Jewelry that was made many years ago comes along with a certain level of generational charm and value, but old jewelry is often times more valuable and even more durable than a lot of the modern versions. The only problem when you collect antique jewelry is the fact that there are so many knock-off versions that are specifically designed to look like authentic antiques when really they are not. If you are constantly on the lookout for a new, authentic antique to add to your collection, there are a handful of tips to help ensure you get the real deal for your money.
1. Find the maker's markings on the piece.
Unlike today's jewelry, antique jewelry was often crafted by hand by a single designer instead of in a factory where the merchandise was mass produced. Because of this, designers took a lot of pride in their work and would almost always mark it with a signature stamp or marking of some form. When you are looking for authentic antique jewelry pieces, make sure you look for the maker's mark somewhere on the piece. This mark is more than just the basic karat mark or silver stamp to describe materials used; it will be a more personalized thing, such as a letter, name, or emblem.
2. Look for pieces with true patina.
Through years of wear and use, precious metals develop a telltale sheen, which is referred to as patina. If you spot a piece of jewelry that you think may be antique, look for this finish. If the piece looks too new, ask if the item has been professionally restored, as this can bring a piece back to its original shine. If the piece has not been restored and it still looks like a brand-new piece of jewelry, you are probably looking at a more modern piece.
3. Shop in the right places for antiques.
Make sure when you shop for antique jewelry pieces, you only trust the most upstanding sellers and dealers. There are a lot of people who claim to sell antiques, but not all can be trusted to be honest. The best sellers will be able to tell you the history of the jewelry they have available, where it came from, and its overall value. Keep in mind also that estate jewelry can often be found at art galleries as well.
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