Antique collectors will agree with us when we say there’s really something special about buying vintage items, especially antique jewelry. Take a beautiful antique estate wedding ring for instance. Is it just us or does it feel that much more special because it has already been the center of a lifetime of love and affection? Not only is estate jewelry beautiful because of its antiquity, but also because of the previous lives and stories they took part in.
Unfortunately, the worth of antique and estate jewelry is also seen by crooks looking to make a quick buck passing off brand new pieces as high value antiques. If you’re not careful, you may end up paying an arm and a leg for something that is newer than some of the items in your pantry!
Here are some tips for making sure you don’t get scammed when shopping for estate jewelry:
DO Research the Seller
When purchasing antique jewelry from an individual dealer, be sure to investigate the credibility of the person or the estate sale. For example, if you are going to buy estate jewelry online, look at what else the seller is putting up for sale. Antique jewelry is usually unique and exclusive, so you should be suspicious if they are selling multiples of the same item. Also, other buyer reviews should tip you off as to whether the seller is honest or a scammer.
DO NOT Feel Bad About Asking Questions
Before you click the “Buy” button or shake hands on it, question the seller to test the authenticity of the piece. One common question to ask is how they came by the antique item. Was it a family heirloom, purchased at an estate sale, or acquired while antiquing? This question won’t come across as suspicious and tells you a lot about the legitimacy of the piece you are thinking of purchasing.
DO Look for Signs of Wear & Maker’s Mark
Wanting to see tarnish, dents, scratches and other signs of wear may seem counterintuitive when shopping for jewelry; however, these are good signs when shopping for authentic estate jewelry. If it looks brand new, there is a higher risk that the piece was restored or is a fake. Likewise, be wary of buying antique jewelry without a maker’s mark. Almost all old jewelry made before 1950 will have a tiny mark or symbol indicating who the maker was.
DO NOT Buy Jewelry Just Because It’s Cheap
Antiquing and frequenting estate sales is great way to get your hands on high value jewelry at a bargain price, but be on your guard against deals that seem too good to be true. They probably are. Authentic estate and antique jewelry preserves a legacy and is made to withstand the test of time, so they aren’t going cost the same as something you can pick up at a department store.
DO Locate a Dealer if You’re Unsure
If you are concerned about finding a quality estate sale or uncomfortable with bargaining for antique jewelry, visit a local estate jewelry dealer in your area or online. With a certified estate jeweler, you can rest easy knowing that your purchases are authentic, genuine and high quality.
Dallas Gold & Silver Exchange has one of the largest collections of antique and estate jewelry, rare coins and luxury watches in the country. If you live the North Texas area, visit one of our store locations in Dallas, Arlington, Euless and Southlake.