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Appraisal Terminology


Antiques are artifacts created or produced in former periods. The term was traditionally applied primarily to works of fine or decorative art and furnishings, but is currently employed for any type of man-made object of a past era. U.S. customs laws define antiques as artifacts whose date of initial purchase was at least 100 years before the present.

Decorative Art

Decorative art includes objects that are primarily utilitarian in form or function, but that have aesthetic value provided by the design, decoration, or embellishment. They may include ceramics, furniture, textiles, glass, leather, metalwork, arms and armor, clocks, and other household or utilitarian objects.

Fine Art

Fine art is created by those with more extensive training and generally includes the media of painting, drawing, sculpture, original prints, photographs, drawing, and other non-functional objects. Although there can be an overlap between fine and decorative art, fine art is generally distinguished from other art forms because the aesthetic or intellectual expression is more prominent than the utilitarian purpose

Personal Property

Identifiable tangible objects that are considered by the general public as being “personal” – for example, furnishings, artwork, antiques, gems and jewelry, collectibles, machinery and equipment; all tangible property that is not classified as real estate.


An opinion of value. The act or process of developing an opinion of value by an impartial and properly qualified individual.

Appraisal Review

The act or process of developing and communicating an opinion about the quality of another appraiser’s work.

Credible Appraisal

A credible appraisal is one that is worthy of belief. A credible appraisal includes support, by relevant evidence and logic, for the opinion of value.


The monetary relationship between objects and those who buy, sell, or use those objects.

Effective Date of Valuation

The date that the appraiser inspected the object, developed the opinion of value, or another date of relevance to the client or intended user. The client may request a date of valuation to obtain an opinion of value on the date of death for an estate, date of a charitable contribution, transfer of gift, or sale date.

The Appraisal Foundation

The Appraisal Foundation is a Congressionally authorized non-profit organization established in 1987. The Appraisal Foundation is dedicated to the advancement of the appraisal profession. The Foundation accomplishes its mission through the work of its three independent boards: the Appraisal Practices Board (APB), the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) and the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB).

Appraisal Standards Board (ASB)

The ASB sets forth the minimum requirements for ethics and competency in developing an appraisal and reporting its results within the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).

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