Appraisal vs. Certificate of Authenticity

Appraisals are not certificates of authenticity; these are very different documents. An appraisal is an opinion or statement of the value rendered by a professional appraiser who acts as an independent, impartial third party. A certificate of authenticity is an opinion or statement of authenticity.

In preparing the appraisal an appraiser may rely on a certificate of authenticity as well as on third parties and/or published information, including catalogue raisonnes, exhibition catalogues, auction catalogues or other available information. Third parties might include scholars, museum curators, conservators, descendents or associates of an artist.

Appraisals are done for a variety of reasons, but all are related to establishing the value of an item or a collection, often for insurance purposes, for IRS reporting or for liquidating an estate. A certificate of authenticity is done to establish the authenticity of an item or items, and the COA may be provided to the appraiser as part of the appraisal process.

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