laboratory documents; adding important information not contained in those reports
  • Plotting of flaws in diamonds and inclusions in colored gemstones

Jewelry Refining

The 21rst century has witnessed sharp increases in the prices of silver, gold and platinum. Because of this, the general public has become more aware of this avenue to sell their older jewelry. What does refining mean and how should it be done?

Refining is one way to capture the dollar value of old jewelry. It should be considered only after the owner has determined there are no other options available to sell for more dollars. Most jewelry is made of precious metals and alloys. Alloys provide color and strength to jewelry. The refining process separates the precious metals from the alloys. Here are examples. 14k gold contain about 58.5% pure 24k gold and 41.5% alloy. The refining process separates the gold, determines its weight and then determines its value on a day to day basis. 18k gold contains 75% gold and 25% alloy. Sterling silver contains 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% alloy. An iridium-platinum wedding band contains about 90% pure platinum and 10% iridium alloy.

While most jewelry made around the world is stamped with a metal identification, it is impossible to know the accuracy of the stamping until the piece is refined. For most jewelry manufactured in the United States, the stamp is accurate. However, even in America, there are exceptions. These include counterfeit stamps as well as stamps that indicate a certain karat content, like 14k, but when refined, the amount of pure gold turns out to be 12 karat.

Tom Tivol has been refining jewelry for the public since the beginning of his practice. The most important feature of Tom’s refinery service is his transparency with his client. There is only one way to be 100% certain of the value of precious metals contained within jewelry, and that is to take the jewelry to a credible refinery and receive a written statement from the refinery as to its content and value. The refinery must comply with the strict rules and regulations promulgated under federal law.

After giving his clients a detailed receipt, Tom refines the jewelry within 24 hours. He then presents a copy of the refinery report to his client. The report lists the breakdown of precious metals obtained through the process, the refinery fee and finally what the refinery is paying for those metals. Tom then provides a check to his clients for the amount paid by the refinery less a small fee for his service. Unlike most jewelers and gold buying businesses, Tom’s fee is not based on a percentage of the refined value of his clients’ old jewelry. Instead, Tom charges a simple appraisal fee, regardless of the number of pieces and or their refined value.

In addition to teaching courses in Gemology, the History of Jewelry Design and the Art & Science of Appraising at the University of Kansas in Lawrence and Johnson County Community College, Tom teaches the public how to buy gemstones and jewelry through private seminars and lectures, given in private homes, country clubs and a variety of other private venues which serve as meeting space for the hundreds of groups with speaker programs around the city. Tom’s presentations are free!

Topics are chosen by the organization, or we can make recommendations for topics after we learn a little about your organization and the purpose of the presentation. Lectures vary from 30 minutes to 2 hours, and certain organizations wishing a more detailed overview of gemstones may request multiple bookings.

Tom is available for evening presentations throughout the year, but we request bookings as far in advance as possible.
Here is a brief list of the most popular presentations the past 42 years. Each presentation is custom-designed to the needs and goals of the organization.


  • How Much Is A One Carat Diamond?
  • The Three Great Colored Gemstones: Ruby, Emerald, Sapphire
  • Identification and Valuation of Estate and Antique Jewelry
  • A History of Gems, From the Bible through the 20th Century
  • Liquid Green Luxury and the Important Gemstone Jade
  • An Evening with Opal
  • How to Judge Pearl Quality
  • The 12 Gemstones in the Breastplate of Aaron
  • Important Diamonds
  • Judging the Quality of Diamond
  • The Importance of the Jewelry Appraisal

Speaking Engagements

Get In Touch!

(913) 359-6820