There is no question that there is a lot more to consider when buying antique jewellery compared to new jewellery.
With potentially hundreds of years of history in that ring or necklace you’re considering, there are a number of things which you should be 100% confident in before exchanging money for it.
To make sure you get what you pay for, here are 3 things to look out for before buying antique jewellery.
For a piece of jewellery to qualify as antique, it must be at least 100 years old. Once it’s exact age is established, it can then be understood what era it was made and represents.
The four antique jewellery eras to look out for are the Georgian (1714-1830), the Victorian (1837-1901), The Edwardian (1901-1914) and the Art Deco era (1915-1935).
Depending on its era, the price can vary massively. For example, an 18ct gold and diamond ring which has survived over 200 years (Georgian era) will undoubtedly bring a higher price than one which is just over 100 years old.
It’s also important to get as much information (and proof) as possible on the origin of the piece of jewellery so that you can establish it is definitely an antique.
Before seeking the advice of an antique expert, there are a couple of things you can check to find out whether a piece is genuinely antique or not. Take a look at these three steps from About Style.
Antique or Antique Style
Some traders are very canny about how they sell their particular jewellery. In a very similar vein to people failing to read the small print, you might well get caught out if you don’t check all the information of certain jewellery.
We spoke the experts at Royal Antique Jewelry who told us that “the key word to look out for is “style”.
“Plenty of jewellers create pieces of jewellery which are ‘in the style’ of a certain antique era. For example, you might find a piece which initially appears to be a Victorian mourning brooch. However, if you delve a little closer, examine the date or the description, it could well say ’style’ somewhere”.
One dead giveaway to look for is the price. Before committing anymore to antique jewellery, you should always compare the price of a similar piece. If one is remarkably cheaper, the chances are it isn’t genuine.
Real or Fake Stones
One of the issues with anything that has survived over several human lifetimes is that sometimes information gets lost.
Ultimately, this means that mistakes are made. At it’s worst, people end up assuming certain gemstones are better than they actually are.
This is an issue which Victorian jewellery faces because it was the first period in which jewellery was mass produced.
To make it more accessible to the middle classes, diamonds and other expensive gemstones were replaced with cheaper alternatives, namely, paste stones and coloured glass.
To the untrained eye these might appear exactly the same, however, that is far from the truth. There are a number of ways to identify whether a diamond is real of fake, just take a look at this post from Wonderpolis to find out more.
Another way to work out whether a gemstone is real or fake is to consider the price. Compare it to other pieces with similar stones and ask yourself the simple question, is it too good to be true? If the answer is yes, then it probably is.