When running my antique business, I’m often asked about the value of items to be sold and whether the item will appreciate over time. Antique jewelry, in particular, is a common item that dealers ask about and, for this reason, I thought I’d share some tips.
When Age Matters
If you are considering the start of an antique business – or if you simply have some antique jewelry you’d like to sell – it is important to understand what is truly antique and what is not. In the realm of collections, any piece of jewelry that is confirmed older than 100 years would be considered antiquated and, therefore, a true antique. It is important, as a dealer or an owner, that we divert away from naming a piece of jewelry as antique if it does not meet this age requirement.
For true antique jewelry – more than 100 years old – not only is value maintained quite well but, because there are no duty requirements for international shipping, these valuables can be sold anywhere in the world without much cause for concern. A provenance – or a historical document confirming the age of the jewelry – is often necessary for sales internationally.
Antique Jewelry Classifications
To value and sell antique jewelry, it is important to know what period the piece was created in. Like furniture and other antiques, jewelry is usually classified by the period in Presidential or Royalty history. With jewelry, however, there are two additional ways in which to identify the pieces – as art nouveau or art deco. When selling a piece of antique jewelry, it is also appropriate to utilize words such as “retro” and “collectible”.
Is Costume Jewelry Valuable?
A common confusion in antique jewelry collections seems to arise when you are trying to determine the value of a piece of costume jewelry. Typically, the term “costume jewelry” simply implies the item is made with non-precious metals and synthetic stones. The term can be used when describing antique items as well as modern pieces of jewelry. When trying to value a piece of costume jewelry, it will be the maker of the item that will drive the value so always try to invest, collect, and trade in those pieces that have an artist signature or a jeweler’s mark.
Antique collecting and dealing is a fun hobby and can be a lucrative business, if you collect and trade in items of real value. Antique jewelry can be a great way to start a small jewelry business but success will be driven by the ability to identify true antiques from their reproductions. I use these guides for buying antique jewelry for my business and recommend the same for anyone considering this as a new financial investment.
Koval’s Price Guide to Antiques
Value of Antique Jewelry
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Why Jewelry Insurance is Important
Small Business Funding Options