Quite separate from the aesthetic value of an Oriental carpet is its investment value. And today, more than ever, such items have come into their own as buffers against economic downturns. Whatever your motivation for owning these works of art, it is important, for practical reasons, to know for certain their composition and value. And to have this stated "in black and white" so to speak. It is also advisable to keep photographs of your carpets.


This document which your dealer can supply, bears a detailed description of the type, origin, size, design, warp, weft and pile materials, know count, age, condition , weaving time and date of purchase. Its most as effective as an actual photograph, and it is useful document to have as proof of a carpet's identity.


The situation varies from country to country, but generally speaking, there are two ways to have your carpet or carpets valued. The first is to have a professional licensed valuer do the job for a pre-arranged fee which is either a flat fee or percentage of the valuation figure given. This person is usually to be found in a firm of auctioneers that specialises in the sale of such carpets, or in the antique trade. The professional valuer is increasingly found to be the carpet dealer as well. And if this is the case, he may, if you purchase the carpet from him, provide the documented valuation as part of his service, at no extra cost.

This document, because it is meant to be used for formal purposes, must be written on the valuer's official letterhead. It should be dated, with the ownership and location of the carpets stated as well. Each carpet should be described individually, with enough detail to establish its identity. You should be given one copy, the valuer should keep one, and your insurance company should be given a third copy.

It is essential that this certificate comes with photographs of each carpet described, especially if they are of significant value. It is immaterial whether this photograph is taken by a professional or amateur photographer, as long as it clearly shows the whole carpet, and any distinctive features on it. Such visual evidence is particularly appreciated in cases of theft when efforts are being made to trace stolen goods. And as an added precaution, consider keeping a copy of certificate and the photograph/photographs in a place other than where the carpets are located, such as in a bank safe deposit box.


Just like your other possessions, you need to insure your hand-knotted carpet against loss or damage by theft, fire or other risk. Because such carpets generally appreciate in value, it would be extremely painful if they had not been insured before an unexpected calamity occurred. Insurance companies differ in the way in which their policies cover such items, but most include them in the general category of household effects, which includes other possessions. Each of these items is listed, with an accompanying value. And in the case of the Oriental carpet, and especially an antique one, the insurance company would require proof of its value. This could either be in the form of the valuation certificate, or more commonly, in the form of the receipt from sales. Since companies differ about which document accept, you should discuss this with your insurer at the onset. Failure to establish this could lead to misunderstanding later on. For instance, your receipt price remains the same because it simply indicates the amount you paid for it. But the valuer's figure may change five years after you bought it because the carpet has appreciated in value.


A professional valuation is required when the owner of an Oriental carpet passes on, and leaves it to his beneficiary. This is because capital taxes are based on the value of the inheritance.