Everyone likes the idea of sitting on a gold mine. But is this fancy ring that you have inherited a worthless charm or treasure of inestimable value? Here’s how to estimate the value of your old jewelry.
Potential treasure? Or charm without interest?
If you do not know what to do with your old jewelry that only accumulates dust for years in the bottom of a box, a visit to an expert in antique jewelry should be able to help you.
- This kind of jeweler has the technical expertise and historical knowledge to estimate the value of your beautiful brooch. He can tell you if it has a market value or if it is a recent reproduction.
Could you tell the difference?
For most of us, it is very difficult to differentiate between antique jewelry and reproductions. A jewel must be 100 years old or older to be elevated to the status of an antique jewel. Now, that does not mean that a good post-war jewel of good quality has no value. In this case, it will be called retro jewel, or vintage jewel.
- In any case, the expert can refer you to restoration experts, if necessary, or to buyers, if you prefer to sell your jewel.
It’s worth its weight in gold
Whether the expert is a jeweler or a gemologist, he or she uses criteria to determine the jewelry period and its current market value. The jeweler will be based on the following factors:
- The type of metal used (platinum, gold, silver or alloy).
- The quality of the stones (diamonds, pearls or precious stones).
- The condition of the jewel (the closer it is to its original state, the more valuable it is).
- Indications of authenticity.
- The style, is a sign of the time during which it was created (Victorian, Art Nouveau or Art Deco).
Preserve a piece of history
An old jewel has a history and an experience. It can also be a family heirloom to which you are very attached. If the jewel is damaged, the restoration expert will be able to repair the chipped diamond, touch up the gold with a laser or make up the chipped enamel.
- Sometimes, deep cleaning to preserve the patina of the jewel – the aged look that the metal takes over time – is enough.
Keep the jewels
A jewelry box lined with soft fabrics, a silk pouch, or the original box will protect your old gem from dust and scratches.
- For extra protection, wrap the jewels separately and store them in a dry, dark place where the temperature is stable.
For lovers of antique jewelry
In this era of excessive consumption and waste, the rediscovery of the value of old objects is part of an ecological trend. Keep your eyes open the next time you visit a second hand store. Your jewel may have witnessed a great historical event. Who knows, it can even be of a lot more value than you think!