My Tips on Collecting Rare Antique Jewellery

My Tips on Collecting Rare Antique Jewellery

It is possible to find rare antique jewellery such as Georgian and Victorian pieces for reasonable prices at Antique Fairs and Markets. The selective buyer will learn so much from handling and looking carefully at antique pieces. The more pieces you handle the more experienced you will become and remember it takes time!

I highly recommend when going to an Antique Fair that you take a 10x Loupe to look carefully at each item. You would not believe how many times I have been caught out at a Fair. To bring an item back home only to discover a missing stone or a chip to a stone when I have examined the piece more closely. With this in mind it is important to not get flustered and to inspect the item carefully before committing to buy.

Also be weary of pieces which have obviously been altered or repaired. For example old rings can often have their shanks replaced or even mismatched replacement stones and pins on the back of brooches can be prone to break. If a piece looks like it has been converted; that is ok but do ensure that the conversion has been well done and made to last. When in doubt, do not buy. Good dealers are always happy to share their expertise and knowledge with you. 

Before you start collecting, it's essential to learn about the different types of antique jewellery, such as Georgian, Victorian, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Retro. Each era has its unique styles and materials, so understanding the differences between them can help you make informed purchases. You can also learn about the materials, such as gold, silver, and gemstones, and how to identify hallmarks and other markings that indicate the authenticity of an antique piece.  Click here to read my blog on identifying gold hallmarks

When you first start collecting antique jewellery, it's best to start small. Look for affordable pieces that interest you, and focus on building a collection that you love. Consider starting with costume jewellery from the 1920s and 1930s or vintage pieces from the 1950s and 1960s - this is what I did when I first started out as I needed to build my confidence. These pieces are often less expensive than high-end antiques and can still be quite valuable.

Building relationships with antique jewellery dealers can be beneficial when it comes to finding new pieces for your collection. Get to know local dealers and attend their events, and ask them about their inventory and any upcoming sales. By building a rapport with dealers, you may also be able to negotiate better prices or receive first dibs on new pieces.

Once you start collecting antique jewellery, it's crucial to take care of your pieces. Store them in a dry, cool place, away from direct sunlight. Keep them in individual jewellery bags or boxes to prevent scratches or damage. If a piece needs cleaning, use a soft cloth or brush and avoid harsh chemicals that can damage the metal or gemstones. 

In conclusion, collecting antique jewellery is a fascinating and rewarding hobby. By learning about different eras and materials, attending fairs and auctions, building relationships with dealers, and taking care of your collection, you can build a unique and valuable collection that you will cherish for years to come.

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