Newsletter V3 N2

Published by Semler Appraisals & Estate Liquidations
A Professional Service for the Valuation of Personal Property

Summer 2001    Vol. 3, No. 2

Test Your Appraisal Knowledge

Take the following quiz* to see how much you know about personal property appraisals.  You’ll find the answers at the end of this newsletter.  *(Used with permission of the International Society of Appraisers.)

1. The Federal Government regulates personal property appraisers.
a.    True
b.    False
c.    Only if they are also dealers.
d.    Only if they charge a fee which is a percentage of the value of the item.

2. If you take a tax deduction for a non-cash charitable contribution, you must get a qualified appraisal if the deduction claimed is:
a.    $500.00 or more
b.    $2,500.00 or more
c.    $5,000.00 or more
d.    An appraisal is not required for any amount, but is highly recommended.

3. For insurance or damage claims, a good appraiser should consider “sentimental value” when arriving at an appraised value.
a.    True
b.    False
c.    Only if they are also dealers.
d.    Only for family photographs, portraits, or other property with a family history.

4. A dealer who specializes in a particular type of item is the most competent to appraise that item, only if:
a.    They are willing to buy the item at the price they appraise it for.
b.    They have advanced appraisal training and have been tested.
c.    They do not have a financial interest in the item.
d.    Both b & c.

5. If your 20 year old sofa burns up in a fire, your insurance company will:
a.    Replace it with a brand new one of comparable quality.
b.    Pay you its actual cash value.
c.    They can choose what is best for them.
d.    It depends on how the policy is written.

6. A good appraiser is one who will:
a.    Tell you the value of an item immediately.
b.    Offer to buy the item at the price appraised.
c.    Charge a fee based on the item’s value.
d.    Give you a “high” or “low” value, depending on what you want.
e.    None of the above.

7. A good appraisal report should include:
a.    A cover document with the purpose and assigned use of the appraisal, a complete and accurate description of the property, and limitations and qualifying conditions.
b.    A statement regarding the appraiser’s financial interest or disinterest in the property.
c.    The appraiser’s qualifications.
d.    Inspection and effective dates of the value.
e.    All of the above.

8. A “free” appraisal given by an auction house is:
a.    Useful for insurance purposes.
b.    The best way to find out what your property is really worth.
c.    An unbiased opinion of value.
d.    Accepted by the IRS for tax purposes.
e.    None of the above.

9. An “accredited member” of the International Society of Appraisers is one who:
a.    Has paid a membership fee.
b.    Agrees to adhere to the Code of Ethics.
c.    Has taken over 60 hours of specialized appraisal training and has passed three exams.
d.    All of the above.

American Silver
The two most common types of silver found in homes today are silver plate and sterling.  Of the two, sterling usually has a higher value and will be stamped “sterling” if it was produced in America after 1869.  Prior to that date, the silver content of sterling varied greatly.  The amount of silver depended on the country of origin of the coins that were melted to form the objects (thus the term “coin silver”).  After the Revolutionary War, the mint set a standard of 892 parts of pure silver per 1,000 for the manufacture of American coins. In 1837, this was improved to 900 parts per 1,000, and in 1869 improved again to the standard still in use today, 925 parts per 1,000.  The other 75/1000 parts are other metals, usually copper, added to make the silver durable and less soft.   

Silver plating is the process of placing a thin layer of pure silver over a base of another metal, usually copper or a white metal.  Plated silver is never marked “sterling” and may not be marked at all.  You may see NS (nickel silver), EPNS (electroplated nickel silver), EPC (electroplated copper), or other symbols on plated items.  While most plated items are less in value than similar sterling items, be aware that Victorian era silver plate is increasing in value.

Remember:  all sterling is silver, but not all silver is sterling. 

Our Services
Appraisals for probate/estate tax, equitable distribution among heirs, equitable distribution in marital dissolution, insurance coverage and claims, non-cash charitable contribution, bankruptcy.

Estate Liquidations by auction or tag sale.

Litigation Support

Click here for Quiz Answers

call us at (972) 416-3417.