Found Treasures: How to Shop for Estate Jewelry

November 22, 2017

Found Treasures: How to Shop for Estate Jewelry

By Chelsea Reed

Shopping for estate jewelry can easily turn into an adventure. Much like the journeys of Indiana Jones, acquiring these prized treasures is a rewarding experience that is twice as satisfying if you sidestepped certain pitfalls along the path. While you may not have to dodge perilous boulders like the famous professor of archeology, it is helpful to learn a few tips that will steer you clear of common estate jewelry mishaps and take home a real winner to show off to your friends!

Getting to Know the Seller

Spending time with an estate jewelry seller makes a big difference in the end result of your shopping. Research the seller before you meet them, and then ask them questions when you get there. How did they get into the practice of selling estate jewelry? What are their certifications? For the pieces they sell, ask them how they acquired the jewelry and the history of each item.

Examining the Piece

Ask the seller about the overall condition of the estate jewelry at the beginning of your conversation. Then, put their words to the test when you examine the pieces. Check for dents, scratches, missing gemstones, and signs of previous repair. These flaws aren’t necessarily terrible and add character, but they could affect the quality. You may want to take a small magnifying lens with you to view the jewelry’s finer details.

If the piece looks brand new, be careful! It might be a good-looking fake. Real estate jewelry contains a sheen called patina that occurs from use over time by previous owners. It’s also normal for genuine estate jewelry to show signs of normal wear. So if it looks especially shiny, ask the seller if it’s been restored.

Opal, sapphire and diamond gold ringIf you’re still not sure about the jewelry’s identification, have a licensed appraiser look at it. These individuals are trained to spot real estate jewelry from the fake stuff so you can have peace of mind. Did you know that Seaside Art Gallery’s estate jewelry is carefully examined by a licensed fine jewelry appraiser? This means that you can be sure the estate jewelry sold in the Gallery is the real deal!

The Final Steps

Once you’ve learned everything there is to know about the piece and are satisfied, it’s safe to close the deal. Don’t forget to ask the seller for a copy of the full description of the product when the purchase is finalized! Saving this detailed receipt is important for insurance purposes if you have or plan to buy a policy rider for fine art and jewelry in the future. Keep it in a safe place with your insurance paperwork, if possible.

Ready to brush off your dusty leather hat and do some serious estate jewelry hunting? Seaside Art Gallery houses many estate jewelry pieces that span from vintage to modern styles. These pieces are genuine and carefully examined by Melanie Smith, the owner. See them for yourself right now or stop at the Gallery and speak with Melanie in person. We look forward to meeting with you!

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