I think that buying jewelry in itself can certainly be confusing enough.
We all want to think we are getting what we pay for, whether it's jewelry, clothing or whatever.
I think that mainly everyone agreed, including me, that yes, you can get some good buys in the Caribbean. But--one needs to do a little homework first so they can have something to compare with prior to going.
I certainly agree with you re/appraisals--the key words are certified or licensed appraisers. Everyone who has a corner jewelry store is not a licensed appraiser.
Kuki phrased his post a little differently than I did mine re/ appraisers.
He was kidding that he had had some items appraised and that he had offered to sell it to them cheaper than what they appraised it for--he followed up by stating he then started going to independent appraisers.
I have no doubt that what you bought was good quality pieces, as you had stated you had looked around, dealt with quality shops and kept an eye on your jewlery. That shows you had done some homework.
Also, if your insurance company recommended an appraiser, I'm sure he/she was a licensed, quailified appraiser who knew their business.
Bottom line, not everyone takes the time to educate themselves or look around at home to get a good idea of prices prior to going to the Caribbean. So, as most everyone has said, yes, there are some good buys --but-- some caution is called for.
My wife, as I stated , has been in the jewelry business for many years and has a lot of quality jewlery. BUT---her wedding ring, which is now 44 years old, cost me exactly $ 19.95 at that time. It was all I could afford and she still wears it proudly today ( although it's had to be sized up a couple of notches since it was new ),
So, happy sailing and shopping to all who may venture forth upon the high seas.