How Do I Find a Reputable Appraiser? | Americash Jewelry & Coin

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How to Determine a Trusted Source for Appraisals

Small pile of US and international coins
Image via Flickr by pavelrybin

You have some coins, gold, silver, or other rare items that you would like to sell, but you’re not sure how much they’re worth. That’s when an appraisal can help. An appraiser can determine the monetary value of your items and report this information in an appraisal. Unfortunately, not all appraisers are legitimate. Learn how you can determine a trusted source for appraisals so you can get the correct value for your items.

What Criteria Do Appraisers Use?

Whether you’re interested in selling coins from a collection or old jewelry you don’t wear anymore, you can find a professional appraiser for almost any item you want to sell. Appraisals will work differently depending on the item. If you’re interested in a coin appraisal, the appraiser will typically consider five criteria to determine the value of the coins: strike, luster, surface preservation, coloration, and eye appeal.

First strike coins are considered more valuable than other strikes. A coin’s luster is determined by its sheen or reflective qualities. Surface preservation looks at the imperfections that occurred on the surface of the coin during or after the minting process. Coloration refers to the discoloration or patina that forms on the coin’s surface when the metal reacts to oxygen and chemicals in the air. Lastly, eye appeal simply refers to how attractive the coin looks.

When it comes to a gold appraisal, there are three main factors an appraiser will consider. First, they will measure the weight of your gold in grams or troy ounces. Next, they will determine the purity of your gold. Since gold is a soft metal, it’s often mixed with other metals to give it more durability and strength. This mixture is measured in karats. The higher the karats, the higher the amount of gold the item contains. As an example, 18-karat gold contains 75% gold and 25% other metals.

Once the appraisers know the weight and purity of your gold, they can calculate its worth on the open market. Gold prices fluctuate because the market is related to the strength of the dollar. If the dollar has a low value, gold will have a higher price because it’s viewed as a solid investment. On the other hand, if the dollar has a high value, gold prices will go down.

What Should an Appraisal Include?

Once your appraisal is complete, you’ll receive a written report that should include your name, address, contact information, and the date. It should also have the following information:

  • Statement of purpose: The objective and function of the appraisal and the limits of the appraisal. For example, an appraisal for insurance will say it can only be used for those purposes.
  • Explanation of the procedure: In plain language, the appraisal should explain which types of grading systems were used to determine the value of the items.
  • Statement of value: This is how much the appraiser believes your items are worth. This is typically presented in a way that’s impossible to alter, such as in a seal.
  • Disclosure statement: This statement might include assumptions the appraiser had to make or limiting conditions of the appraisal.

How Do I Find a Reputable Appraiser?

When you’re ready to have your valuables appraised, keep in mind that just because an item is old, it’s not automatically valuable. That’s why it’s important to find a reputable appraiser. While you can find appraisers online who advertise themselves as professionals, it’s sometimes hard to know if they’re being honest. Instead, you should bring your items to a store for an accurate appraisal. You can also use the following tips to make sure you find a professional appraiser who can meet your needs:

Research the Appraiser’s Reputation

The first step in finding a trusted source for appraisals is to research the appraiser’s reputation. Look for customer ratings and complaints against the appraiser. In addition to searching online, you can also use information from the Better Business Bureau. Simply go to the Better Business Bureau’s website and enter the name of the appraiser you’re researching. You’ll then be presented with information related to the appraiser’s prior dealings and current status.

Look for an Appraiser With Experience

It’s best to deal with appraisers who are experts in their field. You also want appraisers who have experience related to the type of valuables you want to sell. For instance, an appraiser who has experience working with antique Greek vases will likely not be able to provide a proper valuation of a rare coin collection. If you are looking to sell coins, seek out appraisers who are members of reputable coin organizations, such as the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) or the American Numismatic Association (ANA).

Chose an Appraiser With Longevity

Experience isn’t gained overnight. That’s why it’s important to look for appraisers who have been in the business for some time. Gold and coin appraisers who have been in business for years have a proven track record with customers who are happy with their results. Even better, once you can establish a relationship with a reputable appraiser, you’ll find the process of selling your items is much easier.

Questions to Ask Appraisers

Once you have your list narrowed down to few appraisers, asking the following questions can help you determine which one will best suit your needs:

  • What type of education or certification do you have?
  • Do you keep up with recertification? When was the last time you were certified?
  • Are you a member of any professional appraisal associations?
  • Is there a fee for your service?
  • Will you supply me with the proper forms for the appraisal?

Get Your Items Appraised in Westmont

If you have gold, coins, or other rare valuables that you need to have appraised, don’t turn to questionable people online. Instead, let our expert appraisers at Americash Jewelry & Coin Buyers, Inc. help you. We’ve been in business for nearly 20 years and our appraisers have over 100 years of combined experience. We can determine the value of your items and present you with an immediate cash offer that you know you can trust. Visit our showroom today for a free, no-obligation appraisal. Contact us to learn more!

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