Appraisers are in a very difficult position these days as the quality of restorations has reached such heights that it is increasingly difficult to identify what is original and what has been repaired or replaced. This leaves the appraiser in a difficult situation as the true value of an instrument might be very different than its perceived value because of unseen or cleverly disguised restoration work.

In the event of a serious accident, especially in situations where depreciation is involved, this may leave the person that wrote the appraisal in a very uncomfortable situation vis a vis the insurance company that is being asked to pay for depreciation damages on an instrument that might well have had a very different value had the true condition of the instrument been known.

The highest levels of restoration are what the instruments deserve, but with this comes the need for transparency so the restoration level is not used to disguise and/or inflate valuations. Our detailed, high resolution CT scanning and data interpretation report and optional dendrochronology and UV varnish analysis reports bring all parties (owner, appraiser, insurance company, etc.) to the same level of understanding and benefits all involved.

Strad Magazine recently published an article on the "Top 10 Things You Need To Know About the String World" and listed independent condition reports as number one. They insist that no major purchase of a instrument should be completed without such a report being conducted and that in a few short years it will be standard practice. It just makes good business sense.

We would encourage appraisers and acquisition specialists to recommend to their clients a comprehensive CT scanning report whenever the value of the instrument warrants the additional peace of mind for future resale value or replacement/repair value in the case of theft or damage. If there is any question as to the instrument's age our optional dendrochronology report can put those questions to rest. We predict that in the future, a complete condition report with CT scanning data, dendrochronology, and UV analysis will be become standard for any significant instrument purchase, much like requiring a certificate of authenticity and appraisal.