Most people getting into jewellery collection as a hobby or a profession often ask, how do I get started? There are numerous guides and books out there. That’s a good thing, but that means you have to read a lot of different articles and chapters before you even get started. It would be nice to have a one-stop reference for beginners looking to jump right in. That’s what this guide offers. You’ll learn the fundamentals of collecting and appraising jewellery so that you can get started immediately. You’ll learn most of the peculiarities of the trade along the way.
1. Ask Questions When Handling Jewellery
It doesn’t matter if you go to the flea market, buying designer diamond jewellery online, or you are at an estate sale. Always make sure you ask questions that will push the little knowledge you have to the limits. Asking questions will allow you to learn what books and online articles cannot teach you.
Make friends with several jewelers and also go to them if you have questions about a piece. It doesn’t matter if you are not ready to buy the piece yet. You can ask them questions out of curiosity, and most of the time, they’ll gladly answer your questions. That’s because vendors look to establish relationships with potential customers, and the only way they can do this is by helping people with their questions.
2. Let Your Eyes Think For You
Collecting and buying antique jewellery online or offline is mostly a visual exercise. Make sure you visually inspect a piece over and over. Look at the back, the fittings and the pearls because all these can tell you the real value of the piece. Designers typically sign their jewellery at the back. They also stamp them to show the metal content, as well as any alteration that may have been made. Today, there are many reproductions in the market that might, at first sight, look authentic. However, a close inspection may reveal they are not original, and that’s why it is important to inspect pieces thoroughly.
3. Leave Assumptions Our of the Door
When you get to a jewellery boutique, never assume anything. Never assume that the pieces on display are the only ones of their kind. There are so many jewelers out there, and it is quite likely that they made dozens of pieces identical to the one you’re looking at. Also, in jewellery, there is a trickle-down effect, which means high-end jewellery is imitated in every social stratum. The design remains consistent, but the material changes depending on the social stratum. For instance, a titanium brooch may have glass and brass descendants from the same period. While this is good for the collector because of the range of options available, it also means you may end up with pieces that are not equal in value to your investment.
Therefore, arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can for each piece before collecting jewellery. With knowledge, you can be sure most of the time you’re making the right choice.