I just read this article, “Taking my shot at Antiques Roadshow,” by Linda Odette; she talks about how she’s excited to learn the value of her items, but bummed to not get on the show.
I love Antiques Roadshow, but I’m always amazed at how people wait for the Roadshow to come to their town, get up early, drive for hours and drag in huge pieces of furniture, all for a free appraisal. When you know what?
Furniture appraisers will come to your house.
Want to know how much grandma’s pearls are worth? You can have the full attention of a real gemologist and independent appraiser, simply by paying their fee! And it’s not even that expensive!
When you choose an appraiser for jewelry, make sure they have the proper training, which should be the G.G., or Graduate Gemologist Diploma from the Gemological Institute of America, and additional training for I.S.A. or A.S.A., the International Association of Appraisers or the American Association of Appraisers.
Some appraisers may also take the USPAP course, I did, back when I was doing appraising.
In the U.K., the equivalent of the G.G. is the F.G.A.
The most important thing you’re looking for in an appraiser is that they are independent.
You know how on the Roadshow, people often say, “an antiques dealer offered me $20.00 for it,” and then the appraiser says, “Well, it’s a good thing you didn’t take it, because it’s worth $25,000.00!”
Well, that’s what you want to avoid, see the antiques dealer isn’t independent, they have a potential financial interest.
That’s why it’s worth it to pay for an independent appraisal. Ideally, you want someone who works full time as an appraiser, and not within a jewelry store.
A jewelry store can give you a point of purchase report, which discloses that they sold it to you and details the parts in the piece. Which is perfect for giving to your insurance company, but it’s not an appraisal and shouldn’t be called one.