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By definition, antique jewelry does not appear new, but that does not mean it has to be in poor condition. When shopping for antique jewelry you should ask the current owner as many questions as you can about the origin of the piece and the history behind it. There are other helpful hints to insure that the antique jewelry you are buying is the real deal.
When shopping for antique jewelry, it is important to turn the rock over. The front of the piece may have been cleaned up and polished, but to determine the real condition of the piece you should turn it over and examine the back. Look for abnormalities, signs of wear and tear or repairs that may alter the original style of the piece. You may want to reconsider buying the piece if the back is scratched or in poor condition.
You should also look for quality pieces when shopping for antique jewelry. This means looking for pieces that have bright stones in good condition with pronged settings. Good quality jewelry is weighs substantially. You should also look for jewels that have smooth plating. Avoid pieces that are missing stones or parts or that are chipped r scratched. You should also stay away from antique jewelry that has obvious signs of substandard soldering or sloppy stone replacements.
When shopping for antique jewelry, you should attempt to make sure that the piece is an original. You do not want to pay top dollar for a replica of the original. A sign that the piece may have been remade is a noticeable seam. A seam may indicate that the jewelry was part of something else originally. For example, earrings or cufflinks that have lost the other in their pair are often altered to make rings. This will significantly lower the rice of the piece.
Another tip involves looking for jewelry that has been repaired poorly. Not all repairs are bad. A good repair should be virtually unnoticeable. You should look for seams or different colored metals. If you find a gold piece that has been repaired using lead solder you should refrain from buying it. Not only does the lead solder look bad, but it also will eat through the gold and significantly lower the value of the piece, In addition, lead solder is not strong and is likely o need repair again. Therefore, when shopping for antique jewelry do not be afraid of repaired pieces, just know what warning signs you should stay away from.
These four tips will help you make solid purchases when buying antique jewelry. It is also important to ask the dealer questions about the quality of the piece. You should also ask them about where the piece originated and whether it has ever been repaired. Knowing about the jewelry’s background will not only help you determine the condition but it will give your jewelry a special touch. Having jewelry that has a story behind it gives it character and makes it unique.
It may also be helpful to bring a 10x loupe with you when shopping. This is a magnifying glass made specifically for examining jewelry. You can use it as a tool to look for imperfections or discolorations in the stone. This magnifying eyepiece can be purchased at most jewelry stores and usually costs between twenty and forty dollars. If you are going to shop for antique jewelry on a regular basis the 10x loupe is a good investment.
It is also important to buy from a dealer or jeweler that is reputable. Make your purchase from someone you trust.