Finding the value of a violin may sometimes seem to be a wild guess. There are many factors that go into a violin's appraisal, including its quality, sound, appearance, age, creator and previous use. Many violins are manufactured for new players or casual hobbyist, and therefore do not fetch a high value. Others are hundreds of years old and highly sought after. If you are in the possession of a violin but do not know its origins, there are a few ways that you can assess the general worth of your violin.
Listen to the sound of your violin. The value of a violin drops dramatically, no matter its physical condition, if it cannot hold a tune. A violin that plays clearly, strongly and in tune is worth more.
Review your violin for any physical blemishes. Second most important to its sound, your violin will have a greater value if it is in good physical shape. A beautiful violin will have a grained finish that allows for strong reverberation throughout the instrument. If both the sound and appearance are in great condition, the general value of your violin increases.
Identify the maker of the violin. Violins are made in three distinct ways. A violin will be either crafted by a small group of people, manufactured in a factory or hand crafted by a single artisan. Hand-made violins are often the most valuable. Unless you your violin was manufactured, you will most likely find a stamp of the violin's creator on its backside. If you cannot locate the maker of the violin, it may still be recognized by an appraiser.
Locate a luthier for a final appraisal. A luthier is someone who specializes in crafting and repairing stringed instruments. You may find a luthier locally on one may be contacted online. A luthier will help you identify and give an approximate appraisal of your violin. If you have any documentation on your violin, share it with the luthier, as this may help the appraisal process.
Consider taking your violin to multiple dealers for appraisal. You may receive different value estimates.
Based in Gainesville, Florida, Johanna T. Baker is a professional writer whose articles have been published in "Dimensions," a local literary magazine in the Tampa Bay area.