Tips For Buying Antique Jewelry
There is something classic and timeless about antique jewelry and it is highly sought after by a wide range of consumers. Buying jewelry can be overwhelming, especially if you are interested in older pieces. It is common to confuse the terms antique and vintage, but they vary greatly in several ways, including price, materials and style, so it is important to understand the difference between the two. Antique jewelry is any piece of jewelry that is about 100 years or older. Pieces of jewelry that are 20-30 years old are considered vintage. If you are interested in buying antique jewelry, here are a few tips to help ensure you get quality antique pieces.
When searching for antique jewelry online, especially when shopping on auction sites or searching local sites that sell items from private sellers, always do a thorough check of their site. For instance, if you are interested in a piece for sale on an online auction site, be sure to scan through their other items for sale; if the seller has several of the same piece of antique jewelry, the odds are the piece isn't the real thing. Most antique jewelry pieces are one-of-a-kind, so having several identical items for sale typically means the items aren't real antiques. Review the seller's feedback to see what other buyers have said about their products.
In most situations, antique jewelers put a maker's mark somewhere on the jewelry. So, if the piece you are interested in supposedly antique, be sure to check for a mark of some type, such as a small design or the maker's initials. It is important to do your research before buying antique jewelry. Check websites and become familiar with pictures of well-known antique jeweler marks. Typically, websites about maker's marks will include an explanation of the reason for the mark, any deviations in marks and information about the craftsman themselves.
One of the easiest ways to determine if a piece of jewelry is a true piece of antique jewelry is the price. If a price is too good to be true, use caution. Real pieces of antique jewelry aren't generally sold for only a few dollars on an auction site. Be sure to compare the price of the piece to the type of metal used, the stones and the quality of the jewelry. It can be easy to be overcharged as well, so be armed with as much information as possible about the history of the maker and the materials used to make the piece.
When you find a piece of jewelry that you are interested in, be sure to ask questions about the piece. For instance, you could ask the seller how they came in possession of the piece. A viable story may include information such as they bought it from an estate sale or it was inherited from family. An honest seller will be able to provide some type of information about where the piece came from as well as some basic information about the piece. If you do buy a piece that you may feel isn't real, some jewelry stores also offer antique jewelry services so you can have the piece examined to determine if it is real and what its value is.