Arizona art appraisals and art appraisers in the phoenix and scottsdale areas

Arizona Art Appraisers

Fine Art and Native American Art Appraisals


What exactly is a fine art appraisal?

The ISA (INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF APPRAISERS) defines an appraisal as the “act or process of developing an opinion of value, cost, or present worth of forecasted earnings.” An appraisal report is the written documentation of this process. For fine art appraisal purposes it is typically a written report which documents the value or replacement cost of a given work of art.

Why do I need one?

There are a multitude of reasons why an art appraisal may be necessary. Typical requirements are for insurance, tax, investment, liquidation, price confirmation, equitable distribution, loan collateral, casualty loss, and many more.

The amount of insurance needed to carry in order to cover a potential loss is typically determined by the estimated replacement cost of the insured item. Insurance fine art appraisals then are necessary to ensure that works of art and collections are expertly and appropriately valued for potential claims.

For income tax deduction and estate tax liability purposes, the Federal Government requires value to be determined by a qualified appraiser. For individual item deductions totaling more than $5,000 an appraisal is required. In order to make sure the appraisal meets the standards set for IRS-a cc reputable donation appraisals, the proper research and preparation is critical.

Individuals may require an appraisal either to help them make an informed purchase decision or to help determine a fair asking price.

In fact, due to the different nature of the various appraisal functions, the same item may have many different appraised values. For instance, the determined value for insurance purposes may be different than a determined value for estate tax or charitable contribution purposes. As a qualified, educated appraiser, Gary Fillmore understands the many different types of values, assigned uses, and market levels. He will work with you to choose the proper type of value so that you can use the appraisal correctly and effectively.

How do I know if I need one?

If your art work is worth $10,000 or more, we obviously think that paying for an appraisal to obtain insurance coverage or to document Fair Market Value for a tax deduction would be a wise move. On the other hand, you most likely would not want to pay $500 to find out your artwork is worth only $250. We are glad to provide free consultations for the purpose of advising you on whether or not you need an appraisal and, if so, to what extent.

How do I go about choosing an appraiser?

Despite all the legal and insurance requirements for appraisal services, there is no government regulation of personal property appraisers. In other words, anyone can claim they are qualified to do personal property appraisals. Yet in a legal or insurance claim situation the credibility and experience of the appraiser will be a critical factor. Choosing the wrong appraiser can be hazardous or even disastrous to ones financial health. According to Worth Magazine, in 2002 the IRS reviewed 469 items with an aggregate taxpayer valuation of $100.4 million, on which total adjustments of $46.9 million dollars were recommended. For charitable contribution claims, an average reduction of 60% was recommended , while in the estate tax and gift tax category an average valuation increase of 88% was recommended.

In order to help avoid such financial pitfalls, your best choice is to choose an appraiser affiliated with a professional appraisal Association such as the International Society of Appraisers or American Society of Appraisers. Continuing education in appraisal practices and report writing, as well as ongoing peer review of reports and practices help assure that appraisers who are members of these organizations maintain the highest standards of professionalism. Gary Fillmore, owner of the Blue Coyote Gallery, is an Associate Member of the International Society of Appraisers.

What if I just want to find out how much my artwork is worth. Do I need to pay for a full appraisal?

Not necessarily. Depending on your requirements, you may not need a written appraisal report. For a nominal fee, we can provide consultations and oral appraisals. However it needs to be noted that oral appraisals, including those seen on shows like “Antiques Roadshow” or those done at events like “Heirloom Discovery Days” are not appraisals and should not be represented as such. They are instead “verbal approximations of value”. Within certain guidelines, which we comply with fully, the ISA allows for oral appraisals. Therefore we are glad to offer this option to our clients if it better suits their requirements.

Can you do on-line appraisals?

  Yes, with certain restrictions. On-line appraisals can only be “restricted use” appraisals, which means they can only be used by the client and no third parties. In other words, they cannot be used for insurance, tax, estate, or any other legal purpose. They are useful however, if you just want to find out how much your artwork is worth.

On-line Appraisals are $50 per item. Included in the appraisal is an email evaluation of your item and a signed, written appraisal mailed to you per Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP) and the ISA's Appraisal Report Writing Standard (ARWS). Photographs are required for all appraisals, please send them to  along with any questions you may have.  If you have no way of supplying us with a photo through email, you may mail your photos to us.

Blue Coyote Gallery Home Page


Arizona Art Appraisals Home Page


Art Appraisal


Frequently Asked Questions About Fine Art Appraisals
Appraisals 101 (A primer on the purpose and functions of appraisals.)
Gary Fillmore- Professional Profile

The Blue Coyote Gallery & Arizona Art Appraisals | 480-489-3413 |

6141 E. Cave Creek Rd.                    Cave Creek                           Arizona                             85331