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Business People Discussing Art

3 types of fine art valuation, explained

Whether you’re an art collector or simply interested in art history and the world of fine art, it pays to understand how fine art valuation works. Learning what makes art valuable and how art appraisers do their work can help you better appreciate the art you see and own. Let’s take a look at a few different types of art valuation.

Appraisal for insurance value

Insurance appraisals for art are probably the most common of the three types of appraisals we’ll talk about in this blog. The insurance value of a piece of art is defined as “the current market replacement value in a retail gallery.” In essence, this type of valuation would be able to tell you how much it would cost to replace the piece of art you’re getting appraised with another comparable piece of art. Insurance valuations take a few different factors into account, one of which is gallery retail prices. This typically makes insurance fine art appraisals the highest in value and most often requested by art collectors who wish to keep their art instead of auctioning or donating it.

Appraisal for resale value

The resale value of a piece of art is another thing that you’ll need a fine art appraiser’s help with. This type of valuation is typically requested when someone is considering putting a piece from their collection up for auction. In layman’s terms, this type of art appraisal determines the wholesale value of a piece of art, which is usually what art collectors can expect to sell a piece for. While this valuation doesn’t guarantee that a piece will sell for the valued amount, it can provide a good baseline for the auction or resale of a piece.

Appraisal for donation purposes

Donation valuations are typically performed when a piece of art is going to be donated to a non-profit organization. This type of valuation is more similar to resale valuation than insurance valuation in that it doesn’t really take retail price into consideration. Instead, your appraiser will look at previous sales and auction records for the piece that you’d like to donate.

Getting art valued is an intensive process, but at the end of the day, it can give you a much better idea of what any given piece in your collection is worth. Just make sure you’re getting the right kind of valuation for your collection.