News & Press: Jewelry and Industry

What USPAP Means to Personal Property Appraisers and Why it is Important to be Compliant

Friday, January 11, 2019  
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By David Rotenberg, ECGA


Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) was developed 30 years ago from the aftermath of the Savings and Loan Crisis in the 1980s for the Real Estate appraisers. In 1989, “The Appraisal Foundation” promulgated USPAP to create appraisal standards for report writing and to procure public trust for appraisers of all disciplines.

USPAP has the full weight and authority of the United States Congress, government entities, and just recently adopted by the IRS that all appraisals must be USPAP compliant to be accepted. You may be USPAP compliant by law, regulation or choice.

By being USPAP compliant, you will provide public trust on behalf of other appraisers and users of appraisal services.

According to Mona Miller, ICGA, USPAP instructor, you will be:

  • Independent, objective, and impartial
  • Competent to complete an assignment
  • Not an advocate
  • More confident in writing reports
  • Reports will be accepted in Court of Law of no compliant reports

Every appraisal will contain a signed certification stating your ethics, competency, providing public trust of being independent, objective and impartial to the subject property you are appraising.

You will learn to utilize the intended use and users of the report, type of value with definition, scope of work, markets and market levels, three approaches to value and which is most applicable to your specific assignment, among many other important factors to write a credible report for your client.

As of July 2018, the IRS has ruled to submit an appraisal for donation or estate purposes. Your appraisal must be USPAP compliant. They discussed this in the past, but now the IRS has defined compliant. USPAP compliant as per the Appraisal Foundation. If you appraise or are hoping to perform Estate, Donation or any other appraisals with the IRS, you MUST be USPAP compliant.

As an AGS Certified Gemologist® Appraiser (CGA), you have already completed a solid foundation of appraisal practice. By being USPAP compliant, you will additionally be recognized as one of the best in appraising in the industry. By following the AGS guidelines, you are a good appraiser but by being compliant in USPAP, you will step up a level of knowledge.

This year, the AGS will host a 15-hour USPAP offering prior to Conclave, April 6-7 in Seattle, instructed by Mona Miller.

No advanced certification is necessary. For USPAP class information contact, please contact David Rotenberg at 215.968.8900 or david@davidcraigjewelers. To register, contact

During Conclave, on Monday, April 8, David Rotenberg will be presenting "Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice Compliance" from 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

About the Author:

David Craig Rotenberg owns and operates David Craig Jewelers in Langhorne, PA. In 2017, he was awarded the title of Emeritus Certified Gemologist Appraiser (ECGA) by the American Gem Society (AGS). He is one of a handful of jewelers in the U.S. who received the CAPP certification in gemstones and jewelry from the International Society of Appraisers. Mr. Rotenberg is frequently sought by the media for his appraisal expertise and has been featured as such on various broadcast programs.


Mission Statement

The American Gem Society (AGS) is a nonprofit trade association of fine jewelry professionals dedicated to setting, maintaining and promoting the highest standards of ethical conduct and professional behavior through education, accreditation, recertification of its membership, gemological standards, and gemological research.

The Society is committed to providing educational products to inform and protect the consumer and to contributing to the betterment of the trade by creating industry standards to protect the jewelry-buying public and the fine jewelry industry as a whole.

AGS Laboratories, founded to support the AGS mission, is a nonprofit diamond grading laboratory with a mission of consumer protection. Adhering to the AGS Diamond Grading Standards, AGS Laboratories is dedicated to offering diamond grading reports that provide consistency and accuracy based on science.

American Gem Society