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Jewelry in a dish and common cents logo How to Spot Valuable Antique Jewelry When Antiquing

How to Spot Valuable Jewelry When Antiquing

11 October 2018 0 comment

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Looking for valuable antique jewelry while at a flea market or antique shop is a thrill for most treasure hunters. The question becomes how does one spot valuable pieces of antique jewelry and not an inexpensive piece of costume jewelry?

There are five things to keep in mind when looking for valuable pieces.  Anyone can employ these tips, which are easy to remember and make a lot of sense.

woman holding rings on her thumb.
Looking for valuable antique jewelry while at a flea market or antique shop is a thrill for most treasure hunters.

1. Notice the Amount of Metal Used Around the Stone.

Look at the amount of metal used around the stone.  The more metal there is around the stone chances are the piece is of lesser quality.

2. Check for the clarity of the stone.

If it is cloudy, that means it is of lesser quality.  Be aware of small diamond chips surrounding the stone.  If you do see small diamond chips circling the stone, they are there as a distraction.

3. Look for Hallmarks on the piece.

Hallmarks are marks which are stamped onto pieces of gold, silver, and platinum certifying their standard of purity. Hallmarks will indicate the metal content of the piece, possibility the country of origin, designer, or manufacturer.  Generally, the hallmarks are located on the clasp of a necklace, the inside of a ring or bracelet, or on the posts of earrings.

a pearl necklace with a diamond rose
Look for Hallmarks on the piece.

4. Check the weight of the piece.

Brass and pewter, which are often used in less expensive pieces, are generally lighter in weight than gold and silver. Pieces which are solid gold are smooth, consistent in look, and have some weight to them.

5. Determine if the diamond is real or fake.

There are five easy tests to determine if the diamond in the piece is real or fake, such as cubic zirconia and moissanite.  If the stone fails all five tests, the diamond is most likely to be fake, but if it passes one of the tests, there is a strong possibility you have a real diamond.

3 gold diamond rings stacked
There are five easy tests to determine if the diamond in the piece is real or fake.

Breath Test

Take a deep breath and exhale on your diamond, preferably on a flat surface of the diamond, which immediately dispenses heat.  In other words, the diamond will quickly become transparent. If it remains cloudy, it is most likely to be a cubic zirconia stone.

Loupe Test

A loupe is a small magnifying glass used by jewelers and watchmakers. Upon inspecting a real diamond, most will have some inclusions, which are internal flaws inside the diamond. The inclusions look like a white spot that resembles a piece of feather. Generally speaking, synthetic diamonds and cubic zirconia do not have inclusions.

Scratch Test

With great caution and care, scratch a piece of glass with the diamond, which is ranked to be the hardest on the Mohs scale. If the glass is scratched, you can be confident the diamond is real.

Newspaper Test

With a larger stone, the newspaper test is an effective test.  Since diamonds refract light, you will not be able to read the print when the stone is placed on top of the print. With a cubic zirconia, you would be able to read the print through the stone.

Water Test

With a loose diamond, place in a glass of water.  If it sinks, it is real.

many shiny rings in a case
How to Spot Valuable Jewelry When Antiquing.

Looking for antique jewelry is fun. With the easy to remember tests listed above you can be confident your purchase is probably a profitable one.  Our knowledgeable, friendly staff will give you the personalized attention you deserve based on more than 50 years of combined experience in coins and collectibles. Visit us today! We’re located at 402 Main St., Milford, Ohio 45103, and online at http://commoncentscoinscincinnati.com.

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