Antique jewelry is something that is loved by many, as it is something with sentimental value that can be passed down for generations. If you don't currently have any in your family, you may be interested in acquiring some. Unfortunately, it can be hard to spot the real thing if you aren't an expert. So, if you're new to shopping for antique jewelry, here are a few things you need to know and do:
1. Take the Time to Investigate the Seller.
If you have decided to purchase antique jewelry online, you will want to make sure to check out the other pieces of jewelry that the seller has for sell. Antique jewelry is usually unique and one-of-a-kind. If you notice there are 10 or 15 pieces of the same exact necklace that you're interested in, there's a pretty good chance that it it's a fake. In addition to investigating the items for sale, don't forget to review the seller's feedback if available. More often than not, you'll be able to get a lot of helpful insight from the feedback that previous buyers have left.
2. Make Sure You Ask Questions.
When you find a piece that you like, whether in person or online, make sure that you reach out to the seller of the item. You want to be able to ask some questions. Digging deeper with questions will help you determine whether the piece is real or fake. One of the main questions you should always ask an antique jewelry seller is how they got their hands on the item. Make sure that the story seems practical, such as they bought it at an estate sale, it was found at an antique thrift store, or it was a family heirloom. An honest seller is generally going to be able to provide some form of proof, such as documentation, regarding the location and date that the jewelry was acquired.
3. Don't Fail to Look for a Maker's Mark.
Many pieces of antique jewelry has what is known as a maker's mark, which was left behind by the companies that sold or manufactured the jewelry. You can find out a lot about the history of a piece, including the year that the item was made and the company that made it, by searching for the mark on an online database like the Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks, and Makers' Marks.
4. Make Sure the Piece Doesn't Look Perfect.
No antique piece of jewelry should look pristine. After all, it's old. It should definitely show signs of wear and tear. Keep in mind, though that there is a fine line between broken and worn. You don't want a piece of jewelry where the stone is completely broken, but a little bit of tarnish or a slight dent is common. If it is in immaculate condition, you should immediately assume that the item is a fake.
5. Consider Checking Out Estate Sales.
If you're worried about trying to find a proper piece of antique jewelry on your own, you may want to consider checking out local estate sales. If there is no documentation available to back up that the jewelry is indeed an antique, you can always negotiate a fair price and then take it to an appraiser. However, chances are since the item is coming from a personal collection it is real. Contact a business, such as Rhonda's Jewelry, for more information.