If you love to buy antique jewellery, you
already know how thrilling the hunt can be, especially online. But, it can be
hard distinguishing genuine antique jewellery from a reproduction. Below, we
discuss a few points you should know before you shop for and buy a so-called
antique piece only to discover it is a clever reproduction.
How to Tell if the Antique
Jeweller Is Authentic
Being able to identify the findings
attached to the jewellery for function instead of design can be a good way to
determine the age of a piece. But, keep in mind that the findings may have been
altered at a later date. Some good examples of findings include catches,
clasps, and hinges. During the Victorian era, pieces sported tube hinges and
later a more streamlined design was introduced.
Colours, Metals, and
The metals and colours also changed in
style through the years. For instance, the Art Deco period sported bright
primary colours, but during the Victorian era, colours were more subdued. Being
able to identify the cut of the stone as well as the type of stone in a piece
on antique jewellery can help in dating an item, too. For example, modern
brilliant cut diamonds were only introduced in the early 20th
century. See what Kalmar Antiques in Sydney, Australia have on offeras they have an extensive range of antique and vintage jewellery.
As for metal, pot metal, aluminium,
copper, and platinum became popular during the 20th century. For
instance, white gold, even though it was first introduced at the turn of the
1900s, it was not widely circulated until around 1920 when it became a cheaper
alternative to platinum.
During Victorian times, great emphasis was
placed on the beauty and workmanship of a piece of jewellery as opposed to the
quality of the materials. For example, pinchbeck, which is an alloy of copper
and zinc, was considered a respectable alternative to gold during the Victorian
era, and can often be found in the more affordable range of antique jewellery
on the market. Check the antique dealer’s contact information so you
can reach them and find out more about the pieces you like.
Weight and Registration
Feeling the weight of a piece of jewellery
can certainly help to identify its age, but if you are buying the item online,
you should ask the seller for the weight of the piece. A brooch from Victorian times can appear much
heavier than one that has been recently reproduced. Also check to see if the
piece is handmade, the product of a mould, and whether or not jewels are glued
For a truly accurate time frame, you need
to see a registration mark. Also, attempt to find an image of the item to
compare to the one you are looking at online.
Of course, some of these points are a
little trickier to check if you are buying a piece of antique jewellery online,
but if the piece is not as described when you get it, then you should be
entitled to a full refund. Don’t forget to check the seller’s credentials and
ask plenty of questions before making a purchase.
*This article is published in partnership of Mediabuzzer