Frequently Asked questions

American Society of Appraisers

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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions


Q: What is a numismatist?

A: A person who studies and understands the coins and currency from ancient civilizations to the modern nation

Q: What is a professional, independent numismatic appraiser?

A: This is an individual who has extensive scholarly expertise in numismatics

Q: Why should I use a professional numismatic appraiser when a local coin dealer can tell me how much my coins are worth?

A: Coin dealers are only interested in one thing; buying low and selling high. Only a professional numismatic appraiser can write a comprehensive to the client. These reports can be sent to a third party, such as a lawyer or insurance company. In essence, a professional, independent numismatic appraiser represents his clients, while a coin dealer only represents himself.

Q: How is the appraiser compensated?

A: The appraiser and the client have a written contract in which all terms and conditions are clearly spelled out. Under no set of conditions is the appraisers compensation based upon the value of the collection.

Q: What do the appraisals represent?

A: The appraisal represents the estimated value of the clients numismatic collection at a given moment

Q: Who is a typical client?

A: (1)  The will or trust of a long time coin collector states that the coins must be equitably distributed among the heirs. Each coin must be individually appraised, so the heirs can allocate the coins fairly.

    (2)  A numismatic collection will be donated to an established charity. IRS regulations require that an appraisal be performed for tax purposes.

    (3)  An individual needs a loan and the coin collection will serve as collateral.

Q:  Where is the appraisal performed? 

A:  The appraisal is always performed where the client's numismatic collection is located. Under no set of circumstances does the client ever lose possession or control of the collection. The professional numismatic appraiser always goes to the client's location to perform the appraisal - no exceptions.

Q: What other services can the professional independent numismatic appraiser perform?

A: (1) Expert witness in court.

    (2) Recommend what coins, if any, should be sent to a professional grading service. This is particularly true if the coin is considered rare or uncirculated.

    (3) Work with the client in securing a reputable auction house to eventually sell the client's coin collection.

    (4)  Perform periodic updates to the appraisal. This is especially true if the numismatic collection is insured.

    (5)  Assist the clients lawyer and/or accountant when required. The professional independent numismatic appraiser can work with the client in many areas of estate planning.