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A guide to valuing your valuables

Do you have a collection of artworks gathering dust in your spare bedroom? Or perhaps you’ve inherited a number of jewellery pieces you think might be of some value.

Whatever you’ve collected over the years, it is important to know the value of your heirlooms for both insurance purposes and in case you are looking to sell them.

While there are a number of methods you can use to assess your valuables, if you believe they are of significant worth visiting an accredited appraiser is your safest option.

Contrary to popular belief, getting a valuation from a place where that type of valuable is sold is not your best bet. The key to finding an appraiser you can trust is ensuring that the person you are speaking with does not have an active interest in purchasing your item. From an ethical standpoint, it’s inappropriate for an appraiser to make an offer to purchase an object they have appraised.

A certified appraiser is a neutral party who should only charge you a flat fee or an hourly rate. Never accept an appraiser who tries to charge you a fee based on a percentage of the item’s value.

To find a reputable appraiser, search for a member of the National Council of Jewellery Valuers or the Auctioneers and Valuers Association of Australia. To obtain and maintain membership of these organisations, members are required to demonstrate knowledge, skills, experience and adhere to the association’s strict professional and ethical standards. Keep in mind that not all appraisers have knowledge of all types of valuables, so look for someone who has expertise in your specific items.

It is also important to note that there is a difference between a valuation and an appraisal: If you’re looking to sell the item, a valuation is what you need. An appraisal, on the other hand, is more in-depth, resulting in a legal document that includes a complete description and explanation of how the estimate of its current value was determined. This is necessary for high-value pieces that need to be insured.

Of course, while personal and family treasures can be worth a lot of money, it is also possible they aren’t worth much more than their sentimental value. Before diving straight into a full appraisal, a good starting point can be utilising online resources like, where you can receive an expert valuation in just 48 hours for around $40.

By leveraging the expertise of industry professionals and staying informed on market trends, you can determine the true value of your cherished possessions.