The Quintessential Rug Appraiser


  • Author Bernard Garth
  • Published July 17, 2007
  • Word count 661


Rugs are a part of every home. Whether they be fine oriental rugs or simpler area rugs, people want to know about their rugs so that they can make informed decisions. It is therefore imperative to know the attributes of a competent rug appraiser and a comprehensive rug appraisal.


Rugs have long been considered as more than ‘just something to cover the floor with’. In fact some rugs are so painstakingly and exquisitely made; they are more a work of art rather than a mere floor covering. Rugs differ widely in their quality, looks, construction, price and country of origin. Doing an unqualified comparison of rugs is as baseless as trying to compare apples and oranges. A proper evaluation of a rug that you own or intend owning is best done through a professional, qualified rug appraiser, who will assess and evaluate your rug based on certain approved criteria.

Why you need to get your rug appraised

A rug appraisal done by a professional rug appraiser helps you ascertain the rug’s correct value. This is important if you are planning on putting down a lot of money to purchase an expensive rug or if you are planning on selling or insuring an expensive rug that you own. Rugs get chewed up by puppies and are prone to all kinds of spills, tears and burns. An appraisal helps you estimate the damage done as well as the amount you need to claim from insurance for repair and restoration.

Rug appraisal is also done for a whole host of other reasons including:

  • Estate and tax planning

  • Asset management

  • Gift tax documentation

  • Collateral loan agreements

  • Probate and succession

  • Charitable contributions

How a rug is appraised

Ever tried counting the knots-per-square-inch on your rug yourself? Don’t!!! It could tie you up in knots and leave you completely befuddled and cross-eyed. What’s more, while knots-per-square-inch is one of the important factors in any rug appraisal, it certainly isn’t the only factor.

Rug appraisal is a highly specialized undertaking that requires considerable skill and an experienced eye. The criteria for rug appraisals include:

  • Country of origin

  • Knots per square inch

  • Quality and type of pile, warp and weft

  • Sheen or patina of the rug

  • Intricacy of design

  • Type of dye

  • Dimensions of the rug

  • Rug repair history

  • Condition of the rug at the time of appraisal

What an appraisal certificate includes

A Certificate of Authenticity should accompany every professional rug appraisal, which states the details of the rug including its estimated age, country of origin, dye type, uniqueness of pattern and repair history and present condition. This certificate should be signed by the rug appraiser, who will also mention the market value of the rug based on additional factors such as rarity, uniqueness and availability. Keep a picture of every appraised rug as additional ‘before and after’ proof in case of any eventuality.

It typically takes a brief time to appraise the rug, after which the certified appraisal document can either be handed over to you personally or mailed to you.

How to choose a rug appraiser?

Rug appraisal is best done by someone who deals with rugs on a regular basis. This gives the rug appraiser a constant hands-on experience, which enhances his ability to make a preliminary evaluation of the rug just by sight and feel. A rug appraiser who is in the business of buying and selling rugs is in constant touch with current market conditions and is in a better position to give you an accurate market evaluation of your rug. This can come in very handy if you own an expensive rug, which you want to sell. The rug appraiser can advice you as to how much you can expect to get for it in the prevailing market conditions. He could also give you previous advice on whether it would be better to hold on to the rug and perhaps sell it at a later date.

Bernard Garth II lives in New York where he is a rug artisan, specializing in comprehensive oriental rug appraisals. He was trained as a rug appraiser by Oriental rug specialists in New York

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