Collectibles & Appraisals – Organizing information for those you love – Harris N. Hershey Rosen

by Harris N. “Hershey” Rosen, contributing writer, author

Are there any jewelry, art or business appraisals that would be of value to your partner or estate?  If so, be sure to describe them and state the exact location. Of course, don’t forget those items you will want to get specialty insurance riders for now. That will require a formal appraisal for which you should expect to pay between $100 and $200 per item, and more if the provenance needs extensive research.

Do you have any collections that are of value?  Do you know where to have them appraised or possibly sold after your death – or when you are downsizing?  Is there an inventory of what you have? This category is unlimited but could include classical CDs, Russian boxes, silver miniatures, paintings, and collectibles today that are seeing a resurgence in value – comic books and toys!

One person I know has a wonderful assortment of walking sticks and canes; another collects antique scissors. What have you accumulated along the way? And to whom should it be given or sold?

Taking photographs of collectibles, antiques, paintings and decorative items might be a good idea, as photos are often helpful if collections are sold later.

What is provenance? And why is it important to maintaining the value of your collectibles?

Provenance is lineage – a history of where your valuable came from and where it has been before it came to you. Has the item been in the possession of anyone important in the collectibles world? Has it been on display – or to auction – or sold in some prominent way? All these things not all improve the continual value of an item but go to prove its authenticity as well. Keep these documents – note any notations on backs of frames that you may know about – documenting all of this in one place should be part of your organization plan. It will also help your loved ones decide on whether to pass the item down to someone in the family – or if it’s time to sell it now.

Don’t overlook these unique treasures in your personal family record! Take that inventory today – and find a good appraiser – some will often come right into your home without charge to give you an idea of what is valuable – and what is just a treasure your loved ones can hold dear to their heart – as a memory of you.