3,014. Animals of Differing Values

Hilchos Arachin Vacharamin 7:9

Pursuant to the previous halacha, let’s say that someone had an animal consecrated for the altar and it got blemished. If the animal was worth ten zuz and there was a secular animal worth five zuz and the person says, “The sanctity of this animal is transferred to that animal,” the blemished animal is redeemed and it reverts to secular status. He must, however, pay five more zuz to the Temple. Similarly, if this was done when the first animal was consecrated, it would revert to secular status and it could be shorn and worked, while the second animal becomes sanctified under Biblical law. By rabbinic enactment, however, the animal must be appraised to see if the sanctity was transferred to one of equal value. If such is not the case, he must make up the difference in value.

Hilchos Arachin Vacharamin 7:10

If three people appraised the animals and determined that they were of equal value, the appraisal isn’t affected even if 100 more people later determine that the original animal was worth more. Since the need to appraise is a rabbinic enactment, they did not act stringently in this matter. However, if two people made the original appraisal and then three people later said that they miscalculated to the Temple’s disadvantage by however much, then the appraisal must be made again.