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How do experts evaluate the value of a fur coat?

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Quick Answer

Experts consider various factors when assessing the value of a fur coat, mainly the annual depreciation of furs in general and the age and pelt condition of a fur coat in particular. Whether the coat is still in fashion and whether the pelt came from an endangered or protected species are also aspects that affect a fur coat’s worth.

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Full Answer

The value of fur coats depreciates over time, as with most valuable items. Professional appraisers base their estimation on a standard rate of 20 percent depreciation per year. They derive this percentage from the maximum shelf life of most furs, which is 20 years on average.

Even with proper maintenance, fur is a biodegradable product, and it starts to break down over time. Along with the natural wear and tear of everyday use, age is a very important factor in determining the appraised value of a fur coat. If the pelt condition is good and the coat is still in fashion, its value is higher, because it is easier to resell. If the coat is out of fashion but its condition is still acceptable, a potential buyer can remake it into other garments, pillows or toys.

Finally, coats made from endangered or protected animals have no value at all. It is illegal to sell or trade them, but it is still legal to own or wear them.

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