Artifact Appraisals

A few references to help you determine the monetary value of your collectibles.

The Smithsonian Institution does not offer monetary evaluations.  We have, however, compiled the following information which we trust will be helpful.

Antiques, artworks, and other collectible items have such an individual nature that fixed values are difficult to establish.  Prices asked and amounts offered are determined by personal interests of both the seller and the purchaser and by the trends in the market.

You can ascertain the current range of prices for items exchanged at sales and auctions by consulting the price guides available in bookstores or public libraries.   Also, dealers actively engage in buying and selling antiques, professional appraisers attached to sales galleries, and official appraisers of local probate courts usually can give prevailing price values.  They may be located in collectors' magazines and in the yellow pages of telephone directories.

Resources in your area that might have information or personnel to help you identify your object(s) are:

* university or area libraries
* state and local historical societies or museums
* state extension services

While the organizations named below may not provide appraisals, they could provide you with a listing of people who can provide appraisals.

American Association of Independent Appraisers
The Greg Rogers Historical House
616 Second Avenue
Chula Vista, CA 91910
(619) 420-7782
FAX (619) 420-7788
Can provide referrals for appraisers.

American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works (AIC)
1717 K Street, N.W., Suite 200
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 452-9545
FAX (202) 452-9328
Can provide referrals for art conservators.

American Society of Appraisers
555 Herndon Parkway, Suite 125
Herndon, VA 20170
(800) 272-8258/(703) 478-2228
FAX (703) 742-8471
The American Society of Appraisers is an international organization of appraisal professionals and others dedicated to the education, development and growth of the appraisal profession. ASA is the oldest and only major organization representing ALL disciplines of appraisal specialists, originating in 1936 and incorporating in 1952. ASA’s headquarters is in the metropolitan Washington, DC area. Contact us to find an accredited appraiser near you.

Antique Appraisers Association of America
11361 Garden Grove Boulevard
Garden Grove, CA 92643
(714) 530-7090
Referral service for appraisers.

Antique Networking, Inc.
75 South High Street
Dublin, OH 43017
(800) 400-8674
(614) 889-9773
FAX (614) 889-9984
Online database to network local, national, and international buyers and sellers: antique dealers and customers, brokers, appraisers, insurers, associations, auction houses, and repair/restoration shops.

Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America
50 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10020
(212) 757-9395
FAX (212) 459-0307
Member of the International League of Antique Booksellers. Appraisals for antique books.

The Appraisal Foundation
1155 15th Street NW, Suite 1111
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 347-7722
FAX (202) 347-7727
Source of appraisal standards and appraiser qualifications.

Appraisers Association of America
212 West 35th Street, 11th Floor South
New York, NY 10001
(212) 889-5404
FAX (212) 889-5503
Provides referrals for appraisals.

Asian Art Appraisers Association
633 Post Street #734
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 673-6023

Canadian Personal Property Appraisers Group
1881 Scanlan Street
London, Ontario
N5W 6C3
Fax: (519) 451-2443
CPPAG is a Canadian made, national, personal property appraisal organization comprising a network of accredited appraisers spanning from coast to coast.

Gemological Institute of America
580 Fifth Avenue
New York,, NY 10036-8604
(212) 944-5900
FAX (212) 719-9563
Grading, appraisals and information on gems.

International Gemological Institute
579 Fifth Avenue, Suite 700
New York, NY 10017
(212) 753-7100
FAX (212) 753-7759
Grading, appraisals and information on gems.

International Society of Appraisers
303 W. Madison Street
Suite 2650
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 981-6778
Canada (416) 366-9770
The International Society of Appraisers (ISA) is a not-for-profit, member-driven association, formed to support member needs and serve the public by producing highly qualified and ethical appraisers who are recognized authorities in professional personal property appraising.  Provides free referrals to qualified appraisers in the U.S. and Canada. 

Maine Antique Digest
PO Box 1429
Waldoboro, ME 04572
(207) 832-7534
Can do search on Appraisers Association of America, Appraisers Society of America and International Society of Appraisers.

National Association of Jewelry Appraisers
PO Box 6558
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 261-8270
Provides referrals for jewelry and gem appraisers.

National Association of Professional Appraisers
65 E. India Row
Suite 10F
Boston, MA 02110
(617) 720-0332
FAX (617) 720-0274
The National Association of Professional Appraisers is an organization of people who provide economic valuations of real, personal, and intangible property.

