How to Determine the True Value of Your Vintage Jewelry
- Posted on 15th December 2022
- in Antique Jewelry, Hallmarks
- by Alan
Do you know if your vintage jewelry is valuable or not? Some people do have pieces that are surprisingly worth a lot of money. Others may have items that they believe are valuable but are actually not. If you know how to identify your antique or vintage jewelry, you won’t be shocked when you visit a buyer and get a low offer. You’ll also know what your pieces are worth, so you won’t get taken advantage of.
How can you know what the value of each item you have is without going to an appraiser? There are a few different things to look for on each piece of jewelry that can help you determine the true value of your vintage jewelry.
The Hallmarks Tell You a Lot
Asking, “How much is my vintage jewelry worth?” isn’t a quick and easy question to answer, but it’s also not as difficult as you may think thanks to the internet. You now have many different resources at your fingertips, which means you won’t have to visit the library or seek out experts. The first thing you can look for is the hallmark. Most jewelry pieces will include a small manufacturer’s or designer’s mark. This mark, which is like a logo or a few letters, can tell you a lot. In fact, some pieces actually have several different marks on them, which makes it even easier.
The hallmark is the brand of the designer or manufacturer. If you know who made the piece, it’s much easier to find out if it’s valuable or not. You might also see a mark that indicates the country of origin or the year the piece was made. You may also see a small number that indicates the metal content. For example, a silver piece may be marked 925, which means it’s mostly silver but has a small amount of copper in it.
Check the Weight
Real gold and silver weighs more than materials such as pewter and brass. When doing a vintage jewelry appraisal, be sure to pick up the item and test its weight. This is important with all jewelry, but it’s necessary when you’re determining the weight of a necklace, bangle, or chain. If you pick up a chain that is supposedly made from gold, but it feels very light, it’s likely hollow gold or completely fake gold.
Look at the Prongs
Another tip that antique jewelry buyers will give newcomers is to be sure to inspect the prongs. While some costume jewelry, especially the higher end costume pieces, uses high quality prongs, most do not. Instead, the stones and fake gems are simply glued in. Fine jewelry will have small prongs that hold in each stone so that it’s not damaged in any way.
Do keep in mind, though, that some high-end vintage costume pieces can actually be worth money, especially those that use prongs and look much more expensive than they actually are. You may be able to get a good amount of money for these pieces.