Appreciating Great Art

Tips For Buying Antique Jewelry

Antique jewelry can be a meaningful way to connect with history. If you want to get a great deal on genuine antique jewelry, consider these tips before you buy.

Consider the Source

There are several venues for buying antique jewelry, with varying degrees of safety. Craigslist and classified ad sellers are an option for locating antiques in your area, although you need to be sure to vet the seller before buying. If you see an ad that list multiples of the same piece, or the same ad has been relisted many times, then you might suspect that the pieces are copies.

Another option is to check your local estate sales. You can get some great deals on jewelry at estate sales, but it takes a trained eye to verify these pieces. If you are considering an estate sale piece, make sure that the piece is verified first by a qualified appraiser.

The next option is to go through a qualified art dealer or jewelry store. These establishments collect antique jewelry, and they will have staff on hand to assess the jewelry's actual value and authenticity. If you are new to antique jewelry, these specialists may be your best bet for finding high quality antiques in good condition.

Get an Appraisal

It's always important to check the appraised value of a piece before buying to make sure that its history is accurate. If the seller doesn't already have an appraisal on the piece, you can send an item in for appraisal online. All you'll need is some photos of the item in question.

Make Sure You're Seeing the Whole Picture

If you are unable to inspect the item in person, ask the seller for various photos or a video that shows an item from all angles. Ask specifically for photos of any defects on the items.  Be sure that the photos include both details and the big picture.

Look for Classic Signs of Antique Jewelry

If you do have the chance to investigate your antique jewelry in person before buying, there are a few items to look for to verify that it's an antique. For instance, you should look for signs of patina; this loss of sheen indicates many years of use and decay. Since many jewelers used to leave a mark on the crafts, such as their initials, you should look for marks on the jewelry to signal the real deal. When in doubt, an expert jewelry appraised can help you to sniff out a fake.

For more information, talk to a jewelry dealer such as Crissy Galleries.