Last updated on July 12th, 2023 at 08:23 pm

Are you looking to insure, sell, or donate collectibles, expensive jewelry, art, or other high valued items? If so, an appraiser can provide you with an accurate appraisal for your items.

What Does an Antiques and Collectibles Appraiser Do?

Even if you feel you’ve done your research, a professional appraiser will provide you with documentation that will be accepted by your insurance company, estate attorney, the IRS, or even potential buyers.

Professional appraisers determine value based on past sales data, condition, and history of the item, as well as guidelines provided by the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. Items being appraised for insurance purposes will be based on the items replacement cost, whereas, items being appraised for sale or donation purposes will be based on fair market value. Having an item appraised does not guarantee you that amount in a sale, it just provides a solid starting bid or sale point, the item ultimately could sell for less or more.

How to Find an Appraiser?

Finding the right appraiser for your item and yourself is essential. Begin by asking potential appraisers these questions:

  • What is their appraisal education, professional designations, and how did they qualify for them?
  • What are their accomplishments and certifications?
  • Can you see references from former and current clients?
  • How does their experience and/or expertise relate to your particular appraisal?
  • What will the appraisal report include?
  • What is their pricing structure?

Art Appraisal

The art business is totally unregulated. Which can make it an intimidating world to enter into. An art appraiser can help with buying and selling, as well as determining and setting prices if you’re an artist.

When appraising art there will be an assessment of the artist’s resume and career accomplishments, along with reviewing recent auction and gallery sales history from the artist. The art itself will also be analyzed, inspecting and considering the following:

  • Age
  • Size
  • Detail
  • Condition
  • Subject matter
  • Ownership history
  • Level of craftsmanship
  • How it compares to other work by that artist

It is recommended to update art appraisals every 3-5 years, or before changing ownership. Art prices fluctuate over time and this will make sure you are up-to-date for insurance purposes in case of damage, theft, etc.

If you are an artist looking to sell on your own, or in a gallery, it is highly beneficial to consult an art appraiser before beginning your selling process. They can help make sure your prices are in line with the market, as well as providing information on how to clearly explain your price point to buyers. This helps potential buyers better understand and appreciate the value of your art.

Jewelry Appraisal

Jewelry appraisals are most often done for insurance purposes since insurance companies require physical proof of how much your premium jewelry is worth. As with other types of items, appraising for insurance purposes varies slightly from appraisal for sale or donation purposes.

During this process, jewelry will be closely inspected, documented, and priced. The inspection should include visible, measurable, and analyzable facts about the item, as well as its subjective features. Jewelry appraisal should consist of information and documentation on:

  • Price
  • Materials
  • Markings
  • Gemstone quality
  • Relative rarity
  • The overall quality of the manufacturer
  • Overall weight and measurement
  • For diamonds: cut, color, clarity, and carat weight

Furniture Appraisal

Inheritance, insurance, estate planning, and estate liquidation are some of the main reasons you might be looking for furniture appraisals. The appraisal process will begin with an assessment of the furniture, considering all aspects of the item:

  • Age
  • Rarity
  • Condition
  • Desirability
  • Provenance

In estate liquidation, a furniture appraisal can compare similar items, and check current auction and market prices to make sure you are at least getting a fair, reasonable price for your items.

Fruitcocktail Collectables specializes in art, furniture, antiques, and collectibles appraisal in the Seattle area. With twenty years of experience and full accreditation through the International Society of Appraisers, their trusted group of Seattle appraisers will use extensive knowledge and their large customer base to maximize value and visibility.

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