People are often curious about what their rugs are and what they are worth. Rugs can have interesting stories or origins. The information can be useful in making cleaning or restoration decisions.
If your rug is at our facility, we can provide an opinion of age, origin, and value. We do not charge for this service.
We also offer formal written appraisals for a fee. A formal appraisal includes photographs, a technical description, age, origin, condition assessment, an opinion of value, and if necessary, supporting documentation to corroborate our conclusions. Written appraisals are often required for insurance purposes, but in many other situations an informal verbal assessment is enough.
A knowledgeable appraiser can usually establish the age and origin of a rug with confidence. Even old and rare rugs can be identified and placed in a context with comparable examples found in the marketplace or rug literature.
Value, on the other hand, is subjective and situational. The value of a modern rug is established by referring to current market pricing. Values of antique or rare rugs are often carefully researched estimates.
Condition and market factors play a major role in value. Rugs go in, and out, of fashion. Values of rugs are not certain to go up over time.
In the United States there are no formal licensing procedures for rug and textile appraisers. Membership in a trade association, or experience in the rug industry, is not a guarantee of expertise. Insurance companies, courts, and the IRS typically vet an appraiser’s expertise by reviewing trade experience and education, as well as the quality of the research and documentation presented in an appraisal.
Certificates received when a rug is purchased may not always be accurate but are helpful with documentation. Purchase records, photographs, along with cleaning or service bills provide good supporting evidence for a rugs type and value. In more complicated situations – such as estate dispersal, insurance claims, charitable donations – formal written appraisals may be useful or even necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions About Appraisals
What is my rug? What’s it worth?
We offer informal verbal appraisals at no charge. If your rug is at our facility, we can provide an opinion of origin, age and value. We can often provide informal opinions from photos of your rug.
Can I have a formal written appraisal prepared?
Yes, we provide formal written appraisals for a fee. Our documentation includes photographs, a technical description, age, origin, condition assessment, and an opinion of value.
Are there different types of valuations?
Yes. For example, what you could sell your rug for (fair market value) is often different from what it would cost to buy the same rug retail (replacement value). The following explains some common terms:
- Salvage value: The value an appraiser or insurance adjuster may assign a rug that has been damaged beyond repair, or that cannot be returned successfully to a pre-loss condition. Salvage values are very low, often as little as 5–10% of a rug’s full replacement value.
- Fair market value: What you could reasonably expect to receive if you sold your rug. These values are used for tax valuation, estate dispersal, or sales between friends. The most common definition of fair market value describes a transaction where a willing seller and a willing buyer, both aware of the same facts, determine a price agreeable to both parties. Market value can vary widely, depending on a range of factors: A common rug may have a fair market value of 20–50% of its retail replacement value. Fair market value of a rare or antique rug may be closer to full retail value.
- Replacement value: Also called retail replacement value, this valuation describes what it would cost to purchase a rug of similar type, age, size, and condition at a retailer in the owner’s home market. Rare rugs may need to be valued based upon sales in larger markets, often nationally, internationally, or at auction.
How accurate are appraisals?
A knowledgeable appraiser can provide an opinion of the age and origin of a rug with confidence. Even very old and rare rugs can be identified and comparable examples found in the market or in rug literature. Values are generally a matter of opinion factored with market conditions. The value of a modern rug may be simple to document. Values of antique or rare rugs may be harder to establish and are often carefully researched estimates. Condition and market factors play a major role in value. Rugs go in, and out, of fashion. Values of rugs don’t necessarily go up over time.
Are appraisers, or appraisals, certified or officially recognized?
Not exactly. In the United States there are no state or federal licensing procedures for rug and textile appraisers. An appraiser’s membership in a trade organization or experience in the rug industry is not a guarantee of expertise. In legal matters an insurance company, court, or the IRS might vet an appraiser’s background and expertise by reviewing trade experience and education as well as the quality of the research and documentation presented in an appraisal.
What about the certificate I received when I purchased my rug? Is that enough documentation to establish the value of my rug?
Certificates may not always be accurate or provide the type of valuation you need, but are better than no documentation at all. Particularly for lower-value rugs, certificates, purchase records, photographs, and cleaning receipts may be sufficient for most situations. We also provide informal opinions of value at no cost.
We provide informal opinions of value at no cost and are glad to answer any questions. Just give us a call at 303-292-2522.