Private Art Dealers Association
PO Box 872 Lenox Hill Station
New York, NY 10021
(212) 572-0772
FAX (212) 572-8398
Provides appraisals for fine art for accepted donations.



Antiques Roadshow
Television and trade show on antiques and collectibles.

Appraisers Net
Cars, Books, Watches & Clocks, Household Goods & Clothing, Collections, Furs, Musical Instruments, Computers, Jewelry, Antiquities & Tribal Art, Arms & Armor, Coins, Oriental Art, and Painting Appraisers.

Help to find art conservators, appraisers, and professionals.

Bonhams Auctioneers
Auction Gallery specializing in antiques, artworks, and collectibles.

Butterfield & Butterfield
Auction Gallery specializing in antiques, artworks, and collectibles.

Christie's Appraisals
Auction Gallery specializing in antiques, artworks, and collectibles.

Classic Showcase
Vintage automobiles and motorcycles. Appraisals and Appraising
Information on appraisals.

William Doyle Galleries
Auction Gallery specializing in antiques, artworks, and collectibles.

International Association of Dinnerware Matchers
Discontinued Tableware matching service.

Auction Marketplace of ine and decorative arts, antiques, collectibles, and estate sales.

The Jewelry Judge, Ltd.

Kovels Online Yellow Pages
Appraisal services listings.

Lark in the Morning
Musical instruments.

Old China Patterns Limited
China, Crystal, Collectibles and Figurines replacement matching services.

Replacements, LTD
Discontinued & Active China, Crystal, Flatware and Collectibles Patterns up to 100 years old.

Antique Gallery specializing in antiquities, artworks, and collectibles.

S/R Laboratories Animation Art Conservation Center
Animated art.



American Association of Museums. The Official Museum Directory, (updated annually), R.R. Bowker Publishers.

American Society of Appraisers. Directory of Professional Appraisal Services, Washington, DC: American Society of Appraisers, updated annually.

American Society of Appraisers. A Handbook on the Appraisal of Personal Property: The Principles and Practice of Appraisal Relevant to Works of Fine Art, Decorative Art, Antiques, Gems and Jewelry, Residential Contents - General and Other Various Classified Specialties of Personal Property, Washington, DC: American Society of Appraisers, c 1989, xi + 192 p.

Canadian Conservation Institute. Preserving My Heritage. What are my family heirlooms worth, and where do I go to get them appraised? 2002.

Encyclopedia Smithsonian. Identification and Appraisal of Objects. April, 2001.

Lindquist, David.  Antiques and Collectibles '93. Westminster, MD: Random House, MD, 1993.  Out of print.

Maloney's Antiques and Collectibles Resource Directory. 4th ed.  Dubuque, IA: Antique Trader Books, 1997.

National Committee to Save America's Cultural Collections.  Caring for your collections. New York, NY: Harry N. Abrams, 1992. 216 pp.


Antique Collector (National Magazine Co., Ltd.)
Antique Collector's Journal (American Collector's Journal Publishing Company)
Antique Dealer and Collector's Guide (Statuscourt Ltd.)
Antique Trader Weekly (Babka Publishing Co.)
Antiques & Collecting Hobbies (Lightner Publishing Co.)
Antiques (Straight Enterprises)
Antiques Dealer (Ebel-Doctorow Publications, Inc.)
Antiques Journal (Babka Publishing Co.)
Antiques World
Apollo (Apollo Magazine)
The appraiser
Collectible trends monthly newsletter (Associated Business Counsellors)
Collector's News (Ralph A. King)
Collector's Showcase (Sports Magazine of America)
Magazine Antiques (Brant Publications Inc.)
The Spinning Wheel (Everybodys Press, Inc.)

This list is not all-inclusive. You might also try contacting auction houses or antique dealers and looking in your local yellow pages for appraisers.

The Smithsonian Institution, Museum Conservation Institute (MCI), gives no endorsements for any products, materials or services mentioned in this pamphlet and is not responsible for problems from their use or misuse. MCI does not make warranty, expressed or implied; does not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness or any information or process disclosed; nor represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. If any organizations or other pertinent information has been inadvertently excluded please contact MCI.

Compiled by: Ann N'Gadi
Created: March 1996
Updated: March 2004