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How to Buy Estate, Vintage, and Antique Jewelry

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 9.47.01 AMFirst, know what it’s worth.

You don’t have to know the exact value of the jewelry you are buying, but it’s a good idea to know what your pieces are generally worth. Next, evaluate jewelry of similar quality and composition. Obviously, the better condition the jewelry is in and its grade of gemstones precious metals, the higher its value. If a valuable piece looks too worn, then their still may be value in the stones and metal.

Understand how gold is valued.

The purity of gold jewelry is indicated by its karat stamp. Most gold jewelry, especially antique pieces, are 14-karat, which means they are only about 58 percent gold. A 24-karat gold piece is pure gold and will be worth approximately the current price of gold per ounce. If there is no karat stamp on the gold piece, it is usually because it’s not real gold. In some instances, the karat stamp may have worn off. A quick way to test if a gold piece is real is to place it next to a magnet; if it sticks, then it’s not real gold.

Just as you should know how gold is valued, the same goes for precious gemstones. You’ll need official certification to know exactly how much your gem is worth. If you don’t have certification, research what type it is and its general popularity and market value.

Has the piece been appraised?

Make sure you are buying from a reputable, established jeweler who has appraised the piece you’re interested in accurately. Make sure the appraiser is Gemological Institute of America (GIA) educated. The GIA is the industry standard for gem and precious metal appraisals. A GIA-educated appraiser should abide by the strictest industry ethics and methods to ensure that a seller is given the fair market price for the piece being sold.

Realize the market fluctuates.

The price of gold and silver changes daily based on various factors, including market demand, manufacturing supply, and the financial markets. It’s important to understand that the price of the metals which apply to the piece.

Enjoy your estate, vintage or antique jewelry!

Most importantly, if it is a piece for yourself, make sure it is something you would enjoy wearing, or if it is for a friend or relative, if it is their taste. Have you seen them wearing pieces like it? The most valuable piece of jewelry is one that will be enjoyed.

If you’re in the market for estate, vintage or antique jewelry, make sure to visit Adina by Empire Jeweler’s remarkable online store. You’ll find an exquisite selection of estate rings, earrings, bracelets, watches pendants and more at true wholesale prices, all appraised by Adina Jewelers by Empire’s GIA-educated appraisers.

 
 
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