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  • Apr 05 / 2018
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antique porcelain buyers, Chinese Porcelain

4 Things That Might Diminish the Worth of Antique Porcelain

Antique porcelain pieces can often be quite valuable, but a large part of this value comes from their condition. Pieces that aren’t in great condition won’t be worth as much, and in some cases, may actually have very little value.

Here are four things that can diminish the overall value of your porcelain.

Antique Porcelain

 

Chips

When asking “what is my antique worth?” you need to start by looking for chips in the piece. If the base or rim has small chips in them, it won’t be worth as much. Often, it can be hard to see small chips on the rim, so always run a finger around the area. If you feel any sharp edges, the piece is chipped.

Cracks

Another issue vintage porcelain has is cracks. Usually, you can see the cracks when you closely examine a piece, but you should also look over the item with a magnifying glass if you suspect there are tiny cracks. If the piece is very colorful or has a pattern to it, it can be difficult to see the cracks.

Crazing

Crazing is the term for small, fine cracks in the piece’s surface or glaze. It often occurs when the porcelain pieces haven’t been stored correctly. If you keep porcelain in areas subject to extreme temperatures, including basements or attics, crazing is likely to occur. Sudden changes in temperature can also cause crazing.

Signs of Repair

Antique Porcelain

Many antique porcelain buyers want items that are in original condition, even if they’re damaged a bit. If they notice that the pieces have been repaired, they may not be as interested. A black light can be used to reveal glue or modern paint that might escape a visual inspection. Some professional repairs may not devalue the item as much as amateur repairs will.

  • Mar 22 / 2018
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Antique Collection, antiques

Is there a “best season” for buying and selling antiques and collectibles?

If you’ve been in the antique and collectibles business for a while, you’ve probably noticed that there’s an ebb and flow to it. We buy antique collectibles, and we’ve come to understand that there are some months that are simply better for buying than others. This isn’t always the case—you can find amazing antiques at any point of the year. It’s also true that trends do change. Overall, though, collectors have noticed that there are peak buying and selling times throughout the year.

buying and selling antiques

 

The Holiday Season

Just like any other industry, the holiday season is a time for antique buyers to get some great deals. Places often offer holiday specials between the middle of October up to the week before Christmas. Antiques and collectibles make for unique gifts, and many shoppers are looking to buy during this time of year.

The Post-Holiday Slump

On the other hand, you’ll find that January and February are fairly slow months for antique buyers online. Most people are tapped out of extra money from buying holiday gifts, so they aren’t making as many non-essential purchases. In areas where the winter weather is especially bad, many people stay off the roads whenever possible. They don’t want to deal with the ice or snow. With fewer people in antique stores, there are fewer sales.

Heat Has an Effect, Too

Buying Antiques

Even the best places to sell antiques will notice a decline during the hottest months of the year. July to August is usually seen as another slow period. Again, there are a few different reasons for this. The extreme heat in some areas will keep people indoors as much as possible. For parents of school-age children, these months cover summer vacation. It’s hard for them to visit antique shops if they have their kids along. They’re also getting ready to make large back-to-school purchases.

The spring is usually considered a much better time to buy and sell antiques. Expect to see a strong market in May and June.

  • Mar 13 / 2018
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Antique Jewelry

How to Sell Antique Jewelry Online: Get the Most for Your Silver, Gold and Jewelry

Antique varieties are amongst the most exclusive and price worthy pieces of jewelry one can own. Whether they’re made of gold, silver, platinum, or any other material, all antique pieces have a degree of significance and intrinsic value.

Perhaps you’re in possession of a piece you would like to give up in exchange for cash but don’t know how to gauge the true value. All you need to do is follow these easy steps;

Antique Jewelry

Explore the aesthetics without bias

Look at your jewelry piece objectively and ask yourself if someone else would be genuinely interested in it. Scan through fashion magazines and jewelry reviews to check the current styles. If your piece belongs to an upscale category, expect to fetch a handsome amount from it. Bear in mind that it can be quite tricky to objectively gauge the aesthetic value of a piece that holds sentimental value.

Inspect the Hallmarks

Jewelry Marking

What are hallmarks? You might ask. Simply put, a hallmark is a small indent of number OR symbol that a designer embosses/engraves on a piece of jewelry in the form of a logo. These marks can provide you with vital information about the metal content, credibility of the designer, and place of origin.

Assess the condition

Overall, antique jewelry pieces that are in a better condition are favorable compared to worn out pieces. You may choose to restore dilapidated pieces to improve the value and likelihood of selling them, but take into consideration that major repairs can cost you more than the piece is worth. Moreover, some collectors reject restored pieces. So gauge the scale of repair before executing it.

Weigh your pieces

Most valuable metals like gold and silver weigh more than other inexpensive materials like copper and brass. It’s therefore advisable to weigh your pieces when appraising them so as to know whether the materials hold significant value.

Check status of the prongs

Upscale jewelry pieces use high quality prongs while fake pieces are likely to draw on substandard methods of gluing stones into place. Be that as it may, some vintage costume trinkets use a range of styles. So be sure to check diligently.

