Do you have a hidden treasure? Find out by getting an appraisal, which will tell you more about an object and its origins.

By Nicole Sforza and Kendell Cronstrom
RealSimple.com
Ngoc Minh Ngo

An auction house will often give a free verbal appraisal if you’re interested in having the auction house sell the item (it typically takes a 10 to 25 percent cut). Independent appraisers offer written estimates and charge $75 to $250 an hour. A good appraiser will have a list of clients she has worked with (check references) and be certified by an accredited association. To find a pro, visit appraisers.org/findappraiser.

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