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Many people have antique jewelry that was handed down by family members or purchased at estate sales. However, few people understand the potential value of antique jewelry. While not all antique jewelry commands a premium price point, some can be quite valuable. Some people choose to sell antique gold jewelry that’s just taking up space in a jewelry box to get cash for more pressing purchases. However, before selling gold jewelry in Atlanta, it’s a good idea to learn how to put a value on the pieces in your personal collection.

Some antique jewelry may have value that extends beyond the worth of the raw materials used to craft it. As is the case with any antique, there are many factors that help shape the worth and amplify value. However, it’s sometimes difficult for the layperson to understand those factors and accurately gauge the value of antique jewelry pieces. Read on to learn a few tips for determining the value of your antique jewelry before selling it.

Antique or Vintage?

One of the first things to determine when estimating the worth of older jewelry is whether it’s antique or vintage. To be classified as antique, jewelry much typically be more than 100 years in age. Jewelry that doesn’t fall into that category but hails from bygone eras and represents styles such as art deco, mid-century, or retro is considered vintage. Vintage jewelry is any piece that is more than 20 years old. While antique jewelry isn’t always more valuable than vintage jewelry, the older class of jewelry usually commands a higher value.

Condition

Another factor to consider when assigning a value to a piece of antique jewelry is its condition. Though it’s to be expected that a piece that’s more than 100 years old would have some signs of wear, excessive wear can lower the value of the piece. Also, any superficial damage to the jewelry may detract from its value. For example, if a ring has stones missing from its setting, that will lower the value of the piece. An intact piece with all stones and light signs of wear would command a premium value.

Appearance

The appearance of your antique jewelry will play a part in its value insofar as the appearance will increase its market price. In other words, the nicer a piece of antique jewelry looks, the higher the price it can command on the open market. Before attempting to sell your jewelry, consider having it professionally cleaned. You can also clean it yourself if you know the materials that comprise the jewelry. Just remember to be gentle, as you don’t want to damage a piece that is more than 100 years old.

Appraising jewelry

Style or Era

The age from which your jewelry hails is also an important consideration when understanding its value. Some common antique jewelry styles include Georgian, Edwardian, Victorian, art nouveau, belle epoque, and arts and crafts. The style of jewelry can impact the value of the piece on the open market, but it can also affect the value of your piece to a specific buyer who focuses on that age. You can determine the style of your jewelry by consulting with a professional jeweler or appraiser, though you can also compare your piece to representative examples from the various ages of antique jewelry.

Materials

As with any jewelry, the materials used to create antique pieces will factor into the overall worth. A piece made of gold and crusted with diamonds will usually fetch a higher value than the same piece constructed out of silver and garnet. It’s important to know what materials were used to make the jewelry, as that will define a large portion of its value on the open market.

Markings

Make sure to check the jewelry for the presence of any special markings. Check the inside of rings, the underside of watches, or the backs of clasps. Markings can indicate which craftsman or jeweler made the piece, which can dramatically impact the value of antique jewelry. Just as a Stradivarius is exponentially more valuable than any other antique violin, so too is the case with antique jewelry made by the finest craftsmen of the age.

If you are thinking of selling your antique jewelry, make sure that you understand its true value before agreeing to a transaction. When in doubt, check with a professional appraiser or trusted jeweler. To learn more about how to determine the value of your antique jewelry, contact Elan Diamond Group at (404) 445-4281.