A few references to help you determine the monetary value of your collectibles.

The Smithsonian Institution does not offer monetary evaluations.  We have, however, compiled the following information which we trust will be helpful.

Antiques, artworks, and other collectible items have such an individual nature that fixed values are difficult to establish.  Prices asked and amounts offered are determined by personal interests of both the seller and the purchaser and by the trends in the market.

You can ascertain the current range of prices for items exchanged at sales and auctions by consulting the price guides available in bookstores or public libraries.   Also, dealers actively engage in buying and selling antiques, professional appraisers attached to sales galleries, and official appraisers of local probate courts usually can give prevailing price values.  They may be located in collectors' magazines and in the yellow pages of telephone directories.

Resources in your area that might have information or personnel to help you identify your object(s) are:

university or area libraries
state and local historical societies or museums
state extension services

While the organizations named below may not provide appraisals, they could provide you with a listing of people who can provide appraisals.

American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works (AIC)
1717 K Street, NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 452-9545
Can provide referrals for art conservators.

American Society of Appraisers
11107 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 310
Reston, VA 20190
(800) ASA-VALU/(703) 478-2228
The American Society of Appraisers is an international organization of appraisal professionals and others dedicated to the education, development and growth of the appraisal profession. ASA is the oldest and only major organization representing ALL disciplines of appraisal specialists, originating in 1936 and incorporating in 1952. ASA’s headquarters is in the metropolitan Washington, DC area. Contact us to find an accredited appraiser near you.

Antique Appraisal Association of America
1403 Gloria Lane
Boulder City, NV 89005
(888) 791-0033
Referral service for appraisers.

Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America
20 West 44th Street, #507
New York, NY 10036
(212) 944-8291
Member of the International League of Antique Booksellers. Appraisals for antique books.

The Appraisal Foundation
1155 15th Street NW, Suite 1111
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 347-7722
Source of appraisal standards and appraiser qualifications.

Appraisers Association of America
212 West 35th Street, 11th Floor South
New York, NY 10001
(212) 889-5404 X14
Provides referrals for appraisals.

Canadian Personal Property Appraisers Group
1881 Scanlan Street
London, Ontario
N5W 6C3
CPPAG is a Canadian made, national, personal property appraisal organization comprising a network of accredited appraisers spanning from coast to coast.

Gemological Institute of America
GIA World Headquarters
The Robert Mouawad Campus
5345 Armada Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92008
(800) 421-7250
US Laboratories:
Carlsbad (800) 421-7250 x 7590
New York (212) 221-5858
Grading and information on gems.

International Gemological Institute
551 Fifth Avenue, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10176
(212) 753-7759

550 South Hill Street, Suite 1200
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 955-0008
Grading, appraisals and information on gems.

International Society of Appraisers
225 West Wacker Drive, Suite 650
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 981-6778
The International Society of Appraisers (ISA) is a not-for-profit, member-driven association, formed to support member needs and serve the public by producing highly qualified and ethical appraisers who are recognized authorities in professional personal property appraising.  Provides free referrals to qualified appraisers in the U.S. and Canada. 

National Association of Jewelry Appraisers
PO Box 18
Rego Park, NY 11374-0018
(718) 896-1536
Provides referrals for jewelry and gem appraisers.

National Association of Professional Appraisers
234 Lewis Wharf
Boston, MA 02110
(800) 698-9833
The National Association of Professional Appraisers is an organization of people who provide economic valuations of real, personal, and intangible property.

Private Art Dealers Association
PO Box 872 Lenox Hill Station
New York, NY 10021
(917) 200-8167
Provides appraisals for fine art for accepted donations.



Antiques Roadshow
Television and trade show on antiques and collectibles.

Bonhams Auctioneers 
Auction Gallery specializing in antiques, artworks, and collectibles.

Christie's Appraisals
Auction Gallery specializing in antiques, artworks, and collectibles.

Classic Showcase
Vintage automobiles and motorcycles.

William Doyle Galleries
Auction Gallery specializing in antiques, artworks, and collectibles.

International Association of Dinnerware Matchers
Discontinued Tableware matching service.

Auction Marketplace of ine and decorative arts, antiques, collectibles, and estate sales.

Source for antiques and collectibles information

Maine Antique Digest
Can do search on Appraisers Association of America, Appraisers Society of America and International Society of Appraisers.

Replacements, LTD
Discontinued & Active China, Crystal, Flatware and Collectibles Patterns up to 100 years old.

Antique Gallery specializing in antiquities, artworks, and collectibles.

S/R Laboratories Animation Art Conservation Center
Animated art.



American Association of Museums. The Official Museum Directory, (updated annually), R.R. Bowker Publishers.

American Society of Appraisers. Directory of Professional Appraisal Services, Washington, DC: American Society of Appraisers, updated annually.

American Society of Appraisers. A Handbook on the Appraisal of Personal Property: The Principles and Practice of Appraisal Relevant to Works of Fine Art, Decorative Art, Antiques, Gems and Jewelry, Residential Contents - General and Other Various Classified Specialties of Personal Property, Washington, DC: American Society of Appraisers, c 1989, xi + 192 p.

Lindquist, David.  Antiques and Collectibles '93. Westminster, MD: Random House, MD, 1993.  Out of print.

Maloney's Antiques and Collectibles Resource Directory. 4th ed.  Dubuque, IA: Antique Trader Books, 1997.

National Committee to Save America's Cultural Collections.  Caring for your collections. New York, NY: Harry N. Abrams, 1992. 216 pp.

What is Gemology and how do you become a Gemologist? 


Antique Collector (National Magazine Co., Ltd.)
Antique Collector's Journal (American Collector's Journal Publishing Company)
Antique Dealer and Collector's Guide (Statuscourt Ltd.)
Antique Trader Weekly (Babka Publishing Co.)
Antiques & Collecting Hobbies (Lightner Publishing Co.)
Antiques (Straight Enterprises)
Antiques Dealer (Ebel-Doctorow Publications, Inc.)
Antiques Journal (Babka Publishing Co.)
Antiques World
Apollo (Apollo Magazine)
The appraiser
Collectible trends monthly newsletter (Associated Business Counsellors)
Collector's News (Ralph A. King)
Collector's Showcase (Sports Magazine of America)
Magazine Antiques (Brant Publications Inc.)
The Spinning Wheel (Everybodys Press, Inc.)

This list is not all-inclusive. You might also try contacting auction houses or antique dealers and looking in your local yellow pages for appraisers.

The Smithsonian Institution, Museum Conservation Institute (MCI), gives no endorsements for any products, materials or services mentioned in this pamphlet and is not responsible for problems from their use or misuse. MCI does not make warranty, expressed or implied; does not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness or any information or process disclosed; nor represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. If any organizations or other pertinent information has been inadvertently excluded please contact MCI.

Compiled by: Ann N'Gadi
Created: March 1996
Updated: April 2022; December 2017; March 2004; 2022