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The Appraiser skill relates to trading and item value estimation. Your fortress's representative trader gains appraiser skill the first time the trading screen is opened for each caravan visit, but the item valuations in the Trade Depot are determined by your broker's appraiser skill, not your fortress representative's. (You can, however, reassign the position of broker to your fortress representative to display item values at the depot.) Appraiser has no associated assignable labors. A good way to train another dwarf is to assign him as broker, make him go to the trade depot and (T)rade, exit and assign the "main" broker again and make him do the actual trading. This is a very effective way of training the skill, as simply opening the trade interface will instantly gain a completely unexperienced dwarf Skilled Appraiser, in the case of dwarf merchants. Don't expect the same gain when trading with elves, as they bring far fewer goods.
In order to have access to the monetary fortress value estimates in the status menu, as well as individual item values, a dwarf with the Appraiser skill must be appointed as broker in the nobles screen. (Note that this is not necessary for the display of item quality - the indicators near the item names - which will always appear.)-