Have you ever opened your jewelry box and said to yourself, “What is this thing?” If so, you’re not alone. Use these tips to identify antique jewelry you own and that you may see at an auction or thrift store.
Learning What to Look For
What is Antique Jewelry?
Typically, jewelry collectors consider anything before the 1930s as antique. Antique jewelry is not the same as costume jewelry, with the latter typically defined as starting in the 1930s, although there are exceptions.
Identify Antique Jewelry by Function
Most jewelry is identifiable by the function of it. The function will tell you if it is a necklace, earrings, or bracelets. But, certain items have been created in the past that have only been used for a decade or two. One example is a dress clip, which was in fashion and produced from the 1930s through the 1950s. It went out of style after that time.
Look at the Style of Jewelry
Another tip for identifying antique jewelry is to analyze its style. There have been certain periods when certain stones and colors have been more popular than others, for instance. White gold was popular from 1910 to 1930s, as was silver or a base metal shaded to look like silver.
Analyze the Back of the Antique Jewel
The back of the piece can tell you a lot about its age and value. This concept holds true of brooches, necklaces, and earrings. For example, if you see a number “925,” it means the jewelry is sterling silver. The stamp on the back can also indicate the country where it was manufactured. You can find out the age by lookiing at the type of clasp, hinge, or the pin shaft too.
If you are still not sure how to identify the antique jewelry you think that you own, take it to a certified appraiser for an evaluation. Always have this evaluation in writing, for insurance reasons. Jewelry is fun to wear and is a great collector’s item. Understanding more about your jewelry can be exciting and help you learn its true value.
Identifying Antique Jewelry Videos