A selection of insider tips that you won’t usually hear. Secrets Your Antique Jeweler Doesnt Tell You. These are myth busters for antique and vintage jewellery. Feel free to pass them on.
- Older is not always best
- 9ct gold can be better than 18ct
- Size isn’t everything
- You can wear too much jewellery
- The value of your gems can go down as well as up
- Much of the romance behind jewellery is made up
- Antique and Vintage Jewellery is not rare
Secrets Your Antique Jeweler Doesnt Tell You
1. What do you mean – Older is not always best?
Haven’t you spent the last few years shouting about how vintage is better than new Anne? Well yes In general older can be better but I can think of several examples where it’s not. Let’s take charms, the very best English silver charms were made in the 1950s to 1970s. Those from the 1920s 30’s and 40s have far less definition and are of a lower quality.
Look at the fob above, it’s not and original Victorian piece, in fact, its from the 1990s but examined carefully you can see a great quality and feel it in the weight when you pick it up.
Some pieces of Victorian jewellery are cheap and nasty and a brand new quality designer piece would be much better and more desirable. Other pieces of Victoriana were made of materials which have deteriorated by now – anything made of fabric is unlikely to be wearable these days. Secrets Your Antique Jeweler Doesnt Tell You.
2. Why when 18ct gold is twice the price of 9ct can nine carat be better?
Well, nine carat wears better as it is harder. People tend to want jewellery made of eighteen carat or higher but I think you should always consider nine for a ring especially if you are going to wear it every day. The shank of a ring receives the most rubbing and a nine carat ring is going to be far more hard wearing and last much longer.
This beautiful turquoise ring is made of 22ct. Something like this would be perfect for glamorous dressing up occasions – keep it for best.
3. Size isn’t everything, bigger isn’t always better.
Do you think the bigger and flashier a piece of jewellery makes it more expensive? If you have two pieces made of solid gold and equivalent in all respects except for size then bigger will certainly be more costly. With diamonds and most other gemstones, there are many other factors to be taken into consideration not just how big it is.
A diamond is valued by its cut, clarity and colour as well as its carat weight. A large diamond which is badly cut with poor clarity ( lots of inclusions) and a bad muddy colour will not be as desirable as a smaller one which is well cut, bright white and very clear.
4. You can wear too much Jewellery
You see some lady antique jewellery dealers who wear loads of jewellery – several rings at once, huge earrings, several necklaces and a bracelet or three to finish off the look. I say heed the words of Coco Channel and once you are dressed take a look in the mirror and take one or two pieces off or you will look like a human Christmas tree ;-(
5.The value of your gems can go down as well as up
Old jewellery can be a great investment especially in recent years when the price of precious metals has had a tendency to rocket. But the investment is like any other – prices can go up as well as down. There have been past attempts to corner the market in silver and the price of the metal rocketed and with it the value of silver jewellery. This all went belly up and the prices of both plummeted. Of course, they have now recovered but investing in jewellery is a long term thing just like a house or stocks and shares. Take care and take good advice. Secrets Your Antique Jeweler Doesnt Tell You
6. Much of the romance behind jewellery is made up.
What do I mean about this? Yesterday I wrote about the term “Precious Gemstone” being marketing hype and that these as a group were not really any more suited to jewellery than the less regarded semi-precious stones.
This also applies to many other jewellery terms. Have you heard of Mizpah, Regard and Trilogy ? All marketing to sell more. Next time you are looking to buy a piece take a long hard look at it – is it well made? Do you love it ? can you afford it? Ok then buy it not because of an ad man’s message.
7. Antique and Vintage jewellery is not particularly rare.
I bet that’s one Secrets Your Antique Jeweler Doesn’t Tell You. Auction houses are full of it. The trouble is that most of it is in bad condition/ ugly/ badly made and generally undesirable in one way or another. What is rare is good quality wearable desirable pieces such as many of those found on AntiquesAvenue. I spend many hours every week seeking out the special pieces you find here on this website. Sorting out the good from the dross just for you.
And a few things which are completely true:
- Hallmarks are your guarantee of quality.
- AntiquesAvenue’s jewellery is great value for money
1. If a piece of jewellery is properly hallmarked then these markings are your guarantee of the age and metal quality of that piece. If you have any concerns then ask your jewellery to decipher these markings for you. Want to learn for yourself? There are plenty of books around where you can just look the hallmark up in a table.
2. Have you compared the prices you see on AntiquesAvenue to those on other top Antique Jewellery websites? Why is it so much better value here? Firstly I don’t have a big London-based shop and its staff to support. Yet you can still see the pieces in person before you buy by arranging a personal appointment. Secondly I buy mostly from auction rather than in person. In person I would feel obliged to pay a fair price where as at auction I can snap up any quality bargains going and pass the luck onto you. 🙂
Do you have any more Secrets Your Antique Jeweler Doesnt Tell You to add to my list? Please do let me know