Here are some specific tips that I was able to get from professional antique and antique jewelry dealers that I interacted with.
- Carefully inspect the decoration from all sides.
Look at the back of the jewelry, not just the front. Good antique jewelry is finely finished but, as we’ll look at in point 2, is not without signs of wear.
I advise you to always inspect the jewelry with a magnifying glass before buying – look at the mark, check the teeth.
Look for chips in gemstones and cracks in enamel, which are particularly difficult to repair.
If possible, try on the jewelry to make sure it fits correctly and is comfortable. If something doesn’t fit, consider it when discussing the price.
- If the decoration is old, it should look the same.
There are several obvious signs that the item is not as old as it claims, and the main one is the absence of signs of wear.
If, for example, an earring has loops connecting two precious stones, then there should be a small groove at the junction of the loops.
You need to check the teeth for signs of wear, and also look at the enamel. If a piece of jewelry should be 200 years old and the enamel is intact, then something is wrong.
Weight and size are also good indicators of age. Many of the vintage pieces, such as the Georgian chains, were very light.
Antique bangles are often small because people had small wrists, and antique rings go to extremes. They are either small (because, again, people were smaller) or large, because they were made to be worn over gloves.
- Money money money.
If something seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
Buyers should think logically and not get carried away by the subject matter; if the price seems too low, there is probably a reason.
Shop around to compare and contrast products and prices offered at different stands.
Don’t buy the first thing you see unless you know you can’t live without it and you’re sure the price is right. There is nothing worse than remorse after a purchase.
- Use external resources.
Read up on antique jewelry before buying, or bring along an experienced buyer who knows antique jewelry.
- Buy what you love… or don’t buy.
One last piece of advice: don’t buy what is sold in the store, and not what you personally like. It’s about finding items you’re passionate about.
People often start by buying what is popular, but if you buy what you like, you can wear it enthusiastically.