  • Feb 22 / 2018
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Antique Art

A Guide to Choosing a Professional Art Appraiser to Know the Value of Your Art

Are you ready to have your art professionally appraised? Whether you’ve collected pieces here and there over the years or have more recently decided to be a serious antique art collector, you do need to know the value of your collection. Even if you don’t think you have any really valuable pieces, you should still get your artwork appraised for insurance purposes. You may not even realize what you have until you talk to a professional appraiser. But how do you choose the right appraiser for your art?

A Guide to Choosing a Professional Art

Experience

One of the first things any antique art dealer needs to consider is the appraiser’s experience. How long have they worked as an appraiser? Are they an expert in art only, or does it seem like they try to appraise everything? Do they have specific experience appraising a collection similar to yours? If they don’t, they may not truly know what your pieces are worth. If you’re trying to find the best place to sell antique art, you want to make sure you have the backing of an experienced appraiser.

Are They a Professional Art Appraiser?

A Guide to Choosing a Professional Art

Someone who is a professional art appraiser will work primarily in appraising. They should also be a member of one of the various professional appraisal organizations out there. If you’re uncertain about their experience and their education, ask if they are certified and if they are continuing to take continuing education courses. They should be able to show proof that they are taking courses accredited by the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.

They Should Be an Impartial Third Party

If you’re working with antique art buyers who insist on doing the appraisal themselves, you need to walk out of the deal. Anyone you have appraising artwork you’re going to buy or sell shouldn’t be involved in the deal at all. They should be a third-party impartial appraiser who doesn’t have any conflict of interest. Appraisers should never buy pieces they appraise themselves.

Pricing Should be Hourly

When hiring an appraiser, make certain they bill hourly, not per item or per value. This is the most impartial way of pricing. If they charge you a percentage of the value of the item, they’re likely to appraise everything higher than it should be. If they charge per item, they may not take the time needed to fully appraise each item. Also make sure the prices you’re being charged are reasonable. You can get quotes from several different appraisers to make certain you’re being charged a fair price.

A Guide to Choosing a Professional Art

You Should Receive a Written Report

When you receive your report, your appraiser should give you a detailed written document that you can take to any buyer. It should outline why the item was appraised as it was, and it should include professional photographs that clearly show any damage, identifying marks, and other important information. If you have any questions, the appraiser should be able to answer them and provide evidence backing up their answers.

  • Feb 06 / 2018
  • 0
Antique Jewelry

How to Guide on Evaluating Estate & Exceptional Vintage Jewelry

If you’re considering buying and selling estate or vintage jewelry, you first need to learn how to identify it. That way, you’ll know which pieces are worth purchasing and which are not. You’ll also have a better idea on how to price the items you plan on selling. By learning how to evaluate each piece and determine its age and worth, you can tell when you need to negotiate on the price so you invest wisely. Knowing who buys vintage costume jewelry, who buys real vintage jewelry, and where you can connect to these people is vital to your success.

The Findings and Fittings Are Key

When looking at any piece of jewelry, it’s important to examine the findings and the fittings. This will help you determine the age of the piece, which is needed to determine its value. Earrings, for example, have changed a lot since the 1800s. While any of the backings or fittings may be used today, by knowing when these fittings were introduced, you can determine how old the piece is. Spring clips, for example, are relatively new, while kidney wire fittings were introduced in 1882.

Picture of a kidney wire fitting

Estate jewelry buyers who are looking at broaches can use the same logic. If they find a broach that uses a trombone clasp, they know it wasn’t made prior to 1940. If it featured a basic C clasp, it’s harder to tell the age. The fittings will help you narrow down the age of the piece, but you’ll often need additional information to determine the true value of the piece.

Consider the Material

To figure out the value of a piece at an estate vintage jewelry sale, you need to look at the material. If the jewelry is lightweight, has a mold line, and makes a fairly dull clicking sound, you’re looking at plastic. It’s cheap, often doesn’t look that great, and really has little value to a collector. Costume jewelry is often made out of plastic and other cheap materials that look more realistic but isn’t the real deal.

Glass feels heavier and is usually warm to the touch if you hold it for a few seconds. Stone, on the other hand, will remain cool when held. There are many other materials used in jewelry, including jet, gutta-percha, crepe stone, bog oak, and many types of precious metals and materials. It’s not always easy to identify each type of material, which is why many carry jeweler’s loupes. These small magnifying lenses can help you get a closer look at the material so you can determine what it is.

Look for Hallmarks

Picture of a famous Hallmark

The best way to sell expensive jewelry is to know who made it. That helps you really lock down its worth, especially if you can also determine the year it was made. You’ll need to carefully look over the piece for its hallmark. This is often a small logo or a couple of letters that tell you who the manufacturer or designer of the piece was. If you’re lucky, there will also be a year mark near the hallmark. If not, you’ll need to do some research into the designer to determine when it was made.

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