Art Appraiser – How Much Are Your Family Heirlooms Worth

Before an art appraiser assesses the value of your family heirlooms, there are a few things you should pull together first. Following is a specific list of the who, what, where, when and why.Note: The term “art appraiser” is used here to refer to qualified professionals who can assess a myriad of family valuables (eg, paintings, jewelry, furniture, etc.).List of Specifics Needed to Assess Your Family Heirloom Valuables1. Photos: One of the first things you need to do before seeking an art appraiser to assess the value of your pieces is to take a photo of each object. Make sure the photos are clear and capture any unique parts of your item.This usually means take several shots of each item. Digital, color photography works best for it captures the item in true, clear form. The wonderful thing about digital photography as well is that it allows you to store images electronically, as well as to print physical photos.Photo Storage Tip: Store photos outside your home, eg, in a safe deposit box, or on a virtual storage drive. This way, in case of fire or other damage to your home, you will still have access to photos for insurance purposes.2. Physical Inventory: In addition to photo documentation, you should have an itemized list of each item, along with detailed physical descriptions. You will need this for insurance purposes, and this list should be stored along with your photos.3. Sales Receipts: Where possible, keep the original sales receipt of all of your items. Store them in airtight containers to prevent fading of ink and other markings.For items that you may have inherited, you may or may not have receipts, which brings us to our next tip . . .4. Most Recent Appraisals: Some items will require that you have an independent art appraiser assess its value. You should do this with all pieces anyway, as value changes due to passage of time, growth in popularity, artist celebrity, etc.Industry experts advise that you have your family heirlooms re-appraised every three to five years. This way, you can recoup their true worth in case of theft or destruction.Art Appraiser Advice: A Note about InsuranceReputable art appraisers advise that you purchase additional insurance for your appraised items. Why is this? Because, most likely, your homeowners policy doesn’t cover the full value of your family heirlooms.

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