Rate of appreciation

July 13, 2005 at 11:19 PM · I've been looking for an answer to this question, but have been unable to find it. I'm sure there isn't a fixed rate at which violins appreciate at, but what is the appreciation range for newer modern instruments as opposed to older ones? Is it any different for bows?

Replies (5)

July 14, 2005 at 03:49 AM · Instruments by living makers generally don't appreciate in the market sense -- their value is tied to what the maker is charging. Let's say you bought a violin from a particular maker when he was young and relatively unknown, and charging $10,000. If he became very sought-after, he might have raised his price to $25,000. Therefore, you've made an excellent return on your investment. But makers don't just arbitrarily raise their prices; they do so in response to market demand. (A good example is Sam Zygmuntovich, whose asking price is well over $40,000 now.)

Older instruments, on the other hand, appreciate much the same way as an antique chair or painting. The market determines the price based on the maker's importance, condition, sound quality, and workmanship. Generally (VERY generally), the rate of appreciation is higher than with contemporary instruments.

July 14, 2005 at 04:53 AM · It depends on the maker. Sam Z is an exteme exception. For those makers selling around $20-22K, their violins could be bought for around $15K 7 years ago. For those selling $15K now, their violins were around $12-13K 6 years ago. And I know one maker, making violins below 10K, increased by only $500 over the same period of time. So you see, violins from more famous makers generally appreciates more. But these prices are for new ones. Old violins from existing makers generally sell for less than new ones, unless the demand far exceed the speed of production.

July 14, 2005 at 05:50 AM · I knew of a living maker who was in such demand some interesting things happened. To avoid the waiting period people started paying more for his used instruments than what he charged for new ones. To compound the problem, during the waiting period his reputation, and therefore the demand, was growing. Since you pay up front, he was perpetually undercharging. People were ordering them, and when they received them, immediately selling them privately for a profit.

July 15, 2005 at 03:04 PM · I have a related question about inmstrument insurance. The insurance policy I have now treats violins like any piece of furniture, i.e., their value depreciates yearly. I'd like to get some instrument insurance that doesn't do this. Any suggestions?

July 15, 2005 at 03:31 PM · Pauline that's just stupid.

Go with Heritage Instrument Insurance, at first I didn't know about them. Now I've found out that a lot of people use them. You should protect yourself.

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